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Opinions

Opinion In Reference To
95-7

Authority of local governments to require contractors licensed by the state to obtain liability insurance or code compliance bonds.

95-6

A state court judge who establishes residency outside of the county from which the judge is elected vacates this office as a matter of law.

95-5

When determining the results of voting for a consolidated government, the term "county," as used in O.C.G.A. § 36-60-16, means the whole county not just the unincorporated portion thereof.

95-6

The Department of Children and Youth Services is eligible to receive tuition grants for disabled students whose Individualized Education Programs place them in private residential programs for educational reasons. When the student is committed to the Department of Children and Youth Services pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 49-4A-8, the educational agency responsible for providing a free and appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is either the Department or the local school district in which the student resides.

95-5

Unless otherwise exempted or excluded, contested cases not presided over by the agency head or board or body which is the ultimate decision maker are to be conducted by the Office of State Administrative Hearings.

95-4

Constitutional limitations on power of the Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider inmates for parole.

95-4

A professional corporation is prohibited by state law from issuing stock to an employee stock ownership plan, established as a trust, where some of the beneficiaries of the trust are not licensed in the profession of the corporation.

95-3

Implantation of microchips in animals for identification purposes does not constitute the practice of veterinary medicine.

95-3

The executive director to a MH/MR/SA regional board may be hired by the state division director only with the approval of the regional board, and may be fired by the state division director, either on his own initiative or in compliance with the request of a majority of the regional board membership.

95-2

Local boards of education are not authorized by statute to provide transportation to students for extracurricular activities by leasing vehicles for that use.

95-2

Persons who fall within the definition of a lobbyist in relation to county or municipal matters, as defined under O.C.G.A. § 21-5-70(6)(D), (E), (F), must comply with the registration and reporting requirements of the Public Officials Conduct and Lobbyist Disclosure Act.

95-1

Questions regarding the jurisdiction of the probate court.

95-1

No attorney-client relationship exists between individuals who are attorneys and employed by an executive agency and other agency officers and employees.

94-17

A professional bondsman may require as a condition of his suretyship that, in addition to the fee allowed by O.C.G.A. ¿ 17-6-30, he receive an indemnification from a third party in an amount equal to the principal amount of the bond without violating O.C.G.A. ¿ 17-6-30. Furthermore, a court may order the payment of restitution to a bail bondsman for a loss sustained as a consequence of an accused criminal jumping bail in violation of O.C.G.A. § 16-10-51.

94-24

Members of the State Transportation Board who travel out of state to attend meetings of the State Transportation Board or its committees are entitled to the same daily expense allowance as provided members of the General Assembly for out-of-state travel.

94-16

Publication of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated in Book Format and in CD-ROM Format

94-23

The Georgia Public Service Commission's jurisdiction over radio common carriers offering Domestic Public Land Mobile Radio Service has been partially preempted by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. The Commission still retains jurisdiction over carriers offering Rural Radio Service.

94-23

The Georgia Public Service Commission's jurisdiction over radio common carriers offering Domestic Public Land Mobile Radio Service has been partially preempted by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. The Commission still retains jurisdiction over carriers offering Rural Radio Service.

94-15

O.C.G.A. § 33-23-1(b)(1) permits unlicensed administrative employees in the office of an insurance agent to open mail containing insurance premium checks.

94-14

Legislation will be required to permit the Department of Transportation to exceed limits on professional services contracts placed by state law.

94-13

A clerk of superior court may not file and record maps or plats relating to the real estate in his county which do not meet the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 15-6-67, as amended by Georgia Laws 1994, p. 1096.

94-12

A replacement probate judge appointed in good faith pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 15-9-13(a) may be designated pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 15-1-9.1 to assist temporarily a state court for a specified duration, assuming that individual meets the statutory qualifications of O.C.G.A. § 15-7-21(a)(1).

94-22

Appropriations of state funds to the Department of Defense which are not spent or committed by written contract lapse at the end of the fiscal year notwithstanding the provision for a continuing "military fund" in O.C.G.A. § 38-2-170; non-appropriated donations to the Department of Defense and armory rentals do not lapse.

94-21

The current hearing officers for the Department of Transportation may continue in their present capacity as hearing officers under the express language of Ga. Laws 1994, p. 1856, § 5 until April 1, 1995.

94-11

commercial driver's license is required to operate a motor vehicle when the registered gross vehicle weight rating exceeds the amount specified in O.C.G.A. § 40-5-142(7)(A).

94-10

Inasmuch as Fort Stewart remains in the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government, the Juvenile Court of Liberty County does not have jurisdiction over juveniles who have allegedly committed delinquent acts on the military base.

94-9

The use of a metal detector to screen everyone or to randomly screen students as they enter school is not an unreasonable search and thus is not unconstitutional. However, the metal detector could be used in some manner, such as selective screening, which could violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches. If the metal detector is used selectively, school officials should have reasonable cause to believe that the students or individuals selected possess a weapon.

94-20

A company or group which has obtained a certificate of authority to operate a self-insurance program from the Commissioner of Insurance is a regulated entity under O.C.G.A. § 21-5-30.1. Companies, which are not insurance companies but which provide services similar to insurance such as that provided by motor clubs, are not regulated entities, where the Commissioner of Insurance exercises no statutory control or regulation over the entity.

94-19

The project for real property acquisitions from the Resolution Trust Corporation for the Multifamily Affordable Housing Program is a project within the powers of the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority to undertake.

94-18

Funds held by banks to pay outstanding certified and official checks are not subject to service charges before being reported as unclaimed property.

94-17

Election of non-public board members by the Regional Development Center Board of Directors.

94-8

House Bill 1074 amending the charter of a municipality may be in violation of the constitutional provision which requires the General Assembly to so act only by general law.

94-16

O.C.G.A. § 21-5-43 limits local labor unions which are "established, financed, maintained, or controlled" by the same labor organization to making contributions for any one candidate not to exceed the total aggregate maximum contribution provided for in that Code Section; whether any such local unions are deemed to be so affiliated with one labor organization is a question to be determined on a case by case basis.

94-15

Georgia Ports Authority information, meeting the definition of a trade secret under the Georgia Trade Secrets Act, is not exempt from disclosure under the Georgia Open Records Act, although trade secret information obtained from third parties may be exempt from disclosure.

94-14

Request of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company for Approval of Domestic Partnership Coverage.

94-13

A college may not rely absolutely on a contractual provision in a dormitory contract to conduct a search of a student's dormitory room in the absence of a valid warrant or consent.

94-11

Use of a Telephonic Conference for a Regular Meeting of the Commission, Compliance with the Open Meetings Act, and the Requirement for a Quorum.

94-7

Civil actions filed under the Child Support Recovery Act, O.C.G.A. § 19-11-1 et seq., are subject to fees charged by the clerk for alternative dispute resolution programs under O.C.G.A. § 15-23-7; but collection of fees must await conclusion of the action and the fee ordinarily should be charged to the child support obligor.

94-12

Federal HOME Regulations prohibit a former member of the Board of Directors of the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority from participating in or benefitting from financial programs of the Authority for a period of one year and further prohibit such participation in HOME Programs of other participating jurisdictions.

94-6

The Georgia Department of Medical Assistance must provide coverage for medically necessary abortions and may impose reasonable reporting or documentation requirements for abortions resulting from rape or incest.

94-10

A person who, as part of a refinancing transaction, signs a land survey affidavit in which the person makes certain affirmations about an existing survey of property owned by that person in order to induce a title insurance company to issue a title insurance policy to the lender is not practicing as a land surveyor in violation of O.C.G.A. § 43-15-7(b).

94-9

General Assembly approval is required for the Board of Regents to acquire a county technical institute and convert such institute to a public college.

94-5

O.C.G.A. § 50-3-3 requires that the state flag be displayed in the schools on appropriate occasions, as determined by local school boards, within their scope of discretion relating to educational responsibilities.

94-4

O.C.G.A. § 10-9-14 empowering the Geo. L. Smith II Georgia World Congress Center Authority to regulate activities on the sidewalks and streets immediately adjacent to the World Congress Center's projects during an event period does not violate the City of Atlanta's home rule power.

94-8

The appropriate use of bond proceeds and savings generated by bond refundings conducted in accordance with Art. IX, Sec. V, Para. III of the Georgia Constitution.

94-7

There is no statutory basis on which the Georgia Public Service Commission can exercise jurisdiction over cellular telecommunication services as either a radio service or public telephone service.

94-6

Loans made by the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority to local governments pursuant to the 1983 Georgia Constitution, Article IX, Section III, Paragraph I (the Intergovernmental Contracts Clause), are not subject to the debt limitations of Article IX, Section V, Paragraph I of the Georgia Constitution.

94-3

The Legislative Services Committee does not have the authority to dispose of the items returned by the members of the General Assembly pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 45-7-4(a)(22).

94-2

The Ethics in Government Act requires a campaign committee formed for the purpose of opposing a local option sales tax referendum to file a campaign contribution disclosure report; however, the Act does not compel each contributor to such a committee to file a separate disclosure report.

94-5

The State Board of Registration of Used Car Dealers may not accept surplus line insurance in lieu of the surety bond required by O.C.G.A. § 43-47-8(h).

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One of the duties of the Attorney General is to give his legal opinion, when required to do so by the Governor, on any question of law connected with the interest of the state or with the duties of any of the departments. O.C.G.A. § 45-15-3(1). However, to avoid having the Governor endorse all requests for opinions originating within the departments of the state, the Attorney General receives requests for opinions directly from the heads of the executive departments.

The Attorney General will also provide opinions to other state officers, such as legislators, judges or district attorneys. The Attorney General does not generally provide legal advice, opinions or representation to county or municipal governments or officials, but will on request review the written legal opinions and conclusions of counsel for local governments.

Opinions issued to the Governor and the heads of the executive departments are classified as "Official Opinions." Those issued to other state officers (such as legislators, judges or district attorneys) are classified as "Unofficial Opinions." Additionally, from time to time the Attorney General will approve interstate compacts or issue position papers on questions of state law. Those documents are published along with the opinions of the Attorney General.

This presentation of the opinions of the Georgia Attorney General is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice to the general public. From time to time, opinions may be withdrawn, revised or otherwise made obsolete.

Opinions of the Attorney General
1994 - Current

For a copy of a pre-1994 opinion, please contact the Georgia Attorney General's Office at (404) 651-5825 or by e-mail at opinions@law.ga.gov.