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Official Opinions


June 2001 Opinion Index
Please click Opinion number to view entire opinion.

Opinion #
The Honorable R. Steven Landes
Member, House of Delegates
Response to question whether Right to Farm Act supersedes local zoning ordinance and permits use of aircraft in surveillance of crops, livestock and property and to pick up repair parts and supplies is inconclusive.
The Honorable Robert H. Brink
Member, House of Delegates
Classified state employee, serving at deputy director level at state governmental agency within executive branch, may seek election to and serve in General Assembly, assuming he exercises no function in connection with federally financed activity, in violation of Hatch Political Activity Act.
The Honorable Johnny S. Joannou
Member, House of Delegates
Attorney General declines to render opinion: (1) whether ordinance delegating authority to architectural review board to determine historical significance of vacant parochial school building for purposes of demolition by church is invalid on its face; such function is properly left to local authority responsible for adoption and enforcement of ordinance; (2) whether decision of architectural review board places substantial burden on religious exercise of church; such decision requires analysis of facts and circumstances rather than interpretation of law; (3) whether review board’s denial of church’s permit application constitutes unconstitutional ‘taking.’ Department of Historic Resources is appropriate agency to determine whether building located in historic district and labeled ‘ruin’ may be removed.
The Honorable Edward DeJ. Berry
Judge, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
Fingerprints of juveniles may be taken only when juvenile is taken into custody. Juvenile who has been issued summons by law-enforcement officer for possession of marijuana and is not taken into custody may not be fingerprinted.
The Honorable Matthew J. Britton
Commonwealth’s Attorney for King George County
Victims’ Services Section of Department of Criminal Justice Services, rather than Attorney General, is appropriate agency to determine what constitutes special circumstances dictating course of action other than arrest in matters involving family violence.
The Honorable Joe T. May
Member, House of Delegates
Jurisdiction of Purcellville Police Department to patrol and enforce laws of Commonwealth may not be extended from 300-yard restriction to 1 mile beyond corporate limits of town.
The Honorable H. Russell Potts Jr.
Member, Senate of Virginia
Discretionary authority of local law-enforcement authorities to share with public schools officials information concerning any offense committed by student(s) off school property on school bus, school property, or at school-sponsored activity that would be criminal offense if committed by adult.
The Honorable Kenneth W. Stolle
Member, Senate of Virginia
Emergency Medical Treatment Act does not preempt or conflict with statutes governing Commonwealth’s involuntary commitment process for mentally ill adults in need of hospitalization. Act complements process by providing court with authority to place individual at any hospital with emergency room departments that execute Medicare provider agreements. Organizations affected by Emergency Medical Treatment Act and Virginia laws governing involuntary commitment process must comply with requirements of both laws; should develop annual written agreements with community services boards to reach satisfactory arrangements for provision of qualified examiners to perform evaluation services.
The Honorable Roy F. Evans Jr.
Commonwealth’s Attorney for Smyth County
1995 resolution establishing Southwest Virginia Community Corrections Program, and providing for Southwest Virginia Community Criminal Justice Board to select consenting participating city or county to act as administrator and fiscal agent for funds awarded to implement local community-based probation programs and services, does not comply with statutory requirement that governing authorities of participating localities select administrator and fiscal agent.
The Honorable John J. Welch III
Member, House of Delegates
Chiropractors may lawfully provide physical therapy modalities as part of treatment program for patients and, therefore, practice physical therapy.
The Honorable Albert Teich Jr.
Clerk, Circuit Court of the City of Norfolk
Authority of Virginia limited liability company to serve as trustee in deed of trust on real property.
The Honorable Terry G. Kilgore
Member, House of Delegates
Commissioner of revenue is proper official to determine whether rental property owned by town is exempt from real estate taxation.