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Official Opinions


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

Opinion # Requestor Summary


The Honorable H. Morgan Griffith
Member, House of Delegates
General Assembly may amend 2000 Appropriation Act by means of limited purpose bills rather than by comprehensive budget amendment bill that amends entire Act.


The Honorable John R. Newhart
Sheriff for the City of Chesapeake
Sheriff may hold public sale of personal property seized under fieri facias or distress warrant on private property of debtor. Authority and duty to establish place of sale falls within sheriff’s discretion. Expenses incurred for movement or storage of property or other costs of sale are deductible from sale proceeds.


The Honorable Randy N. Williams
Commissioner of the Revenue for Russell Co.
Commissioner of revenue has no authority to contract with private statistical company to prepare, during normal working hours, report regarding data on new construction and buildings.


Mr. Michael R. Packer
City Attorney for the City of Petersburg
Mayor of City of Petersburg may remove commissioners of Petersburg Hospital Authority for inefficiency, neglect of duty or misconduct, only after commissioners have been given copy of charges against them at least 10 days prior to hearing at which they have opportunity to be heard.


The Honorable Robert E. Maxey Jr.
Sheriff for Campbell Co.
Interjurisdictional law-enforcement authority of sheriff’s office to go beyond locality served by sheriff is limited to activities prescribed by statute. Officer properly engaged in activity so prescribed beyond territorial limits of his locality is authorized to act in same manner and is subject to same limitations as would apply to law-enforcement officer of extraterritorial locality responding to such activities.


The Honorable H. Morgan Griffith
Member, House of Delegates
Formation of tax exempt corporation for purpose of educating public on political position relating to matter of governmental policy constitutes "political purpose," permissible under Act. Group of elected officials may form corporation, or political action committee, exempt from federal taxation, for purpose of influencing public policy.


The Honorable Paul J. Lanteigne
Sheriff for the City of Virginia Beach
Sheriff is not required to notify Department of Motor Vehicles of levy on motor vehicle pursuant to writ of fieri facias that is not accompanied by his actual seizure of vehicle. Lien resulting from fieri facias will not appear on certificate of title to such vehicle; transfer of title to bona fide purchaser is free and clear of any lien. Vehicle levied on but not seized by sheriff and sold by debtor may not be sold at sheriff’s auction.


The Honorable Clinton Miller, Chairman
State Corporation Commission
Commonwealth may not levy electric and natural gas consumption taxes on diplomats from foreign countries to whom Secretary of State has granted diplomatic immunity from taxation; such prohibited taxation extends to portion of taxes remitted to localities. Method of identifying foreign nation diplomats for purposes of exemption from electric and natural gas consumption taxes.