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Official Opinions


April 2002 Opinions

Please click on Opinion number to view entire opinion.

Opinion # Requestor


01-108 The Honorable J. Dean Lewis
Judge, Fifteenth District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
Decisions of Court of Appeals of Virginia in Commonwealth ex rel. May v. Walker and Mahoney v. Mahoney overrule decision in Avery v. Commonwealth, Department of Social Services, which allows bifurcated appeal in case of father found guilty of civil contempt for failure to pay court-ordered child support. Party in civil contempt proceeding initiated in juvenile court must post appeal bond within 30 days, in amount of support arrearage, in order to perfect appeal to circuit court for trial de novo.
02-029 The Honorable Kenneth R. Plum Member, House of Delegates General Assembly would need to enact legislation authorizing Fairfax County to amend its human rights ordinance to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
00-011 The Honorable Thomas D. Horne
Judge, Twentieth Judicial Circuit
Commissioner of accounts is not permitted access to criminal history records of delinquent fiduciaries through Virginia Criminal Information Network, unless such records are released pursuant to circuit court order or rule.
01-118 Mr. Michael M. Collins
County Attorney for Alleghany County
Determination regarding whether locality may impose flat tax on itinerant merchants and peddlers without violating Commerce Clause depends on resolution of questions of fact that may establish genuine administrative burden experienced by locality. Attorney General traditionally has declined to render official opinions when request involves question of fact rather than one of law.
02-004 The Honorable Clifford R. Weckstein
Judge, Twenty-Third Judicial Circuit
Court reporting services associated with criminal litigation proceedings are exempt from competitive process requirements of Public Procurement Act. Provision of such services lies within sound discretion of court
00-060 The Honorable Ronald S. Hallman
City Attorney for the City of Chesapeake
Virginia locality may adopt proffer policy that considers adequate public facilities requirement before applications may be approved for rezoning
02-007 The Honorable Norman deV. Morrison
Judge, Clarke County General District Court
Impoundment provisions are applicable to arrest for driving during suspension period, provided driver’s suspension or revocation resulted from DUI conviction.
01-111 The Honorable Robert G. Marshall
Member, House of Delegates
Act does not address question whether developer of retirement community, which controls homeowners’ association of development, may establish budget for association that is not based on fact. Developer must provide to potential buyers disclosure statement reflecting financial status of association. Developer may retain control of association and bill homeowners for association expenses, provided developer retains ownership of majority of lots constituting development.
01-060 The Honorable Marilyn L. Wilson
Clerk, Circuit Court of Amelia County
Notary public commissioned by State of Maryland is not authorized to notarize in Commonwealth documents for recordation in Virginia circuit court clerk’s office.
02-012 The Honorable M. Kirkland Cox
Member, House of Delegates
Colonial Heights police department is responsible for transporting arrestee to regional jail. Once at regional jail, jail superintendent is responsible for conveying prisoners to and from court. City council may adopt ordinance requiring sheriff to perform extra transport duties and may compensate sheriff accordingly. Prisoners awaiting further criminal proceedings at courthouse are within control of sheriff, who is responsible for returning them to jail superintendent for transport to regional jail at conclusion of day’s hearings. If it is necessary for prisoner to remain for further court proceedings within same day, prisoner should be kept in courthouse holding cell until proceedings are concluded and then released to jail superintendent for transport to regional jail.
01-062 Colonel W. Gerald Massengill
Superintendent, Department of State Police
Department of State Police is authorized to provide mental health information maintained in Central Criminal Records Exchange to Federal Bureau of Investigation for use in National Instant Criminal Background Check System Index.
02-019 The Honorable Kenneth R. Melvin
Member, House of Delegates
Compensation received by standing trustee in Chapter 13 bankruptcy for performance of his administrative duties associated with such bankruptcy is subject to local business license taxation.
01-121 The Honorable Barbara O. Carraway
Treasurer for the City of Chesapeake
Local elected constitutional officer is "unit of local government" falling within definition of "agency" under Act. Act’s definition of "agency" includes local constitutional officer.
01-119 The Honorable William W. Davenport
Commonwealth’s Attorney for Chesterfield County
Requirement that law-enforcement agency enter into Virginia Criminal Information Network certain information contained on warrant or capias received by agency is directory in nature, and does not otherwise violate affected individual’s constitutional rights.
01-068 The Honorable John R. Newhart
Sheriff for the City of Chesapeake
Propriety of actions of sheriff’s office with regard to storage of personal property removed from residential premises pursuant to unlawful detainer or ejectment.
02-026 The Honorable Judy L. Worthington
Clerk of the Circuit Court of Chesterfield County
Automated case management systems maintained by clerk of circuit court, whether storage media is on or off premises, are records of clerk’s office under custody of such clerk. Access to such system lies within sound discretion of clerk.
02-013 The Honorable Kathy J. Byron
Member, House of Delegates
Water authority may include fee for connecting to water system constructed by authority as proportionate part of its construction costs. Statutory use of "shall" appears to be advisory or directory in nature, and permits authority to review periodically and adjust amount of connection fees, as necessary.
01-105 The Honorable Clarence E. Phillips
Member, House of Delegates
Industrial development authorities may use design-build contracts for construction of "authority facilities" or "facilities," as defined in Industrial Development and Revenue Bond Act, without having to engage in competitive bidding and without having to involve Design-Build/Construction Management Review Board.
01-123 Mr. W. Forrest Matthews, Jr.
Director, Virginia Retirement System
Appropriation Act provides no authorization for payment of administrative expenses incurred by Virginia Retirement System in oversight of deferred compensation plan; no statutory authorization for Retirement System to charge and recover administrative costs from Department of Accounts. Retirement System may not recover its administrative expenses from employees who participate in cash match plan, but may bill participating employers for expenses. No authority for Retirement System to charge and collect administrative fee from participants of optional retirement plan for political appointees or recover such costs from institutions of higher education. Attorney General is unable to comment regarding method and source by which Virginia Retirement System may recover costs incurred and associated with administration of VolSAP when Fund assets are insufficient, or on action Retirement System should take for optional retirement plan for school superintendents should General Assembly deny request for general fund appropriation.

The Honorable Terrie L. Suit
Member, House of Delegates

Mortgage broker may not provide compensated services in same real estate sales transaction in which affiliated real estate broker is providing compensated services. Term "partner" encompasses limited partner in mortgage broker that is organized as limited partnership.