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Official Opinions


October 2008 Opinions
Please click on Opinion number to view entire opinion.

Opinion # Requestor


08-075 The Honorable Harry B. Blevins
Member, Senate of Virginia

Probation and parole officers described in § 16.1‑237 are not ‘law-enforcement officers’ for purposes of Retirement System.

08-019 The Honorable Timothy D. Hugo
Member, House of Delegates
Authority for college board of visitors to establish policy applying standards of conduct and reasonable rules and regulations to student organizations. If college allows student organizations to have access to its facilities, it may deny access to student group only for viewpoint-neutral reasons. College must be viewpoint neutral in collection and dissemination of student activity fees. Board may adopt viewpoint-neutral policies regulating student organization-sponsored performances on campus, providing funding for such performances, and limiting use of institution’s facilities to performances that comply with adopted policies.
08-088 The Honorable W.R. "Bill" Janis
Member, House of Delegates

No requirement under Virginia law that overseas military voter submitting Virginia absentee ballot to include printed name and address of person who signs witness statement. Requirement under Virginia law that overseas military voter submitting Federal Post Card Application (‘FPCA’) and Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (‘FWAB’) for November 4, 2008 federal election to include printed name and address of person who signs witness statement on FPCA return envelope. Section 24.2‑702.1(B), interpreted to require overseas military voter submitting only FWAB to include printed name and address of person who signs witness statement is preempted by Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. General registrars may not reject FWAB submitted by overseas military voters for November 4, 2008 federal election, that do not include printed name and address for person who signs witness statement, unless voter is unable to sign application due to physical disability or inability to read or write.

08-056 The Honorable Charles E. Dorsey
Chief Judge Twenty-Third Judicial Circuit

Where Commonwealth’s attorney has become ‘counsel of record’ by making appearance in particular court, whether in civil or criminal proceedings, Rules 1:5 and 1:13 apply. No requirement for Commonwealth’s attorney to seek leave from circuit court to withdraw from appeal of general district court misdemeanor conviction if no appearance is made in de novo proceeding. Rule 1:13 applies to Commonwealth’s attorneys; however, courts have broad discretion to dispense with endorsements.

08-067 The Honorable Mark L. Cole
Member, House of Delegates

No authority for Virginia county to enact ordinance creating Community Development Authority that permits subsequent release or withdrawal of land from Authority district.

08-060 Ms. Karen A. Gould
Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer
Virginia State Bar

No prohibition under state and federal law regarding pass through of merchant trans-action fees imposed by credit card issuer by Virginia State Bar or private attorneys to attorney-licensees or clients. State law expressly authorizes Bar to impose surcharge on attorney-licensee’s payment obligation, provided costs saved by acceptance of credit cards do not exceed amount of surcharges collected. Prior disclosure of transaction fees required under federal law when fees meet definition of ‘finance charge.’

08-058 The Honorable Randy N. Williams
Russell County Commissioner of

Authority for commissioner of revenue to have county employees placed under his supervision sworn as deputy commissioners of revenue.

08-076 Daniel M. Siegel, Esq.
Town Attorney for Charlotte Court House

Authority for Town of Charlotte Court House to appoint town sergeant and any necessary officers to enforce laws of Commonwealth within Town. Authority to enter into reciprocal agreement with Town of Drakes Branch pursuant to § 15.2‑1726.

08-071 Jennifer LeLacheur Jones, Esq.
Town Attorney for Drakes Branch

Charter for town of Drakes Branch authorizes appoint-ment of town sergeant when town council deems such appointment as proper and necessary. Towns of Drakes Branch and Charlotte Court House may enter into valid, reciprocal agreement to contract for services of town sergeant provided both towns’ charters authorize such appointment.