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Official Opinions


February 2009 Opinions
Please click on Opinion number to view entire opinion.

Opinion # Requestor


09-007 The Honorable Judy L. Worthington
Chesterfield County Circuit Court Clerk
Statutory duties of circuit court clerk do not require preparation of sketch orders in civil cases or attendance at civil or criminal docket call proceedings. When clerk does not attend docket call, clerk must exercise significant care to ensure accurate records of proceedings are maintained.
08-109 The Honorable Emmett W. Hanger Jr.
Member, Senate of Virginia

‘Original cost’ means acquisition cost of property from manufacturer or dealer, i.e., original cost paid by original purchaser of such property from manufacturer or dealer.

08-108 The Honorable G. Carter Greer
Judge, Twenty-First Judicial Circuit
General Assembly intends that court not sentence same defendant to active incarceration with Department of Corrections and to Detention or Diversion Center. Where court imposes Detention or Diversion Center sentence and another court sentence imposes incarceration with Department, Department must give effect to both sentences, notwithstanding legislative intent that Detention or Diversion Center is alternative sentence and should not be imposed as ‘bridge’ between prison sentence and release into community.
08-105 The Honorable Robert B. Bell
Member, House of Delegates

No authority for localities to require review and approval of boundary survey plats and physical survey plats prior to recordation. No authority for circuit court clerks to refuse recordation of such plats based solely on lack of such review and approval.

08-100 Ms. Karen A. Gould
Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer
Virginia State Bar
Plaintiff’s attorney in debt collection case is agent; may sign and file affidavit stating plaintiff’s claim amount.
08-099 The Honorable George E. Schaefer
Clerk of Norfolk Circuit Court

Competency evaluation report that was ordered by and submitted to court as part of court’s record is open to inspection, provided such report is not sealed by court order.


The Honorable David L. Bulova
Member, House of Delegates

The Honorable Mark D. Sickles
Member House of Delegates

Fairfax County may exercise specific authority provided by § 46.2‑1222 to regulate parking on roads in secondary system of highways within its boundaries; such authority is not limited by §§ 46.2‑1222.1 and 46.2‑1224(B)‑(C).

08-113 The Honorable Phillip P. Puckett
Member, Senate of Virginia

No authority for Buchanan County Coal and Gas Road Improvement Advisory Committee to budget for payment of salary and benefits for Commissioner of Revenue employee regardless of his primary responsibility.

08-097 Mr. Henry A. Thompson, Sr.
Sussex County Attorney

No exemption for business owners from requirement to secure certificates of occupancy following renovations and repairs to commercial structures used by such owners for their business. Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code regulations permit approval of final inspection to serve as new certificate of occupancy for additions or alterations to existing commercial buildings.

08-096 Peter Curcio, Esq.
Bristol City Attorney

Charter authorizes participation in airport authority located in Tennessee pursuant to Tennessee law and transfer of ownership in Tri-Cities Regional Airport, located in Tennessee, to such authority without further action by General Assembly.

08-089 The Honorable John T. Frey
Clerk of the Circuit Court of Fairfax County

Prior to July 1, 2008, electronic notarization of document by Virginia notary public would constitute valid notarial act, provided act was performed by valid and commissioned notary public in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Current electronic notarial acts performed by Virginia notaries would constitute valid notarial acts under Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, provided such acts comply with all other applicable statutes and regulations.

08-084 The Honorable Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.
Member, Senate of Virginia

In interest of highway safety, local police department may adopt certain procedures for selecting private towing and recovery service companies to provide safe and efficient removal, storage, and safekeeping of vehicles involved in traffic accidents or other highway safety incidents; procedures may not infringe upon local government authority to regulate towing; only may address matters related to public safety. Whether procedures address public safety concerns is question of fact.

08-081 The Honorable David S. Ekern, P.E.
Commissioner, Virginia Department of Transportation

Political campaign signs generally may not be posted within state highway rights-of-way. Fairfax County may enter into an agreement with Commonwealth Transportation Commissioner to enforce § 33.1‑373.