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Official Opinions


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

Opinion # Requestor


09-031 The Honorable V. Thomas Forehand, Jr.
Chief Judge, First Judicial Circuit of Virginia
Circuit court is not required to enter enabling order where transfer decision of juvenile court has not been appealed. Commonwealth’s attorney may seek indictment after period for appeal has expired, provided no appeal was noted.
09-027 David W. Rowan,Esq.
Nassawadox Town Attorney
Withdrawal of Northampton County from Northampton County Joint Planning Commission requires towns of Eastville, Cheriton, and Nassawadox to create separate planning commissions.
09-011 The Honorable William J. Howell
Member, House of Delegates

‘Burial’ as used in § 54.1‑2825 is not synonymous with funeral and must be construed narrowly as authorizing designee to make arrangements to dispose of decedent’s remains. Section 54.1‑2807(B) charges funeral home with statutory duty to inquire about desires of next of kin, as defined by § 54.1‑2800, prior to accepting decedent’s body. Directions of ‘any next of kin’ govern disposal of body. Nonhierarchical definition of next of kin includes any person designated pursuant to § 54.1‑2825.

09-023 The Honorable Clarence E. "Bud" Philllips
Member, House of Delegates

Virginia Gas and Oil Board is authorized and, in fact, is mandated to issue compulsory pooling orders to deem that unleased interests are leased when gas owners fail to elect to participate in operation of well; such action is valid exercise of Commonwealth’s police power, is in public’s best interest, promotes common good, and does not constitute taking pursuant to Virginia Constitution. Gas and Oil Act is constitutional; Act and Board provide appropriate protection of due process rights of gas owners in context of compulsory pooling hearings and orders. There is no right to jury trial associated with administrative proceedings under compulsory pooling provisions of Act.

09-018 Mr. Bradley C. Lambert
Chairman, Virginia Gas & Oil Board
Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
Virginia Gas and Oil Board may issue compulsory pooling orders that permit deduction of post-production costs downstream of wellhead when computing gas owners’ one-eighth royalty interests.
09-025 The Honorable James S. Mathews
Judge, Norfolk General District Court

Surety bail bondsman who executes secured bail bond as disclosed agent-in-fact for stated corporate surety is not personally liable to Commonwealth when criminal defendant absconds and bond is forfeited.