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Official Opinions


January 2010 Opinions
Please click on Opinion number to view entire opinion.

Official opinions will be posted as they are issued, generally within 24 to 48 hours. Please check this page at regular intervals to determine whether additional opinions have been issued.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Official opinions represent the attorney general’s analysis of current law based on his thorough research of existing statutes, the Virginia and United States constitutions, and relevant court decisions.  Official opinions do not create new law, nor do they change existing law.  Creating and amending laws are the responsibility of the General Assembly, not the attorney general.  

Official opinions are legal advice, not personal opinions, and do not reflect the attorney general’s personal views about what the law should be.  Such advice is provided to ensure clients/the requester are in compliance with the law.  While the opinions may be given deference by the courts, they are not binding on the courts.

The official opinions issued by the attorney general are part of the duties of the office (see Code § 2.2-505).  A person authorized by statute, such as the governor, a member of the General Assembly, a constitutional officer, or the head of a state agency, can ask the attorney general for an official opinion on the law. Members of the general public are not authorized to ask for opinions.


Opinion # Requestor


10-005 The Honorable Robert Hurt
Member, Senate of Virginia

§ 24.2‑954 precludes General Assembly members from engaging in fundraising activity in connection with campaign for state office during regular session of General Assembly; prohibition does not restrict fundraising activity related to campaign for federal office. Federal law preempts Virginia’s fundraising prohibition when General Assembly member solicits or accepts contributions solely for federal office.

09-100 The Honorable H. Morgan Griffith
Member, House of Delegates
Locality may adopt ordinance that authorizes pound to initiate and enforce policies that place restrictions or requirements upon adoption of animals beyond those required by § 3.2‑6546.
09-091 The Honorable Christopher K. Peace
Member, House of Delegates
Urban development area must accommodate 10 to 20 years of anticipated growth within such area. Developers are required to zone and develop to specific densities within such areas. Local governing bodies may not deny rezoning request solely on basis of inadequate public facilities.
09-097 The Honorable G. Manoli Loupassi
Member, House of Delegates

Advocates in domestic violence shelters and sexual assault crisis centers generally are not statutorily mandated to report child abuse and neglect; when such advocate performs activities that would place him under category in § 63.2‑1509(A), requirement to report suspected child abuse or neglect.