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Official Opinions

 

December 2011 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 Summary
11-068 The Honorable Lynwood Lewis
Member, House of Delegates
When the true object of a transaction is the acquisition of a good and the service provided is incidental to that    purchase, there is a connection between the sale and service that allows the imposition of the sales tax on the service, so that the tire disposal fee the tire merchant charges to a customer as part of a transaction for the sale of new automotive tires is subject to the retail sales and use tax.
11-109 The Honorable Kenneth Stolle, Sheriff
City of Virginia Beach
Inmate crews may work on property outside the jurisdiction of the sheriff when authorized by court order or, if the workforce is established by the local governing body, only when the property is owned by a tax-exempt nonprofit organization that is organized and operated exclusively for charitable or social welfare purposes.  Additionally, assuming all other statutory provisions are met, upon a proper court order, inmate crews may cultivate a garden on private property leased to a nonprofit organization so long as the nonprofit organization qualifies as exempt from taxation under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3).  Finally, assuming all other statutory provisions are met, inmate crews, pursuant to a court order, may maintain trails on private property leased to a nonprofit organization provided the nonprofit organization qualifies as exempt from taxation under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3).

11-105

 

The Honorable Danny W. Marshall, III
Member, House of Delegates

The Honorable Donald W. Marricks
Member, House of Delegates

While the determination of whether any particular prayer containing the words “Jesus Christ” would violate the United States Constitution turns on contextual facts not presented, governmental bodies and officers should take heed of recent cases decided in the Fourth Circuit.