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Official Opinions


March 2012 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


The Honorable Roslyn C. Tyler
Member, House of Delegages

No conflict of interest precludes members of local governing bodies who also serve on community action boards from voting in budgetary matters of the local government when such items may affect the community action program funding. 


The Honorable Gregory D. Habeeb
Member, House of Delegates

A registered limited liability partnership organized under the laws of the Commonwealth may serve as a trustee under a deed of trust covered by § 55-58.1.


The Honorable Michele B. McQuigg
Clerk of Court
Prince William County Circuit Court

Section 49-4 authorizes the clerk of court to administer oaths requested by out of state governing bodies, provided that the oath or affirmation is “required by law” in the foreign jurisdiction.


The Honorable Brenda L. Pogge
Member, House of Delegates

Aquaculture does not constitute an agricultural operation under the Virginia Right to Farm Act.


The Honorable L. Scott Lingamfelter
Member, House of Delegates

A Virginia locality can adopt standards and requirements for alternative onsite sewage systems that are in addition to or more stringent than those promulgated in regulations by the Board of Health, provided such standards or regulations do not relate to maintenance issues.