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Official Opinions


November 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.  They are not "rulings" and 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 #




The Honorable J. Jack Kennedy, Jr., Clerk of Court
Circuit Court of Wise County/City of Norton

The restoration of political rights removes the bar from jury service imposed by § 18.2-434.


The Honorable Ronald K. Elkins
Commonwealth’s Attorney
Wise County/City of Norton

The restoration of the right to vote removes the disability to hold office imposed by § 18.2-434.


The Honorable Stephen H. Martin
Member, Senate of Virginia

A Virginia locality cannot adopt requirements and standards for alternative onsite sewage systems that are in addition to or more stringent than those enacted by the Board of Health and administered through the Virginia Department of Health when the conditions set forth in § 15.2-2157(C) exist, namely that (i) there is no sewer or sewerage disposal facility available and (ii) the alternative onsite sewage system has been approved by the Virginia Department of Health for use in the particular circumstances and conditions in which the proposed system is to be operating.


The Honorable Judy L. Worthington
Clerk of the Court
Chesterfield Circuit Court

Applicable federal statutes exempt Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the taxes levied by the Virginia Recordation Tax Act when they are the grantor or grantee on a deed, instrument or other writing in a transaction for the conveyance of an interest in real property.