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Official Opinions


October 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 Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.
Member, Senate of Virginia

The Honorable Richard P. Bell
Member, House of Delegates

Multiple localities and school boards may create a single voluntary, self-funded trust to insure health benefits for their employees and the families of their employees as a joint exercise of power. 


The Honorable Vanessa R. Crawford
Sheriff, City of Petersburg

Virginia law does not require the funds generated from inmate telephone commissions that are received by the treasurer and deposited into the city’s funds to be reallocated back to the sheriff’s office to be used within the facility for the benefit of the inmates.  Further, the sheriff’s office may not establish and maintain a separate fund for such commissions.  Finally, the account into which the treasurer initially deposits the funds is irrelevant; they remain allocable to city.


Honorable Frank W. Wagner
Honorable Ralph S. Northam, M.D.
Honorable Jeffrey L. McWaters
Members, Senate of Virginia


Honorable Christopher P. Stolle, M.D.
Honorable Barry D. Knight
Members, House of Delegates

Inquiries regarding the application of the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 and proposals for the concession to operate Port of Virginia facilities.