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Official Opinions


September 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 #




John R. Roberts, Esquire
County Attorney for Loudoun County

A county may not apply proceeds of general obligation bonds issued by the county for one project to a different project unless the resolution or ordinance adopted by the county and submitted to the qualified voters authorizes the application of the bond proceeds to the other project.


The Honorable James W. Morefield
Member, House of Delegates

Section 46.2-1143 allows for a six-axle vehicle used exclusively for hauling coal or coal byproducts to have a gross vehicle weight of 110,000 pounds, but no more than that, provided that the vehicle has a valid overweight permit, is loaded at the time and has its weight distributed over the axles as required by the statute.  Further, § 46.2-1143 does not “exemptˮ any truck from being weighed and does not create a “presumptionˮ of weight beyond the evidentiary standard to be applied in a court of law.


The Honorable J. Chapman Petersen
Member, Senate of Virginia

For purposes of § 55-58.1(2), “principal office” may be defined according to the definition of this term provided in Title 13.1 of the Code of Virginia.  Additionally, a corporation’s registered office does not satisfy the requirements of § 55-58.1(2) unless such office also meets the definition of “principal office.”


Jason J. Ham, Esquire
Town Attorney
Town of Dayton

The term “domestic bank,” as used in § 2.2-4509, is not limited to banks located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but rather refers to a bank located in the fifty United States or the District of Columbia and organized under the laws of one of the fifty states, the District of Columbia or the United States.


The Honorable Ralph S. Northam
Member, Senate of Virginia

The General Assembly may delegate Baylor grounds boundary determinations and boundary adjustments to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, provided the law delegating the authority establishes specific policies and fixes definite standards to guide the VMRC in making its determinations.