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Official Opinions

 

August 2014 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 #

Requestor

Summary

13-106 Honorable Bryce E. Reeves, Member, Senate of Virginia

Virginia law limits the manner in which a Property Owners' Association may regulate traffic on its private streets.  A vehicle driver may be compelled to stop only if enforcement of the traffic laws is done by a local law enforcement agency or by a private security service that is properly licensed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, and whose employees have also been appointed as conservators of the peace.  Otherwise, a POA may not compel a vehicle driver to stop.  As to how traffic laws can be enforced on privately owned streets, a POA may request the local law enforcement agency to do so, or the local governing body may designate the private streets as “highways” for law enforcement purposes.   Also, the use of blue or green lights on a private patrol vehicle is strictly prohibited, and that amber lights may be used only if the patrol is operated by a licensed private security business or an approved neighborhood watch group. 

14-039 Robert W. Duncan, Executive Director, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

The word “landowner” in paragraph (A)(1)(iii) of Chapter 482 of the 2014 Virginia Acts of Assembly is not limited to landowners who are natural persons.  The exception to the general prohibition on Sunday hunting created by paragraph (A)(1)(iii) is limited to private lands.