Official Opinions

Opinion In Reference To

The Georgia National Guard is a law enforcement agency eligible to share in proceeds of drug‑related forfeitures and 1995 Op. Att’y Gen. 95‑29 describing the legal authority to do so is modified to reflect changes and current Georgia law, including the adoption of the “Georgia Uniform Civil Forfeiture Procedure Act.”


After July 1, 2018, only persons who are licensed as "lactation consultants" in Georgia or who meet one of the Georgia Lactation Consultant Practice Act's exceptions to licensure may provide "lactation care and services" as that term is defined by the Act.


While Georgia law permits certain law enforcement personnel and others to carry firearms into a courthouse building, a judge may still control who may enter and carry firearms within his or her own courtroom.


Convictions for violations of O.C.G.A. §§ 40‑6‑391(2), (4), (6), and 40‑5‑151 (2016) should be reported by the Clerk to the Department of Driver Services (“DDS”).  Convictions for violations of O.C.G.A. §§ 16‑13‑30(b), 16‑13‑31, and 16‑13‑31.1 (2016) should be reported to DDS only upon the clerk’s determination that the conviction meets the mandate of O.C.G.A. § 40‑5‑54(a)(2).


Updating of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.


There is no conflict between O.C.G.A. § 31‑12‑12(c) (Supp. 2016), which prohibits dispensing contact lenses or spectacles without a prescription, and O.C.G.A. § 43‑29‑14(b) (2016), which authorizes a licensed dispensing optician to duplicate lenses without a prescription, and a licensed dispensing optician still has the authority to duplicate and dispense lenses without a prescription.


Updating of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints


Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses do not have access to the GAPDMP database specifically as dispensers or as individuals authorized to dispense prescriptions for controlled substances, but may be able to access the GAPDMP database as delegates of physicians who have the authority to prescribe or dispense.


A physician licensed by the Georgia Composite Medical Board is required to report to the Board a payment made as a result of a high-low agreement in a medical malpractice case, even if there is a judgment in favor of the physician.


Because neither the Constitution nor the Act’s provisions authorize or contemplate a cap on assistance grants based on the total exemption value of forest land conservation use property, the Department of Revenue would not be authorized to impose an administrative cap on assistance grants issued pursuant to the Forest Land Protection Act of 2008 in the manner proposed.


The Secretary of State and the Georgia Board of Nursing have related but separate, distinguishable roles with respect to the selection of the executive director of the Board.  The Secretary of State has the authority to select which qualified candidate or candidates to submit to the Board for its approval, and the Board has the authority to approve from the submitted candidate or candidates who may be appointed to serve as its executive director.


To the extent 2002 Op. Att’y Gen. 2002-5 is inconsistent with O.C.G.A. § 9‑16‑21, it is withdrawn.


The mere possession of another voter’s absentee ballot does not constitute unlawful possession of an absentee ballot under either O.C.G.A. § 21‑2‑385(a) or § 21‑2‑574.


County and municipal governments may issue notices of fees due for statutory late filings by candidates and committees under the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act of 2010, but those governments are not authorized otherwise to enforce the provisions of the Act or to retain any portion of the late fees imposed under the Act.


Updating of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.


Both federal law and the State’s agreement to act as the state refugee resettlement coordinator prevent the State from denying federally-funded benefits to Syrian refugees lawfully admitted into the United States.


Updating of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.


Only the Governor has the authority to fill the temporary vacancy created by the suspension of a Harris County commissioner pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 45‑5‑6.


Fingerprintable Offense Designation


The state, its departments, agencies, and authorities, including the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission and its construction projects,[1] are not required to seek and obtain permits for post-development stormwater handling or to enter stormwater facility maintenance agreements; neither the issuance of land-disturbance permits nor connection to the local storm sewer may be conditioned on the state’s compliance with local post-development stormwater requirements.  Local governments may require payment by the state of a tap or impact fee as a condition of connecting the local storm sewer.


Based on the relevant statutory language, the Jekyll Island State Park Authority does not have discretion to adopt the “65/35 Task Force” Recommendation to the extent that it uses a measurement reference point other than Mean High Tide.


While the Immigration Enforcement Review Board should act with due diligence and hold hearings within a reasonable period of time from the date that a complaint is received by the Board, the Board is under no statutory deadline to hold a hearing on the merits of a complaint filed pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50‑36‑3 within a specified period of time from the date that the complaint is received.


Intergovernmental agreements for the provision of misdemeanor probation services


Updating of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.


The images and data in the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority’s statewide online information system for deeds, liens, and plats are subject to disclosure under the Open Records Act, but the Authority may charge fees in accordance with a fee schedule adopted pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 15‑6‑94.


Inmate firefighters should be considered volunteer firefighters as defined in O.C.G.A. § 25-4-3(9) (Supp. 2011) and not a separate category. The Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council has the authority to set minimum requirements for volunteer firefighters, the category to which inmates belong, serving as firefighters on fire departments as defined in O.C.G.A. § 25-3-21(2)(B) and to establish and modify by rule and regulation minimum requirements for such fire departments generally, regardless of whether they are staffed solely or partially with inmate firefighters.


Investigators of the Enforcement Division who are certified as peace officers may enforce the new statute of aggravated identity fraud, O.C.G.A. § 16-9-121.1, by arrest and the execution of search warrants provided that it is the result of a criminal investigation of an alleged violation of the workers’ compensation laws of Chapter 9 of Title 34.


The five percent limitation on alternative investments for the Georgia Firefighters’ Pension Fund is to be based upon the assets’ aggregate historical cost.


In compliance with applicable statutes and the policies of the State Depository Board, the Office of the State Treasurer is empowered to enter into repurchase agreements and reverse repurchase agreements in connection with fulfilling its role related to managing the investment and liquidity needs of the State.


Updating of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.


A member of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission may serve no more than one complete four year term of office, as set by law, and may for a period of less than a complete term hold over in office until his successor is duly appointed and properly takes office.


The Georgia Aviation Authority is not a law enforcement agency within the meaning of O.C.G.A. § 16‑13‑49 for the purpose of sharing in forfeiture funds


Regional and county library employees paid solely with local funds are required to be members of the Teachers Retirement System.


Supplementation of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.


Updating of crimes and offenses for which the GeorgiaCrimeInformationCenter is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.


Unless and until the General Assembly adopts clarifying legislation, it is within the sound discretion of the TRS Board of Trustees to determine whether teachers who are employed not less than half-time by commission charter schools must be members of the Teachers Retirement System.


Investigators employed by the Georgia Forestry Commission and by the Georgia Department of Agriculture are not eligible for membership in the Peace Officers Annuity and Benefit Fund.


The judicial operations fund fee imposed by O.C.G.A. § 15-21A-6.1(a) applies to the fee to be remitted to clerks of superior court for the issuance of certificates of appointment and reappointment to notaries public.


Updating of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.


When the General Assembly extends a sunset date in subsection (h) of Code section 48-8-67 in the manner of 2009 Ga. Laws 723, the extended authority to process unidentifiable sales tax proceeds pursuant to the Code section applies to undisbursed, unidentifiable proceeds of a preceding period of time, which began with the earlier sunset date and ended with its extension (the ¨gap period¨).


The Georgia Department of Transportation’s authority to enter a binding contract pursuant to the former Public Private Initiatives law was revoked by the 2009 Public Private Partnership law; those projects or portions of projects which were not formalized by an executed contract with the selected firm before May 11, 2009, must be re-procured under the authority and provisions of the 2009 law.


The state and its departments, agencies, and authorities, including the Georgia Department of Transportation and its construction projects, are not subject to the “post-development stormwater runoff” regulations or other ordinances adopted by a local government, local authority, or regional authority, including the model ordinance promulgated by the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District.


The director of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council has broad authority and is responsible for the day to day operation of the agency.   The Council’s limited responsibilities, to be carried out concurrently with the director, include setting standards, conducting audits, making financial disclosures, receiving funds, providing for legal education, reporting to the General Assembly, and providing procedures for the appointment of conflict council.


Code section 46‑2‑5 is constitutional; the Commission does not have the authority to declare the statute unconstitutional; the Commission is not free to disregard the statute; the Commission may not select a chairman for a two-year term; and a chairman whose term commences on July 1, 2009, may serve beyond January 16, 2010, only if there are no other commissioners eligible to serve as chairman under O.C.G.A. § 46‑2‑5(b)(2).


Under general law, Georgia boards of education are not empowered to share services by creating and utilizing a nonprofit corporation such as the Consortium for Adequate School Funding in Georgia, Inc., for the purpose of challenging state school funding by litigation or otherwise.


The General Assembly was authorized to place the GPDSC in the executive branch and a suit by GPDSC, whether by pro bono counsel or otherwise, against the State for so placing the GPDSC in the executive branch (or for any other reason) would be ultra vires and illegal.


Updating of crimes and offenses for which the GeorgiaCrimeInformationCenter is authorized to collect and file fingerprints.


The enforcement provisions of O.C.G.A. § 40‑6‑253 remain in effect, including for bottles of wine resealed pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 3‑6‑4, and the 2008 changes in Georgia law were not intended to and did not authorize carrying open alcoholic beverage containers in the passenger area of vehicles.


Fingerprinting in regard to 2008 legislative amendments to O.C.G.A. § 40‑5‑20 and O.C.G.A. § 40‑5‑121.


The Department’s probation staff may assist prosecuting attorneys in obtaining necessary reports and files and in creating delinquency petitions but may not conduct an accusatory proceeding.  The Department’s probation staff must also comply with valid court orders issued pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 15‑11‑24.2(6).