Opinion In Reference To
95-23 When the General Assembly enacted legislation which required the Vidalia Public School System to be brought into conformity with the method of certification and levy of school tax provided in Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. VI, Para. I(a), it eliminated the Vidalia Public School System's ability to utilize a different method of certification and levy which had been allowed under the "grandfather" provision in Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. VI, Para. I(d).

A county board of tax assessors and county board of equalization are subject to the provisions of the Georgia Open Meetings Law, O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1 through 50-14-6.


Lumpkin County may not enter into a long-term lease with the Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee Indians under the intergovernmental contract provisions of 1983 Georgia Constitution, Article IX, Section III, Paragraph I.

95-20 A magistrate judge may issue an arrest warrant for someone charged with the offense of deposit account fraud, O.C.G.A. § 16-9-20, based on the affidavit of a person working for a company in the business of collecting worthless checks for merchants, provided that the collection company has legally acquired possession, and is entitled to receive payment, of the instruments, or that the company is an agent with express authorization from its principal.
95-18 In the absence of clear legislative authority, a local school board may not appoint a new school superintendent for a term beginning after the terms of a majority of the current board expire.
95-19 A sentencing court may not require an offender to make restitution on those counts of a multi-count indictment which are dismissed pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement. However, where an offender voluntarily agrees to make restitution in a certain amount, even if such amount exceeds the victim's "damages," the sentencing court may incorporate that agreement into its restitution order.
95-16 Resolution 70, 1986 Ga. Laws 529, adopting English as the official language of the State of Georgia has the force and effect of law.
95-17 Under certain circumstances, the Environmental Protection Division may authorize special environmental projects in lieu of unimposed or unaccrued monetary penalties; however, the modification of the Consent Order here in question so as to reduce the amount of unaccrued stipulated penalties and require that an amount equal to the reduction be spent on development of a proposed Chattahoochee River Recreational Park would not appear to be authorized.
95-15 A school board may not close to the public any meeting devoted to the airing of grievances about school personnel by interested members of the public. Further, should the school board conduct an inquiry into the actions of school personnel any evidence or argument presented to the board must be held in an open meeting, but the board may close that portion of the meeting consisting of deliberation or discussion of disciplinary action upon proper compliance with the statutory meeting closure provisions.
95-14 Forsyth County did not establish a county police force when it created a county marshal's office in 1985 and, therefore, the county governing authority must comply with the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 36-8-1(b) before creating a county police force.
95-13 A hospital authority may apply for a certificate of need outside its area of operation and without the permission of the affected governing authority or hospital authority board in the planned service area, provided however that in order to implement the certificate permission to pursue the health care activity would be required.
95-12 The City of Tifton may not transfer real property by deed of gift to the Tift County Recreation Department for recreational use but may transfer real property pursuant to a valid inter-governmental contract.
95-11 A hospital authority may not own or operate a business corporation consistent with the mandate of the Georgia Hospital Authorities Law, O.C.G.A. § 31-7-70 et seq. Further, a member of a hospital authority board has an impermissible conflict of interest where he has any financial interest, not de minimis, in an entity conducting business with the authority notwithstanding the existence of an intermediary between the board and the entity.
95-10 A court reporter is required to make the disclosure of the complete arrangements for the reporting of a deposition required by O.C.G.A. § 9-11-28(d) at the beginning of the deposition. The requirement of disclosing the complete arrangements includes disclosing the costs to be charged to the person making the arrangements for the court reporter's services.
95-9 The School Safety and Juvenile Justice Reform Act grants exclusive jurisdiction to the superior court over any matter concerning any child 13 to 17 years of age who is alleged to have committed certain serious felony offenses; therefore, a magistrate court judge must be designated to serve as a superior court judge in order to issue arrest warrants, conduct a first appearance hearing, and conduct a preliminary or committal hearing for juveniles covered by the Act.
95-8 Court records concerning juveniles should be afforded the same treatment as any other superior court records when the superior court retains exclusive jurisdiction over a case involving a juvenile thirteen to seventeen years of age who is accused of committing any of the seven offenses specified in O.C.G.A. § 15-11-5(b)(2)(A).

Petitions for relief under the Family Violence Act and petitions for divorce may be combined in one action; however, the procedures governing the divorce action must comply with the Civil Practice Act. Furthermore, the filing fees for such a combination action would be governed by the general civil action filing fees provisions; only if a petition for relief under the Family Violence Act is filed separately would the unique lesser filing fee in O.C.G.A. § 19-13-3(a) be applicable.


A state court judge who establishes residency outside of the county from which the judge is elected vacates this office as a matter of law.

95-5 When determining the results of voting for a consolidated government, the term "county," as used in O.C.G.A. § 36-60-16, means the whole county not just the unincorporated portion thereof.

A professional corporation is prohibited by state law from issuing stock to an employee stock ownership plan, established as a trust, where some of the beneficiaries of the trust are not licensed in the profession of the corporation.


The executive director to a MH/MR/SA regional board may be hired by the state division director only with the approval of the regional board, and may be fired by the state division director, either on his own initiative or in compliance with the request of a majority of the regional board membership.

95-2 Persons who fall within the definition of a lobbyist in relation to county or municipal matters, as defined under O.C.G.A. § 21-5-70(6)(D), (E), (F), must comply with the registration and reporting requirements of the Public Officials Conduct and Lobbyist Disclosure Act.
95-1 Questions regarding the jurisdiction of the probate court.
94-17 A professional bondsman may require as a condition of his suretyship that, in addition to the fee allowed by O.C.G.A. ¿ 17-6-30, he receive an indemnification from a third party in an amount equal to the principal amount of the bond without violating O.C.G.A. ¿ 17-6-30. Furthermore, a court may order the payment of restitution to a bail bondsman for a loss sustained as a consequence of an accused criminal jumping bail in violation of O.C.G.A. § 16-10-51.
94-16 Publication of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated in Book Format and in CD-ROM Format
94-14 Legislation will be required to permit the Department of Transportation to exceed limits on professional services contracts placed by state law.
94-15 O.C.G.A. § 33-23-1(b)(1) permits unlicensed administrative employees in the office of an insurance agent to open mail containing insurance premium checks.
94-13 A clerk of superior court may not file and record maps or plats relating to the real estate in his county which do not meet the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 15-6-67, as amended by Georgia Laws 1994, p. 1096.
94-12 A replacement probate judge appointed in good faith pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 15-9-13(a) may be designated pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 15-1-9.1 to assist temporarily a state court for a specified duration, assuming that individual meets the statutory qualifications of O.C.G.A. § 15-7-21(a)(1).
94-11 commercial driver's license is required to operate a motor vehicle when the registered gross vehicle weight rating exceeds the amount specified in O.C.G.A. § 40-5-142(7)(A).
94-10 Inasmuch as Fort Stewart remains in the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government, the Juvenile Court of Liberty County does not have jurisdiction over juveniles who have allegedly committed delinquent acts on the military base.
94-9 The use of a metal detector to screen everyone or to randomly screen students as they enter school is not an unreasonable search and thus is not unconstitutional. However, the metal detector could be used in some manner, such as selective screening, which could violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches. If the metal detector is used selectively, school officials should have reasonable cause to believe that the students or individuals selected possess a weapon.
94-8 House Bill 1074 amending the charter of a municipality may be in violation of the constitutional provision which requires the General Assembly to so act only by general law.
94-7 Civil actions filed under the Child Support Recovery Act, O.C.G.A. § 19-11-1 et seq., are subject to fees charged by the clerk for alternative dispute resolution programs under O.C.G.A. § 15-23-7; but collection of fees must await conclusion of the action and the fee ordinarily should be charged to the child support obligor.
94-6 The Georgia Department of Medical Assistance must provide coverage for medically necessary abortions and may impose reasonable reporting or documentation requirements for abortions resulting from rape or incest.
94-5 O.C.G.A. § 50-3-3 requires that the state flag be displayed in the schools on appropriate occasions, as determined by local school boards, within their scope of discretion relating to educational responsibilities.
94-4 O.C.G.A. § 10-9-14 empowering the Geo. L. Smith II Georgia World Congress Center Authority to regulate activities on the sidewalks and streets immediately adjacent to the World Congress Center's projects during an event period does not violate the City of Atlanta's home rule power.
94-3 The Legislative Services Committee does not have the authority to dispose of the items returned by the members of the General Assembly pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 45-7-4(a)(22).
94-2 The Ethics in Government Act requires a campaign committee formed for the purpose of opposing a local option sales tax referendum to file a campaign contribution disclosure report; however, the Act does not compel each contributor to such a committee to file a separate disclosure report.
94-1 When a superior court transfers the question of custody determination to a juvenile court pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 15-11-6(b), the juvenile court may make a temporary custody determination pending the outcome of the divorce action; only if the divorce is entered can it then make a permanent custody determination.

A member of the Lee County Board of Education may hold over in office until his successor is elected and qualified in an upcoming election.


Regulation of Assemblies on Public Beaches


The gratuities clause of the Georgia Constitution is not per se violated by the free use of government office space as a news room by journalists covering state government.


The "Hotel-Motel Tax" authorized by O.C.G.A. §§ 48-13-50, et seq., may not be imposed by both a county and a city within the boundaries of the city


The appropriation which authorizes pay raises for employees and state officers for Fiscal Year 1993-1994 but excludes members of the General Assembly is consistent with general law.


The duration of the contract of the Cobb County superintendent of schools is controlled by the applicable local constitutional amendment and not by a subsequent legislative enactment of the General Assembly.


The Department of Transportation, Board of Regents, Department of Corrections, and other departments of State government are covered under the Georgia Environmental Policy Act.


The Department of Transportation, Board of Regents, Department of Corrections, and other departments of State government are covered under the Georgia Environmental Policy Act.


1961 Ga. Laws 35, as amended, to the extent that it provided for an entitlement of state funds for children between the ages of six and 19 to attend nonsectarian private schools, is no longer operative because of the alteration of the mechanism of state funding of education from the Adequate Program for Education in Georgia to the Quality Basic Education Formula.


1961 Ga. Laws 35, as amended, to the extent that it provided for an entitlement of state funds for children between the ages of six and 19 to attend nonsectarian private schools, is no longer operative because of the alteration of the mechanism of state funding of education from the Adequate Program for Education in Georgia to the Quality Basic Education Formula.