One of the duties of the Attorney General is to give his legal opinion, when required to do so by the Governor, on any question of law connected with the interest of the state or with the duties of any of the departments. O.C.G.A. § 45-15-3(1). However, to avoid having the Governor endorse all requests for opinions originating within the departments of the state, the Attorney General receives requests for opinions directly from the heads of the executive departments.

The Attorney General will also provide opinions to other state officers, such as legislators, judges or district attorneys. The Attorney General does not generally provide legal advice, opinions or representation to county or municipal governments or officials, but will on request review the written legal opinions and conclusions of counsel for local governments.

Opinions issued to the Governor and the heads of the executive departments are classified as "Official Opinions." Those issued to other state officers (such as legislators, judges or district attorneys) are classified as "Unofficial Opinions." Additionally, from time to time the Attorney General will approve interstate compacts or issue position papers on questions of state law. Those documents are published along with the opinions of the Attorney General.

This presentation of the opinions of the Georgia Attorney General is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice to the general public. From time to time, opinions may be withdrawn, revised or otherwise made obsolete.


Opinion In Reference To

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.


Assuming the statute is enforceable, the qualifications for the office of State School Superintendent contained in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-31 should be read broadly, so that the requirement of three years' practical experience as a teacher could include three years' experience as a teacher in a school classroom even if the person has no teacher's certificate. Whether a particular candidate meets such qualification is a factual issue to be determined on a case by case basis.


Youth who meet the criteria for transfer to the Department of Corrections' Eastman Youth Development Facility must be afforded notice and opportunity for a hearing and are entitled to legal representation and opportunity to introduce evidence and cross- examine witnesses


By statute, the authority to approve or reject bail bonds written by a bonding company for traffic citations is given to the sheriff.


The prohibition in O.C.G.A. § 16-11-127.1 against carrying weapons at schools includes colleges and universities.


The Fair and Open Grants Act ("FOGA")


Act No. 538, adopted in the 1993 session, will allow an agent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who is eligible for involuntary separation retirement benefits to elect retirement or to continue his or her employment past the age of 55 and be entitled to the same projection in age and service which would have been available when that agent was required to retire at age 55 by operation of law. The 95% rule of O.C.G.A. § 47-2-124 does not apply to the calculation of retirement benefits under Act No. 538.


Referring patients for Magnetic Resonance Imaging is not within the scope of practice of chiropractors in the State of Georgia.


A private, nonprofit corporation that is leasing and operating health care facilities on behalf of a hospital authority may not self-insure its workers' compensation liability as an "entity" of the authority.


In selecting alternate jurors under O.C.G.A. § 15-12-169, the parties are not entitled to utilize unused O.C.G.A. § 15-12-165 peremptory challenges as additional peremptory challenges to the alternate jurors.


Appropriated state funds which become deobligated during a subsequent fiscal year are subject to lapse, and may not be applied to contracts for which motor fuel tax appropriations were previously committed.


The sale of goods, wares or other objects, when incidental and collateral to free speech activity otherwise permitted in a designated public forum, may not be prohibited under the Buildings and Grounds Policies of the Georgia Building Authority or O.C.G.A. § 50-9-9(b), but is subject to reasonable time, place and manner regulation.


O.C.G.A. Section 12-7-6(16) normally requires an undisturbed natural vegetative buffer of 25 feet to be retained adjacent to any state waters.


County and Municipal taxes otherwise properly assessed pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 33-8-8.1 based on a pre-1991 contract year (i.e. any contract year beginning before January 1, 1991) between an insurance company and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Fund are not prohibited by 5 U.S.C. § 8909(f) regardless of when such tax is payable and/or collected.


Compensated officers of unions or business organizations who express their opinions on proposed or pending legislation to members of the General Assembly on behalf of such entities must register as lobbyists in accordance with The Public Officials Conduct and Lobbyist Disclosure Act of 1992, O.C.G.A. § 21-5-70, et seq.


The General Assembly may not enact a general law which by its terms conditions its effectiveness upon approval by the voters at a statewie referendum.


Funds collected by the Department of Defense (DOD) as billeting funds or armory rentals are state funds which may be retained by DOD but their management is subject to requirements of the Office of Planning and Budget, the State Auditor and the State Depository Board; housekeeping personnel who are paid with any of such funds pursuant to DOD regulations are state employees.


Payment of Interest on Retainage for Public Water and Sewer Construction Projects Funded in Whole or Part by Federal Funding Grants Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 13-10-20 (Supp. 1992).


Authority of the Department of Transportation to Expend Federal Money on Transportation Enhancement Projects


An RDC board member may not also serve as a board member of a non-profit corporation created by the RDC, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-8-35(f)(1)


Intangible unclaimed property held in the ordinary course of the holder's business is subject to the Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1506, as amended, and to the Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act enacted by Ga. L. 1972, p. 762, as amended.


Use of the proceeds of forfeitures under O.C.G.A. § 16-13-49 to pay the salary of the Executive Director of the Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad.


Interpretation of O.C.G.A. § 32-6-26(i)(1)


Provisions in general law for cost-of-living adjustments for the Lieutenant Governor and the members and officers of the Senate and House of Representatives may not be varied by the General Appropriations Act and are consistent with the Constitution.


Questions regarding disposition of campaign contributions.


The term "judge" as used in O.C.G.A. § 15-1-9.1(a)(3) does not include administrative law judges or other quasi-judicial officers not within the judicial branch of government.