Opinion In Reference To

Regents may lease its lands in return for the endowment of a research chair if the endowment is equal to the fair market value of the lease and the term of the lease is reasonable.


The Georgia Housing and Finance Authority does not have statutory power to provide marketing, fund management and underwriting services to a private, nonprofit lending entity


The Office of Consumer Affairs has jurisdiction under O.C.G.A. § 10-1-391 et seq. to address violations of O.C.G.A. § 43-21-16 arising out of direct transactions between "hotel operators" and consumers.


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.


The forgiveness of loans made by the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority under the Economic Development Incentive Loan Program violates state law.


The Georgia State Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies is not required by federal law to modify the frequency of background checks conducted on individuals issued weapon permits pursuant to O.C.G.A. ¿ 43-38-10, but the Armored Car Industry Reciprocity Act of 1993 does preempt licensing requirements for armored car crew members who are carrying weapons based on a federal reciprocity agreement.


Places of worship are not exempt from the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 30-3-1 et seq.


Absent a constitutional amendment, a program to assess the testing of equines for equine infectious anemia cannot be established under the authority of the Georgia Agricultural Commodities Promotion Act or through statutory amendment thereto.


Insurance companies which are exempt from federal taxation pursuant to Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code are subject to premium tax liability unless specifically exempted.


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).


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


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


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


The City of Atlanta may charge the Board of Regents for permitting a fiber optic cable to lie under city owned streets.


A person employed in Georgia who has been penalized for being absent from work for the purpose of attending a judicial proceeding in another state under the conditions set forth in O.C.G.A. § 34-1-3 has a civil cause of action against the employer. Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 34-1-3 does not create a separate criminal offense.


Flood insurance premiums collected by private insurance companies pursuant to the National Flood Insurance Program are not subject to municipal and county taxes as provided in O.C.G.A. § 33-8-8.2(a).


The authority to sit on various state boards may not be delegated to a Deputy Commissioner of Insurance, unless the statute creating the appropriate board provides for a designee.


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.


When a public agency is assembling more than one parcel of real property for a public project, records relative to that "transaction" and "property" as a whole are exempt from public inspection under O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72(a)(6) until all the property to be acquired is acquired or is abandoned or terminated from the project.


A public relations agreement whereby a private company permanently acquires the preeminent right to associate its name commercially with the property of the state violates the "joint ownership" prohibition of the Georgia Constitution.


Request for an Official Interpretation of O.C.G.A. § 43-9-16(b).


Authority of local governments to require contractors licensed by the state to obtain liability insurance or code compliance bonds.


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.


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.


The Department of Children and Youth Services is eligible to receive tuition grants for disabled students whose Individualized Education Programs place them in private residential programs for educational reasons. When the student is committed to the Department of Children and Youth Services pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 49-4A-8, the educational agency responsible for providing a free and appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is either the Department or the local school district in which the student resides.


Unless otherwise exempted or excluded, contested cases not presided over by the agency head or board or body which is the ultimate decision maker are to be conducted by the Office of State Administrative Hearings.


Constitutional limitations on power of the Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider inmates for parole.


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.


Implantation of microchips in animals for identification purposes does not constitute the practice of veterinary medicine.


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.


Local boards of education are not authorized by statute to provide transportation to students for extracurricular activities by leasing vehicles for that use.


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.


Questions regarding the jurisdiction of the probate court.


No attorney-client relationship exists between individuals who are attorneys and employed by an executive agency and other agency officers and employees.


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.


Members of the State Transportation Board who travel out of state to attend meetings of the State Transportation Board or its committees are entitled to the same daily expense allowance as provided members of the General Assembly for out-of-state travel.


Publication of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated in Book Format and in CD-ROM Format


The Georgia Public Service Commission's jurisdiction over radio common carriers offering Domestic Public Land Mobile Radio Service has been partially preempted by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. The Commission still retains jurisdiction over carriers offering Rural Radio Service.


The Georgia Public Service Commission's jurisdiction over radio common carriers offering Domestic Public Land Mobile Radio Service has been partially preempted by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. The Commission still retains jurisdiction over carriers offering Rural Radio Service.


Legislation will be required to permit the Department of Transportation to exceed limits on professional services contracts placed by state law.


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.


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.


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).


Appropriations of state funds to the Department of Defense which are not spent or committed by written contract lapse at the end of the fiscal year notwithstanding the provision for a continuing "military fund" in O.C.G.A. § 38-2-170; non-appropriated donations to the Department of Defense and armory rentals do not lapse.


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).


The current hearing officers for the Department of Transportation may continue in their present capacity as hearing officers under the express language of Ga. Laws 1994, p. 1856, § 5 until April 1, 1995.


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.


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.


A company or group which has obtained a certificate of authority to operate a self-insurance program from the Commissioner of Insurance is a regulated entity under O.C.G.A. § 21-5-30.1. Companies, which are not insurance companies but which provide services similar to insurance such as that provided by motor clubs, are not regulated entities, where the Commissioner of Insurance exercises no statutory control or regulation over the entity.


The project for real property acquisitions from the Resolution Trust Corporation for the Multifamily Affordable Housing Program is a project within the powers of the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority to undertake.


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.

Opinions of the Attorney General
1994 - Current

For a copy of a pre-1994 opinion, please contact the Georgia Attorney General's Office at (404) 651-5825 or by e-mail at opinions@law.ga.gov.