1996 Opinions

December 30, 1996

Opinion concerning interpretation of the municipal business license ordinance of the Town of Santee.

Requested by: Robert L. Williams, Chief of Police, Town of Santee

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December 23, 1996

Opinion regarding your upcoming change of residency from Beaufort County Council District 1, which you currently represent, to District 2.

Requested by: The Honorable Thomas C. Taylor, Chairman, Beaufort County Council

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December 20, 1996

Opinion concerning the legal authority of an entity called the Road Improvement and Development Effort (hereinafter the “RIDE Committee”) and an entity called the “group” in regards to the construction of highways in Horry County.

Requested by: The Honorable Dick Elliott, Senator, District No. 28

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December 19, 1996

Opinion noting that “[t]he Aiken Department of Public Safety is in the process of developing policy on strip and body cavity searches” and requests information on the proper manner in which to conduct them.

Requested by: Richard D. Abney, Captain, Administrative/Support Services Division, Aiken Department of Public Safety

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December 18, 1996

Opinion concerning the legality of transferring responsibility for the “C” fund program in York County from the County Transportation Committee to the County Council.

Requested by: The Honorable Robert W. Hayes, Jr., Senator, District No. 15

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December 18, 1996

Opinion seeking as to whether it would appropriate for the York County Council to distribute the gasoline tax or “C” fund, in York County.

Requested by: The Honorable Carl L. Gullick, Chairman, York County Council

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December 16, 1996

Opinion asking whether a coroner may use a blue light and whether a coroner possesses the authority to show up at a non-fatal accident when not called to the scene.

Requested by: Aaron D. Madden, Chief of Police, Chester Police Department

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December 15, 1996

Opinion requesting advice as to whether a school district may increase the number of units required for receipt of a State high school diploma.

Requested by: Donald J. Henderson, Ed.D., Superintendent, Richland County School District One

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December 15, 1996

Opinion requesting advice as to whether provisions of Act No. 189, 1995 S.C. Acts 1561 exempt Spartanburg County school districts from obtaining the consent of the Spartanburg County Board of Education or County Council pursuant to § 59-19-250 (1990) before selling district property.

Requested by: J. Mark Hayes, Esquire

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December 15, 1996

Opinion regarding the maintenance of local effort requirements for school districts set forth in S.C. Code Ann. § 59-21-1030 (Supp. 1995) which was addressed in an informal opinion dated September 30, 1996.

Requested by: The Honorable TEC Dowling, Superintendent, Newberry County School District

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December 13, 1996

Opinion relating to the means of resignation from a position on the Spartanburg Technical College Area Commission and whether any such resignation may be withdrawn.

Requested by: Donald R. Peterson, Associate director for Finance, State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education.

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December 13, 1996

Opinion concerning whether or not child support is suspended when the noncustodial parent files for bankruptcy.

Requested by: The Honorable Douglas C. Murdaugh, Orangeburg County Clerk of Court

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December 13, 1996

Opinion asking whether acknowledgements executed within this State may be recognized for recording.

Requested by: The Honorable Allen H. Dunn, Clerk of Court, Edgefield County

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December 10, 1996

Opinion requesting advice as to whether the Department of Education has the authority to withhold transportation funds from a school district in the amount of monies owed by any such district to the Department for use of the buses for any purposes which are not interpreted by the Department to be required by State law.

Requested by: The Honorable Barbara Stock Nielsen, State Superintendent of Education, State Department of Education

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December 9, 1996

Opinion seeking as to whether it would be legal to use confiscated drug money to purchase a traffic radar unit.

Requested by: William M. Roth, Chief of Police, Lexington Police Department

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December 6, 1996

Opinion seeking as to whether “a private detective may lawfully carry a concealable weapon.”

Requested by: The Honorable Donald H. Holland, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee

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December 6, 1996

Opinion requesting advice as to whether a school district may require its students to use student identification cards which display their social security numbers.

Requested by: The Honorable Michael L. Fair, Senator, Greenville County

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December 5, 1996

Opinion stating: [d]etention officers of our county jail have been told by the county magistrate’s office that they can not charge inmates who assault them with assault and battery on a peace officer due to the fact that they hold no peace officer status while on duty, and officers can no longer charge an individual with threatening a public official due to the fact officers are not considered public officials in the court view.

Requested by: W.C. Humphrey, Jr., Training Sergeant, Detention Center, Greenwood County

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December 5, 1996

Opinion advising that the Town of Saluda is contemplating hiring a clerk and asking whether the Assistant Judge can do any and all the paperwork in relation to the Municipal Court.

Requested by: Mary Burnett, Clerk-Treasure, Town of Saluda

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December 3, 1996

Opinion seeking advice on the following question: [t]the Compliance Review Committee is requesting a formal opinion regarding any potential liability which may accrue to the State of South Carolina as a result of equity investments by a non profit corporation established by an authority of the State.

Requested by: Kenneth D’vant Long, Director, State Reorganization Commission

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December 2, 1996

Opinion asking what course of action should a couple take to get their daughter and granddaughter back to South Carolina without criminal charges being filed against her. The couple’s daughter was divorced in California and was given physical custody of her daughter. However, the California Court ruled that the mother and daughter could not leave California.

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn G. Reese, Senator, District No. 11

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November 27, 1996

Opinion principally concerned in the area of persons jailed for contempt for failure to pay child support.

Requested by: The Honorable Jack I. Guedalia, Charleston County Magistrate

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November 26, 1996

Opinion asking when the recently elected auditor’s term of office begins, since your office pays a portion of the county auditor’s salary.

Requested by: The Honorable Earle E. Morris, Jr., Comptroller General, State of South Carolina

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November 21, 1996

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if a member of the State Commission on Minority Affairs simultaneously serves as a member of the South Carolina State University Board of Trustees

Requested by: The Honorable James Furtick, Jr., Commissioner, SC Commission for Minority Affairs

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November 20, 1996

Opinion questioning: Can The Town of Allendale hold a Special Election for a change in the form of government; Can Town funds be used for the Special Election; and [If the form of government is changed to Mayor-Council] the Mayor’s responsibility and time on the job will change from part time to full time. Can the salary of the Mayor change?

Requested by: The Honorable Robbie Dix, Jr., Mayor, Town of Allendale

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November 19, 1996

Opinion requesting as to “whether Oconee County which approves the School District of Oconee County’s budget, can apply for a grant and have the grant funds, if approved, be administered by the School District.”

Requested by: The Honorable Thomas C. Alexander, Senator, District No. 1

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November 18, 1996

Opinion requesting advice as to whether the Commission of Higher Education may release data concerning students such as SAT scores when the “student identifier” is not released.

Requested by: The Honorable Fred R. Sheheen, Commissioner, South Carolina Commission of Higher Education

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November 18, 1996

Opinion asking whether the Ordinance of the Town of Salley relating to the Town’s annual festival, the “Chitlin Strut”, is valid.

Requested by: The Honorable N. R. “Bob” Salley Sr., Mayor, Town of Salley

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November 18, 1996

Opinion asking when the term of office begins for a member of the Newberry County Board of Education.

Requested by: Mr. Bernard Nichols, Member-Elect, Newberry County Board of Education

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November 14, 1996

Opinion referencing a recent Order of the Honorable Donna Strom which “would transfer all juveniles determined to be ‘sub-class’ juveniles to the custody and care of the Department of Mental Health.”

Requested by: Donna Earls Elder, Vice Chairman, South Carolina Juvenile Parole Board

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November 13, 1996

Opinion expressing concern regarding students who are expelled from school for having in their possession loaded firearms while at school.

Requested by: James A. Taylor, Ph. D., Hearing Officer, Richland County School District One

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November 13, 1996

Opinion seeking advice on serving warrants from Family Court DSS hearings and proper procedure on warrants for fraudulent check charge juveniles.

Requested by: The Honorable Johnny Mack Brown, Sheriff, Greenville County

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November 12, 1996

Opinion asking if the Winthrop Olde English Consortium (WOEC) can, through South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV), charge an initial user fee for cost recoupment to non-member public school districts in South Carolina who use the elementary Spanish series and can the WOEC, through SCETV, charge an annual user fee for cost recoupment to non-member public school districts in South Carolina who use the elementary Spanish series.

Requested by: The Honorable Robert W. Hayes Jr., Senator, District No. 15

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November 7, 1996

Opinion seeking advice with respect to charges made for DUI.

Requested by: Denice M. Schwerin-Whisenant, Police Officer, Town of Ridge Spring

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November 7, 1996

Opinion indicating that the State Board of Financial Institutions vetoed to request an opinion regarding “the authority under current law for a state-chartered credit union to increase its field of membership by including employees or members of other groups whose common bond of occupation or association is different from the original sponsor’s common bond. Stated in the alternative, must each such group have a common bond with the original group that established the credit union.”

Requested by: The Honorable Richard Eckstrom, Chairman, State Board of Financial Institutions

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October 30, 1996

Opinion asking “does one permit qualify an individual to carry all types or styles of handguns or do they have to pass a SLED qualification for each style or each gun?”

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn G. Reese, Senator, District No. 11

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October 29, 1996

Opinion asking “should the county council have the right to deny Elected Officials the right to allow their employees as well as themselves the opportunity to enjoy and observe legal holidays that are codified in the S.C. Code of Laws?”

Requested by: The Honorable Carol F. Speer, Judge of Probate, Abbeville County

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October 28, 1996

Opinion asking whether the nominating petition for the office of commissioner of a public service district may contain the signatures of “inactive” voters.

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, Senator, District No. 41, Vice Chairman, Joint Delegation, Charleston County Legislative Delegation

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October 25, 1996

Opinion regarding “the recent reorganization of the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).”

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, Senator, District No. 41

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October 23, 1996

Opinion questioning Rock Hill’s Municipal Court’s most recent reorganization adopter October 8, 1996 by a 4-3 vote of the City Council.

Requested by: The Honorable Robert W. Hayes Jr., Senator, District No. 15

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October 22, 1996

Opinion regarding the ability of a municipality to annex a United States military instillation using Section 5-3-150 of the South Carolina Code, which provides for a method of annexation when a petition is signed by all or at least seventy five (75%) percent of the area’s landowners.

Requested by: Honorable Joe A. Wilson, Senator, District No. 23

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October 22, 1996

Opinion determining “part-time” status of a coroner and the hours in which he/she may work.

Requested by: The Honorable B. Keith Turner, Coroner, Saluda County

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October 22, 1996

Opinion seeking an interpretation of the term “economic development as well as whether a proposed Lexington County Water and Sewer Referendum question is unconstitutional under South Carolina Constitution article X, § 12.

Requested by: The Honorable Larry L. Koon, Member of House of Representatives

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October 21, 1996

Opinion seeking guidance as to the correct procedure to be followed if a defendant violates a bond containing special conditions.

Requested by: The Honorable Frances P. Smith, Magistrate, Edgefield County

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October 18, 1996

Opinion concerning a question regarding the distinction between a “title” act and a “practice” act in the Senate Bill 1415.

Requested by: Kenneth D’Vant Long, Director, State Reorganization Commission

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October 18, 1996

Opinion requesting advice as to several questions related to the duties of the Sumter County Register of Mesne Conveyances (RMC).

Requested by: Mr. H. D. “Don” Johnson, Sumter County Register of Mesne Conveyances

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October 18, 1996

Opinion seeking guidance “in the areas of handling traffic law violations by persons engaged in, going to, attending, or returning from court as a juror, witness, or by order of the court.”

Requested by: Captain R. D. Abney, Aiken Department of Public Safety

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October 15, 1996

Opinion regarding the method used “ to measure the distance between a school, church, or playground and a place of business which sells alcohol.”

Requested by: The Honorable Donny Wilder, Member, House of Representatives

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October 15, 1996

Opinion asking whether funeral processions have any specific rights under state law, whether a city or county ordinance could be adopted which would give funeral processions the right of way when under a police escort, and whether the number of vehicles could be limited in a funeral procession.

Requested by: Chief Thomas E. Watson, Vice President, Spartanburg County Police Chiefs’ Association

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October 15, 1996

Opinion seeking as to whether law enforcement officers of the Town of Salem may enforce state traffic laws on those portions of secondary roads S-37-24 and S-37-172 that pass through the campus of the Tamassee D.A.R. School.

Requested by: The Honorable Thurman Coward, Jr., Mayor, Town of Salem

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October 11, 1996

Opinion concerning the applicability of S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 4-9-82 to the proposed merger of the Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson Hospitals into a new entity, the AGS System.

Requested by: The Honorable Dan Lee Tripp and Honorable Dwight A. Loftis, Members, House of Representatives

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October 11, 1996

Opinion regarding your reserve police officer program which consists of full-time Department of Defense (D.O.D.) security officers that service concurrent jurisdictions as well as exclusive military areas.

Requested by: Lieutenant T.D. Tokarsky, City of Goose Creek Police Department

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October 11, 1996

Opinion concerning the applicability of S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 4-9-82 to the proposed merger of the Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson Hospitals into a new entity, the AGS System.

Requested by: The Honorable J. Verne Smith, Senator, District No. 5

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October 10, 1996

Opinion regarding whether or not an attorney can serve on the Highway Commission and also represent the South Carolina Department of Transportation in court proceedings concerning condemnation.

Requested by: The Honorable C. Tyrone Courtney, Senator, District No. 13

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October 10, 1996

Opinion concerning the following problem: [t]he driver of a vehicle is arrested for DUI; the passenger has been drinking and is asked to exit the vehicle. When he does so, he is charged with PDC (public disorderly conduct) and/or being drunk on the highway.

Requested by: The Honorable Joe C. Cantrell, Chief Magistrate, Greenwood County

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October 9, 1996

Opinion concerning how the Fairfield County Multijurisdictional Drug Task Force can dispose of two (2) vehicles which were purchased with drug proceeds.

Requested by: Lieutenant Keith Lewis, Fairfield County Multijurisdictional Drug Task Force

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October 8, 1996

Opinion “regarding the issuance of a traffic summons for handicapped parking violations on private property.”

Requested by: Wendal E. Jenkins, Chief of Police, City of Pickens

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October 8, 1996

Opinion on dual office holding (member of the school advisory council for Jefferson Elementary School Attendance in Chesterfield County and run as a write-in candidate for district commissioner with the Chesterfield Soil and Water Conservation District). Requested by Mr. Billy L. Jenkins, Jefferson. Read full opinion.

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October 8, 1996

Opinion concerning: If a member of the “…committee of the whole” is not a member of a subcommittee, can this board member attend subcommittee meetings? In other words, can a member of the overall board who is not a member of the Executive Committee attend the Executive Committee subcommittee meetings?

Requested by: William P. Edenfield, Member, Board of Trustees

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October 7, 1996

Opinion regarding whether the Board of Lancaster County Natural Gas Authority can donate money “toward the construction of a modern and technologically advanced Arts and Science Building at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster (USC-L).”

Requested by: Emil W. Wald, Esquire

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October 1, 1996

Opinion regarding the authority of State Forestry Commission Officers.

Requested by: J. Hugh Ryan, State Forester, S.C. State Forestry Commission.

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October 1, 1996

Opinion seeking as to whether the Croft Fire District is a political subdivision of the State for the purposes of Title 8, Chapter 7, S.C. Code Ann. (1995 Supp.).

Requested by: The Honorable C. Tyrone Courtney, Senator, District No. 13

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September 30, 1996

Opinion requesting legal advice regarding the statute which requires school districts to “maintain at least the level of financial effort per pupil as in the prior year adjusted for an inflation factor” considering reports that Newberry school district had actual revenues in excess of budgeted revenues for fiscal year 1995-96.

Requested by: The Honorable Harriett L. Rucker, Member, Newberry County Board of Education; The Honorable TEC Dowling, Superintendent, Newberry County School District

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September 27, 1996

Opinion asking if a drawing to be held by a local flea market constitutes a lottery.

Requested by: The Honorable Joe Wilson, Senator, District No. 23

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September 27, 1996

Opinion questioning if the Mayor of Pawley’s Island had the authority to hire a Mr. Kosko, an attorney who has worked with the town government but whose status has never been made clear, and who is now attempting to bill the town for $50,000 worth of services.

Requested by: The Honorable William L. Otis, Jr. Member, Town Council of Pawley’s Island

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September 27, 1996

Opinion regarding concerns that “people are having problems with the Dead Beat Dad’s Law not being applied to their case in the same manner as applied to a person who is under the jurisdiction of the Family Court, but considered a DSS case.”

Requested by: The Honorable John Milton Knotts, Jr., Member, House of Representatives

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September 25, 1996

Opinion requesting an explanation of the duties of an officer in concerns to a domestic violence case, specifically what they “MUST” do, and what is to left to their discretion when dealing with protective measures of an abused person.

Requested by: The Honorable Williford L. Faile, Sheriff, Lancaster County

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September 24, 1996

Opinion concerning the Freedom of Information Act, and asking “How soon does the law require a matter to be released to the public?”; “How much of an incident report has to be released?”; and “Can any matter in an incident report be withheld? If so, what matters specific matters can be withheld?”

Requested by: R. Allen Young, Esquire, Mount Pleasant Town Attorney

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September 24, 1996

Opinion asking whether Anderson County can hire an internal auditor “which is directly under the direct day-to-day supervision of the council members.”

Requested by: The Honorable Gene Taylor, Sheriff, Anderson County

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September 20, 1996

Opinion asking how the new concealable weapons law affects the state’s college campuses.

Requested by: Joseph C. Good, Jr., General Counsel, Medical University of South Carolina

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September 19, 1996

Opinion inquiring whether or not a County Council may enact such an ordinance regulating public nudity in light of the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court in the case of Connor v. Town of Hilton Head, 442 S.E.2d 608 (S.C. 1994).

Requested by: Timothy M. Cain, Esquire, Oconee County Attorney

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September 13, 1996

Opinion asking if State law permitted the donation or sale of counterfeit goods to charitable groups after the fake trademark or label was removed.

Requested by: The Honorable James R. Metts, Ed.D., Sheriff Lexington County

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September 12, 1996

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if the Barnwell County treasurer simultaneously serves as the Interim County Administrator.

Requested by: The Honorable Pickens Williams, Jr., Barnwell County Treasurer

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September 12, 1996

Opinion on Act 52 of 1995 (referendum to establish a local-option sales tax to fund a highway construction project). Requested by The Honorable Holly Cork, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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September 11, 1996

Opinion requested to revisit an opinion of the Attorney General’s Office dated July 20, 1979, addressing a provision contained in the South Carolina Atomic Energy and Radiation Control Act dealing with the confidentiality of information obtained by DHEC in investigating radiation sources.

Requested by: The Honorable John E. Courson, Senator, District No. 20

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September 9, 1996

Opinion regarding “ the Governor’s power to fill, pending the holding of a special election, a vacancy on the county council caused by the death of a sitting councilman.

Requested by: Mr. J. W. Wall, Jr., Chairman, Allendale County Council

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September 6, 1996

Opinion requested regarding the legality of delegation of loan approval authority to a committee of the board or staff by JEDA, as well as the legality of ownership investment by the not-for-profit corporation established by JEDA, Carolina Capital Investment Corporation.

Requested by: Kenneth D’Vant Long, Director, State Reorganization Commission

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September 4, 1996

Opinion regarding the qualifications of sheriffs in South Carolina, specifically their eligibility for candidacy in the next election in regards to what they do and do not have on file with the local Elections Commission.

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn G. Reese, Senator, District No. 11

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August 30, 1996

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. 4-37-30(A)(3)(Supp.1995), inquires whether the inclusion of the word “accelerate” in the ordinance to be placed on the referendum ballot is an improper use or unlawful editorial addition to the referendum question.

Requested by: Ladson F. Howell, Beaufort County Attorney

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August 27, 1996

Opinion given as a follow up to an informal opinion, which was forwarded to Robert Hayes, dated August 13, 1996, and contained the question of authority over a Municipal Court System.

Requested by: The Honorable Robert W. Hayes, Jr., Senator, District No. 15

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August 23, 1996

Opinion requesting assistance in researching the legal ramifications of the new Concealed Weapons Permit as it relates to civilian use of force.

Requested by: Captain Mark A. Keel, SLED

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August 22, 1996

Opinion inquiring whether or not it is proper for the towns of Allendale and Fairfax to be charged a jail fee by Allendale County, even though they are the only two municipalities in the county with their own police departments.

Requested by: John R. Sullivan, Chief, Fairfax Police Department

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August 21, 1996

Opinion requesting legal advice regarding the meaning of the term “public hearing” as used in S.C. Code Ann. 6-1-80 (Supp. 95).

Requested by: The Honorable Harriett L. Rucker, Member, Newberry County Board of Education

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August 21, 1996

Opinion requesting legal advice regarding provisions of South Carolina’s charter schools law regarding the racial composition of those schools, considering S.C. Coe Ann. 59-40-50(B)(6) as added by Act 447, 1996 S.C. Acts, which states “under no circumstances may a charter school enrollment differ from the racial composition of the school district by more than 10 percent.”

Requested by: The Honorable Scott H. Richardson, Member, S.C. House of Representatives

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August 20, 1996

Opinion inquiring as to who is covered by the term “officials of state government” as defined in Part IB, Section 72.75 of the 1996-1997 Appropriations Act.

Requested by: The Honorable Greg Smith, Senator, District No. 34

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August 20, 1996

Opinion asking about the use of drug dogs on a college campus, presumably considering the Fourth Amendment ramifications regarding canine searches in this location.

Requested by: Lieutenant M. E. Bartley, Administration, S. C. State University

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August 14, 1996

Opinion concerning Act No. 819, 1970 Acts and Joint Resolutions inquiring if it is lawful for a county to restrict an ambulance service, with concerns that this may violate the rights of competition in Pickens County.

Requested by: The Honorable Robert L. Waldrep, Jr., Senator, District No. 3

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August 14, 1996

Opinion regarding whether or not York County’s proposed manufactured housing ordinance is constitutional.

Requested by: The Honorable Becky Meacham, Member, House of Representatives

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August 14, 1996

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. 388-53-310 (1995 Cum. Supp.) which requires professional bail bondsmen to file with the clerk of court of the county of his principal place of business a written report regarding all the bail bonds on which he is liable as of the first day of each month, and inquiring whether or not this report should be available to the public, specifically competitors.

Requested by: Derrick K. McFarland, Staff Attorney, S.C. Court Administration

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August 14, 1996

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation would exist if a member of the Lexington-Richland School District Five Board of Trustees simultaneously serves as both the University of South Carolina Business Manager for the School of Education and the commissioner of the Irmo Fire District.

Requested by: Mr. Steve Mattison

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August 13, 1996

Opinion regarding the authority of the city council concerning the municipal court, considering that “the Municipal Court System of Rock Hill has encountered numerous problems recently…”, “the Rock Hill Municipal Court System has been under the direct control of the Human Resource Director for the past several years and recently the City Manager has assumed its control…”, and “some Council members feel that all court personnel should, by law, be hired by and report directly to the Counsel.”

Requested by: The Honorable Robert W. Hayes, Jr., Senator, District No. 15

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August 9, 1996

Opinion asking for an interpretation of the 1996 amendments to the Youthful Offender Act, concerning the General Assembly’s amendment of Section 24-19-10(d).

Requested by: William A. Collins, Jr., Deputy General Counsel, SC Dept. of Corrections

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August 8, 1996

Opinion regarding statutes numbers 16-23-20 and 16-23-465 and inquiring “if an off duty law enforcement officer, outside of his/her jurisdiction, may carry a pistol into a business which sells alcoholic beverages; and that the said officer is at that business merely to engage in social activities, not related to law enforcement, and consuming alcoholic beverages.”

Requested by: Lieutenant D. C. Beaty, Horry County Sheriff’s Office

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August 7, 1996

Opinion concerning the proper charge to make (either driving without a driver’s license or driving under suspension) against a person who is a S.C. resident, but does not have a S.C. driver’s license. The driver had a S.C. driver’s license in another state, though it expired several months ago. Records show the license was suspended, and the driver has a clear record.

Requested by: Lt. W.E. Robbins, Department Training Officer, City of York Police Dept.

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August 7, 1996

Opinion concerning the resignation sent to the Governor by the Acting Mayor and council members of the town of New Ellington, and inquiring whether the Governor is authorized to accept the resignations of an Acting Mayor and council members of a municipality. If so, what happens if he refuses to accept these resignations, and if accepted, who is to govern the town of New Ellington until elections can be held and new council members take office?

Requested by: Elizabeth B. Partlow, Legal Counsel, Office of the Governor

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August 5, 1996

Opinion regarding the Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority and its right to “under existing law, add member counties and/or municipalities which are outside the ‘Regional Transportation Area’ as defined in relevant statutes”, considering both that “PDRTA has exhibited sound management and financial characteristics” and “that other regional transportation authorities in the state have apparently not enjoyed the same success…”

Requested by: Benjamin D. Moore, Esquire, Attorney, Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority

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August 5, 1996

Opinion asking whether an officer responding to a domestic violence call, who has probable cause to believe an assault has taken place, “can cause a warrant to be issued for Criminal Domestic Violence with the officer as the affiant, so the defendant may be arrested at a later time” in instances where the alleged offender leaves before police arrive.

Requested by: A.G. Dantzler, Director of the Department of Public Safety, City of Cayce

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August 2, 1996

Opinion asking “whether the resignation by a candidate for the House of Representatives is for a ‘legitimate non-political reason’ as specified in S.C. Code Ann. Secs. 7-11-55 and 7-11-50 and the consequences thereof.”

Requested by: The Honorable David H. Wilkins, Speaker of the House of Representatives

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July 25, 1996

Opinion regarding Myrtle Beach Police Department’s inability to enforce payment of civil fines for instances dealing with drug paraphernalia pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 44-53-391.

Requested by: The Honorable Dennis E. Phipps, Chief Magistrate, Horry County

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July 23, 1996

Opinion concerning the permissibility, under the 1995-96 appropriations act, for the South Carolina Budget and Control Board to use funds (as set aside under that act for economic and cultural exchange with South Carolina’s sister state in Germany) through the publicly supported, tax exempt corporation, Enterprise Development, Inc. (EDI).

Requested by: Joseph D. Shine, General Counsel, State Budget and Control Board

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July 23, 1996

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if a member of the Beaufort County Board of Elections and Voter Registration simultaneously serves on any other boards and/or commissions.

Requested by: James W. Richardson, Chairman, Beaufort County Board of Elections and Voter Registration

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July 23, 1996

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if a member of the Kershaw County Transportation Committee simultaneously serves on the Kershaw County Water and Sewer Authority.

Requested by: Bob Artlip

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July 19, 1996

Opinion asking whether the Patriots Point Development Authority must obtain approval from the Budget and Control Board to lease certain property (approximately 35 acres) for development of that property and whether PPDA possess the authority to enter into such a lease.

Requested by: The Honorable Dan L. Tripp, Member, House of Representatives

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July 19, 1996

Opinion requesting advice as to whether a student may be permitted to take the exit examination during the summer when he has taken it twice and failed portions of it on both occasions.

Requested by: The Honorable Barbara Stock Nielsen, State Superintendent of Education, State Department of Education

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July 19, 1996

Opinion asking for an interpretation of S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 56-7-80 and questioning whether an officer must observe the offense in order to issue the county ordinance summons.

Requested by: The Honorable John Milton Knotts, Jr., Member, House of Representatives

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July 19, 1996

Opinion requesting advice as to whether the Comprehensive Health Act (Act) (S.C. Code Ann. § 59-32-5, et seq. (1990) applies to instruction or programs at public schools provided by teachers of subjects other that health or by visitors such as personnel of another public agency.

Requested by: The Honorable Michael L. Fair, Member, South Carolina Senate

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July 17, 1996

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if a member of the Spartanburg County Commission for Technical Education simultaneously serves on the City of Spartanburg Construction Appeals Board.

Requested by: The Honorable C. Tyrone Courtney, Senator, District No. 13

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July 16, 1996

Opinion concerning whether an Arrest Order, a civil paper, can be served on a Sunday.

Requested by: Captain Doug Taylor, York County Sheriff’s Department

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July 15, 1996

Opinion concerning “whether or not it is allowable for a municipality to pass an ordinance that allows the municipality to charge a $35.00 fee for the administrative costs that are associated with the processing of expungement orders.”

Requested by: The Honorable W. Barney Giese, Solicitor, Fifth Judicial Circuit

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July 15, 1996

Opinion inquiring what would happen if there is no pre-approved redistricting plan in place at the time that the current Richland County Council members’ terms of office expire.

Requested by: The Honorable James “Bubba” Cromer, Member, House of Representatives

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July 15, 1996

Opinion “regarding dirt track racing on Sundays.”

Requested by: The Honorable Bill Blanton, Sheriff, Cherokee County

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July 10, 1996

The opinion references Op. Atty. Gen., Op. No. 94-64 and addresses whether the City of Charleston Police Department can “work an employee’s accident when they are not operating their own private vehicle but one that belongs to another person when there is no reported injury or death.”

Requested by: Captain Thomas B. Roberston, Jr., Traffic Division Commander, City of Charleston Police Department

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July 10, 1996

Opinion regarding the Sheriff Department’s receipt of several orders to transport from Family and Circuit Court Judges in other counties.

Requested by: The Honorable Johnny Mack Brown, Sheriff, Greenville County

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July 8, 1996

Opinion seeking as to the proper determination of the amount of time an employee of the South Carolina Department of Corrections may be allowed for military leave.

Requested by: The Honorable Donald H. Holland, Senator, District No. 27

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July 8, 1996

Opinion questioning if school personnel, who are not licensed as physicians or nurses, may assist students with taking Ritalin, which is prescribed for their attention deficit disorder by a licensed physician.

Requested by: The Honorable James L. Mann Cromer, Jr., Member, House of Representatives

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July 8, 1996

Opinion concerning the expungement of records and police department compliance with orders of expungement.

Requested by: J. Chad Caldwell, Chief of Police, City of North Charleston

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July 8, 1996

Opinion stating that one or more trains belonging to CSX block the State Street crossing in the City of Cayce and addressing several questions regarding who is to be held responsible for the blockage, who is expected to remove the train(s), and the method by which those responsible are expected to do so.

Requested by: F. David Butler, Esquire

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July 5, 1996

Opinion seeking as to whether it is legal for the South Carolina Department of Corrections to ask for a social security number of a person who is visiting an inmate in one of the State’s prisons.

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn G. Reese, Senator, District No. 11

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July 3, 1996

Opinion concerning the process for involuntary admission of a patient to a mental health facility, which a multi-disciplinary team from Anderson Area Medical Center has been evaluating.

Requested by: Patricia A. Cohrac, ARM, Director Safety and Security/Risk Management, Anderson Area Medical Center

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July 2, 1996

Opinion requesting advice as to whether the Redevelopment Authority (Authority)1 may endorse the conveyance of property on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base to a Bible college.

Requested by: Thomas C. Styers, Executive Director, Myrtle Beach Air Base Redevelopment Authority

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July 2, 1996

Opinion noting that Public Safety Officers for Trident TEC “have been encountering civil process servers and persons paid by finance companies to repossess vehicles on campus” and request clarification on the status and/or level of involvement they should assume in these and other related situations.

Requested by: Noman A. Allen, Chief, Department of Public Safety, Trident Technical College

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June 28, 1996

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 56-5-6240 as it pertains to the registered owner of a seized vehicle who wants to purchase the vehicle from the law enforcement agency.

Requested by: Betty C. Strom, Esquire, Deputy Solicitor, Eighth Judicial Circuit

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June 26, 1996

Opinion asking “whether it is within the law, especially in light of the South Carolina Lodging Establishment Act of 1994….for resort rental management companies to decline rentals to ‘house parties’.”

Requested by: The Honorable Greg Smith, Senator, District No. 34

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June 24, 1996

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if the Emergency Preparedness Director for Edgefield County, who also is co-coordinator of the E911 office, offers for election to and simultaneously serves as Mayor of the Town of Johnston.

Requested by: Wayne Adams, Edgefield County Administrator

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June 18, 1996

Opinion regarding the people’s right to have a referendum for highway projects.

Requested by: The Honorable David L. Thomas, Senator, District No. 8

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June 18, 1996

Opinion asking whether the arrangements for the Southern Connector, and the law permitting such road projects, would violate any provision of the South Carolina Constitution, including Article X, Section 11 of the Constitution.

Requested by: The Honorable Michael T. Rose, Senator, District No. 38

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June 18, 1996

Opinion concerning whether it is legal for colleges and universities in the State of South Carolina to offer a contract to their president or their athletic directors and coaches that is longer than one year.

Requested by: The Honorable Herbert Kirsh, Member, House of Representatives

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June 18, 1996

Opinion regarding DNR officers and employees or their agents purchasing items seized or confiscated by our Law Enforcement Division, as well as other Department surplus equipment (used vehicles, etc.).

Requested by: Marion Burnside, Member of the South Carolina Natural Resources Board

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June 13, 1996

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if Fire Chief of the City of Gaffney simultaneously serves as a reserve police officer.

Requested by: Don Parris, Fire Chief, City of Gaffney

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June 11, 1996

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. Section 56-5-2710 and seeking to clarify what constitutes a “railroad train,” as well as addressing other railroad matters

Requested by: Rob Evans, Acting Chief, Ridgeway Police Department

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June 5, 1996

Opinion wishing to know the applicability of S.C. Code Ann. Sections 24-5-10 and 24-5-12 to a situation involving a closed county jail in Union County.

Requested by: Robert E. Guess, Esquire, Union County Attorney

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June 4, 1996

Opinion concerning where guns may be kept inside of a vehicle.

Requested by: Investigator Melvin H. Brock, New Ellenton Police Department

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June 3, 1996

Opinion asking about the practice of deferring prosecutions by a prosecuting officer.

Requested by: R. Allen Young, Esquire, Mount Pleasant Town Attorney

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May 31, 1996

Opinion concerning what information requests, if any, can be denied by a Technical College President or Area Commission in responding to the Executive Director of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education (“State Board”) or the State Board Chairman, representing the State Board.

Requested by: Dr. Michael B. McCall, Executive Director, State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education

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May 31, 1996

Opinion questioning a possible conflict of interest, recusal from discussion and voting, and the like, if you were to serve on two commissions and whether there would be any prohibition against concurrently serving on The South Carolina Commission for the Blind and the South Carolina State Independent Living Council.

Requested by: Nancy W. Knowles

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May 30, 1996

Opinion “concerning the confiscation of alcoholic beverages when in the presence of underage persons and juveniles when Law Enforcement officers observe this at house parties,” as well as “the use of constructive possession to confiscate and charge persons under the statutes provided for possession and consumption of alcohol by underage and juvenile offenders.”

Requested by: Chief Steve Harwell, Edisto Beach Police Department

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May 29, 1996

Opinion regarding the railroad corporation’s responsibility to replace an antiquated and hazardous wooden automobile bridge that crosses over its tracks with one which would accommodate today’s traffic.

Requested by: The Honorable William H. O’Dell, Senator, District No. 4

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May 29, 1996

Opinion clarifying the meaning of the phrases “discharge from custody” and “bound by the terms of his bond” in regards to cases in which the magistrate is not satisfied that probable cause has been shown.

Requested by: The Honorable Jack I. Guedalia, Charleston County Magistrate

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May 21, 1996

Opinion questioning whether Winthrop may pay faculty members on nine month contracts at the outset of the contract period and whether Winthrop may continue to permit faculty to enroll in up to six credit hours of classes per semester at a rate of $10 per credit hour.

Requested by: Anthony J. DiGiorgio, Presiden, Winthrop University

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May 20, 1996

Opinion noting that the Pickens County Council “has enacted a county ordinance…concerning demonstrations, picketing, protests and other expressions of views on Pickens County property.” The opinion addresses whether the county ordinance is enforceable within corporate limits, and, if so, whether if the Sheriff’s Office is “the only law enforcement agency with jurisdiction to enforce breaches of this ordinance within the city.”

Requested by: The Honorable C. David Stone, Sheriff, Pickens County

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May 15, 1996

Opinion on clarification of Section 34-11-60. Requested by The Honorable Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr., Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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May 15, 1996

Opinion concerning S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 16-13-437 and how it applies to a tenant at a local housing authority misrepresenting or incorrectly providing his total income for purposes of qualifying for housing.

Requested by: The Honorable James S. Klauber, Member, House of Representatives

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May 14, 1996

Opinion concerning the jurisdiction of municipal court regarding a telephone call that originated outside Westminster city limits and was received within city limits. The call was in violation of the law as an illegal use of telephone.

Requested by: The Honorable Robert K. Whitney, Municipal Court Judge, City of Westminster

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May 14, 1996

Opinion as to how clerks of court are to maintain dockets which indicate that cases involving defendants who have entered pretrial intervention programs have not yet been disposed.

Requested by: The Honorable Liz Godard, Clerk of Court of Aiken County

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May 14, 1996

Opinion seeking as to whether two bills as recently amended, S.937 and S.1211, would be violative of the Contract Clause, United States Constitution Art. I, §10, and South Carolina Constitution Art. I, §4, because they appear to retroactively impair existing contracts.

Requested by: The Honorable Maggie W. Glover, Senator District 30; The Honorable Luke A. Rankin, Senator District 33

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May 14, 1996

Opinion requesting whether every four years, upon commencement of new magisterial terms, part-time magistrates’ hours may be reduced if there is a material change in conditions, so that a county could correspondingly reduce the salary proportionately to the number of hours worked by the magistrate in the new term.

Requested by: Ms. Nancy Bloodgood, Deputy County Attorney

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May 13, 1996

Opinion concerning the “use of public funds to support private educational institutions,” prohibited by Article XI, § 4 of the South Carolina Constitution.

Requested by: Geraldine H. Urbanic, Director of Legal Services, Charleston County School District

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May 3, 1996

Opinion questioning whether there is a recall procedure for the members of the Goose Creek Parks and Playground Commission and questioning the legality of automatically including annexed residents of Goose Creek in the Goose Creek Parks and Playgrounds District.

Requested by: The Honorable Greg Smith, Senator District 34

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May 2, 1996

Opinion seeking as to the scope of services which the Central Midlands Regional Planning Council may provide to its member counties and municipalities.

Requested by: The Honorable James A. Lander, Senator District 18

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April 30, 1996

Opinion addressing a sudden increase in “soft porn being utilized in [Spartanburg] schools as instructional material.” The Chairman of Concerned Parents is, therefore, seeking guidance concerning the “Comprehensive Health Education Act.”

Requested by: The Honorable Michael L. Fair, Senator, District No. 6

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April 25, 1996

Opinion requesting as to the constitutionality of a Bill recently submitted in the House; it was noted that the Bill “would require the sender of pornographic material to obtain the consent of the recipient before it is forwarded to them.”

Requested by: The Honorable Michael E. Easterday, Member, House of Representatives

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April 24, 1996

Opinion asking about the constitutionality of requiring a candidate for the office of sheriff to have his fingerprints taken and submitted to SLED for a criminal records search at least sixty days for the close of filing for election to office and whether it would be unconstitutional to require a candidate to “commit” to filing, or at least make the decision to run, prior to the time that filing actually opens.

Requested by: The Honorable James A. Lander, Senator, District No. 18

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April 24, 1996

Opinion requesting advice as to whether the District must pay certified administrators in 1996-1997 consistently with the Statewide minimum salary schedule for that year and whether the District must maintain salary supplements for them at, at least, the present level next year.

Requested by: Marvin C. Jones, Esquire

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April 24, 1996

Opinion concerning whether hiring the mayor to fill the position of town administrator would contravene S.C. Code Ann. § 5-7-180.

Requested by: J. Martin Harvey, Esquire

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April 23, 1996

Opinion inquiring as to whether an individual, convicted of a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60 and subsequently receiving a pardon in accordance with Title 24, Chapter 21 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976, as amended, would be eligible to purchase a pistol.

Requested by: Major J.V. Martin, Assistant Director, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

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April 23, 1996

Opinion seeking clarification of Section 34-11-60 and stating that an issue arises in the context where “an employee receives his payroll check, goes to the grocery store and cashes that check to buy groceries.” If the check is returned due to insufficient funds, a warrant is taken out against the employee who cashed the check, but the employee, unlike the writer of the check, has no way of knowing the check is bad.

Requested by: The Honorable Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr., Senator, District No. 31

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April 22, 1996

Opinion asking whether a constituent has the right to protest under the South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code, S.C. Code Ann. § 11-35-10 et seq., (hereinafter “Code”), the Board’s decision not to act on their “Solicitation for Purchase of Real Property” dated April 24, 1995 (hereinafter “Solicitation”).

Requested by: The Honorable Richard M. Quinn, Jr., Member, House of Representatives

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April 19, 1996

Opinion inquiring about the number of days that a candidate has, after filing, to move into a district if he or she does not live in the district.

Requested by: The Honorable Dewitt Williams, Member, House of Representatives

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April 18, 1996

Opinion regarding the legality of reopening the filing process when a single candidate or, in some cases, two candidates have filed with a political party as a candidate for an office during the statutory filing period, and one or more of those candidates withdraws after filing is closed.

Requested by: James F. Hendrix, Executive Director, Election Commission

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April 18, 1996

Opinion regarding whether Dorchester County Council is required by law to provide office space for the Legislative Delegation.

Requested by: The Honorable George H. Bailey, Member, House of Representatives

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April 16, 1996

Opinion asking: [i]n light of recent legislation passed by the General Assembly concerning the Hunley project, what role is required by the Underwater Antiquities Act for the South Carolina Institute for Anthropology and Archaeology.

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, Senator, District No. 41

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April 11, 1996

Opinion asking whether legislation which prohibits the State of South Carolina from recognizing marriages between members of the same sex which are performed in other states is constitutional.

Requested by: The Honorable Joe Wilson, Senator, District No.23

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April 11, 1996

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of the proposed legislation banning same gender marriage.

Requested by: The Honorable Terry E. Haskins, Speaker Pro Tempore, House of Representatives

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April 10, 1996

Opinion regarding the ownership of found materials which were buried in Croft State Park in Spartanburg, a former national training base for those who fought in the European Theatre, during the World War II closure process.

Requested by: The Honorable John R. Russell, Senator, District No. 12

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April 8, 1996

Opinion asking in a fire district, may a commissioner also be employed by the fire district as secretary/treasurer?

Requested by: The Honorable John T. James, Commission Chairperson, South Greenville Fire District

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April 8, 1996

Opinion asking whether a separate ordinance must be adopted specifically to address mayor and council salaries prior to a salary increase being implemented in order to satisfy § 5-7-170.

Requested by: J. Martin Harvey, Esquire, Allendale Town Attorney

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April 8, 1996

Opinion questioning whether an employee of the Hospital, who is a physician, may be a member of the Hospital Board, and since the Board is fiscally autonomous, whether the members should be selected by Union County Council or chosen by the electorate of Union County.

Requested by: The Honorable Ronald N. Fleming, Member, House of Representatives

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April 8, 1996

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if the Revenue Collector for the Town of Hilton Head Island simultaneously serves on Beaufort County Council.

Requested by: Ms. Kathy Barnes

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April 5, 1995

Opinion asking what state criminal offenses are “substantially similar” to the federal provisions in subparts (a), (b), and (c) of 26 CFR Parts 1 and 602, specifically its affect on a clerk of federal or state criminal court who receives more than $10,000 in cash as bail for any individual, and is therefore required to report such to the IRS.

Requested by: George A. Markert, Director, South Carolina Court Administration

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April 4, 1996

Opinion concerning a proposed transaction between the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Columbia/HCA in which some or all of the capital facilities and equipment of MUSC will either be sold or leased to Columbia/HCA.

Requested by: The Honorable Michael T. Rose, Senator, District No. 38

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April 4, 1996

Opinion concerning a proposed transaction between the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Columbia/HCA in which some or all of the capital facilities and equipment of MUSC will either be sold or leased to Columbia/HCA.

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, Senator, District No. 41; The Honorable Lynn Seithel, Member, House of Representatives

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April 2, 1996

Opinion asking if the Municipal Police Department may be directed not to give summons against motorists who are exceeding the posted speed limit when the policeman who observes such an offense has his police vehicle in a stopped or parked position. Also, may the Police Department be directed to only issue summons for speeding violations from a marked police vehicle as opposed to an unmarked police vehicle, and may the Police Department be ordered not to issue summons after a certain amount of revenue has been reached from the issuance of summons or traffic violations?

Requested by: The Honorable Julian L. Kelly, Mayor, Town of Pawley’s Island

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April 2, 1996

Opinion asking if there is a law that supercedes S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 20-7-110 and what the recourse is for non-compliance by the Family Court.

Requested by: The Honorable Michael L. Fair, Senator, District No. 6

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April 2, 1996

Opinion concerning the penalty of the S.C. Code Ann. Section 56-5-1520 and 56-5-6190, which refers to second and subsequent speeding violations.

Requested by: The Honorable Lee R. Deese, Lancaster County Magistrate

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March 21, 1996

Opinion asking if a detention facility can initiate an action for the recovery of costs of previously administered medical treatment during a prior period of incarceration by deducting from the inmate’s account at a later date.

Requested by: Gene Ervin, Chief Jail Administrator, York County Detention Center

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March 21, 1996

Opinion concerning whether a city is required to provide an attorney at no cost to an indigent person who appears in Municipal Court, and if there are some indigent persons allowed to avail themselves of the Colleton County Public Defender’s Office in traffic or criminal cases in the Municipal Court.

Requested by: K.W. Arthur, Chief of Police, Walterboro Police Department

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March 19, 1996

Opinion regarding the use of photo-radar in South Carolina and the legality of charging the registered owner for a speeding violation after the photo-radar records a violation.

Requested by: David M. Bridges, Chief of Police, City of Greenville

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March 18, 1996

Opinion inquiring whether it would be illegal, improper, or unethical for the School Board of Horry County to pay the Superintendent of the School District after having received his resignation as part of an agreement to end prosecution for Misconduct in Office charges for which he was indicted.

Requested by: The Honorable Ralph J. Wilson, Solicitor, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit

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March 18, 1996

Opinion inquiring what constitutes grounds for rejection of an application for voter’s registration, specifically what should be done if the person strikes the clause, “Citizen of the United States” from the application, changes printed capitalized letters of the words “United States” to lowercase letters, or gives false information.

Requested by: The Honorable Molly M. Spearman, Member, House of Representatives

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March 18, 1996

Opinion concerning a parent’s complaint that their child, a middle school student in Lexington County, has been viewing (at school) “R” rated movies that contain sexually explicit scenes, and inquiring if the law pertaining to content harmful to minors “is applied differently within the confines of the public school vs. a theatre.” The opinion also addresses whether there is a weakness which needs to be changed in the “Harmful to Minors” section of the law.

Requested by: The Honorable Michael L. Fair, Senator, District No. 6

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March 18, 1996

Opinion inquiring whether S.C. Code Ann. 6-5-10 (1976&1995 Cum. Supp.), pertaining to authorized investments of political subdivisions of this State, would constrain the Little River Water & Sewerage Company, Inc., in exercising the provisions of S.C. Code Ann. 33-35-80(12).

Requested by: George B. Adams, Executive Manager, Little River Water & Sewerage Company, Inc.

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March 13, 1996

Opinion regarding the authority of a school district to adopt a religious instruction released-time policy for its students, specifically inquiring if S.C. Code Ann. 59-1-440 precludes this.

Requested by: The Honorable Joe Wilson, Senator, District No. 23

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March 13, 1996

Opinion providing advice with respect to Family Court orders which command a deputy or law enforcement officer to enter a home to search and seize a child as a result of a child custody hearing, specifically inquiring about the “liability of executing an order which is believed to on its face not be thoroughly legal…”

Requested by: the Honorable Allen F. Sloan, Sheriff, Richland County

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March 7, 1996

Opinion asking, “Does a private club, which is operated for a profit by the owner and sells membership to the general public, qualify as a “nonprofit organization” under S.C. Code Ann. Section 61-5-20(3)?” Opinion also asks, if it does not qualify as a “nonprofit organization”, then is it legal to regulate hours and ensure the clearing of the establishment after hours?

Requested by: R. Scott Spouse, Esquire

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March 7, 1996

Opinion inquiring whether existing statutes and regulations already authorize DHEC to charge late fees and penalties with respect to annual Safe Drinking Water Act fees which DHEC charges operators of water systems, or if a regulatory gap exists. And if it does, can it be closed without additional legislation.

Requested by: Mr. Kenneth D. Long, Director, State Reorganization Commission

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March 7, 1996

Opinion inquiring as to the constitutionality of lines 31-38 of the proposed legislation “South Carolina School Accountability Act of 1996,” which states that no candidate for the office of trustee for the boards of trustees for the school districts in this state may accept monetary contributions from a certified political party and must not use campaign material linked to a political party.

Requested by: George C. Leventis, General Counsel, Department of Education

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March 5, 1996

Opinion inquiring, on behalf of the Charleston County Department of Assessments and Mapping, whether a county assessor is required by S.C. Freedom of Information Act, S.C. Code Ann. 30-4-10 et seq. to compile a report of all properties meeting certain criteria selected by the requestor and to provide that report on the media of the requestor’s choosing.

Requested by: A. Arthur Rosenblum, Esquire, Charleston County Attorney

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March 5, 1996

Opinion inquiring whether or not it is permissible for the Marlboro County Auditor to hold that position and run for election as the Marlboro County Treasurer.

Requested by: The Honorable Delorice B. Cox, Marlboro County Auditor

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February 29, 1996

Opinion regarding a proposed fee-in-lieu-of-taxes arrangement with an industrial prospect which may locate in Newberry County, in light of “The Revenue Ordinance” as adopted pursuant to the initiative and referendum process in Newberry County.

Requested by: Hardwick Stuart Jr., Esquire, Newberry County Attorney

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February 26, 1996

Opinion concerning whether the consent provisions § 59-19-250 (1970) do not apply to Lexington County School District Four because the District is “fiscally autonomous”.

Requested by: The Honorable Joe Wilson, Senator, Lexington County

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February 26, 1996

Opinion concerning the legality of a political subdivision’s participating in a deferred compensation plan offered by an insurance company.

Requested by: The Honorable Harry B. “Chip” Limehouse, III, Member, House of Representatives

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February 26, 1996

Opinion referencing the conveyance of false information to a police officer pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. Section 16-17-725, specifically addressing how the law applies to written vs. verbal communication.

Requested by: Ptl. Jerry Ginn, Walterboro Police Department

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February 26, 1996

Opinion concerning whether a chief of police or head of a law enforcement agency can enact and enforce a policy and procedure prohibiting a certified officer from working in an establishment that sells alcoholic beverages.

Requested by: Rob Evans, Acting Chief, Ridgeway Police Department

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February 26, 1996

Opinion requesting an interpretation of the master-servant principle of common law as it applies to a member of a county council who is also a county employee.

Requested by: Mr. Wayne Adams, Edgefield County Administrator

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February 22, 1996

Opinion responding to a request to go on the Internet and post some public records including bad check warrants, pending evictions, and past evictions in hopes of benefiting businesses and individuals who depend on checks and renters.

Requested by: The Honorable Gene Taylor, Sheriff, Anderson County

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February 22, 1996

Opinion regarding the use of drug dogs at public schools to sniff out narcotics in lockers or in the student’s personal possession.

Requested by: The Honorable Johnny Mack Brown, Sheriff, Greenville County

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February 21, 1996

Opinion requesting clarification as to whether Mrs. Hunter, a victim of a robbery that took place in Alaska two years prior, must go back to Alaska to testify, despite the tremendous hardship it would cause, or if there is another way to submit her testimony.

Requested by: The Honorable Greg Gregory, Senator, District No. 16

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February 20, 1996

Opinion requesting an interpretation of certain statutes governing the composition of the Commission of the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s term regulations.

Requested by: The Honorable Michael T. Rose. Senator, District No. 38

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February 20, 1996

Opinion asking that the conclusion of an informal opinion issued on September 20, 1995, to the Honorable Dick F. Elliot be reconsidered. The referenced informal opinion informal opinion concluded that the language of S.C. Code Ann. §57-1-320(B) (1995 Cum. Supp.) meant that a district commissioner of the South Carolina Department of Transportation could not serve consecutive terms but would be limited to serving one term only, unless another commissioner’s term intervenes.

Requested by: The Honorable Thomas G. Keegan, Member, House of Representatives

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February 20, 1996

Opinion asking whether the Fellowship of Christian Athletes may meet during time set aside during the school day when non-academic related clubs are permitted to meet.

Requested by: The Honorable Michael L. Fair, Senator, District No. 6

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February 12, 1996

Opinion asking whether state statute 23-1-40 Code of Laws of South Carolina concerning the amounts appropriated as salaries for municipal law enforcement officers applies to Coroners and Deputy Coroners, and whether a coroner is a “law-enforcement officer” for purposes of the statute.

Requested by: The Honorable Lloyd B. Ward, Coroner, Barnwell County

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February 12, 1996

Opinion conveying “the concerns of some Pickens County citizens over the dissemination of allegedly obscene materials.”

Requested by: The Honorable Larry A. Martin, Senator, District No. 2; The Honorable Thomas C. Alexander, Senator, District No. 1; The Honorable Teddy N. Trotter, Member, House of Representatives; The Honorable Claude V. Marchbanks, Member, House of Representatives; The Honorable Alfred B. Robinson, Jr., Member, House of Representatives; and The Honorable Rex F. Rice, Member, House of Representatives

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February 12, 1996

Opinion seeking as to which would take precedence in the event of a conflict: The Canons of Judicial Conduct or a state law.

Requested by: The Honorable Michael L. Fair, Senator, District No. 6

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February 12, 1996

Opinion regarding the status of the Town of Reidville and the community’s interest in reviving the Town as an incorporated or chartered town and holding elections to fill all the vacant town offices.

Requested by: The Honorable C. Tyrone Courtney, Senator, District No. 13

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February 9, 1996

Opinion concerning the Department of Natural Resources’ past policy of bringing cases arising pursuant to § 50-1-136 in Magistrate’s Court.

Requested by: Paul S. League, Esquire

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February 9, 1996

Opinion concerning the Colonial Trust Company of Spartanburg’s status as a trust company.

Requested by: The Honorable Louie A. Jacobs, Commissioner of Banking, Board of Financial Institutions

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February 7, 1996

Opinion concerning S.C. Code Ann. Section 56-5-6240; such provision deals with the confiscation of motor vehicles for a “fourth or subsequent violation within the last five years of operating a motor vehicle while the license is cancelled, suspended or revoked (DUS), or a fourth or subsequent violation within the last ten years of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs (DUI)…”

Requested by: The Honorable C. David Stone, Sheriff, Pickens County

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February 5, 1996

Opinion interpreting S.C. Code Ann. § 12-27-390 (1995 Cum. Supp.), concerning the use of gasoline taxes levied for the benefit of water recreational resources.

Requested by: The Honorable Joe Wilson, Member, South Carolina Senate

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February 5, 1996

Opinion seeking as to the meaning of the phrase “host local government” and the standards for eligibility to serve on the citizens facilities issues committee, relative to S.C. Code Ann. § 44-96-470 (1995 Cum. Supp.).

Requested by: The Honorable Bob Waldrep, Senator, District No. 3

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February 5, 1996

Opinion questioning whether the Bail Bond Reform Act as codified in S.C. Code Sections 38-53-10 et seq. requires resident clerks of court to countersign property bond approvals from non-resident clerks.

Requested by: Robert L. McCurdy, Esquire

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February 5, 1996

Opinion asking: may a qualified citizen register to vote by mail no later than 30 days prior to a special election or not later than 45 days prior to it?

Requested by: Newton I. Howle, Jr., Esquire

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February 5, 1996

Opinion seeking as to whether a South Carolina Housing Authority, specifically a city housing authority, would be considered a subdivision of the State of South Carolina as it relates to S.C. Code Ann. § 25-1-2250.

Requested by: Sandra S. Bradford, Executive Director, North Charleston Housing Authority

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February 2, 1996

Opinion referencing another dated February 11, 1970, in light of numerous changes in federal and state law since that time, which addressed the issue of whether “loan production offices” are regarded as “branch banks” for purposes of the South Carolina banking code. This opinion has been requested to inquire and confirm that the conclusion reached in the aforementioned opinion is no longer applicable.

Requested by: The Honorable John E. Courson, Senator, District No. 20

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February 1, 1996

Opinion regarding whether the Job Development Fee provisions of the Enterprise Zone Act satisfy the public purpose test enunciated in Elliot v. McNair, 250 S.C. 75, 156 S.E.2d 421 (1976), and whether Job Development Fees are public funds for purposes of S.C. Const. Art. X, § 11, which constitutional provision prohibits the pledge or loan of the credit of the State for the benefit of a private individual or company.

Requested by: Burnet R. Maybank, III, Director, South Carolina Department of Revenue

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January 30, 1996

Opinion noting that the General Assembly enacted a new Harassment and Stalking law, Act No. 94 of 1995. A magistrate is given jurisdiction over an action seeking a restraint order against a person engaged in harassment or stalking. The opinion addresses who is required or authorized to serve this order.

Requested by: Jeffrey B. Moore, Executive Director, South Carolina Sheriff’s Association

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January 29, 1996

Opinion questioning whether some law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce South Carolina Code Sections 12-36-550 and 12-36-560 which reference the Tax Commission.

Requested by: The Honorable James L.M. Cromer, Jr., Member, House of Representatives

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January 29, 1996

Opinion concerning whether it is legal to have the blood of the deceased tested for HIV virus and Hepatitis B and give the results to their caregivers.
Requested by: The Honorable Jim Burnett, Coroner, Spartanburg County

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January 25, 1996

Opinion noting that the State Constables “are increasingly being questioned about liability and safety concerns when called to duty by local law enforcement agencies. Also addressing whether State Constables can be protected by the Insurance Reserve Fund, The Workers’ Compensation System, or other sources.
Requested by: The Honorable Joe Wilson, Senator, District No. 23

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January 22, 1996

Opinion concerning whether Section 56-5-750 is retroactive for expungement with all subjects who have been convicted of Failure to Stop, or is it simply for individuals arrested or convicted after the date this legislation was amended. Also, the opinion addresses the terms and conditions that must be completed.
Requested by: Robert M. Stewart, Chief, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

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January 17, 1996

Opinion providing advice as to whether the right to vote for members of the Board of Visitors of The Citadel must be limited to residents of this State.
Requested by: The Honorable David Wright, Member, House of Representatives

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January 17, 1996

Opinion regarding the issue of police officers being required to transport mental patients, and whether, if they have to continue transport, can they bill the State Department of Mental Health for costs accrued.
Requested by: Richard H. Palmer, Chief of Police, Town of Ridge Spring

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January 17, 1996

Opinion concerning whether the Advisory Coordinating Council for Economic Development of the Department of Commerce possesses discretion in the approval of grant applications pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 12-21-2423.
Requested by: H.M. Alexander, Director, Coordinating Council for Economic Development, South Carolina Department of Commerce

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January 11, 1996

Opinion regarding the so-called “scratch and win” card currently being offered throughout South Carolina, typically at local convenient stores. Specifically addressing the fact that some stores are charging money for the cards even though “no purchase necessary” is printed on them.
Requested by: Harold B. Johnson, Chief of Police, City of Sumter

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January 9, 1996

Opinion concerning “whether the Hunley Commission may act as a sponsor for a fundraising dinner which is being planned to commemorate the sinking of the USS Housatonic by the H.L. Hunley on February 17, 1864.”
Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, Senator, District 41

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January 9, 1996

Opinion regarding raising money for a new traffic court in Lancaster County by not reducing fines, but instead reducing the points for a traffic violation.
Requested by: The Honorable Greg Gregory, Senator, District 16

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January 8, 1996

Opinion concerning the scope of authority of an out-of-state bank which has been selected by the federal government to serve Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Paris Island.

Requested by: The Honorable Louie A. Jacobs, Esquire, Commissioner of Banking

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January 8, 1996

Opinion inquiring as to whether a leave of absence from the fire department would take away the necessity for the council members or Mayor to either resign from the office or resign from the fire department.

Requested by: Jonathon R. Hendrix, Attorney, Town of Batesburg-Leesville

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January 5, 1996

Opinion concerning the meaning of the phrase “cargo area” as used in S.C. Code Ann. Section 61-5-20(1).
Requested by: Scott Suttles, Chief of Police, Lyman Police Department

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January 3, 1996

Opinion noting that it has been the experience of the South Carolina Board of Juvenile Parole that “in certain cases, the victims of juvenile crime have requested current photographs of offenders, particularly at the time of their parole from the Department of Juvenile Justice.”
Requested by: Mollie DuPriest, Director, South Carolina Board of Juvenile Parole

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January 2, 1996

Opinion concerning the disposition of prisoners after being sentenced by the court of General Sessions.

Requested by: Mr. Jerry A. Hyatt, Regional Administrator/ Executive Director, Santee-Lynches Regional Jail System

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Welcome to the on-line office for Attorney General Alan Wilson. Please visit the Contact Us page to stay in touch.

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Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

Room 519 | Columbia, S.C. 29201

Phone: 1-803-734-3970 | Fax: (803) 253-6283

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