1998 Opinions

December 21, 1998

Opinion stating that “over 200 municipalities have adopted a ‘model’ business license tax ordinance which was drafted, distributed, and recommended by the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) to its members.”

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

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December 9, 1998

Opinion referencing the problems which beer wholesalers in South Carolina are having with the proposed Miller Brewing Company’s Distributor Agreement and Performance Standards.

Requested by: The Honorable James H. Harrison, Member, House of Representatives

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December 4, 1998

Opinion requesting on the application of Act No. 577 of 1992, as it relates to the 1998-1999 Allendale County School District budget.

Requested by: Elizabeth Kearse Gooding, Esquire, Allendale County Attorney

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December 2, 1998

Opinion indicating that the Fairfield County Drug Task Force has five vehicles in the impound lot that have been “signed over from owners to the Fairfield County Sheriff Office by Consent Orders of Forfeiture.”

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

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November 25, 1998

Opinion stating that you have been contacted by a constituent who needs clarification on the law regarding fishing licenses.

Requested by: The Honorable William D. Witherspoon, Member, House of Representatives

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November 24, 1998

Opinion asking about “the constitutionality of the General Assembly placing an appointed board in the position to have authority over the State Board of Education, the State Superintendent of Education, and/or the State Department of Education.”

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

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November 20, 1998

Opinion asking whether the mayor is prohibited from making changes to standing committees during his term of office.

Requested by: Andrew G. Goodson, Esquire

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November 19, 1998

Opinion asking whether adoption records may be available to the public.

Requested by: Josephine Flemings, Office of the Clerk, Greenville County

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November 17, 1998

Opinion indicating that there is “confusion and disagreement among the sheriffs concerning the subject of statewide jurisdiction.”

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

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November 17, 1998

Opinion regarding the employment of unclassified employees by South Carolina Commodity Boards.

Requested by: Sheila H. Howard, Human Resource Manager, Department of Agriculture

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November 9, 1998

Opinion concerning the St. John’s Fire District.

Requested by: The Honorable McKinley Washington, Jr., Senator, District No. 45 and Donald H. Howe, Esquire

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November 6, 1998

Opinion concerning the title of an abandoned vehicle.

Requested by: The Honorable Elsie Rast Stuart, Member, House of Representatives

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November 4, 1998

Opinion concerning the applicability of section 7-13-75 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

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

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November 4, 1998

Opinion regarding the distribution of the funds received as part of the one percent additional premium tax on fire insurers.

Requested by: The Honorable Elizabeth C. Hair, Sumter County Treasurer

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October 30, 1998

Opinion informing that on November 3rd, an election will be held to fill the mayor position for the new four year term set to begin in January. Two members of city council, including the mayor pro tempore, are on this upcoming ballot. Council has asked when the winner of the election will take office and assume the duties of the mayor.

Requested by: George E. Simmons, Administrator, City of Lake City

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October 27, 1998

Opinion asking whether a prior opinion of this Office should be interpreted to mean that “a county veterans affairs officer is a county employee entitled to all rights and privileges thereof as established by county policy, and as such entitled to equitable and fair treatment under such policies.”

Requested by: Roberta L. Starks, Aiken County Veterans Affairs

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October 27, 1998

Opinion interpreting Section 56-31-30(A) of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

Requested by: The Honorable Daniel T. Cooper, Member, House of Representatives

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October 21, 1998

Opinion asking whether members of the Horry County Transportation Committee may be compensated for out-of-pocket expenses and special meeting expenses.

Requested by: George R. Vereen, Chairman, Horry County Transportation Committee

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October 21, 1998

Opinion concerning the following situation: When a check that has been received for goods or services is returned by the financial institution, a handling fee/service charge is being charged to the individual or business that deposited the check into their account.

Requested by: The Honorable Bobby L. Morgan, Greenville County Magistrate, Cleveland Township

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October 19, 1998

Opinion regarding: the School Safety Act in its wording of statewide jurisdiction at school functions and events can be interpreted to cover the day to day operations of a school, therefore giving an officer jurisdiction out of jurisdiction.

Requested by: Sergeant G.D. Parker, Town of Fort Mill, Police Department

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October 15, 1998

Opinion regarding: [a]s you are aware, many County Jails in S.C. are suffering overcrowding. At the same time, the S.C. Department of Corrections is making S.C. Counties wait approximately two weeks to send inmates sentence[d] to more than 90 days to the Reception and Evaluation Center.

Requested by: David E. Rushton, Immediate Past President, S.C. Jail Administrator’s, Association, Newberry County Detention Center

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October 14, 1998

Opinion asking: [c]an criminal fees and assessments imposed by a Magistrate’s Court be used as a revenue source for funding the Court’s operations? That is, can these funds expended for operating expenses, salaries, and fringe benefits?

Requested by: The Honorable Stephen P. Lanford, Chairman, Personnel & Benefits Subcommittee, Ways and Means Committee, House of Representatives

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October 13, 1998

Opinion asking as to whether it is appropriate for the county to reduce the magistrate’s salary.

Requested by: Timothy H. Pogue, Esquire

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October 12, 1998

Opinion referencing S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 22-5-510, as last amended by Act. No. 425 of 1998.

Requested by: Robert L. McCurdy, Staff Attorney, South Carolina Court Administration

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October 9, 1998

Opinion asking: [o]nce a person is given a permit by the State of South Carolina to carry a weapon, does a person have the right to carry that pistol in her pocketbook or briefcase?

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

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October 8, 1998

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if a magistrate simultaneously serves on the Commission for Minority Affairs.

Requested by: Janie A. Davis, Executive Director, Commission for Minority Affairs

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October 7, 1998

Opinion concerning whether the following statement is a correct interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act: while materials regarding official delegation business are subject to disclosure, documents of individual legislative members are exempt from disclosure.

Requested by: The Honorable Ronald P. Townsend, Chairman, Anderson County Legislative Delegation

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October 6, 1998

Opinion questioning whether or not Section 56-3-115 prohibits golf carts from crossing a numbered highway in South Carolina to go from one part of the golf course to another without first getting a license to operate on the roads of this State.

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

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September 30, 1998

Opinion informing that the position of Executive Director of the Aiken County Registration and Election Commission will become vacant upon the December retirement of the present executive director.

Requested by: The Honorable J. Roland Smith, Member, House of Representatives

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September 28, 1998

Opinion clarifying “the law and intent of S.C. Code Laws Section 23-6-405.”

Requested by: Barry D. Mallek, Chief of Police, Town of Duncan

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September 28, 1998

Opinion asking whether a member of the House of Representatives may serve as a substitute teacher in the state’s public school system without contravening any provisions of the South Carolina Constitution or state law.

Requested by: The Honorable Shirley R. Hinson, Member, House of Representatives

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September 28, 1998

Opinion concerning whether a member of the Walterboro/Colleton Airport Commission violates the dual office holding prohibition when the commission is composed of the following five members: Walterboro Mayor, Walterboro City Council member, Colleton County Council member, Colleton County Auditor, Colleton County treasurer serving ex officio?

Requested by: The Honorable Larry Grooms, Senator, District No. 37

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September 25, 1998

Opinion noting that the Legislative Audit Council is currently conducting a review of the State’s management of real property.

Requested by: George L. Schroeder, Director, Legislative Audit Council

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September 25, 1998

Opinion referencing S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 22-5-910, which deals with the Expungement of Records for offenses committed in magistrate’s and municipal court.

Requested by: The Honorable Donna B. Owens, Florence Municipal Judge

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September 21, 1998

Opinion noting that “on several occasions it has been requested by certain state governmental entities, agencies and departments that the [Juvenile] Parole Board provide certain information pertaining to juveniles from our agency’s records.”

Requested by: Karen A. Walto, Chairperson, Board of Juvenile Parole

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September 21, 1998

Opinion relating to your organization’s development plans for a charter school with a grant from the State Department of Education.

Requested by: Tammy D. Crooks, Special Assistant for Charter School Development, Williamsburg Enterprise Community Commission, Inc.

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September 17, 1998

Opinion interpreting Section 44-38-370 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, which establishes eligibility criteria for case management services through the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (hereinafter the “Department”).

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

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September 15, 1998

Opinion noting that a defendant pled guilty in Magistrate’s Court as to the charge of possession of beer by a minor pursuant S.C. Code Ann. 20-7-370.

Requested by: The Honorable Llewellyn Hiott Hames, Magistrate, Lexington County District #2

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September 14, 1998

Opinion asking whether dual office holding prohibitions of the State Constitution would be violated if an individual were to simultaneously serve as a city attorney for the City of Greenwood and as Master-in-Equity for Abbeville County.

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

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September 11, 1998

Opinion “concerning service of court documents on private property.”

Requested by: Lt. Ron Taylor, Civil Process Division, Aiken County Sheriff’s Office

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September 9, 1998

Opinion asking: does serving on the Walterboro/Colleton Airport Commission violate the dual office holding prohibition when the commission is composed of the following five members: Walterboro Mayor, Walterboro City Council member, Colleton County Council member, Colleton County Auditor, Colleton County treasurer serving ex officio?

Requested by: The Honorable Larry Grooms, Senator, District No. 37

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September 2, 1998

Opinion asking whether you have a duty to provide statements of worth to magistrates and municipal judges for use in determining a person’s worth to sign a surety bond. Also, asking whether you must provide statements to people stating that they have no judgments or liens pending against them.

Requested by: The Honorable Sallie G. Smith, Clerk of Court

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September 2, 1998

Opinion “regarding the proper procedure on completing arrest warrants concerning 16-1-57.”

Requested by: Sergeant Richard F. Moser, City of Charleston, Police Department

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August 31, 1998

Opinion asking whether the General Assembly may enact a law which would transfer those powers devolved to the governing body of Dorchester County by Act No. 512 back to the Joint Legislative Delegation of Dorchester County.

Requested by: Carmen M. Tevis, Staff Counsel, Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee

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August 26, 1998

Opinion asking whether the General Assembly may enact a law which would transfer those powers devolved to the governing body of Dorchester County by Act No. 512 back to the Joint Legislative Delegation of Dorchester County.

Requested by: Carmen M. Tevis, Staff Counsel, Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee

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August 21, 1998

Opinion asking whether the board of directors of the Gift of Life Trust Fund (hereinafter the “Trust”) is required by its enabling legislation to invest trust monies only in pooled investment funds maintained by the state.

Requested by: The Honorable Robert E. Walker, Member, House of Representatives

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August 19, 1998

Opinion noting that “[t]he question has arisen concerning the propriety of a municipal traffic court pre-trial program which allows individuals who have been charged with a traffic offense which does not carry a mandatory driver’s license suspension and does not carry a point value in excess of four points to have the charge dismissed upon completion of a driver education course.”

Requested by: Robert L. McCurdy, Staff Attorney, South Carolina Court Administration

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August 17, 1998

Opinion regarding the proper statutory interpretation of the Capitol Project Sales Tax Act.

Requested by: R. Carlisle Roddey, County Supervisor, Chester County

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August 13, 1998

Opinion concerning the use of “C” funds to construct public roads which will be utilized as part of a privately owned and developed industrial park contributing to the economic development of Anderson County.

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

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August 11, 1998

Opinion regarding the proper interpretation of certain provisions of Act No. 433 of 1998.

Requested by: Carmen M. Tevis, Staff Counsel, Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee

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August 10, 1998

Opinion asking whether the State Department of Education may allow each school to authorize its students to vote to post a copy of the Ten Commandments in the school lobby without using public funds.

Requested by: The Honorable Bradley Jordan, Member, House of Representatives

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July 29, 1998

Opinion asking whether an individual held in civil contempt is eligible for good time credits.

Requested by: Larry W. Powers, Director, Spartanburg County Detention Facility

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July 28, 1998

Opinion asking whether Section 1-3-245 of the South Carolina Code of laws applies to members serving on the Valley Public Service Authority.

Requested by: The Honorable J. Roland Smith, Member, House of Representatives

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July 22, 1998

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if a member of the board of the Pickens County Water Authority simultaneously serves as a member of the board of Powdersville Water Company.

Requested by: Mr. Cecil Bracken, Powdersville Water Company, Inc.

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July 16, 1998

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. 59-63-280 (B) (1976).

Requested by: Ms. Ann T. Robbins, Supervisor of Student Personnel School District 5 of Lexington and Richland Counties

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July 15, 1998

Opinion asking whether a person can be convicted for violating S.C. Code Ann. Sec 16-17-530 “if the location of the offense is inside an establishment that operates as a Nonprofit organization (‘private club’)?”

Requested by: Gregory A. Hoover, Chief of Police, Moncks Corner Department of Public Safety

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July 14, 1998

Opinion requesting that a policy be written and implemented which restricts the consumption of alcoholic beverages at nightclubs and bars within the City of Orangeburg by officers employed in his department.

Requested by: Sergeant Thad Turner, Orangeburg Department of Public Safety

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July 13, 1998

Opinion advising as to 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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July 9, 1998

Opinion asking whether it is legal for an individual working for the South Carolina department of Mental Health to also serve on the Allendale County Voter Registration and Elections Commission.

Requested by: Ms. Dorothy J. Willis, Board of Registration, Allendale County

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July 9, 1998

Opinion asking about the General Assembly’s decision to enact H.3215 (Act 265) which amended S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 17-13-40 to expand police jurisdiction while in “pursuit” of an offender.

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

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July 8, 1998

Opinion asking about the General Assembly’s decision to enact H.3215 (Act 265) which amended S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 17-13-40 to expand police jurisdiction while in “pursuit” of an offender.

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

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July 8, 1998

Opinion asking whether the section of the South Carolina Code of Laws which authorizes civil service commissions (Section 5-9-110) was repealed by the passage of the Home Rule Act.

Requested by: Ronald W. McKinney, Esquire, Greenville City Attorney

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July 8, 1998

Opinion about an issue that has arisen between the Pickens County Department of Public Works and the City of Easley concerning the city’s right to send inmates to the Pickens County Stockade.

Requested by: The Honorable Larry A. Martin, Senator, District No. 2

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July 2, 1998

Opinion reviewing the Patriot Party and a listing of the party officers.

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

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June 25, 1998

Opinion as to whether the Chester County Natural Gas Authority (hereinafter “the Authority”) may purchase future contracts for natural gas.

Requested by: Emil W. Wald, Esquire

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June 23, 1998

Opinion concerning “the division of seized gambling money after the case is disposed of.”

Requested by: Investigator T. K. Davis, Spartanburg Department of Public Safety, Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit

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June 22, 1998

Opinion regarding the time at which the interim Lexington County Auditor must leave office.

Requested by: The Honorable Irby Schultz, Lexington County Auditor

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June 22, 1998

Opinion as to whether public libraries and public school libraries fall in the same category as college libraries with respect to the law dealing with distributing offensive or harmful material to minors.

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

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June 22, 1998

Opinion asking whether the dual office holding prohibitions of the State Constitution would be violated if the appointed associate judge’s law partner, also a member of county council, voluntarily (no pay) assists by assuming judicial responsibilities until the appointed associate judge returns from medical leave.

Requested by: Gregory D. DeLoach, Esquire, Legal Department Director, Town of Hilton Head Island

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June 22, 1998

Opinion as to whether Act. No. 287 of 1989 is still in effect and whether the Board of Education must still be elected from the same method as the county council to which Act 287 makes reference.

Requested by: Mr. Bobby Bowers, Office Director, State Budget and Control Board

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June 19, 1998

Opinion as to whether North and Bowman High Schools in Orangeburg County could be closed and moved to another location in the same attendance area without public hearings and a referendum as to the closings.

Requested by: The Honorable Elsie Rast Stuart, Member, SC House of Representatives

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June 18, 1998

Opinion seeking clarification of the provisions of S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 56-5-765. Specifically, asking to whom the term “employee” applies as employed in Subsection (C), and also whether the opinion on “motor pool vehicles not used for policing purposes” would also apply to local law enforcement agencies.

Requested by: Lieutenant Thomas A. Honan, Office of Professional Standards, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office

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June 17, 1998

Opinion asking whether two prior opinions of this Office which discuss the constitutionality of providing public funds to a private entity for the performance of a public purpose are still valid opinions.

Requested by: Linda C. McDonald, Assistant Chief Counsel, SC Department of Transportation

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June 16, 1998

Opinion asking whether McCormick County must comply with the South Carolina Local Government Comprehensive Planning Enabling Act in order to continue the planning and zoning process in the County.

Requested by: The Honorable Alonzo Harrison, Chairman, McCormick County Council

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June 15, 1998

Opinion regarding the enactment of a county zoning ordinance pursuant to the South Carolina Local Government Comprehensive Planning Enabling Act of 1994 which modifies or renames the zoning classifications of property zoned pursuant to section 6-7-10 et seq. of the South Carolina Code of Laws, and whether such be considered a rezoning of the property requiring the posting of notice on or adjacent to the property.

Requested by: Ladson F. Howell, Esquire, Beaufort County Attorney

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June 12, 1998

Opinion concerning Reserve Police Officers and their legally supported courses of action while off-duty and wearing civilian clothing.

Requested by: Greg Holland, Chief of Police, Jonesville Police Department

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June 9, 1998

Opinion regarding the service of Family Court bench warrants on Sunday.

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

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June 3, 1998

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if a law enforcement officer for the Greenville Spartanburg Airport Commission simultaneously serves as a member of town council.

Requested by: Hazel Hall, Town of Lyman Election Commission

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June 2, 1998

Opinion informing this Office that one of its constituents owns a small business in Spartanburg County, but outside the City of Spartanburg, and has inquired as to whether South Carolina Law or Spartanburg County ordinance permits the burning of accumulated wooden pallets.

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

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May 29, 1998

Opinion requesting as to whether South Carolina Code Section 9-8-120 (4) (Supp. 1997) prevents a retired judge from drawing retirement pay while serving in a federal judicial position in South Carolina.

Requested by: The Honorable David H. Maring, Sr., Resident Judge, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit

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May 27, 1998

Opinion asking: does the fact that a check collecting company is acting as agent for a merchant enable the check collecting company or the representative to sign a warrant for a check violation on the merchant’s behalf?

Requested by: James M. Hatchell, Sr., President, South Carolina Merchants Association

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May 27, 1998

Opinion asking whether town council can refuse to hold an election to change the form of government when a petition certified by the county election commission containing 15% of the registered voters is presented to the council.

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

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May 20, 1998

Opinion concerning public nudity.

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

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May 14, 1998

Opinion asking whether a state constitutional amendment requiring a “moment of silence” in all South Carolina schools is valid under the federal Establishment Clause; further, whether a school voucher system authorized by the State Constitution would be constitutionally permissible under the First Amendment; and finally whether an amendment to Article XII, § 2 of the South Carolina Constitution, removing the requirement of “rehabilitation” of inmates and replacing it with a requirement of all able-bodies inmates to work is valid under the federal Constitution.

Requirements by: The Honorable Larry K. Grooms, Senator, District No. 37

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May 14, 1998

Opinion concerning so-called “cruises to nowhere.”

Requested by: The Honorable André Bauer, Member, House of Representatives

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May 12, 1998

Opinion asking advice for the following situation: A home owner allowed his adult son to come and stay with him, and now, after several months, the owner wants the son to leave and the son will not leave. The son does not pay any rent or compensates the owner in any way. Is this a criminal trespass under 16-11-620 to be handled by police or is this a civil problem to be handled by the Magistrate?

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

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May 7, 1998

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if a member of the Colleton County School Board simultaneously serves as the Colleton County Administrator.

Requested by: Paul N. Siegel, Esquire

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May 7, 1998

Opinion asking whether an individual may simultaneously serve as a Master-in-Equity and as a municipal court judge without violating the dual office holding prohibitions of the South Carolina Constitution.

Requested by: Gene Beckman, Director of Appointments, Office of the Governor

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May 7, 1998

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if a municipal court judge simultaneously serves as a probate judge.

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

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May 5, 1998

Opinion concerning the application of S.C. Code Section 16-17-470, better known as the “Peeping Tom” statute.

Requested by: Betty Miller, Esquire

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May 5, 1998

Opinion informing that a member of the Greenwood County Council was suspended by the Governor after being indicted for bingo fraud and asking whether this individual may offer and run for re-election in the upcoming November general election pending the resolution of the criminal charges.

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

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May 1, 1998

Opinion concerning: Are there are any laws that regulate the procurement, possession, and/or use of tracking devices by law enforcement agencies in this State and May a law enforcement agency produce original search warrants through the use of computer software rather than use the standard forms usually provided?

Requested by: Investigator T.K. Davis, Spartanburg Public Safety Department, Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit

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April 30, 1998

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if a member of the Colleton County School Board simultaneously serves as the Colleton County Administrator.

Requested by: The Honorable McKinley Washington, Senator, District No. 45

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April 30, 1998

Opinion concerning interpretation of S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 16-3-1040, which proscribes making threats against a public official.

Requested by: Chief Steve Harwell, Edisto Beach Police Department

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April 28, 1998

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of S.402 of 1997.

Requested by: The Honorable Eugene C. Stoddard, Member, House of Representatives

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April 28, 1998

Opinion regarding the legality of a proposed Ordinance being considered by the Town of Lexington.

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

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April 22, 1998

Opinion regarding the following situation: [t]he local Sheriff has taken the stand that when a dead body is found and his office is called to the scene, he is to conduct his investigation, collect evidence, question witness and then, when ready to move the body, he notifies the Coroner.

Requested by: The Honorable Zach Seymour, Coroner, Laurens County

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April 21, 1998

Opinion regarding the service of warrants by sworn law enforcement officers who are the affiant on the warrant.

Requested by: Sergeant Jolene Vancil, City of Greer Police Department

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April 21, 1998

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if a member of the Town of Kershaw Election Commission simultaneously serves as the Lancaster County Attorney.

Requested by: William R. Sims, Esquire

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April 21, 1998

Opinion asking as to whether a municipal police officer can enforce county ordinances.

Requested by: Greg Holland, Chief of Police, Jonesville Police Department

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April 21, 1998

Opinion concerning S.C. Code ann. Sec. 6-11-1420.

Requested by: The Honorable James Lee Foster, Sheriff, Newberry County

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April 20, 1998

Opinion informing that Williamsburg County has adopted a comprehensive water and sewer ordinance which authorizes the county to regulate water and sewer and do business as a water and sewer authority.

Requested by: W.E. Jenkinson, III, Esquire

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April 17, 1998

Opinion regarding the use of a requirement of reciprocity in H.3414, also designated as the “South Carolina Competitive Power Act.”

Requested by: The Honorable Harry F. Cato, Member, House of Representatives and The Honorable Rebecca D. Meacham, Member, House of Representatives

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April 13, 1998

Opinion regarding the legality of enacting legislation concerning the elimination of modular housing from a neighborhood zoned “R1” or “Single Family Dwelling.”

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

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April 6, 1998

Opinion advising as to whether the term license is synonymous with the term certificate so as to be a substitute for the latter term in the teacher certification process.

Requested by: The Honorable J. Alex Stanton, IV, Chair, South Carolina State Board of Education

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April 6, 1998

Opinion asking as to the constitutionality of H.4695.

Requested by: Robert A. Morales, Research Analyst, Ways and Means Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives

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April 6, 1998

Opinion regarding Food Lion’s charge of sales tax on the full amount of an item prior to any bonus discount.

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

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April 3, 1998

Opinion asking for an interpretation of S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 23-6-405.

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

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April 2, 1998

Opinion asking whether a dual office holding situation exists if a city councilman simultaneously serves as a Community Specialist IV for the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.

Requested by: The Honorable William E. Myrick, Jr., Municipal Court Judge, Town of Allendale

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April 2, 1998

Opinion concerning whether a dual office holding situation exists if a duly elected member of the Summerville Town Council simultaneously serves on the Dorchester County Transportation Committee.

Requested by: John G. Frampton, Esquire

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March 30, 1998

Opinion regarding whether the city administrator possesses the authority to suspend or dismiss the city’s fire or police chief.

Requested by: P. Todd Cooper, Member, Travelers Rest City Council

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March 26, 1998

Opinion as to the proper procedures to be followed in filling a vacancy on the Board of Fire Control for the Duncan Chapel Fire District.

Requested by: The Honorable Dwight A. Loftis, Member, House of Representatives

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March 25, 1998

Opinion “on the legality of a solicitor or city prosecutor running a criminal background check on all potential jurors.”

Requested by: Lt. S. E. Buffkin, Darlington Police Department

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March 23, 1998

Opinion about whether just the name of the Comptroller General should appear on checks issued by the State of South Carolina.

Requested by: The Honorable Earle E. Morris, Jr., Comptroller General

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March 23, 1998

Opinion about real estate transfer fees which the town of Hilton Head continues to collect pending resolution of the issue by the General Assembly.

Requested by: The Honorable Earle E. Morris, Jr., Comptroller General

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March 23, 1998

Opinion regarding S.C. Code of Laws Section 12-37-450 and whether the Office of Comptroller General is required to remit payments to counties and municipalities four times a year.

Requested by: Michael L. Horton, Assistant Comptroller General

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March 19, 1998

Opinion reviewing Francis Marion University about scholarship aid, as in S.C. Code 59-112-70.

Requested by: George L. Schroeder, Director, legislative Audit Council

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March 18, 1998

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of an ordinance which requires employees who offer themselves as candidates for elective public office to resign employment with the City of Barnwell.

Requested by: Thomas M. Boulware, Esquire

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March 17, 1998

Opinion asking for clarification of Section 31-15-30(6) of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

Requested by: Stuart B. Watson, Clerk/Treasurer, City of Bamberg

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March 16, 1998

Opinion asking whether McCormick County is responsible for providing legal advice to or paying for the legal representation of the McCormick County Board of Election and Registration.

Requested by: G. P. Callison, Jr., Esquire

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March 16, 1998

Opinion regarding the repossession of property based solely on a signed contract and not a court order.

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

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March 11, 1998

Opinion as to the constitutionality of a State regulation which denies certain “non-permanent resident aliens” in-State rates when they are dependents of qualified residents, although citizens who are dependents of qualified residents are entitled to in-State rates.

Requested by: Dr. Rayburn Barton, Executive Director, South Carolina Commission on Higher Education

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March 10, 1998

Opinion asking several questions related to the ballot for a school bond referendum for the Charleston County School District.

Requested by: Robert N. Rosen, Esquire

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March 5, 1998

Opinion asking whether us of public ground, such as the Courthouse Square, by a religious group for a religious ceremony would violate the Establishment Clause.

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

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March 3, 1998

Opinion asking if the planning commission in Marlboro County is required by law to develop a comprehensive plan? And in the absence of a comprehensive plan can the county council pass ordinances restricting land use such as hog farms or junkyards?

Requested by: Lee C. Shortt, Chairman, Marlboro County Planning Commission

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February 27, 1998

Opinion asking whether a public university must pay a county “hospitality tax.”

Requested by: Edgar Dyer, University Counsel, Coastal Carolina University

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February 25, 1998

Opinion advising as to whether S.C. Code Ann. § 9-8-120 (4) (Supp. 1996) prohibits the appointment of an individual as a special referee when that person is a retired Judge who is practicing law.

Requested by: The Honorable David H. Maring, Resident Judge, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit

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February 25, 1998

Opinion asking as to whether certain documents related to the recruitment of industry, but created after a business has decided to locate in South Carolina, are subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

Requested by: The Honorable G. Ralph Davenport, Jr., Member, House of Representatives

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February 20, 1998

Opinion asking whether or not county tax assessors are allowed to enter new, non-residential premises for the purposes of assessing the value for property tax collection.

Requested by: Carmen M. Tevis, Staff Counsel, Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives

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February 20, 1998

Opinion regarding what effect a change in government would have on the position of county supervisor.

Requested by: The Honorable Linda H. Short, Senator, District No. 17

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February 19, 1998

Opinion concerning whether an Order of Judge Larry Patterson issued on September 30, 1996, Beane v. Charleston County Election Commission and Charleston County Republican Party overrules the 1982 case of the Charleston County Democratic Party v. The Charleston County Republican Party and the Charleston County Election Commission regarding the constitutionality of Section 2-1-40 of the Code.

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

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February 18, 1998

Opinion asking “on House Bill 4408 which makes it an unfair or deceptive act to fail to honor a recipient’s request to cease mailing brochures, leaflets, flyers, etc. and to require direct mailers to include a clear and conspicuous statement explaining how to request the mailings stop.”

Requested by: Carmen M. Tevis, Staff Counsel, Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives

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February 12, 1998

Opinion asking whether the Saluda County Election and Voter Registration Commission (hereinafter “the Commission”) or the Saluda County Council has the final decision making authority in the process of hiring a secretary and informing that the Commission held a meeting to interview candidates for the position.

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

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February 10, 1998

Opinion asking if our opinion of January 13, 1998 would govern to require the School District of Greenville County to allow Riverside High School to permit student Bible Club members to meet at the same time as the school permits other clubs to meet.

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

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February 9, 1998

Opinion informing that the legislation which created the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission (hereinafter “PRC”) includes a prohibition against any commissioner receiving compensation for their service as such.

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

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February 9, 1998

Opinion concerning a recent number of proposals requiring a statewide referendum on video poker and clarifying whether an idea allowing voters to decide whether poker payouts will be legal in South Carolina would be legally valid. Proponents of this idea will seek to enact a statute authorizing the holding of the statewide vote.

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

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February 6, 1998

Opinion asking to determine whether sales tax should be paid when leasing a car and again when buying the same car at the end of the lease period and whether such taxation is double taxation.

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

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February 4, 1998

Opinion referencing a recent amendment to S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 55-11-350.

Requested by: Randy M. Blackmon, Chief of Police, Columbia Metropolitan Air Port

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February 3, 1998

Opinion regarding the Governor’s authority to declare a vacancy on Horry County Council should a member of that council be convicted of a violation of S.C. Code Ann. Section 12-54-40(b)(6)(c).

Requested by: L. Hunter Limbaugh, Esquire

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February 2, 1998

Opinion concerning whether The Citadel may implement a smoke-free building policy.

Requested by: Colonel D.M. Tomasik, USA, Retired, Vice President for Facilities and Engineering, The Citadel

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January 30, 1998

Opinion stating that “questions have been raised as to the legality of [officers who fail]…to witness violations of the County Ordinance asking the complaining parties to give statements along with photographs or videos to obtain a warrant in connection with the said violation.”

Requested by: Calvin King, Greenville County Animal Control

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January 30, 1998

Opinion “regarding the tax exempt status of the various chambers of commerce throughout the state; specifically whether they are exempt from ad valorem taxation.”

Requested by: Ladson F. Howell, Esquire

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January 29, 1998

Opinion asking whether a dual office holding situation exists if a part-time magistrate simultaneously serves as a member of the Pee Dee Tourism Commission.

Requested by: The Honorable Maggie W. Glover, Senator, District No. 30

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January 27, 1998

Opinion asking whether a ten-year old may enter into a legally binding verbal or written contract without the approval of the ten-year old’s parent, guardian, trustee or executer of an estate and if there is a particular age at which a minor’s contract becomes legally binding.

Requested by: James A. Preacher, Jr., Chief of Police, Norway Police Department

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January 27, 1998

Opinion asking as to whether indecent exposure is a crime of moral turpitude.

Requested by: Adelaide D. Kline, Esquire

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January 23, 1998

Opinion asking whether the Colleton County School District may call for a school bond referendum without the consent of County Council.

Requested by: Paul N. Siegel, Esquire

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January 21, 1998

Opinion seeking as to whether “Greenville County Council [can] … by ordinance, return the operation, management, and control of the Greenville County Jail back to me [as Sheriff]?”

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

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January 20, 1998

Opinion “regarding municipal police jurisdiction in parking lots that are open to public traffic within the city limits.”

Requested by: Sergeant Mark Mims, Police Department, City of Florence

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January 19, 1998

Opinion regarding certain roadways, a portion of which are in the Florence City limits.

Requested by: Sergeant Mark Mims, Police Department, City of Florence

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January 19, 1998

Opinion concerning police jurisdiction between two municipalities.

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

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January 15, 1998

Opinion noting that the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office “has a subject that has applied for a reserve officer.” Also, the opinion addresses what the requirements are for this officer to become a reserve officer with your department.

Requested by: The Honorable Sidney L. DuPree, Sheriff, Hampton County

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January 14, 1998

Opinion asking whether “any state law provide[s] for an individual to legally own a wild animal (in this case, a cougar) as a pet or in any other case?”

Requested by: Jimmy Jones, Director, Kershaw County Detention Center/ Special Services/Vector

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January 13, 1998

Opinion questioning if there would be any prohibition to one candidate being the nominee of two parties both holding conventions, as opposed to primaries, to nominate candidates.

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

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January 13, 1998

Opinion referencing “an abandoned vehicle which was left on airport property by a former tenant.”

Requested by: Randy M. Blackmon, Chief of Police, Columbia Metropolitan Airport

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January 13, 1998

Opinion on 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, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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January 8, 1998

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 50-17-250.

Requested by: Buford S. Mabry, Jr., Chief Counsel, SC Department of Natural Resources

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January 7, 1998

Opinion informing that Mr. Edwin Sanders has attempted to obtain a copy of Budget and Control Board Report #2 relating to the New Ellenton Sewer System through the Freedom of Information Act (hereinafter “FOIA”).

Requested by: The Honorable T. Scott Beck, Member, House of Representatives

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January 6, 1998

Opinion asking whether there would be a conflict of interest and/or violations of the State Ethics Act if you were to simultaneously serve in two positions.

Requested by: Peter P. Nomikos, Code Enforcement Administrator, County of Greenville

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January 6, 1998

Opinion regarding election issues.

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

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January 6, 1998

Opinion referencing a murder investigation.

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

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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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