2007 Opinions

December 20, 2007

Opinion regarding the interpretation of proviso 50.9 passed by the General Assembly during the last legislative session. “Can the Pharmacy Board be compelled to issue pharmacy technician certification to applicants that meet the intent of the Proviso?”.

Requested by: The Honorable Gilda Cobb-Hunter and The Honorable Vincent Sheheen

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December 20, 2007

Opinion questioning whether Spartanburg County animal control officers are authorized to issue a county summons to charge a violator for a violation of State law.

Requested by: Don H. Arnold, Director, Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Department

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December 20, 2007

Opinion regarding mentally ill individuals that have been “committed but not admitted”, meaning individuals who have been certified by a licensed physician to be in need of mental health treatment but who cannot be immediately transported and placed in a State mental health facility due to shortage of available beds.

Requested by: Honorable Branna W. Williams, Judge of Probate, Barnwell County

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December 18, 2007

Opinion regarding statute section 17-22-110 and the appropriateness of a solicitor turning away a defendant and preventing them from applying to the PTI program until the both the application fee and participation fee are paid.

Requested by: The Honorable C. Ryan Johnson, Magistrate Greenwood County

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December 17, 2007

Opinion concerning whether a technology center employee may serve on the board of trustees for a school district that governs the technology center.

Requested by: Kenneth E. Darr, Jr., Esquire

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December 17, 2007

Opinion concerning the Gaffney Board of Public Works, regarding the authority and responsibilities of this entity.

Requested by: The Honorable Dennis Carroll Moss, Member, House of Representatives

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December 13, 2007

Opinion referencing S.C. Code section 23-11-110, establishing the qualifications for sheriff and the definition of the term “certified law enforcement officer”.

Requested by: The Honorable Dennis Moss, Member, House of Representatives

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December 13, 2007

Opinion concerning custodial right to public documents in Chester County when the county does not have an office of mesne conveyances.

Requested by: Joan Elizabeth Winters, Esquire

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December 12, 2007

Opinion relating to a local jail’s responsibility related to the surrender of a defendant into its custody by a bail bondsman and S.C. Code section 38-53-50.

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

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December 12, 2007

Opinion on dual office holding (serves on the Mental Health Commission and be a member for Berkeley County School Board District No. 3). Requested by Ms. Joan Moore, Goose Creek. Read full opinion.

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December 6, 2007

Opinion on proposed cooperative agreement between the State and local applicants who request funding under the Public Assistance (PA) program or Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

Requested by: Ronald C. Osborne, Emergency Management, Director

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December 5, 2007

Opinion concerning the legality of a Town of Summerville sign ordinance. Specifically “Can the Town enforce the sign ordinance for those signs placed in our corporate boundaries, but within county or state rights-of-way?”

Requested by: Dennis Pieper, Summerville Town Administrator

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December 3, 2007

Review of opinion dated October 9, 2007 which dealt with S.C. Code annotated section 56-5-1538. Whether such provisions apply to a traffic stop with only law enforcement vehicles present and no emergency crews or vehicles present.

Requested by: The Honorable G. T. Ferguson, Magistrate, Abbeville County

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December 3, 2007

Opinion concerning part of the Charter Schools Act of 1996, under section 59-40-70, an applicant who wishes to form a charter school must comply with provisions of sections 59-40-50 and 59-40-60 for a local district board of trustees to approve the application.

Requested by: The Honorable Mark Sanford, Governor of the State of South Carolina

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December 3, 2007

Opinion on the Charter Schools Act of 1996. Requested by The Honorable Mark Sanford, Governor, South Carolina. Read full opinion.  

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November 30, 2007

Opinion regarding the home rule act, once a municipality enacts one form of government, i.e. section 5-11-20, specifically the Council form of government can a later council by ordinance give the Mayor the strong Mayor powers of section 5-9-20, et seq.

Requested by: The Honorable Bill Herbkersman, Member, House of Representatives

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November 30, 2007

Opinion referencing proposed legislation, S480, which would allow inmates to be given good conduct credit by donating human organs or bone marrow and current legislation which allows the Department of Corrections director to approve good conduct credit based on meritorious or humanitarian act.

Requested by: The Honorable Ralph Anderson, Senator, District No. 7

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November 27, 2007

Opinion concerning the enabling legislation establishing the Greenville Hospital Board of Trustees.

Requested by: The Honorable Mike Fair, SC Senate

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November 27, 2007

Opinion concerning whether a member of the City of Mauldin Planning Commission (the “Planning Commission”) may also serve on the Mauldin Cultural Center Board (the “Board”).

Requested by: Mr. Raymond C. Eubanks, III, City Administrator City of Mauldin

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November 27, 2007

Opinion concerning the interpretation of section 56-3-120 of the South Carolina Code, which provides exemptions for licensing and registration for certain motor vehicles. Specifically what is meant by use of the term “incidentally” as used in subsection (2) of this provision.

Requested by: The Honorable Jimmy C. Bales, Member, House of Representatives

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November 27, 2007

Opinion concerning the interpretation of the term, “school operating millage”, as used in sections 12-37-251 and 11-11-156 of the South Carolina Code.

Requested by: The Honorable James G. Fickling, Barnwell County Auditor

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November 27, 2007

Opinion on knowing if there is “any portion of the South Carolina law that prohibits a person with a doctoral degree who is not a physician from describing themselves as being a doctor in a healthcare setting? Assuming the person does not further clarify that they are not a physician rendering medical services to the patient.”

Requested by: The Honorable Kristopher R. Crawford, M.D., Member, House of Representatives

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November 16, 2007

Opinion questioning the propriety of law enforcement officers not associated with the State Department of Public Safety accepting a cash bond in lieu of immediately taking a person charged with a traffic offense before a judicial officer.

Requested by: The Honorable Isaac McDuffie Stone, III, Solicitor, Fourteenth Judicial Circuit

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November 14, 2007

Opinion on whether the Election Commission is required to provide social security numbers on lists of potential jurors.

Requested by: Marci Andino, Executive Director, South Carolina Election Commission

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November 9, 2007

Opinion on the interpretation of Act 602 of 1992 concerning the determination of the annual budget and tax millage for the School District of Greenville County (“the District”).

Requested by: The Honorable Mike Fair, SC Senate

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November 7, 2007

Opinion concerning South the Carolina Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). Specifically, a reporter asking to review a settlement agreement.

Requested by: Fred Washington, Chairman, Beaufort County Board of Education

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November 6, 2007

Opinion concerning the safety of the State’s hazardous waste facility located in Barnwell. And whether the public’s right of access to available information concerning the facility’s operation and safety has been fully protected.

Requested by: Carlisle Roberts, Jr., Esquire, DHEC

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October 31, 2007

Opinion “concerning payment of filing fees for the office of the President of the United States from the State Republican Party to the South Carolina Election Commission.”

Requested by: The Honorable Nikki Randhawa Haley, Member, House of Representatives

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October 26, 2007

Opinion questioning whether grant funds (e.g. from the State or Federal government) that are provided to counties or sheriff’s departments for the purpose of hiring new or special deputies, for example, considered a part of a sheriff’s budget, and when receiving grant funding is the county required to pick up where the grant ended.

Requested by: Bradley T. Farrar, Esquire

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October 24, 2007

Opinion questioning whether S.C. Code Ann. Section 50-3-310, amended in 1998, supersedes grievance rights for state employees.

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

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October 24, 2007

Opinion concerning South Carolina sales tax on unprepared food and whether a food item purchased from a vending machine is subject to sales tax in South Carolina.

Requested by: The Honorable John M. Knotts, Jr., Member, SC Senate

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October 22, 2007

Opinion concerning the South Carolina Local Government Planning Enabling Act of 1994 and “whether a comprehensive plan and amendments to a comprehensive plan require affirmative recommendation by the jurisdiction’s planning commission before adoption”.

Requested by: Stephen G. Brock, Chairman, Mt. Pleasant Planning Commission

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October 22, 2007

Opinion regarding the continued applicability of an opinion issued in 1989 to Senator Isadore Lourie on the county election commission firing and hiring its employees.

Requested by: The Honorable David R. Hiott, Member, House of Representatives

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October 22, 2007

Opinion questioning whether the Allendale County Ordinance, imposing a fire and rescue protection fee on all real estate property in the county, conflicts with state statutes that govern the Forestry Commission.

Requested by: Bob Schowalter, State Forester, South Carolina Forestry Commission Senate

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October 22, 2007

Opinion as to whether an employee of a Soil and Water Conservation District could serve on the Conservation District Board as a District Commissioner at the same time.

Requested by: John E. Frampton, Director, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

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October 22, 2007

Opinion regarding whether certain matters before the Greenville Technical College Area Commission must be discussed in an open session of the Commission’s meeting or whether they may be discussed in an executive session.

Requested by: Charles J. Boykin, Esquire

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October 22, 2007

Opinion concerning a member of the Dillon County Council’s ability to serve as the E-911 Director for Dillon County.

Requested by: W. Clay Young, County Administrator, Dillon County

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October 19, 2007

Opinion regarding the constitutionality and application of Act 189 of 2005.

Requested by: The Honorable Chip Campsen, Member, SC Senate

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October 17, 2007

Opinion pertaining to the election of officers to the Fairfield County School Board regarding the terms of office for the Board’s Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary.

Requested by: Charles J. Boykin, Esquire

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October 11, 2007

Opinion concerning implementation of pay increases for the Town’s council and mayor.

Requested by: John B. Williams, Esquire

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October 11, 2007

Opinion concerning the attachment of a death certificate to a deed.

Requested by: Peggy Westmoreland, Interim Register of Deeds, Oconee County

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October 9, 2007

Opinion questioning whether the provisions of S.C. Code Ann. 56-5-1538 applies to a traffic stop with only law enforcement vehicles present and no emergency crews or vehicles present.

Requested by: The Honorable G. T. Ferguson, Magistrate, Abbeville County

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October 9, 2007

Opinion questioning the propriety of proceeding under Section 59-103-200, dealing with the Commission on Higher Education, rather than Title 60 where the Archives legislation is set forth.

Requested by: Rodger E. Stroup, Ph.D., Director, South Carolina Department of Archives & History

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October 8, 2007

Opinion concerning the interpretation of Section 59-21-420 of the South Carolina Code. Specifically, the applicability of any funds secured by a waiver granted by the South Carolina State Board of Education to the routine maintenance of grounds or facilities as opposed to the ‘renovation, capital improvement, or repair of school classrooms, libraries, laboratories, and other institutional facilities, including music rooms’ or the creation of additional classroom space.

Requested by: The Honorable Kevin L. Bryant, Member, SC Senate

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October 3, 2007

Opinion questioning whether the Department of Motor Vehicles has the authority to revoke a license based upon the Transportation Security Administration’s findings of a match between a commercial drivers license holder and names on the terrorist watch list or an illegal immigrant status.

Requested by: Frank L. Valenta, Jr., Esquire

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October 2, 2007

Opinion as to whether a conflict of interest would arise if a police chief or a police officer were to serve as clerk of court for a municipal court.

Requested by: M. Scott Wilson, Acting Chief of Police, Prosperity Police Department

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September 27, 2007

Opinion questioning if an expunged record remains on the website of the police department, does it become an official record that should expunged.

Requested by: Donald Wilcox, Chief of Police, City of Hanahan Poice Department

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September 27, 2007

Opinion concerning non-refundable “processing fees” being charged by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Department even if the charges are dropped or the person is found innocent.

Requested by: The Honorable Randy Scott, Member, SC Senate

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September 21, 2007

Opinion as to whether a particular individual is eligible to serve on the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s Commission.

Requested by: The Honorable William H. O’Dell, Member, SC Senate

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September 21, 2007

Opinion questioning, who can legally make a pronouncement of death.

Requested by: The Honorable Lloyd B. Ward, President, South Carolina Coroners’ Association

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September 21, 2007

Opinion questioning whether a promotional program sponsored by WeSave Inc. would constitute a lottery under State law or would it be barred by any other State statute.

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

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September 19, 2007

Opinion addressing “whether or not Colleton County, by way of the 1993 ordinance, has the authority to keep possession/ownership of the buildings and/or equipment used by those few stations where no new lease or purchase arrangements have been made as to that property”.

Requested by: Sean P. Thornton, Esquire

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September 18, 2007

Opinion regarding the use of juvenile adjudication information that is lawfully collected by SLED.

Requested by: Major Mark A. Keel, Chief of Staff, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

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September 17, 2007

Opinion as to whether allowing business owners in the corporate limits of Blackburg to post flags with the business name and address on them on lamp posts on the sidewalk constitutes as a violation of S.C. Code Ann. section 57-25-10.

Requested by: Lieutenant Z. B. Starnes, Blackburg Police Department

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September 17, 2007

Opinion as to whether advertising may be placed on bus stop benches at marked bus stops located within the public right of way.

Requested by: Pat G. Smith, Chairman, Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority

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September 14, 2007

Opinion as to whether the Town of Edisto Beach Council have authority to adopt an ordinance prohibiting the Board of Zoning Appeals from granting variance from a height limitation of structures with the Town of Edisto Beach contained in the zoning ordinance.

Requested by: Marvin C. Jones, Esquire

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September 13, 2007

Opinion as to whether serving as Town Administrator and serving on the Town of Summerville Planning Commission violates the dual office holding provisions of the South Carolina Constitution.

Requested by: John B. Williams, Esquire

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September 13, 2007

Opinion concerning the actions of a particular council member.

Requested by: The Honorable Phillip E. Clardy, Mayor, Town of Williamston

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September 11, 2007

Opinion concerning the garnishment of wages of Town employees in the Town of Pendleton.

Requested by: Mary C. McCormac, Esquire

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September 10, 2007

Opinion questioning what constitutes “files” in a criminal case pursuant to Section 17-1-40 and whether documents contained in an individual’s certification file must be destroyed pursuant to Section 17-1-40 and, in particular, the 2004 expungement order.

Requested by: William R. Neill, Director, South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy

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September 7, 2007

Opinion questioning the constitutionality of proposed ordinance 07-647, targeting a particular breed of dog as dangerous and the constitutionality targeting the number of animals a citizen can own if they are deemed dangerous.

Requested by: The Honorable Eugene Baten, Vice Chairman, Sumter County Council

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September 5, 2007

Follow-up to a July 6, 2007 opinion. “You are particularly concerned with our response to a second question concerning the use of weighed voting by the Senate in passing the House Bill 3782.

Requested by: The Honorable Larry A. Martin, Member, SC Senate

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August 28, 2007

Opinion questioning whether the individual designated as the Chief Deputy Clerk of Court in Lexington holds an office for dual office holding purposes and if the Chief Deputy Clerk of Court is a ‘statutory deputy’ as set forth in S.C. Code section 14-17-60.

Requested by: Jeff M. Anderson, Esquire

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August 27, 2007

Opinion questioning the possible penalty that could be imposed against an individual if that individual provides incorrect information, such as name, in association with an application for a marriage license.

Requested by: The Honorable David L. Thomas, Member, SC Senate

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August 22, 2007

Opinion as to whether provisions of Act No. 82 of 2007 (S.141), the Criminal Gang Prevention Act, to be codified as Section 16-11-770, are applicable to individuals incarcerated by the State Department of Corrections or who are in the custody of the State Department of Juvenile Justice. Specifically, whether graffiti on the inside of a prison or juvenile detention hall is “publicly viewable”. Requested by: The Honorable John L. Scott, Jr., Member, House of Representatives Read full opinion

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August 16, 2007

Opinion questioning the authority of a county to enact an ordinance relating to the offense of resisting arrest which would be within the jurisdiction of a magistrate.

Requested by: Thomas E. Lynn, Esquire

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August 16, 2007

Opinion concerning whether those elected to fill vacancies created on the South Carolina Department of Transportation Commission “are eligible for election to full four-year terms at the expiration of their current partial terms.”

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

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August 16, 2007

Opinion on several issues concerning municipal incorporations.

Requested by: The Honorable William F. Cotty, Member, House of Representatives

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August 15, 2007

Opinion as to whether there is a way council members can exempt the $25.00 road maintenance fee collected on all vehicles in the county for persons 69 and older by adding this group to the exclusions [listed in the ordinance].

Requested by: The Honorable Sharon H. West, Auditor, Spartanburg County

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August 14, 2007

Opinion concerning the governance of the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission and the Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Registration.

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, President Pro Tempore, SC Senate

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August 8, 2007

Opinion as to whether the State Board of Education alone is responsible for the promulgation of academic standards in compliance with Section 59-29-230(C) for the courses on the Old Testament authorized by Section 59-29-230 or does Section 59-29-230(D) require the Education Oversight Committee to participate in the process.

Requested by: The Honorable Larry K. Grooms, Member, SC Senate

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August 3, 2007

Opinion referencing recent legislation, Act No. 82 of 2007, which amends S.C. Code Annotated section 17-1-40 and fees associated with the expungement process.

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

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August 3, 2007

Follow-up opinion to a July 18, 2007 opinion regarding whether an individual can vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary and vote Republican in the general election. The new question is whether an individual may vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary and also vote in the Republican Primary for local and state offices.

Requested by: The Honorable Randy Scott, Member, SC Senate

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August 1, 2007

Opinion interpreting section 59-21-420(b) of the South Carolina Code. Specifically, “must the State Board of Education actually hear an appeal, or is the statute satisfied merely by the submission of the request by a school district?”.

Requested by: The Honorable Kevin L. Bryant, Member, SC Senate

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July 31, 2007

Opinion questioning whether a chief of police is authorized to enter a nol pros on municipal court level tickets issued by officers within his department.

Requested by: Eric G. Fosmire, Esquire

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July 30, 2007

Opinion concerning an individual holding the positions of deputy sheriff and deputy treasurer and if this violates dual office holding provisions of the South Carolina Constitution.

Requested by: The Honorable P. J. Tanner, Sheriff, Beaufort County

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July 26, 2007

Opinion questioning the legality of several budgeting issues within the School District of Fairfield County.

Requested by: Charles J. Boykin, Esquire

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July 24, 2007

Opinion on Section 1-11-730(F) (eligibility for state insurance plans). Requested by The Honorable J. Yancey McGill, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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July 18, 2007

Opinion asking “if an individual votes in the presidential primaries as a Democrat, can the same individual vote Republican in the general election?”

Requested by: The Honorable Randy Scott, Member, House of Representatives

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July 17, 2007

Opinion on the legality of a West Union town council “emergency meeting” held at 1:30 p.m. when a scheduled special meeting had already been posted for 2:00 p.m.

Requested by: Cecilia Atkins, Clerk/Treasurer, Town of West Union

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July 13, 2007

Opinion concerning the impact of the Abandoned Manufactured Home Removal Act on existing laws.

Requested by: Daniel L. Draisen, Esquire

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July 12, 2007

Opinion on the Abandoned Manufactured Home Removal Act. Requested by Daniel L. Draisen, Esquire, Attorney for the Town of Pendleton. Read full opinion.  

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July 12, 2007

Opinion concerning the Board of Visitors allowing emeritus members to vote in committee meetings and standing committee meetings but not allowing them to vote on appeals or in meetings of the full Board.

Requested by: Mark C. Brandenburg, General Counsel, The Citadel

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July 11, 2007

Opinion concerning a homeowners’ association’s ability to impose a transfer fee on the purchasers of homes located in the area covered by the homeowners’ association.

Requested by: The Honorable Chip Huggins, Member, House of Representatives

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July 11, 2007

Opinion on the impact of amendments to section 6-1-320(B) of the South Carolina Code due to the passage of the Property Tax Reform Act in 2006 on section 59-21-1030 of the South Carolina Code.

Requested by: The Honorable Raymond E. Cleary, III, Member, SC Senate

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July 6, 2007

Opinion concerning the legality of tearing down and disposing of debris from lots or buildings owned by a private citizen.

Requested by: Donald R. Bryant, Director, Marion County Public Works

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July 6, 2007

Opinion concerning House Bill 3782. Specifically, parts of this bill which may be considered unconstitutional.

Requested by: The Honorable B. R. Skelton, Member, House of Representatives

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July 3, 2007

Opinion as to whether golf carts and four wheelers (ATVs) are exempt from Department of Motor Vehicle registration if owned by a municipality.

Requested by: B. V. Strickland, Commander of Operations, North Myrtle Beach Dept. of Public Safety

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June 27, 2007

Opinion regarding the variations in the matter in which child and spousal support orders are indexed in the offices of the clerks of court in this State.

Requested by: Cody Lidge, Family Court Representative

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June 26, 2007

Opinion as to “whether an increase in the millage rate imposed for fire service areas set forth by the Spartanburg County Annual Budget Ordinance is limited by the provisions of section 6-1-320, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976 as amended.”

Requested by: Edwin C. Haskell, III, Esquire

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June 24, 2007

Opinion interpreting section 1-11-730(F). Specifically, the eligibility, of a full time teacher with five years of service and 28 years credit in the retirement system and has now returned full time and insured again for one year, for state insurance plans with full state contribution.

Requested by: The Honorable J. Yancey McGill, Member, SC Senate

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June 22, 2007

Opinion regarding section 7-13-1620(A) as to whether the Commission may approve a voting system for use in South Carolina.

Requested by: Marci Andino, Executive Director, South Carolina Election Commission

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June 20, 2007

Opinion concerning section 4-9-150 of the South Carolina Code. Specifically, “should the Comptroller General’s Office continue to direct Department of Revenue to withhold payments of Tax Relief Trust Funds if counties are delinquent in filing their audited financial statements since 4-9-150, which refers to ‘funds distributed by the Comptroller General,’ was not amended by the General Assembly in 2006 to accurately refer to funds distributed by the Department of Renvue?”

Requested by: The Honorable Richard Eckstrom, Comptroller General

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June 20, 2007

Opinion “regarding the limits on the ability of a local municipality to use condemnation authority to acquire private property for redevelopment.”

Requested by: The Honorable Danny Verdin, Member, SC Senate

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June 14, 2007

Opinion as to whether “serving on the Gilbert-Summit Rural Water District’s Board as a Director and serving as a member of the South Carolina Environmental Certification Board contravene the dual office holding prohibition of the South Carolina Constitution.”

Requested by: John J. Fantry, Jr., Esquire

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June 14, 2007

Follow-up opinion to an opinion dated April 5, 2007 regarding whether a member of the Glassy Mountain Fire Service Area’s (“GMFSA’s”) Commission Board may serve as a volunteer firefighter for GMFSA.

Requested by: Bryan G. Riebe, Chief, Glassy Mountain Fire Service Area

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June 13, 2007

Opinion regarding the “local maintenance of effort” requirements of Section 59-21-1030.

Requested by: Charles J. Boykin, Esquire

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June 11, 2007

Opinion “concerning a possible conflict of Charleston County’s Zoning and Land Development Regulations and the South Carolina Forest Management Protection Act, Section 50 Chapter 2 of the 1976 Code of Laws.”

Requested by: Bob Schowalter, State Forester, South Carolina Forestry Commission

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June 7, 2007

Opinion concerning the solicitation of prostitution based on the wording of advertisements for escort services in the yellow pages of the telephone book.

Requested by: The Honorable Catherine C. Ceips, Member, House of Representatives

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June 6, 2007

Opinion clarifying as to “whether county councils are precluded from only appointing members to the governing board of a special purpose district, or precluded from both appointing and recommending members.”

Requested by: Sarah Forbes-Jones, Esquire

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June 4, 2007

Opinion as to whether off-duty police officers and reserve officers are allowed to carry concealed weapons on school property.

Requested by: Kristopher R. Crawford, Member, House of Representatives

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June 1, 2007

Opinion concerning the eligibility of Town employees to serve as poll workers for municipal elections.

Requested by: R. Allen Young, Esquire

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June 1, 2007

Opinion concerning a change in election dates and if this violates section 5-7-170 of the Southe Carolina Code.

Requested by: R. Allen Young, Esquire

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May 23, 2007

Opinion as to the disclosure of complaints against veterinarians, specifically, when complaints should be made public.

Requested by: The Honorable Lawrence K. Grooms, Member, SC Senate

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May 22, 2007

Opinion regarding real estate agents using a prefabricated contract for the sale of real property that is later filled in by a licensed attorney constitutes as unauthorized practice of law.

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

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May 21, 2007

Opinion concerning a recent ordinance passed by the City Council for the City of Woodruff. Primary concern is with the requirement that members of the Planning Commission must be both residents of the City of Woodruff and own land in the City.

Requested by: Suni McMath, Chair, Steven Teague, Vice Chair, David Thomas, Secretary, Brad Burnett, City of Woodruff Planning and Zoning Commission

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May 18, 2007

Opinion concerning the requirements for the certification of election results.

Requested by: Marci Andino, Executive Director, South Carolina Election Commission

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May 18, 2007

Opinion regarding autopsies and “when, under South Carolina law, may a coroner or other official order that an autopsy be performed in cases where one is not required to be performed (i.e., do certain officials have discretionary authority to order the performance of an autopsy, and if so, under what circumstance)?”

Requested by: Larry C. Smith, The Honorable John M. Knotts, Jr., Member, SC Senate

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May 16, 2007

Opinion regarding the question of whether a municipal lawenforcement officer is authorized to routinely require a driver to provide his or her social security number upon being stopped for a traffic offense.

Requested by: The Honorable John M. Knotts, Jr., Member, SC Senate

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May 16, 2007

Opinion regarding Teal’s Mill Rural Volunteer Fire Department’s ability to charge a fee to homeowners or their insurance companies for responding to a fire.

Requested by: R. P. Presson, Chief, Teal’s Mill V.F.D.

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May 14, 2007

Opinion regarding the necessity of court approval prior to any sale by the Department of Mental Health of a certain piece of property, consisting of “approximately five (5) acres of land across the street from the Bull Street property, on the east side of Colonial Drive.”

Requested by: Mark W. Binkley, Esquire

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May 9, 2007

Opinion concerning the school resource officer making an arrest at a school he is assigned to outside of his regular city jurisdictional limits.

Requested by: Ivan Randolph, Ph.D., Superintendent, Abbeville County School District

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May 9, 2007

Opinion concerning dual office holding involving a member of the Spartanburg Planning Commission being appointed to the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education.

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

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May 9, 2007

Opinion as to whether a municipal law enforcement officer may require a driver to provide his or her social security number upon being stopped for a traffic offense.

Requested by: The Honorable John M. Knotts, Jr., Member, SC Senate

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May 4, 2007

Opinion concerning the new “no smoking” ordinance on Hilton Head Island and whether the sheriff’s department can enforce an ordinance that only has a civil penalty.

Requested by: The Honorable P. J. Tanner, Sheriff, Beaufort County

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May 4, 2007

Opinion regarding dual office holding involving serving on the Citadel Board of Directors and being appointed as the Executive Director of SCDOT.

Requested by: Linda C. McDonald, Chief Council, South Carolina Department of Transportation

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May 2, 2007

Opinion concerning a proposed resolution submitted to the Medical University of South Carolina’s (“MUSC’s”) Board of Trustees by MUSC’s Student Government Association for the Board’s consideration.

Requested by: Joseph C. Goode, Jr., Esquire

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May 2, 2007

Opinion concerning the recent hire of a principal by the Board of Trustees for the Charleston County School District.

Requested by: Marvin B. Stewart, Chairman, Charleston County Constituent School Board District 20

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May 2, 2007

Opinion concerning the legality of an individual hired full-time by the St. Andrews Fire Department subsequently obtained full-time employment as a firefighter with another fire department within another jurisdiction in South Carolina.

Requested by: Mark Schrade, Fire Chief, St. Andrews P.S.D. Fire Department?

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May 2, 2007

Opinion whether the Chairman of the Springdale Planning Commission may serve on the Lexington Medical Center Board of Directors. Specifically, whether service in both positions “would violate the dual office holding provision contained in the South Carolina Constitution.”

Requested by: R. Benjamin Baxley, Town Administrator, Town of Springdale

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May 1, 2007

Opinion regarding the possibility of decriminalizing a proposed smoking ban offense in Mount Pleasant municipal court.

Requested by: R. Allen Young, Esquire

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April 24, 2007

Opinion requesting clarification on the impact of the Property Tax Reform Act, passed by the Legislature in 2006, on annual allocations provided to school districts under the Education Finance Act of 1977 (the “EFA”).

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, President Pro Tempore, SC Senate

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April 23, 2007

Opinion concerning a promoted charity event being advertised as a Texas hold’em tournament and “poker challenge” but no alcohol will be served, no cash or prizes given out, and admission is a suggested donation to charity but is not required for admission.

Requested by: The Honorable Wallace B. Scarborough, Member, House of Representatives

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April 23, 2007

Opinion questioning whether S.C. Code Ann. 40-18-20, 40-18-30 and 40-18-70 require an individual or company now selling their services in South Carolina as “computer forensics” experts top secure licenses as private investigators.

Requested by: Major Mark A. Keel, Chief of Staff, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

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April 23, 2007

Opinion inquiring if an individual is arrested on a Friday evening after normal working hours can the municipal judge on weekend duty handle the matter and allow the defendant to pay the fine and be released or must the defendant wait until he can be brought before a judge that actually imposed the sentence. And if the sentencing judge is unavailable for reasons such as vacation, illness, or on personal leave, must the defendant also wait until the sentencing judge returns in order to be brought back before the sentencing judge.

Requested by: The Honorable B. Lee Miller, Municipal Court Judge

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April 20, 2007

Opinion concerning an individual not under contract or a state employee, participating in the South Carolina Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive Program (“TERI”) and if employment ends on the TERI termination date.

Requested by: Eugene R. Baten, Executive Director, Sumter County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse

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April 11, 2007

Opinion concerning who is responsible for returned checks from the bank, the Register of Deeds or the county treasurer’s office.

Requested by: The Honorable Timothy L. Nanney, Register of Deeds, County of Greenville

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April 10, 2007

Opinion concerning “whether the Department of Mental Health (DMH) may spend funds appropriated to it by the General Assembly to market the Bull Street property?”

Requested by: Mark W. Binkley, Esquire

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April 5, 2007

Opinion as to whether one’s service as a state legislator prohibits an individual from acting as a landlord to tenants seeking section 8 housing assistance.

Requested by: The Honorable Ted Martin Vick, Member, House of Representatives

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April 5, 2007

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, whether the dual office holding prohibition contained in the South Carolina Constitution prohibits an individual “who serves as a fire department commissioner, from serving as a volunteer firefighter with the same entity?”

Requested by: Bryan G. Riebe, Chief, Glassy Mountain Fire Service Area

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April 3, 2007

Opinion on the validity of an individual employed with a State or Government Agency, he/she could not be nominated to fill a position on the SC Board of Funeral Service.

Requested by: Eddie Nelson

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March 30, 2007

Opinion inquiring as to the Commission on Higher Education’s (“CHE’s”) ability to release student-level data under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).

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

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March 28, 2007

Opinion concerning dual office holding and conflicts of interest. A Cayce citizen serves as an appointed member of the City of Cayce Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee and as an appointed member of the Lexington County Recreation Commission.

Requested by: John C. Sharpe, City Manager, City of Cayce

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March 28, 2007

Follow-up opinion to a February 28, 2007 opinion regarding First Steps to School Readiness Initiatives’ ability to gather information about individuals benefiting from First Steps’ programs. Specifically provisions of the federal Privacy Act, which could prohibit First Steps’ from requiring its program participants to give their social security numbers in order to participate in First Steps’ programs.

Requested by: Dan Wouri, South Carolina Readiness Officer, First Steps?

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March 28, 2007

Opinion as to “whether a legislative delegation may appoint a registered lobbyist to serve as a member of a county transportation committee.”

Requested by: The Honorable Lewis R. Vaughn, Member, South Carolina Senate

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March 28, 2007

Opinion as to whether a person who owns property in Union County, registered on the State’s sex offense registry, is required to re-register in Union County inasmuch as he received a pardon for his conviction.

Requested by: Robert M. Stewart, Chief, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

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March 28, 2007

Opinion as to the effect of the Cannon v. South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services on the State’s DNA Identification Record Database Act, S.C. Code Ann. 23-3-600, as to paroled offenders.

Requested by: Major Mark A. Keel, Chief of Staff, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

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March 28, 2007

Opinion as to whether a municipal judge can go to the location to conduct a bond hearing or must the warrant be sent to the county where the defendant is located for a magistrate to conduct the bond hearing.

Requested by: The Honorable B. Lee Miller, Municipal Court Judge

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March 28, 2007

Opinion regarding bond hearings. Specifically how soon must a bond hearing be held after a defendant has been arrested.

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

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March 28, 2007

Opinion on the validity of the selection of the SC Department of Transportation Commissioner in light of the requirements of 57-1-325 and other provisions of state law.

Requested by: The Honorable George E. Campsen, III, Member, South Carolina Senate

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March 20, 2007

Opinion as to the ability of the Town of Hilton Head Island to budget for and expend money for certain civic events and activities.

Requested by: Brian E. Hulbert, Esquire

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March 20, 2007

Opinion concerning the application of section 6-1-320 of the South Carolina Code to provide a means by which Sumter County may increase its millage rates.

Requested by: The Honorable Phil P. Leventis, Member, South Carolina Senate

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March 20, 2007

Opinion as to whether items such as napkins, forks, spoons, and straws are subject to sales tax when purchased from a wholesaler by a restaurant owner.

Requested by: The Honorable C. David Umphlett, Member, House of Representatives

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March 14, 2007

Opinion inquiring as to the ability of the Board’s members to attend meetings via telephone.

Requested by: Pat Hudson, Chairman, State Workplace Investment Board

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March 12, 2007

Opinion as to whether notice should be provided to attorneys representing crime victims of judicial proceedings involving their clients.

Requested by: The Honorable Mike Fair, Member, House of Representatives

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March 7, 2007

Opinion as to whether an individual convicted of failing to register as a sex offender pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. 23-3-470 may be provided “good time” credits during his imprisonment.

Requested by: Larry Cook, Dillon County Sheriff’s Office

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March 7, 2007

Opinion concerning the use of school buildings by political parties to hold precinct reorganization meetings.

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

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March 3, 2007

Opinion as to whether or not a magistrate for McCormick County should be paid the same cost of living increase which was given to the state employees last year.

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

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February 28, 2007

Opinion as to “whether there are legal prohibitions against First Steps’ requiring the provision of complete client data (first name, date of birth, gender, race, social security number and Medicaid number, if applicable) as a condition or receiving First Steps’ programming and can an underage parent legally consent to the use of his/her child’s data or there own.”

Requested by: Dan Wouri, South Carolina School Readiness Officer, SC First Steps

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February 28, 2007

Opinion as to whether you may hold a position on the Spartanburg School District Three School Board while remaining employed as an Industrial Relations Coordinator at Daniel Morgan Technology Center.

Requested by: Harvey A. Dailey

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February 26, 2007

Opinion “whether or not service and acceptance of an appointment to the Barnwell County Hospital Board of Trustees will create a dual office” if already a member of the Barnwell County City Council.

Requested by: Thomas M. Boulware, Esquire

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February 22, 2007

Opinion as to the legality of a proposed joint resolution. “Changing the date for a sales and use tax referendum held during the 2006 General Election from no later than November 30, 2006 to December 10, 2006”…”only applies to Beaufort County”.

Requested by: The Honorable Richard E. Chalk, Member, House of Representatives

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February 21, 2007

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. Section 57-1-330(A) (1976 as amended). Concerning the current procedure with respect to the election of commissioners of the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and how such election is affected by the federal constitutional requirement regarding “one person, one vote.”

Requested by: The Honorable Vida O. Miller, Member, House of Representatives

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February 16, 2007

Opinion regarding the statutory considerations with respect to weapons and ammunition at the college in association with the implementation of such a program as a certificate for gunsmithing. While weapons will not be discharged on college property they will be in various stages of assembly and in close proximity to ammunition.

Requested by: Rex Walters, Ph.D., President, Piedmont Technical College

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February 16, 2007

Opinion regarding the use of Eminent Domain in the Town of Mount Pleasant. “While Charleston County is certainly the holder of ½ cents sales tax monies, can they promulgate rules and procedures which were not specifically authorized in the referendum ballot question and/or which contradict existing law (Eminent Domain, Title 28 of the South Carolina Code of Laws).”

Requested by: R. Allen Young, Esquire

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February 16, 2007

Opinion as to the validity of Richland County Ordinance No. 091-06HR. The Ordinance increases Richland County fees for commercial vehicles, with a portion of the revenue designated for funding mass transit in Richland County.

Requested by: The Honorable Bill Cotty and Jimmy Bales, Members, House of Representatives

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February 16, 2007

Opinion regarding the recent removal of chairman of the Commission for the Blind and whether relevant state statutes or the Commission bylaws have precedence in certain situations.

Requested by: Mary Sonksen, VP, SC Board of Commissioners, SC Commission for the Blind

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February 15, 2007

Opinion questioning whether proposed legislation, S. 417, is in compliance with a provision of the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984, 42 U.S.C.A. Section 274(e).

Requested by: The Honorable Mike Fair, SC Senate

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February 12, 2007

Opinion questioning whether there is a conflict of interest to introduce legislation repealing local legislation that requires a unanimous vote to close a high school in Union County as an employee as a public information officer for the Union County School District.

Requested by: The Honorable Mike Anthony, Member, House of Representatives

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February 5, 2007

Opinion concerning the membership qualifications for the Rural Community Water District of Georgetown County.

Requested by: The Honorable Vida O. Miller, Member, House of Representatives

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February 5, 2007

Opinion regarding suspending or removing a West Columbia City Council member for being arrested and charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.

Requested by: The Honorable Bobby E. Horton, Mayor, City of West Columbia

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February 2, 2007

Opinion on the clarification of S.C. Code Ann. 43-25-10. Regarding being removed as chairman of the board of the State Commission for the Blind without cause.

Requested by: Montye M. DuBose, Member, State Commission for the Blind

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January 29, 2007

Opinion considering the constitutionality of section 5-31-620 of the South Carolina Code.

Requested by: Margaret C. Pope, Esquire

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January 29, 2007

Opinion reviewing Edgefield County’s (“the County”) implementation of a property tax reassessment.

Requested by: The Honorable Donald C. Smith, Member, House of Representatives

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January 29, 2007

Opinion regarding the Charleston County Park and Recreation District’s (the “District’s”) authority under its enabling legislation and its ability to construct and manage facilities that would provide services in the area of wellness, fitness, and/or senior services within communities in our jurisdictional area.

Requested by: Tom O’Rourke, Executive Director, Charleston County Park and Recreation District

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January 29, 2007

Opinion regarding whether serving as Commissioner on the South Carolina Forestry Commission (“the Commission”) and serving as a member of the Town of Summerville’s Zoning Board of Appeals would constitute as dual office holding.

Requested by: G.E. Muckenfuss

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January 29, 2007

Opinion concerning being “elected Mayor Pro Tem by the Latta Town Council following the suspension of Mayor Lanue Berry, and the resignation of Mayor Pro Tem Christy Berry”, and having authority to reappoint members to committees as acting Mayor for the Town of Latta.

Requested by: The Honorable Alexander J. Stoops, Jr., Mayor Pro Tem, Town of Latta

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January 29, 2007

Opinion regarding the “Released Time Credit Act” codified as S.C. Code Ann. 59-39-112.

Requested by: The Honorable Mike Fair, SC Senate

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January 26, 2007

Opinion concerning whether an interim high school principal is qualified to serve on the Regional Education Center Advisory Board in the position as a “high school principal” as set forth in S.C. Code Ann. 59-59-180.

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, Chairman, Charleston County Legislative Delegation

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January 26, 2007

Opinion concerning a charitable event being considered an illegal lottery in South Carolina.

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

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January 24, 2007

Opinion dealing with the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). And a FOIA request for the names of the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department’s (“the Department’s”) employees participating in the Teacher and Employee Retirement Incentive (“TERI”) program and the dates these employees began participating in the TERI program. Requested by: Eric S. Moore, Human Resource Director, SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department. Read full opinion.

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January 24, 2007

Opinion concerning the impact of the recent United States Supreme Court ruling in Granholm v. Heald, 544 U.S. 460 (2005) on South Carolina statutes. Primarily statutes 61-4-720 and 61-4-730 of the South Carolina Code, as amended.

Requested by: The Honorable Bill Cotty, Member, House of Representatives

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January 19, 2007

Opinion, “[a]bout 60% of our yearly budget comes from the City of Bennettsville. This is money given to us for general purposes and for a portion of the ED’s salary”, and if “this precludes [your] running for Mayor or a seat on City Council”.

Requested by: Ken Harmon, Executive Director, Bennettsville Downtown Development Association

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January 19, 2007

Opinion regarding the Beaufort County School District having thirteen schools operating under a year-round calendar that starts in mid-July and fifteen more that open on a traditional (mid-August) schedule and the legality of two calendars proposed for the 2007-2008 school year.

Requested by: Phillip J. McDaniel, Ed.D., Superintendent, Beaufort County School District

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January 17, 2007

Opinion regarding S.C. Supreme Court decision Sloan v. Hardee, et al. and S.C. Code section 57-1-320 prohibiting a SCDOT Commissioner from serving a consecutive term of office.

Requested by: The Honorable Tee Hooper, Chairman, S.C. Transportation Commission

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January 16, 2007

Opinion concerning the authorization of a constable appointed by the Governor interested in carrying a weapon to county council meetings.

Requested by: Brad Farrar, Esquire

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January 9, 2007

Opinion on recently enacted legislation establishing the South Carolina Child Development Education Pilot Program (“the Program”). Seeking guidance as to whether any state or federal law serve to limit religious content and/or expression with classrooms receiving state funding.

Requested by: Dan Wuori, South Carolina School Readiness Officer

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January 8, 2007

Opinion on whether the Barnwell County Council has authority to make budget reductions affecting offices of elected officials. Requested by The Honorable Keith Sloan, Vice Chairman, Barnwell County Council. Read full opinion.

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Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

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

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