2010 Opinions

December 21, 2010

Opinion questioning whether in circumstances where a law enforcement officer was terminated from the law enforcement agency where the officer was employed at the time of mandatory training and then was subsequently hired by another law enforcement agency within the two year period following successful completion of the mandatory training, is the subsequent hiring agency responsible for the reimbursement training costs pursuant to Section 23-213-120. Read full opinion Requested by: Charles Reece, Chief of Police, Simpsonville Police Department

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December 15, 2010

Opinion concerning the use of cell phones by inmates within the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) and SCDC’s access to information about the phone calls illegally made by the inmates. Read full opinion Requested by: Jon Ozmint, Director, SC Department of Corrections

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December 15, 2010

Opinion concerning the registration and taxation of motor vehicles operate in South Carolina but owned by a nonresident. Read full opinion Requested by: Cheryl H. Morgan, Auditor, Lancaster County Auditor

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December 7, 2010

Opinion reviewing prior opinion dated March 5, 2009 dealing with the regulation of concealed weapons in a county park. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Michael A. Pitts, Member, House of Representatives

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December 6, 2010

Opinion concerning the definition of the “unlawful use of a controlled substance” within the context of the regulations promulgated by the Department of Public Safety pertaining to the certification of law enforcement officers. Read full opinion Requested by: Hubert F. Harrell, Director, SC Criminal Justice Academy

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December 15, 2010

Opinion regarding Clemson University’s administration and/or Board of Trustees wants to phase out the Clemson Extension Service and, thereby, the Public Services Activities or (“PSA”). Specifically, whether Clemson University (hereinafter referred to as “Clemson”) could lose its land grant charter, including the benefits contained therein, and whether Clemson’s attempt to “move away from” the Extension Program violates the Smith-Lever Act. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Michael A. Pitts, Member, House of Representatives

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November 29, 2010

Opinion regarding former opinion written to Representative Tracy Edge on June 23, 2010. Read full opinion Requested by: Jennifer Root, M.D., President, South Carolina Society of Anesthesiologists

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November 23, 2010

Opinion regarding the payment of property taxes during the redemption period of property purchased during a tax sale. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Murrell Smith, Member, House of Representatives

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November 23, 2010

Opinion as to the validity of an ordinance enacted by the Town of Cheraw. Read full opinion Requested by: Michael D. Smith, Town Administrator, Town of Cheraw

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November 23, 2010

Opinion regarding the application of child support statutes across the state. Specifically, “the constitutionality of our state’s child support statutes not being applied consistently across our state agencies (in particular, our Family Court System and the Dept. of Social Services).” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Luke A. Rankin, Member, SC Senate

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November 23, 2010

Opinion concerning the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles’ queuing system. Specifically, whether it is permissible under the South Carolina Code of Laws of 1976 for the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SC DMV) to accept updated equipment and service “in exchange for the provider’s ability to run commercial advertisements on part of the television screen up to fifty percent of the time.” Read full opinion Requested by: Ms. Marcia S. Adams, Executive Director, SC Department of Motor Vehicles

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November 19, 2010

Opinion regarding whether a contest more clearly explained on the website www.contestforchange.com would constitute a lottery under South Carolina law. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Chip Campsen, Member, SC Senate

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November 18, 2010

Opinion concerning the mayor’s authority to contact an outside attorney at the city’s expense. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable John M. “Jake” Knotts, Jr., Member, SC Senate

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November 16, 2010

Opinion seeking guidance as to the Human Affairs Commission’s obligation to enforce its statutory duties where there has been no appropriations covering the costs of enforcement by the Commission. Specifically, questioning how to handle an “unfunded mandate” that your agency is expected to continue to enforce without the personnel or money to do so. Read full opinion Requested by: Ralph H. Haile, Legal Counsel, South Carolina Human Affairs Commission

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November 10, 2010

Opinion on the Preservation of Evidence Act (S.C. Code, Sections 17-28-300 et seq.). Requested by The Honorable Gary Watts, Richland County Coroner. Read full opinion.

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November 9, 2010

Opinion regarding “Preservation of Evidence Act”, S.C. Code Ann. §§ 17-28-300 et seq. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Gary Watts, Coroner, Richland County

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November 9, 2010

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. § 17-5-570. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Gary Watts, Coroner, Richland County

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November 9, 2010

Opinion regarding whether you can legally release a body of a deceased that falls within the category of evidence for purposes of this State’s Preservation of Evidence Act, S.C. Code Ann. §§ 17-28-300 et seq., to a funeral home for disposition. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Gary Watts, Coroner, Richland County

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November 9, 2010

Opinion questioning whether there is any criminal or civil liability would be created by the return of this evidence to the victim by the city police department. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable G. Murrell Smith, Jr., Member, House of Representatives

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November 4, 2010

Opinion questioning the interpretation of a provision contained in Senate Bill 442. Specifically, “does the bill give county school boards the authority to allow the area advisory councils to hear cases pertaining to students in their school district.” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable J. Roland Smith, Member, House of Representatives

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November 4, 2010

Opinion concerning the South Carolina Board of Paroles and Pardons voting procedures. And questioning “what the correct procedures are for the board to re-vote on a case which has already been decided by a previous vote.” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Chip Huggins, SC House of Representatives, Dist. No. 85

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November 3, 2010

Opinion questioning whether the members of the South Carolina Advisory Council on Aging must be commissioned by the Secretary of State upon their appointment by the Lieutenant Governor. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Andre Bauer, Lieutenant Governor, State of South Carolina

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November 1, 2010

Opinion questioning whether it is within State law for the South Carolina Commission for the Blind (SCCB) through some formal arrangement or agreement to work with a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization to operate the radio program using State-owned property located in a State-owned facility. And if a private campaign to raise money to operate the radio reading program in advance for a year or longer was initiated and designated contributions fell short of the amount needed to operate the program, would all received designated donations to the SCCB need to be returned to the contributor. Read full opinion Requested by:…

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November 1, 2010

Opinion referencing Act No. 320 of 2010 which authorizes the Board of Fire Control to adopt certain rules and regulations. Specifically, regarding writing citations on a county or municipal summons and law enforcement authority. Read full opinion Requested by: Jeff Allen, Arson Investigator, Irmo Fire District

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October 27, 2010

Opinion questioning and seeking clarification concerning whether a coroner can legally issue a cremation permit authorizing the cremation of a victim’s body or must that body be released as authorized for burial only. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Gary Watts, Coroner, Richland County

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October 26, 2010

Opinion regarding the legality to the millage rates imposed by the Holly Springs Fire District Commission (the “Commission”) in 2009. Specifically, questioning whether or not keeping the millage at the 2008 rate is permissible under section 6-1-320. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Lee Bright, Member, SC Senate

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October 25, 2010

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, whether service as a Commissioner County Aviation Authority would violate the prohibition against dual office holding. Read full opinion Requested by: J. Hugh Ryan, III, Esquire, Deputy Director and General Counsel, South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense

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October 25, 2010

Opinion concerning the powers of the Savannah River Maritime Commission, particularly as those powers relate to federally delegated responsibilities of state agencies. Read full opinion Requested by: William D. “Dean” Moss, Jr., Chairman, Savannah River Maritime Commission

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October 18, 2010

Opinion concerning the Dorchester County Council’s ability to impose a road impact fee on new development in Dorchester County. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Michael T. Rose, Member, SC Senate

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October 14, 2010

Opinion questioning whether or not an appointment to the Holly Hill Airport Commission would be a violation of dual office holding considering a current position as Chief of Police for the Town of Holly Hill. Read full opinion Requested by: Robert Wunderlich, Chief of Police, Town of Holly Hill

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October 14, 2010

Opinion concerning the legal “age at which a child can legally leave home and the responsibility of a parent or guardian to support the child up to the age of eighteen if the child leaves home at seventeen.” Read full opinion Requested by: David L. Thomas, Member, SC Senate

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October 14, 2010

Opinion questioning whether individuals who formerly only had to register biannually can now be required every ninety days if they come within the referenced classification. Read full opinion Requested by: Ms. Natalie H. Spires, Sex Offender Registry Coordinator, SC Law Enforcement Division

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October 14, 2010

Opinion on dual office holding (secretary for the Clearwater Water & Sewer District and serve as a Commissioner of the Clearwater Water & Sewer District). Requested by Mr. Marvin Herndon, Chairman, Clearwater Water & Sewer District. Read full opinion.

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October 12, 2010

Opinion requesting clarification of previous opinion dated August 11, 2010. That opinion questioned whether the coroner’s office “…is required to release a biological specimen collected from a decedent to any outside party by order of any court for the purposes of establishing paternity.” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Gary Watts, Coroner, Richland County

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October 12, 2010

Opinion questioning whether the coroner’s office is responsible for compensating the next of kin of a deceased individual if the personal belongings (i.e. jewelry, money, vehicles, etc.) of the deceased cannot be returned to them in a timely manner. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Gary Watts, Coroner, Richland County

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October 12, 2010

Opinion on whether the coroner’s office is responsible for compensating the next of kin of a deceased individual if the personal belongings of the deceased cannot be returned to them in a timely manner. Requested by The Honorable Gary Watts, Richland County Coroner. Read full opinion.

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October 7, 2010

Opinion questioning the appropriate recording fee for a “certificate of trust” or a “memorandum of trust” pursuant to S.C. Code § 8-21-310. Read full opinion Requested by: Ballery V. Skipper, Director, Horry County Register of Deeds

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October 7, 2010

Opinion questioning whether school administrators that allow children, described as being between 4 and 13 years of age to be picked up at school and transported to a private facility, could be charged with child endangerment. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Shane Martin, Member, SC Senate

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October 7, 2010

Opinion referencing previous opinion dated September 13, 2010, regarding S.C. Code § 50-21-30. Read full opinion Requested by: Buford S. Mabry, Jr., Chief Counsel, SC Department of Natural Resources

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October 1, 2010

Opinion concerning the effect of the Omnibus Crime Reduction and Sentencing Reform Act of 2010 on S.C. Code §§ 63-19-820 and 63-19-1210. Specifically, whether the references to “assault and battery of a high an aggravated nature’ in [S.C. Code Ann. §§ 63-19-820 and 63-19-1210 have] changed to ‘assault and battery with intent to kill’ or ‘attempted murder?’” Read full opinion Requested by: Hubert F. Harrell, Director, SC Criminal Justice Academy

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September 29, 2010

Opinion regarding the department’s ability to charge for time and resources used in satisfying discovery motions. Specifically, “whether or not [the department] can charge attorneys and other persons that make a discovery motion.” Read full opinion Requested by: Charles E. McNair, Director, Cayce Department of Public Safety

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September 29, 2010

Opinion regarding a potential conflict of interest issue. Specifically, “whether there will be a conflict of interest for a particular council member to vote on matters involving the Fort Lawn Community Center”. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable F.G. “Greg” Delleney, Jr., Member, House of Representatives

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September 28, 2010

Opinion concerning the holding of a referendum by the Town of Elgin. Read full opinion Requested by: John F. Fantry, Jr., Esquire

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September 3, 2010

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, whether “a member of Gaffney’s Board of Zoning Appeals” can serve on “the Cherokee County School Board.” Read full opinion Requested by: Mr. James R. Taylor, City Administrator

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September 22, 2010

Opinion questioning whether automated survey calls for political purposes that asks a question that requires that the recipient use the phone key pad to answer are legal. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Thad T. Viers, Member, House of Representatives

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September 22, 2010

Opinion concerning the Department of Employment and Workforce’s participation in a data warehouse initiative operated by the Office of Research and Statistics of the Budget and Control Board (ORS). Read full opinion Requested by: John L. Finan, Interim Executive Director, Dept. of Employment and Workforce

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September 16, 2010

Opinion regarding the Administrative Procedures Act (“the APA”)and the establishment of an agency level due process hearing (contested case hearing) procedure with regard to law enforcement officer certification decisions. And “whether having such a due process hearing at the agency level would comply with the requirement of the APA if the hearing panel was made up with representatives for the Training Council members or other individuals who are not Training Council members or representatives of Training Council members”. Read full opinion Requested by: Hubert F. Harrell, Director, SC Criminal Justice Academy

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September 15, 2010

Opinion questioning whether a coroner can legally issue a cremation permit authorizing the cremation of a victim’s body or must that body be released as authorized for burial only. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Gary Watts, Coroner, Richland County

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September 13, 2010

Opinion regarding the interpretation of S.C. Code Ann. § 50-21-30. Specifically, questioning the reference to “special rules and regulations”. Read full opinion Requested by: Buford S. Mabry, Jr., Chief Counsel, SC Dept of Natural Resources

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September 13, 2010

Opinion concerning public schools buses on private roads. Read full opinion Requested by: Thomas W. Holland, Sr., Esquire

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September 10, 2010

Opinion as to whether the performance of those duties pursuant to a management contact would constitute dual office holding in violation of the State Constitution. Read full opinion Requested by: Kenneth E. Gaines, Esquire

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September 8, 2010

Opinion concerning actions taken by the South Carolina State University Board of Trustees with regard to the election of its president. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Robert Ford, Member, SC Senate

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September 7, 2010

Opinion referencing the provisions of S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-30. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Shane Martin, Member, SC Senate

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September 3, 2010

Opinion concerning the Ethics Commissions’ ability to rule on the constitutionality of a provision of the Ethics Act. Read full opinion Requested by: Herbert R. Hayden, Jr., Executive Director, SC State Ethics Commission

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August 30, 2010

Opinion concerning South Carolina Nursing Board’s authority to require current nurses licensed in South Carolina to submit to a state and federal finger-print based criminal background check. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable David L. Thomas, Member, SC Senate

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August 30, 2010

Opinion on dual office holding (state employee who also works in the education field). Read full opinion Requested by: A. Glenn Greene, Esquire

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August 30, 2010

Opinion concerning associate probate judges. Specifically, whether it is “permissible for Judge Hocker to continue his judicial duties as Associate Probate Judge for Laurens County and to serve as Associate Probate Judge in another county.” Read full opinion Requested by: A. Cruickshanks, IV, Esquire

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August 30, 2010

Opinion concerning the South Carolina’s Workers’ Commission’s authority to charge a filing fee. Read full opinion Requested by: Gary Cannon, Executive Director, SC Workers’ Compensation Commission

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August 26, 2010

Opinion questioning whether “deputies” of the Department may prosecute violations of the Department’s laws, particularly violations within the jurisdiction of the magistrates’ courts. Read full opinion Requested by: Mr. H. W. Funderburk, Jr., Deputy Executive Director, Appeals Division, SC Dept of Employment and Workforce

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August 26, 2010

Opinion regarding the State Forestry Commission’s fitness training and testing program. Specifically, questioning the legal exposure to the State for wrongful termination or other civil action under the current program and the proposed revision. Read full opinion Requested by: Joel T. Felder, Deputy State Forester, SC Forestry Commission

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August 25, 2010

Opinion as to the coverages that may be available pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§ 42-7-10 et seq., the State Accident Fund, to College of Charleston EMS student volunteers who are injured while performing services for the College’s Emergency Medical Services. Read full opinion Requested by: Thomas A. Trimboli, Senior Vice President for Legal Affairs, College of Charleston

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August 16, 2010

Opinion as to whether, consistent with the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles may, pursuant to § 56-3-8000, issue a specialty license plate to a private nonprofit organization known as www.IBELIEVEsc.net, formerly known as Silver Ring South Carolina. Read full opinion Requested by: Marcia S. Adams, Director, Department of Motor Vehicles

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August 11, 2010

Opinion questioning whether the Coroner’s Office “is required to release a biological specimen collected from a decedent to any outside party by order of any court for the purposes of establishing paternity.” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Gary Watts, Coroner, Richland County

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August 5, 2010

Opinion concerning Cherokee County’s (the “County’s”) use of sales and use tax proceeds collected pursuant to the Cherokee County School Bond-Property Tax Relief Act. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Jackie W. Williams, Cherokee County Treasurer

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August 5, 2010

Opinion concerning licensure of nonpublic post-secondary institutions. Specifically, “whether or not the Commission can deny eligibility for an initial licensure when its found that owners seeking licensure previously owned a school that was found in violation and had its license revoked while licensing function was under the jurisdiction of the S.C. Department of Education.” Read full opinion Requested by: George Walters, Executive Director, SC Commission on Higher Education

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August 4, 2010

Opinion concerning Beaufort County’s policy of delegating its authority to enforce the County’s tree removal ordinance to homeowners associations. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Shannon S. Erickson, Member, House of Representatives

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August 2, 2010

Opinion concerning “whether South Carolina Law allows one individual to be appointed as the county veterans affairs officer for multiple counties.” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Michael A. Pitts, Member, House of Representatives

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July 27, 2010

Opinion questioning State Constitutional provisions and State statutes relating to S.C. Code Ann. § 17-15-15 and bail bonds generally. Read full opinion Requested by: David E. Belton, Esquire

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July 19, 2010

Opinion questioning whether copies of arrest warrants and incident reports maintained at the Spartanburg County Detention Center must be made available for walk-in inspection by the media. Read full opinion Requested by: William McBee Smith, Esquire

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July 15, 2010

Opinion questioning whether circuit public defenders are exempt from this State’s unemployment program and, as a result, the employer does not have to pay an unemployment contribution on their behalf. Read full opinion Requested by: James M. Holly, Chief of Staff, Comptroller General’s Office

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July 9, 2010

Opinion questioning whether recent legislation, R. 312, prevents the Town of Ridgeland from issuing traffic citations in nonemergency situations using photographic evidence. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable J. Todd Rutherford, Member, House of Representatives

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July 9, 2010

Opinion concerning a new health insurance rate structure implemented by the City of Beaufort. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Shannon S. Erickson, Member, House of Representatives

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July 8, 2010

Opinion concerning an individual’s claim to clear title to property which accreted on the south end of Pawleys Island, below the last development. Specifically, what the “status of the property [is] with respect to § 48-39-120(B) of the South Carolina Code of Laws.” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable William L. Otis, Jr., Mayor, Town of Pawleys Island

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July 7, 2010

Opinion concerning circumvention of the board’s decision and the legality thereof. Specifically, whether or not “it is correct and legal for other persons or entities to disregard a decision reached by the Appeals Board without pursuing proper channels before the Administrative Law Judge.” Read full opinion Requested by: John Brock, Chairman, Oconee Board of Assessment Appeals

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July 1, 2010

Opinion regarding Richland County employees serving on the Richland County Board of Voter Registration. Specifically, whether there is a conflict of interest and whether the Governor has the authority to name the Chairperson of the Board of Voter Registration. Read full opinion Requested by: Larry C. Smith, Esquire

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June 30, 2010

Opinion referencing a constituent who received a notice of suspension pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §56-9-354 for being in default as to an installment agreement which she had entered into following an accident on February 8, 2008 for which she had no automobile liability coverage. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Chandra E. Dillard, Member, House of Representatives

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June 28, 2010

Opinion regarding the use of a municipal summons to enforce its code provisions regarding nuisances within Florence. Specifically, questioning whether or not constables meet the requirement that the summons be served by a law enforcement officer having such jurisdiction. Read full opinion Requested by: James W. Peterson, Jr., Esquire, Florence City Attorney

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June 28, 2010

Opinion questioning whether a school district is required to report all suspected crimes to law enforcement and whether a school district has the authority to limit law enforcement in the investigation of crimes on school grounds. Read full opinion Requested by: Sam W. White, Chief, Public Safety Department

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June 28, 2010

Opinion questioning whether there can be recording of audio in government facilities or buildings in areas where the public has unrestricted access. Read full opinion Requested by: Jamie P. Ham, Chief of Police, Blacksburg Police Department

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June 28, 2010

Opinion questioning whether it would be legal for a law enforcement agency to send citations by certified mail. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Larry Grooms, Member, SC Senate

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June 25, 2010

Opinion concerning the ability to serve on the Appellate Panel for the Department of Employment and Workforce while also serving on several other boards and committees. Read full opinion Requested by: Mr. Steve S. Kelly, Jr.

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June 23, 2010

Opinion concerning sedation and the use of propofol by a registered nurse across all practice settings. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Tracy R. Edge, Member, House of Representatives

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June 14, 2010

Opinion questioning whether an individual who is not a resident of this State and, therefore, cannot be licensed in this State as a bondsman would have the authority to arrest a defendant in South Carolina on a warrant from another state revoking the defendant’s bond in that state. Read full opinion Requested by: David Belton, Associate General Counsel, SC Department of Insurance

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June 10, 2010

Opinion concerning section 6-1-730 of the South Carolina Code. Specifically “as to whether Clarendon County can utilize a portion of it collected local hospitality tax for the operations and maintenance of its newly renovated tourism facility pursuant to §6-1-730, S.C. Code of Laws 1976, as amended, more specifically §6-1-730(B)(2), S.C. Code of Laws, as amended.” Read full opinion Requested by: David W. Epperson, Esquire

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June 9, 2010

Opinion concerning “how fair market value is calculated for real estate under the jurisdiction of the county assessors.” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Alan D. Clemmons, Member, House of Representatives

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June 8, 2010

Opinion concerning the interpretation of South Carolina Code of Laws of 1976, § 1-11-470. Read full opinion Requested by: Anne E. Crocker, General Counsel, SC Department of Agriculture

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June 4, 2010

Opinion questioning whether chiropractors are included under the language “physician” and/or “physician group” in Senate Bill 1031 and House Bill 4329. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable James H. Harrison, Member, House of Representatives

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June 3, 2010

Opinion regarding amending the language on the back of the State uniform traffic ticket. Read full opinion Requested by: Mark A. Keel, Director, SC Department of Public Safety

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June 2, 2010

Opinion concerning Homeowners Associations (HOA) in South Carolina. Specifically, if Hinson Management is in violation of any code of law or regulation [by refusing to give home owners] the financial documents requested. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Glenn G. Reese, Member, SC Senate

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May 26, 2010

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of S.1446. Read full opinion Requested by: Larry A. Martin, Member, SC Senate

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May 25, 2010

Opinion concerning extending the terms of Board of Trustees. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Murrell Smith, Member, House of Representatives

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May 25, 2010

Opinion concerning the Rural Fire Board entering into the executive session Read full opinion Requested by: Domenic Manera, Fire Chief, York Fire Department

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May 6, 2010

Opinion requesting the legality of the Columbia City Council attempting to pass an ordinance which would allow future accident investigations to be turned over to the Highway Patrol when involving an elected official. Read full opinion Requested by: Tandy P. Carter, Chief of Police, Columbia Police Department

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May 19, 2010

Opinion concerning the creation of an “overlay zone” related to residential housing which is more restrictive than the overall county ordinance and limits the number of residents staying overnight in a particular home. Read full opinion Requested by: Timothy E. Meacham, University Counsel, Coastal Carolina University

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May 18, 2010

Opinion questioning whether in circumstances where a member of the fire department is also a commissioned law enforcement officer, and is instructed to perform a regularly scheduled fire inspection, does the fact that they are a law enforcement officer require that the individual obtain a search warrant prior to making the inspection. Read full opinion Requested by: Jeff Allen, Fire Marshal, Irmo Fire District

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May 17, 2010

Opinion questioning whether information relating to EMS calls are subject to confidentiality pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-61-160(A) and 40-71-20. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Joel Lourie, Member, SC Senate

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May 13, 2010

Opinion regarding a proposed Memorandum of Understanding and Personal Information Release Agreement to implement Operation Driven and its legality. Read full opinion Requested by: Marcia S. Adams, Director, Department of Motor Vehicles

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May 12, 2010

Opinion concerning the Freedom of Information Act and a list of school district employee salaries. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable John M. “Jake” Knotts, Jr., Member, SC Senate

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May 7, 2010

Opinion questioning “whether it is permissible under that state laws and regulations for one of our employees, a Senior Manager for Quality, Training and Policy with the State Agency of South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department-Disability Determination Services (DDS), to simultaneously serve on the Calhoun County Disability and Special Needs (DSN) Board.” Read full opinion Requested by: John E. Batten, IV, General Counsel, S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation Departmen

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May 7, 2010

Opinion on council form of government and the town administrator. Requested by The Honorable K. Allen Deaton, Mayor, Surfside Beach. Read full opinion.

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May 3, 2010

Opinion questioning the procedure to replace the sheriff after resigning following an indictment to federal drug charges. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Grady A. Brown, Member, House of Representatives

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April 29, 2010

Opinion questioning if a cigarette brand that is manufactured in another state is shipped to a bonded warehouse in South Carolina, where such cigarette brand is then shipped to other states for sale at retail, required to be listed on the South Carolina Tobacco Directory maintained by the Attorney General’s office when the cigarette brand will not be sold at retail in South Carolina to consumers of this State? Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Kent M. Williams, Member, SC Senate

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April 27, 2010

Opinion concerning who is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of roads and culverts in a subdivision.  Requested by The Honorable Creighton B. Coleman, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.  

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April 26, 2010

Opinion regarding the responsibilities of the Union Public Safety Department when providing services to funeral processions and events as walks or runs. Read full opinion Requested by: Sam W. White, Chief, Union Public Safety Department

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April 26, 2010

Opinion on dual office holding (member of the Board of Trustees of the College of Charleston and member of the Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children). Read full opinion Requested by: Harry W. Davis, Director, Children’s Law Center, University of South Carolina

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April 22, 2010

Opinion concerning Aiken County’s Local Option Sales Tax Referendum. Specifically, whether “the local government can include infrastructure improvements to the Cumbee Center, a center for domestically abused women, on the next ballot.” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Tom Young, Member, House of Representatives

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April 22, 2010

Opinion regarding the applicability of the Nonresident Violators Compact (NRVC) when a driver appears in court, is fined, but subsequently fails to pay the fine. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Veronica G. Small, Municipal Court Judge, City of Charleston

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April 15, 2010

Opinion concerning dealers in precious metals. Specifically, whether S.C. Code § 40-54-20 “prohibit[s] the referenced business from buying precious metals at these ‘in house’ parties, rather than exclusively at their place of business (their home or office).” Read full opinion Requested by: R. Allen Young, Esquire

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April 15, 2010

Opinion regarding arrests where the warrant has been entered into the NCIC system and a surrounding agency encounters the suspect and makes the arrest based upon the NCIC hit information. Read full opinion Requested by: Charles E. McNair, Chief, Cayce Department of Public Safety

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April 9, 2010

Opinion questioning the constitutionally of the following proposals. The City of Greenville enacted a business license ordinance which abates Greenville’s business license tax upon a new businesses meeting the requirements of a “new business qualifying for incentives.” Another proposal for consideration would be an ordinance to abate the City of Columbia’s business license tax one hundred percent for the first taxable year or any portion thereof during any new business’ operation in the City of Columbia. Read full opinion Requested by: Kenneth E. Gaines, Esquire

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April 8, 2010

Opinion asking “to define Jacob’s law pertaining to transporting ten or less children in personal vehicles, versus Federally approved School Buses.” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Shane Martin, Member, SC Senate

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April 7, 2010

Opinion asking whether “a member of an appointed body [can] change minutes of a meeting as written by the secretary of that body before the minutes are brought before the membership for approval.” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Vida O. Miller, Member, House of Representatives

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April 6, 2010

Opinion concerning marshland property on Johns Island. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, Member, SC Senate

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April 6, 2010

Opinion asking whether S.C. Code § 19-11-90 applies to ministers who are licensed by their denominations, not ordained. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable A. Shane Massey, Member, SC Senate

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April 6, 2010

Opinion regarding the authority of the South Carolina State Ports Authority to enter and perform an agreement with the United States Army Corps of Engineers for work on certain dredge disposal facilities in Charleston Harbor. Read full opinion Requested by: Philip L. Lawrence, General Counsel, South Carolina State Ports Authority

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April 6, 2010

Opinion questioning the constitutionally of the requirement that a driver who refuses to submit to a breath test must complete the Alcohol Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP) pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-2951 when the driving under the influence charge has been dismissed and the driver pled guilty to a non-alcohol related offense. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable John M. Knotts, Jr., Member, SC Senate

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March 30, 2010

Opinion asking whether the “city ordinance giving power to the council to approve appointment or dismissal of department heads [is] consistent with state law regarding the mayor-council form of government.” And whether the council alone may reinstate an “employee or department head” who resigned. Read full opinion Requested by: Elise F. Crosby, Esquire

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March 26, 2010

Opinion concerning term limits for a municipal council. Specifically, “whether a municipal council in the State of South Carolina can enact term limits on its council members, whether the method be by ordinance or by referendum vote.” Read full opinion Requested by: Elbert O. Duffie, III, General Counsel, Town of Edisto Beach

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March 24, 2010

Opinion on dual office holding (individual from filing and running for a house seat and constitutional office at the same time). Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Jerry N. Govan, Jr., Member, House of Representatives

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March 19, 2010

Opinion asking whether the absence of a filed oath of office with the Secretary of State’s Office would affect in anyway your authority as a Family Court Judge. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable George M. McFaddin, Jr., Family Court Judge, Third Judicial Circuit

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March 18, 2010

Opinion on dual office holding (a position on the Commission on Women, S.C. Code Ann. 1-15-10, would qualify as an office for the purpose of dual office holding). Read full opinion Requested by: Ms. Lorrie King, Director of Boards and Commissions, Office of Governor

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March 17, 2010

Opinion concerning Owner-Occupied Residential Property Located in a Multicounty Park. Read full opinion Requested by: Ray N. Stevens, Director, Department of Revenue

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March 17, 2010

pinion as to our interpretation of section 59-3-100 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2009), specifying the method of allocation of the proceeds received from Qualified School Construction Bonds. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Jim Rex, Superintendent of Education, South Carolina Department of Education

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March 17, 2010

Opinion as to the authority of the State Forester to use a portion of the Forest Renewal Law Funds to support a marketing and economic development initiative as described above in addition to cost-sharing provisions as authorized under Section 48-28-50. Read full opinion Requested by: Larry D. Moody, Director of Administrative and Legislative Services, South Carolina Forestry Commission

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March 17, 2010

Opinion concerning the implementation date to change the form of government in the City of Columbia. Read full opinion Requested by: Kenneth E. Gaines, Esquire

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March 16, 2010

Opinion as to whether the South Carolina Public Service Authority (“Santee Cooper”) has statutory authority to provide a proposed guarantee to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (“RUS”) on behalf of Orangeburg County Biomass, LLC and whether proposed loan guarantee would violate Art. 10 § 11 of the South Carolina Constitution’s prohibition against pledging or loaning of the credit of a political subdivision of the State for the benefit of any individual, company, or corporation. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable James H. Harrison, Member, House of Representatives

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March 16, 2010

Opinion questioning whether there are any statutory or constitutional prohibitions to instituting, reinstituting or enlargement of prisoner work programs more commonly referred to as “chain gangs.” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Trey Gowdy, Solicitor, Seventh Judicial Circuit, and The Honorable Chuck Wright, Sheriff, Spartanburg County

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March 16, 2010

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. § 5-7-200(b) and its applicability to the current vacancy on the Columbia City Council. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable James E. Smith, Member, House of Representatives

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March 16, 2010

Opinion seeking clarification as to whether opinions, such as the one dated February 9, 2006, addresses the issue of what factors authorize a “parent” to enroll a child in a school district. Read full opinion Requested by: Katherine Long Mahoney, Esquire

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March 12, 2010

Opinion on dual office holding (a person who is employed as a County correctional officer can serve as a Town Council member). Read full opinion Requested by: Danny C. Crowe, Esquire

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March 1, 2010

Opinion concerning “whether real property anticipated to be used for residential purposes can be placed into a joint county industrial and business park (a ‘Multi-County Business Park’) created pursuant to Section 13 of Article VIII of the Constitution of the State of South Carolina, as implemented by Section 4-1-170, et seq., Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, as amended (the ‘Joint County Industrial and Business Park Act’).” Read full opinion Requested by: Thomas L. Martin, Esquire

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February 24, 2010

Opinion questioning whether an entity that issues a check to an individual for reimbursement of an insurance claim or as a payment can require that the signature endorsement on the back of the check also be considered as a signature for a binding contract. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Glenn G. Reese, Member, SC Senate

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February 24, 2010

Opinion questioning whether an entity that issues a check to an individual for reimbursement of an insurance claim or as a payment can require that the signature endorsement on the back of the check also be considered as a signature for a binding contract. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Glenn G. Reese, Member, SC Senate

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February 24, 2010

Opinion questioning whether boating accident reports are now available under this State’s Freedom of Information Act, S.C. Code Ann. §§ 30-4-10 seq., for public release. Read full opinion Requested by: Buford S. Mabry, Jr., Chief Counsel, SC Department of Natural Resources

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February 24, 2010

Opinion concerning the constitutionality of section 12-37-670 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2009). Read full opinion Requested by: R. Brent Thompkins, Esquire

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February 24, 2010

Opinion on whether Richland County has the authority to require a development site review on all of Richland County School District Two’s facilities and to also assess a per square foot fee for this review. Read full opinion Requested by: Stephen W. Hefner, Ed.D., Superintendent, Richland School District Two; and Larry C. Smith, Esquire

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February 24, 2010

Opinion on the constitutionality of Section 12-37-670. Requested by R. Brent Thompkins and Paul W. Dillingham, Esquires, Spencer & Spencer, P.A. Read full opinion.

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February 18, 2010

Opinion questioning whether Mr. Dameion Thames qualifies pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 23-31-600 to receive an identification card as a “qualified retired law enforcement officer” in order to carry a concealed weapon. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable David L. Thomas, Member, SC Senate

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February 16, 2010

Opinion questioning whether an Act such as Act No. 155 of 2007, defines the lines of Sumter County School Districts 2 and 17 for tax, attendance and election purposes. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Phil P. Leventis, Member, SC Senate

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February 3, 2010

Opinion questioning as to “whether or not Richland County can enforce its zoning regulations related to forestry activities on forestland.” Read full opinion Requested by: Amelia R. Linder, Esquire

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February 1, 2010

Opinion questioning whether a private security guard has jurisdiction to direct traffic on a public roadway. Read full opinion Requested by: Jamie P. Ham, Chief of Police, Blacksburg Police Department

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January 28, 2010

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of your city’s ordinance concerning loitering. Read full opinion Requested by: Chief S.W. White, City of Union, Public Safety Department

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January 27, 2010

Opinion questioning whether an individual whose law enforcement experience is limited to serving as a reserve police officer pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§ 23-28-10 et seq. would qualify as a “certified law enforcement officer” for purposes of being qualified to be elected sheriff. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable V. Stephen Moss, Member, House of Representatives

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January 20, 2010

Opinion questioning whether the serving spouse of a disabled veteran is entitled to a property tax exemption on his or her vehicle if he or she currently holds a special license plate pursuant to section 56-3-1110 of the South Carolina Code. Read full opinion Requested by: Judy C. McWaters, Chester County Office of Veteran Affairs

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January 20, 2010

Opinion asking for clarification on the duties which may be assigned to a town administrator in a town with a council form of government. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable K. Allen Deaton, Mayor, Surfside Beach

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January 14, 2010

Opinion questioning four things, if a fire inspector can complete and sign, as the affiant, a criminal search warrant? Is there an administrative search warrant and who issues the type warrant? If there is an administrative search warrant, can a fire inspector complete and sign this type of search warrant as the affiant? And may a fire inspector serve an administrative search warrant? Read full opinion Requested by: Randy S. Thompson, Fire Marshal, Department of Fire Safety, York County

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January 12, 2010

Opinion questioning whether the Commission would be in violation of Section 42-19-40 if you provide the Single Commissioner Hearing Roster and a listing of pending cases to be set for hearing, if the Commission is satisfied of the parties’ interest in such records and of the right to inspect them. Read full opinion Requested by: Gary M. Cannon, Executive Director, SC Workers’ Compensation Commission

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January 11, 2010

Opinion regarding a dispute between a nonprofit organization recognized as a charitable trust in this State, STARR, and a particular individual. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Nikki Randhawa Haley, Member, House of Representatives

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January 11, 2010

Opinion as to whether a restriction on the use of county funds for public works to municipalities in the county with populations under 5000 persons is constitutionally permissible. Read full opinion Requested by: Bonum S. Wilson, III, Esquire

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January 11, 2010

Opinion as to “whether a guarantee proposed to be provided by the South Carolina Public Service Authority (“Santee Cooper”) to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (“RUS”) on behalf of Orangeburg County Biomass LLC violates Art. 10, § 11 of the South Carolina Constitution.” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable James H. Harrison, Member, House of Representatives

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January 11, 2010

Opinion interpreting section 34-39-175 of the South Carolina Code. Specifically, “should outstanding deferred presentment loans be captured in the initial implementation of the common database or would such action be an improper retroactive application of the new statute?” Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Converse A. Chellis, III, CPA, Treasurer, State of South Carolina

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

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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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