2011 Opinions

December 22, 2011

Opinion addressing whether or not circuit public defenders are entitled to accrue annual leave policies for state employees. Specifically, whether or not they are also entitled to receive payment for accumulated, unused annual leave (“terminal leave”) upon leaving the position.

Requested by: James M. Holly, Chief of Staff of Comptroller General

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December 21, 2011

Opinion as to whether the provisions of section 33-31-1602 of the South Carolina Code (Supp.) 1994 superseded the bylaws and covenants of gated communities.

Requested by: The Honorable Tom Davis, Senator, District No. 46

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December 12, 2011

Follow-up opinion concerning the application of section 5-31-890 of the South Carolina Code (2004) to a municipality that does not have a board of commissioners of public works, a sewerage commission, or other like body.

Requested by: Thomas M. Boulware, Esquire

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December 9, 2011

Opinion regarding the constitutional validity of proposed “Sheriffs First” legislation.

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

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December 9, 2011

Opinion concerning whether South Carolina law provides flexibility for DHEC to interpret its water quality standards in such a way that some excursions of a “shall not exceed” standard may be allowed for the Reedy River Watershed.

Requested by: Jacquelyn S. Dickman, Esquire

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December 5, 2011

Opinion concerning whether section 6-1-730 of the South Carolina Code (2004 & Supp. 2010) would permit revenue from a local hospitality tax to be used to purchase a fire truck for a local municipality.

Requested by: The Honorable Harvey S. Peeler, Jr., Senator, District No. 14

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December 5, 2011

Opinion concerning a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that was received and responded to by the City of Columbia (“the City”). Specifically, as to whether the requested information is a matter of public record subject to disclosure and, if so, whether the so-called “privacy exemption” allowed the City to withhold or redact any of this information.

Requested by: Kenneth E. Gaines, City Attorney, City of Columbia

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November 29, 2011

Opinion as to whether an automatic sprinkler system is necessary, and whether the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (“DHEC”) has authority to require an automatic sprinkler system to be installed before a license is issued to the senior citizens’ day care facility.

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

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November 18, 2011

Opinion regarding county veterans’ affairs officers. Specifically, asking for clarification as to whether the county veterans’ affairs officer is thus subject to State personnel policies. And if not, whether the delegation may then adopt a grievance policy for the veterans’ affairs officer.

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

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November 17, 2011

Opinion inquiring whether the Fire Control Board of Carlisle, South Carolina (“the Board”), may enter an agreement whereby the Board would “lease to buy” a new fire station constructed by a private entity.

Requested by: Chairman Mike J. Spencer, Jr., Fire Control Board of Carlisle, S.C.

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November 17, 2011

Opinion “as to the proper implementation of Act 301 of 2010 (H4635, A301, R167; signed by the Governor March 31, 2010)…”

Requested by: The Honorable Bakari T. Sellers, Member, House of Representatives

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November 16, 2011

Opinion “seeks guidance as to the interpretation” of various statutes “and the scope of the powers which have been vested in the State Treasurer with regard to the Commission and investment of Retirement System funds or assets.”

Requested by: Robert L. Borden CFA/CAIA, Chief Executive Officer/Chief Investment Officer, Retirement System Investment Commission

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November 15, 2011

Opinion asking whether an individual, who is currently the Director of both the Union County Airport Commission and the Union County Stadium Commission, may be appointed by the Union County Council to serve on the Board of Directors for the Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse without violating the State’s prohibition on dual office holding.

Requested by: Chrissy Mobley, Executive Director, Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse

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November 7, 2011

Opinion concerning “[u]nder what authority, if any, does a county council have the authority to enact an ordinance requiring elected officials residing in that county, including the county legislative delegation, to submit to a drug screen as a condition for holding office?”

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

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November 1, 2011

Opinion regarding “the propriety of awarding an exclusive franchise to one carriage tour operator to conduct business on the [public] streets of the City.”

Requested by: William B. Harvey, III, Esquire

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October 27, 2011

Opinion concerning what criminal offenses and penalties are applicable to the designation of Three Synthetic Cathinones (Bath Salts) and Five Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2 and Spice) as Schedule I(d) Controlled Substances

Requested by: Mark Keel, Chief, State Law Enforcement Division

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October 26, 2011

Opinion concerning the validity of Proviso 76.14 as proposed in the Conference Committee Report concerning the 2011-2012 Appropriations Act.

Requested By: The Honorable Curtis M. Loftis, Jr., South Carolina State Treasurer

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October 21, 2011

Opinion regarding county veterans’ affairs officers. Specifically, whether employees of a county veterans’ affairs officer are county employees, and to whom these employees are accountable.

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

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October 20, 2011

Opinion concerning liability of the South Carolina Forestry Commission (the “Commission”) in situations where the Commission sponsors or co-sponsors activities involving public participation, such as hunting events.

Requested by: Mr. Henry E. Kodama, State Forester, South Carolina Forestry Commission

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October 20, 2011

Opinion concerning sections 12-37-930 and 12-37-3140 of the South Carolina Code (2000 & Supp. 2010). Specifically, you have asked whether section 12-37-930 requires that property be valued for tax purposes using the “market approach,” which is also known as the sales comparison method.

Requested by: The Honorable Tom Young, Jr., Member, House of Representatives

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October 11, 2011

Opinion concerning the validity of municipal ordinances regulating fireworks. Specifically, whether such regulation is preempted by State law providing for the regulation of fireworks in S.C. Code §§ 23-35-10 et seq., and if the “Fireworks Prohibited Zones” established in § 23-35-175 constitute the only areas where the discharge of Fireworks can be banned.

Requested by: H. Fulton Ross, Jr., Esquire

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October 11, 2011

Opinion regarding whether a sheriff’s department may compete against private businesses for the contract to provide drug-sniffing dogs to the school districts.

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn G. Reese, Member, SC Senate

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October 10, 2011

Opinion concerning E911 fees. Specifically, “whether low-income recipients of SafeLink Wireless service are subject to E911 fees in South Carolina.”

Requested by: The Honorable Leon Joe Howard, SC House of Representatives

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October 7, 2011

Opinion concerning two prior opinions of this Office dated January 5, 2011 and May 11, 2011. Specifically, you asked us to address the definition of “new” or “new programs” as related to the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHE) authority to approve a new USC/Greenville Hospital System School of Medicine in Greenville.

Requested By: Mr. Kenneth B. Wingate, SC Commission on Higher Education

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October 6, 2011

Opinion regarding “solicitation” by bail bondsmen or runners pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §38-53-170 (f). Specifically, whether a bail bond licensee’s display of the name of the bonding company and telephone number on his vehicle when the vehicle is left on the premises of a detention center, or a bondsman wearing clothing which displays similar information, constitutes “solicitation?”

Requested by: David E. Belton, Esquire

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September 28, 2011

Opinion regarding the authority of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (“DHEC”) to alter drug schedules.

Requested by: Carlisle Roberts, Jr., Esquire

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September 27, 2011

Opinion concerning the application of section 5-31-1520 of the South Carolina Code where the City of Barnwell desires to extend its sewer line, but not its water line, to a particular property beyond its municipal boundaries.

Requested by: Karen Blair Manning, Esquire, SC Department of Commerce

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September 26, 2011

Opinion concerning school districts and their employees who participate in the Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive (TERI) program.

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

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September 23, 2011

Opinion concerning whether the Forfeited Land Commission of Lancaster County (“the Commission”) may effect a sale of real property pursuant to section 12-59-40 of the South Carolina Code for the Amount of the taxes due, without including in the sale price the amounts due to certain assessments and fees.

Requested by: The Honorable Cheryl H. Morgan, Lancaster County Auditor and The Honorable Carrie W. Helms, Lancaster County Treasurer

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September 23, 2011

Opinion regarding a conflict of interest. Specifically, whether seeking appointment for the open position on the Spartanburg County Commission for Technical and Community Education, while “currently employed as Director of Nursing for Fortis College in Columbia” which is a “for-profit institution” and is “in direct competition with Spartanburg Community College in that both institutions compete for nursing students.”

Requested by: The Honorable Edward R. Tallon, Sr., SC House of Representatives

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September 22, 2011

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. §50-11-100, which regulates enclosures impeding the free range of deer that are hunted.

Requested by: Colonel Alvin A. Taylor, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement, SC Department of Natural Resources

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September 19, 2011

Opinion concerning a lease agreement between the City of Aiken and Aiken Aviation Enterprises.

Requested by: The Honorable Michael T. Rose, Member, SC Senate

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September 16, 2011

Opinion concerning whether having the position of Assistant Deputy Attorney General and “accepting the appointment to be a member of the Clemson University Humanities Advancement Board would constitute dual office holding.”

Requested by: C. Havird Jones, Jr., Esquire

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September 12, 2011

Opinion concerning what steps Florence County Council Chairman Rusty Smith should take in order to “distance himself” from the selection process of seeking selection as the Florence County Administrator.

Requested by: The Honorable Dean Fowler, Jr., Florence County Treasurer

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September 9, 2011

Opinion interpreting several provisions of the State Commission for Minority Affairs (“Commission”) regulations regarding “State Recognition” for Native American Indian entities.

Requested by: Thomas J. Smith, Executive Director, SC Commission for Minority Affairs

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September 7, 2011

Opinion asking whether the Greenville Legislative Delegation must “use the weighted vote of the entire Delegation, or may we use the weighted vote of a quorum, present and voting, to determine the outcome of a motion.”

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

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August 31, 2011

Opinion concerning Stormwater Management Utility Service charges.

Requested by: Mr. Grant Duffield, Tega Cay City Manager

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August 29, 2011

Opinion concerning the validity of a county or municipal ordinance permitting animal shelters to dispose of unclaimed animals after they have been impounded for only three days, which you note is less than the five day statutory holding period set forth in S.C. Code Ann. § 47-3-60(b).

Requested by: The Honorable David A. Hogue, Mayor, Town of Blacksburg

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August 25, 2011

Opinion regarding the policy of Spartanburg School District Three (the “School District”) requiring visitors to produce identification for scanning when entering a public school.

Requested by: The Honorable Shane Martin, Senator, District No. 13

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August 25, 2011

Opinion regarding ad valorem property taxes in Sumter County. Specifically, you indicate that Sumter County might have failed to reassess certain property within the county, and you question whether such failure complies with state law.

Requested by: The Honorable Murrell Smith, Member, House of Representatives

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August 24, 2011

Opinion inquiring whether the City of Barnwell’s proposed ordinance imposing a “public safety fee” upon each parcel of real property within the corporate limits of the City of Barnwell.

Requested by: Thomas M. Boulware, Esquire

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August 24, 2011

Opinion concerning one’s ability to file a Notice of Non-Acceptance of Deed of Conveyance. Specifically, whether “the grantee [must] accept the property conveyed or [may he or she] file a Notice of Non-Acceptance of Deed of Conveyance.”

Requested by: The Honorable Anna K. Davidson, Register of Deeds, Oconee County

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August 24, 2011

Opinion concerning the Planning Commission’s role in reviewing public school projects. Specifically, you asked “whether a school district must submit [its] plan to construct a school to the Planning Commission after they have been approved to move forward.

Requested by: Amelia R. Linder, Esquire

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August 17, 2011

Opinion concerning the “legality of a business plan involving a golf contest in which participants compete against one another during a given time period (e.g. 3 months) by attempting to place a shot closest to the hole (the ‘Golf Promotion’).”

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

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August 16, 2011

Opinion asking (1) whether a person must pursue a cause of action in a specific magistrate court within that person’s district or can the person elect to file in another district, and (2) does a magistrate court have jurisdiction to hear cases for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and Defamation of Character?

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

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August 16, 2011

Opinion concerning a provision in the recently enacted legislation, H.3003, or commonly known as the “Photo ID” or “Voter ID” legislation.

Requested by: Marci Andino, Executive Director, SC Election Commission

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August 12, 2011

Opinion addressing the Arcadia Lakes Town Council and minutes of a Town Council meeting mistakenly stating a council member’s intention to resign versus his “intention not to seek reelection…in the November 2011 election.”

Requested by: The Honorable Bob Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem, Town of Arcadia Lakes

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August 10, 2011

Opinion concerning the enforcement of a county ordinance within an incorporated municipality.

Requested by: Marvin C. Jones, Esquire

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August 8, 2011

Opinion questioning whether the Jenkinsville Water Company is a public body for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act and is subject to the Act’s disclosure requirements.

Requested by: The Honorable Creighton B. Coleman, Senator, District No. 17

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August 8, 2011

Opinion regarding expungement orders. Specifically, whether “an order for expungment requires destruction of all or part of [DPPPS’s] offender file?”

Requested by: Kela E. Thomas, Director, Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services

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August 5, 2011

Opinion concerning whether the State Election Commission has the authority to contract with the vendor that is developing the new statewide voter registration system for the purpose of marketing the system to other states.

Requested by: Marci Andino, Executive Director, SC Election Commission

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August 5, 2011

Opinion concerning any legal concerns we find with the new electronic signature system.

Requested by: Marci Andino, Executive Director, SC Election Commission

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August 3, 2011

Opinion on behalf of the Town of Williamston South Carolina concerning health benefits available to the Town’s council members. Specifically, an opinion setting forth the proper procedure to use in this and other situations wherein Councilpersons who desire to receive health coverage under the South Carolina Employee Insurance Program may obtain such coverage without violation of 1976 South Carolina of Law Section 5-7-170.

Requested by: Richard E. Thompson, Esquire

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August 1, 2011

Opinion as to whether the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) may use state forfeited funds seized pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §44-53-520 and §44-53-530 to support the Implied Consent Program.

Requested by: Mark Keel, Chief, State Law Enforcement Division

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July 29, 2011

Opinion regarding the operation of the animal shelter for Chesterfield County.

Requested by: The Honorable Sam Parker, Chesterfield County Sheriff

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July 22, 2011

Opinion concerning the duties of the Native American Indian Advisory Committee (the “Committee”) and its membership requirements pursuant to regulations promulgated by the State Commission for Minority Affairs (the” Commission”).

Requested by: Thomas J. Smith, Executive Director, SC Commission for Minority Affairs

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July 21, 2011

Opinion regarding the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (“SLED”) working to become compliant with the Federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”). Specifically, asking for advice regarding the proper Tier classification for the offense of “Committing or attempting lewd act upon child under sixteen.”

Requested by: Susan O. Porter, Esquire, General Counsel, SC Law Enforcement Division

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July 20, 2011

Opinion regarding appeals of real property values.

Requested by: The Honorable Wayne Welch, Dorchester County Assessor

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July 19, 2011

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, whether it would be allowed for an individual who has been appointed by the Marion County Council to serve on the county planning commission to also be selected by the Marion County Board of Education to serve on the local school board for the Marion County School District 2 Board.”

Requested by: The Honorable Kent M. Williams, Member, SC Senate

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July 15, 2011

Opinion addressing when evidence becomes “physical evidence” or “biological material” under S.C. Code Ann. §§17-28-300 et seq., the “Preservation of Evidence Act.”

Requested by: Captain Garland Major, Jr., Anderson County Sheriff’s Department

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July 14, 2011

Opinion concerning the burning practices used by the US Forest Service in South Carolina.

Requested by: The Honorable Joe H. Jefferson, Jr., SC House of Representatives

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July 8, 2011

Opinion asking whether one would be prohibited “from holding his commission as a State Trooper while simultaneously serving on the WEOC [Waccamaw Economic Opportunity Council] Board of Directors.”

Requested by: F.K. Lancaster, Jr., Interim Director, S.C. Department of Public Safety

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July 7, 2011

Opinion regarding the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (“SLED”) working to become compliant with the Federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”). Specifically, asking for assistance on the classification of certain offenses.

Requested by: Susan O. Porter, Esquire, General Counsel, SC Law Enforcement Division

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July 1, 2011

Opinion regarding the options SC Department of Employment and Workforce has to prevent bias if a party on appeal has previously worked closely with the Appeal Tribunal and Appellate Panel. Specifically asking what ability the agency has “to avoid the Appellate Panel but still be in compliance with S.C. Code Ann. 41-35-690.”

Requested by: John L. Finan, Executive Director, SC Department of Employment and Workforce

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July 1, 2011

Opinion questioning whether one who has been unable to work and is presently drawing 100% disability from the Veterans Administration would be eligible to be appointed as the Spartanburg County Veterans Affairs Officer.

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

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July 1, 2011

Opinion questioning whether “a member of the Oconee County School Board, as a holder of an office of honor and profit, [can] also serve as a member of the Oconee County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Commission, as established by Oconee County Ordinance 2011-12.”

Requested by: Thomas Martin, Esquire

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June 28, 2011

Opinion concerning a person giving a false police report as proscribed by South Carolina law.

Requested by: The Honorable Raymond E. Cleary, III, Senator, District No. 34

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June 28, 2011

Opinion referencing an opinion dated January 17, 1990 regarding a police agency using seized money. This opinion answers as to whether the “first $1,000.00” can still be used for any public purpose of law enforcement, as §44-53-530 has been amended since the 1990 opinion.

Requested by: Gerald Brooks, Chief of Police, Greenwood Police Department

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June 28, 2011

Opinion regarding S. 592 (R. 63) (also “the Act”), which was approved by the Governor on June 7, 2011, and amends Title 25 with respect to the South Carolina Military Code.

Requested by: Colonel Barry Bernstein, State Judge Advocate and General Counsel, Office of the Adjunct General

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June 28, 2011

Opinion concerning millage rate calculations during a reassessment year in Beaufort County and Jasper County. More specifically, questioning what role the rollback provisions in sections 6-1-320(A) and 12-37-251(E) of the South Carolina will play under these circumstances.

Requested by: Ladson F. Howell, Esquire and Marvin C. Jones, Esquire

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June 27, 2011

Opinion concerning the authority of the State Election Commission (SEC) to enter into a contract with the political parties for the purposes of conduction the 2012 Presidential Preference Primaries.

Requested by: Ms. Marci Andino, Executive Director, State Election Commission

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June 23, 2011

Opinion concerning two provisos recently adopted as a part of the Appropriations Act by the Conference Committee. Specifically, seeking clarification and guidance concerning the authority to conduct the 2012 Presidential Preference Primaries (PPP).

Requested by: Ms. Marci Andino, Executive Director, State Election Commission

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June 21, 2011

Opinion questioning whether pursuant to South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), S.C. Code Ann. §§ 30-4-10 et seq., are inmates’ personal telephone calls subject to disclosure; and…. , is security footage from a jail’s booking area and/or other areas within a jail subject to disclosure.

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

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June 16, 2011

Opinion concerning the Woodruff-Roebuck Water District’s (the “District’s”) ability to “determine the appropriate sources of water to be secured to serve the needs of its customers and the legal obligations of municipal suppliers to customers located outside their boundaries and the deference that should be given in permitting matters to the District’s decision as to suitable water supplies to meet the needs of its citizens.”

Requested by: Curtis M. Dillard, P.E., General Manager, Woodruff-Roebuck Water District

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June 15, 2011

Opinion regarding the authority of a municipality to substitute a local ordinance summons in lieu of issuing a uniform traffic ticket for a speeding violation.

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

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June 10, 2011

Opinion as to when the new salary base of magistrates in Aiken County, which is based upon the official United States Census, will take effect.

Requested by: The Honorable Rodger E. Edmonds, Chief Summary Court Judge

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June 6, 2011

Opinion concerning the legality of placing Sweepstakes Promotional electronic games in a restaurant on Hilton Head Island.

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

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June 3, 2011

Opinion “regarding the Governor’s authority under Article IV, Section 19 of the South Carolina Constitution to convene the General Assembly in extra session.”

Requested by: The Honorable Nikki R. Haley, Governor, State of South Carolina

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June 1, 2011

Opinion concerning whether it is “a violation of the dual office holding provision of the state for an individual to serve on the Board of Directors for the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and another board of a state agency or the board of a unique entity, specifically the South Carolina Public Service Authority, known as Santee Cooper.”

Requested by: Robert E. Hughes, Chairperson, Board of Directors, SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities

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May 31, 2011

Opinion concerning whether “service on the board of the [Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation], and its executive committee, while Chairman of Horry County Council would constitute prohibited dual office holding.”

Requested by: The Honorable H. Tom Rice, Jr., Chairman, Horry County Council

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May 25, 2011

Opinion as to whether a gated community in South Carolina can prohibit door to door campaigning by candidates for local, state or federal elections.

Requested by: The Honorable Tom Young, Jr., SC House of Representatives

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May 25, 2011

Opinion concerning Standards of Judicial Conduct. Specifically, whether a magistrate judge can serve in the same county in which the judge’s spouse is employed by the Solicitor.

Requested by: The Honorable Raymond E. Cleary, III, Senator, District No. 34

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May 25, 2011

Opinion regarding the legality of a County Tax Auditor to hire a full-time non-law enforcement employee whose principal duties are to issue Courtesy Summonses, as the Affiant, to potential violators of the motor vehicle tax and registration statutes.

Requested by: The Honorable Deborah A. Long, Member, House of Representatives

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May 24, 2011

Opinion concerning the status of the Town of Whitmore’s (the “Town”) form of municipal government.

Requested by: Robert C. Lake, III, Esquire

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May 24, 2011

Opinion concerning the pending resentencing trial of a defendant in a capital murder case in your judicial circuit.

Requested by: The Honorable Barry J. Barnette, Solicitor, Seventh Judicial Circuit, Spartanburg County Courthouse

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May 20, 2011

Opinion concerning TC/PC anatomic pathology arrangements in South Carolina.

Requested by: Sheridon H. Spoon, Esquire

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May 20, 2011

Opinion regarding a student in your school district who resides with her parents in an established residence, but who also owns property with tax-assessed value of at least three hundred dollars located in a different school attendance zone within your school district. Specifically, whether “the student must attend the school located in the attendance zone of her established residence, or could she attend the school in the other attendance zone if they agree to pay the required tuition?”

Requested by: James N. Epps, Jr., Ph.D., Superintendent, Fort Mill School District 4 of York County

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May 19, 2011

Opinion regarding dual office holding. Specifically, whether a person may hold the office of Chief of Police of a municipality in Dillon County and also serve as a member of the Dillon County School Board.

Requested by: The Honorable Jackie E. Hayes, SC House of Representatives

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May 18, 2011

Opinion concerning county fire service contracts. In short, asking, “with whom [may Aiken County] contract to provide fire protection service in a certain portion of the county?”

Requested by: W. Lawrence Brown, Aiken County Attorney

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May 18, 2011

Opinion regarding an interpretation of S.C. Code Ann. § 58-5-390. Specifically, asking (1) whether a water company may charge a monthly minimum fee for a water line associated with a fire sprinkler and (2) if so, whether the monthly minimum fee may exceed the actual costs associated with the water line to the system.

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

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May 17, 2011

Opinion regarding an interpretation of S.C. Code Ann. § 12-37-2270, which addresses a corporation’s forfeiture of its charter as a result of failure to pay taxes. Specifically, asking whether S.C. Code Ann. § 12-37-2270 applies to ad valorem county taxes and whether this Office would bring an action against a corporation for the non-payment of a county tax.

Requested by: Sharon H. West, Auditor, Office of Spartanburg County Auditor

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May 17, 2011

Opinion regarding any possible liability of the State. Specifically, asking “[i]f the General Assembly were to prohibit the completion of the project through a joint resolution similar to the one proposed in S.800, would the State be liable for the funding of the project?”

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

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May 12, 2011

Opinion concerning the “Preservation of Evidence Act” and the length of time the evidence must be preserved pursuant to a Conviction by Plea.” Specifically, asking whether, “[u]nder subsection (C) of Section 17-28-328, can we – the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office – dispose of the Evidence without court order after the seven years have expired?”

Requested by: Sergeant J. Thomas Clamp, Jr., Anderson County Sheriff’s Office

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May 11, 2011

Opinion “seeking guidance regarding ‘the extent, if any of the legal authority of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) to require its approval of the USC School of Medicine’s expansion of the existing Medical School program in Greenville to include first and second year medical students.’”

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

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May 9, 2011

Opinion regarding the legality involving confiscations of students’ personal cell phones by school staff/administration, and the subsequent “searching, reading and looking at the contents of the cell phone.” Specifically following an incident where school staff/administration observed “sexting,” inappropriate adult photographs (not pornographic), and inappropriate conversations.

Requested by: Corporal Ricarda M. Fowler, Summerville Police Department

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May 6, 2011

Opinion concerning the ability of the Marion County Library Board of Trustees (“the Board”) to “sponsor a single issue voter referendum on raising property taxes to expend and renovate [its] three county library facilities.”

Requested by: Randy Floyd, Vice Chairman, Marion County Library Board of Trustees

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May 5, 2011

Opinion regarding the legality and constitutionality of provisions of S.C. Code §§ 23-9-310 through 23-9-470 pertaining to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and specifically Article 3 which deals with the Fireman’s Insurance and Inspection Fund.

Requested by: George L. Schroeder, Inspector General, Office of the Inspector General

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April 29, 2011

Opinion regarding a constituent’s request to the City of Myrtle Beach pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA) concerning the “Gayden Cabana Project”. Specifically as to whether your constituent should pursue the matter further with the City of Myrtle Beach as well as information regarding what recourse a citizen may have as a result of the City’s apparent non-response to the FOIA request.

Requested by: The Honorable Luke A. Rankin, Member, SC Senate

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April 29, 2011

Opinion as to a county council’s use of its budgetary authority to control the service provided by an elected official.

Requested by: The Honorable Dean Fowler, Jr., Treasurer, Florence County

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April 26, 2011

Opinion as to whether a trial judge may suspend a fine imposed pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 56-1-460.

Requested by: The Honorable J. Lawrence Duffy, Jr., Municipal Judge, Town of Mount Pleasant

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April 26, 2011

Opinion regarding whether S.C. Code Ann. § 50-21-148 allows an authorized law enforcement officer to charge a recreational swimmer with obstructing access to a boat ramp and its facilities.

Requested by: The Honorable William E. Sandifer, III, Member, House of Representatives

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April 21, 2011

Opinion concerning the authority of the Director of the Department of Corrections to establish and revise the procedures and protocols concerning the management of lethal injection executions pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 24-3-530.

Requested by: Mr. William R. Byars, Jr., Director, S.C. Carolina Department of Corrections

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April 20, 2011

Opinion regarding the minimum level of law enforcement services provided in the Town of Pendleton, a municipality in Anderson County.

Requested by: Daniel L. Draisen, Esquire

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April 18, 2011

Opinion regarding a “perceived contradiction” in Title 42 (Workers’ Compensation) of the South Carolina Code. Specifically, you note that section 42-3-220 permits the Workers’ Compensation Commission to enforce the collection of any fines or penalties provided by this Title (emphasis yours) and further that any such fines and penalties shall be used for the purpose of paying salaries and expenses of the Commission.

Requested by: The Honorable T. Scott Beck, Chairman, Workers’ Compensation Commission

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April 18, 2011

Opinion regarding the interpretation of certain provisions of the South Carolina Surface Water Withdrawal, Permitting, Use and Reporting Act, enacted last year by the General Assembly.

Requested by: The Honorable Danny Verdin, Senator, District No. 9, The Honorable Larry A. Martin, Senator, District No. 2, The Honorable Ralph Anderson, Senator, District No. 7, The Honorable Phillip W. Shoopman, Senator, District No. 5, The Honorable David L. Thomas, Senator, District No. 8, The Honorable Michael A. Fair, Senator, District No. 6, The Honorable Shane Martin, Senator, District No. 13

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April 18, 2011

Opinion asking whether your service as a commissioner on the Uniform Law Commission would violate the dual office prohibition of the South Carolina Constitution, as you currently serve as a South Carolina State Senator.

Requested by: The Honorable Robert W. Hayes, Jr., Member, SC Senate

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April 15, 2011

Opinion concerning the South Lynches Fire District in Florence and Williamsburg counties.

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

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April 13, 2011

Opinion questioning whether or not the statute and zoning ordinance “stays consideration of the extension request pending before the Planning Commission prior to a decision of the appeal pending before the Board of Zoning Appeals.”

Requested by: Kim Thomas, Chairman, Jasper County Planning Commission

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April 13, 2011

Opinion concerning the removal of a city council member.

Requested by: Grant W. Duffield, City Manager, City of Tega Cay

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April 11, 2011

Opinion concerning S.497 which amends S.C. Code § 48-39-130.

Requested by: The Honorable Phil P. Leventis, Senator, District No. 35

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April 8, 2011

Opinion regarding property tax liability for boats present in this State less than one-hundred-eighty (180) days.

Requested by: The Honorable Raymond E. Cleary, III, Senator, District No. 34

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April 7, 2011

Opinion regarding a partnership between the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety and Claflin University creating a forensics laboratory and the operation of this laboratory.

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

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April 6, 2011

Opinion concerning a “rash of catalytic converters stolen (sawed off under the carriage) from vehicles” in Greenwood County and other counties throughout South Carolina. Specifically, asking “as to whether this crime falls under the jurisdiction of Section 16-13-160 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.”

Requested by: The Honorable Tony Davis, Sheriff, Greenwood County

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April 6, 2011

Opinion concerning the applicability of the Drivers’ Privacy Protection Act with a data request by the South Carolina Court System.

Requested by: Mr. Kevin A. Shwedo, Executive Director, SC Department of Motor Vehicles

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April 5, 2011

Opinion concerning the implementation of Act 277 of 2010, which requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to place an “identifying code” on the back of the driver’s licenses of persons convicted of a “crime of violence.”

Requested by: Mr. Kevin A. Shwedo, Executive Director, SC Department of Motor Vehicles

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April 1, 2011

Opinion concerning state forest roads at Manchester State Forest in Sumter County. Specifically, asking “whether the Forestry Commission can limit use of certain roads within Manchester State Forest to bicyclists or whether they are prohibited pursuant to Title 56, Article 27 pursuant to their regulations.”

Requested by: The Honorable Murrell Smith, SC House of Representatives

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March 31, 2011

Opinion asking whether it would “be a conflict of interest for [you] to continue as the County Registration/Elections Director and a member of the [Greenville-Spartanburg] GSP Commission,” should you be nominated by the County’s Legislative Delegation and appointed by the Governor.

Requested by: Henry M. Laye, III, Director, Spartanburg County Voter Registration & Elections

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March 30, 2011

Opinion concerning registered sex offenders living within the City of Darlington. Specifically, “whether or not there is any reason law enforcement cannot check on registered sex offenders who live in a municipality.”

Requested by: Captain Daniel Watson, Darlington City Police

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March 29, 2011

Opinion concerning information requests from individuals who are incarcerated by the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC). Specifically, whether the State Library has “the legal right to refuse information requests initiated by incarcerated citizens,” or “does the legal right to restrict information requests from inmates reside with the [SCDC]?”.

Requested by: David S. Goble, Director, South Carolina State Library

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March 29, 2011

Opinion inquiring whether you may simultaneously serve as a town or county council member without jeopardizing your constable commission.

Requested by: Mr. Cecil W. Rorie

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March 29, 2011

Opinion concerning several South Carolina statutes which govern lobbying activities. Specifically, questioning whether S.C. Code Ann. § 8-13-705 applies in situations where the requirements of S.C. Code Ann. § 2-17 90 have been met.

Requested by: The Honorable Bakari Sellers, SC House of Representatives

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March 29, 2011

Opinion clarifying Act No. 277, 2010, requiring the surrender of one’s driver’s license to the Department of Mother Vehicles (DMV) when that person has been convicted of a “crime of violence.”

Requested by: Ms. Rosalyn W. Frierson, Director, SC Court Administration

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March 23, 2011

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, your letter states that you currently serve as the Bamberg County Emergency Services Director and running for the Commissioner for the City of Bamberg Board of Public Works.

Requested by: Ms. Sharon Hammond, Director, Bamberg County Emergency Services

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March 21, 2011

Opinion regarding Senate Bill 414, the Education Opportunity Act. Specifically, asking “whether the provision of scholarships and tax credits under S.414 violates Article XI, Section 4 of the South Carolina Constitution.”

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

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March 18, 2011

Opinion on behalf of the Gilbert-Summit Rural Water District (the “District”) concerning language contained in a proposed Engineer-On-Call Service Agreement (the “Contract”).

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

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March 16, 2011

Opinion concerning obligations of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office regarding an arrest on private property by a private security agency. Read full opinion Requested by: Thomas W. Holland, Sr., Esquire

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March 16, 2011

Opinion concerning an issue involving the Florence City Council. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Kris Crawford, Member, House of Representatives

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March 15, 2011

Opinion concerning the constitutionality of the Renegade Hunter Act recently passed by the Legislature. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Phillip Lowe, Member, House of Representatives

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March 14, 2011

Opinion concerning the legality of the City of Columbia funding the burial of electrical utilities owned by Columbia College.

Requested by: Mr. Steven A. Gantt, City Manager, City of Columbia

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March 11, 2011

Opinion concerning the application of S.C. Code Ann. §16-17-470(B) (2003). Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Larry A. Martin, Member, SC Senate

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March 3, 2011

Opinion questioning whether members of the Anderson Fire Department are “able to obtain search warrants, collect evidence, question witnesses (take statements), receive tips through Crime stoppers and run background checks” relating to fire investigations. Read full opinion Requested by: Chief R. Dale Horne, Anderson Fire Department

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March 3, 2011

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of a provision which is part of the Senate passed version of the “Voter ID” Bill pending in the General Assembly. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Alan D. Clemmons, Member, House of Representatives

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March 1, 2011

follow-up opinion questioning whether the Legislature possesses authority to “overrule” or alter the Supreme Court’s decision in Focus on Beaufort County on Behalf of Certain Registered Voters of Beaufort County v. Beaufort County, 318 U.S. 227, 456 S.E.2d 910 (1995). Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Chip Huggins, Member, House of Representatives

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March 1, 2011

Opinion concerning county voter ballot initiatives. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Chip Huggins, Member, House of Representatives

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February 23, 2011

Opinion questioning the authority of the Coroner, Fire Chief and law enforcement during an investigation. Requested by: The Honorable Richard Carter, Chief Deputy Coroner, Colleton County Read full opinion

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February 18, 2011

Opinion concerning the road maintenance fee (the “Fee”) adopted by Florence County. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Dean Fowler, Jr., Treasurer, Florence County

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February 18, 2011

Opinion concerning a casino night event to be held in Aiken County. Read full opinion Requested by: W. Lawrence Brown, Esquire

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February 17, 2011

Opinion concerning the portion of Act 86 of 2009 which requires school districts to maintain a transaction register of funds expended on the district’s website. Read full opinon Requested by: The Honorable Glenn G. Reese, Member, SC Senate

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February 16, 2011

Opinion concerning the legal requirements with regard to the retention of certain municipality records being stored by the Town of Fort Lawn. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable John Rumford, Mayor, Town of Fort Lawn

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February 8, 2011

Opinion concerning the applicability of S.C. Code Ann. §24-13-40 (Supp. 2010). Read full opinion Requested by: Captain Waddell Coe, Darlington County Detention Center

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February 8, 2011

Opinion concerning Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages. Read full opinion Requested by: John B. Williams, Town Attorney for St. Stephen, SC

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February 8, 2011

Opinion concerning the City of North Myrtle Beach requiring a landowner to remove a catamaran (or other vessel) from the property that is subject to an easement. Read full opinion Requested by: Chris Noury, City Attorney, City of North Myrtle Beach

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February 8, 2011

Opinion concerning whether, as a register of deeds, you are required to file certain documents that, while meeting the legal prerequisites to recording, appear to be “unorthodox” and perhaps “sham type documents.” Read full opinon Requested by: Ms. Cynthia B. Forte, Register of Deeds, Berkeley County

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February 3, 2011

Opinion concerning the Jasper County Board of Zoning Appeals. Read full opinon Requested by: Marvin C. Jones, Esquire

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January 25, 2011

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, “whether the duly elected Kershaw County Treasurer and Delinquent Tax Collector may concurrently serve as the interim Kershaw County Administrator without violating the dual office holding prohibition of the State constitution or other applicable laws.” Read full opinion Requested by: Stephen D. Vincent, Kershaw County Treasurer and Delinquent Tax Collector

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January 18, 2011

Opinion concerning “payroll withholdings for deductions other than the standard deductions currently provided for within current legislation.” Read full opinion Requested by: Mr. Darrel W. Staat, President, South Carolina Technical College System

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January 14, 2011

Opinion concerning whether a city council member may simultaneously serve as a reserve deputy sheriff Read full opinon Requested by: Mr. R. Allen Young, Town Attorney, Town of Mount Pleasant

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January 14, 2011

Opinion regarding procurement issues and complying with State Procurement Code, S.C. Code § 11-35-50. Read full opinion Requested by: The Honorable Micki Fellner, Interim Town Administrator, Surfside Beach

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January 14, 2011

Opinion regarding the effect of possible actions taken by a board member of a property owners association (“POA”) who was ineligible to serve on the Board at the time such actions were taken. Specifically, whether possible actions the board member may have taken, such as signing official documents, would “open up possible litigation” and whether other actions, such as making motions and voting on issues affecting the property owners, would make these actions void. Read full opinon Requested by: The Honorable Mike Fair, Member, SC Senate

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January 10, 2011

Opinion interpreting the recently enacted South Carolina Surface Water Withdrawal, Permitting, Use and Reporting Act of 2010 (Act No. 247 of 2010).

Requested by: The Honorable Robert W. Hayes, Jr., Member, SC Senate

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January 5, 2011

Opinion questioning “what is the extent, if any, of the legal authority of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) to require its approval of the USC School of Medicine’s expansion of the existing medical school program in Greenville to include first and second year medical students.” Read full opinon Requested by: The Honorable John Courson, Member, SC Senate

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

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Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

Room 519 | Columbia, S.C. 29201

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

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