2016 Opinions

December 21, 2016

Opinion on whether Section 1-31-30 of the South Carolina Code of Laws authorizes the Board of Commissioners of the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs to hire personnel in addition to the executive director position. Requested by The Honorable Kenneth Battle, Chairman, South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs. Read full opinion.

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December 20, 2016

Opinion on whether the SC Department of Revenue has the authority to cancel certain permits that have been authorized by an affirmative vote on a referendum during the general election (S.C. Code Ann. Section 61-6-2010). Requested by The Honorable J. Derham Cole, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.    

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December 13, 2016

Opinion on dual office holding (Chairman of the Tyger River Fire Service Board and serves as Reserve Deputy of the Spartanburg Sheriff’s office). Requested by James C. Redd, Fire Chief, Tyger River Fire Service Area. Read full opinion.

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December 12, 2016

Opinion on whether a foreign judgment from an Israeli court is enforceable in SC courts. Requested by Tomar Goldstein, Feferberg & Co. law firm, Israel. Read full opinion.  

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December 9, 2016

Opinion on whether a special purpose district’s fire board can be elected by popular vote. Requested by The Honorable Stephen Goldfinch, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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December 2, 2016

Opinion on whether a conviction of misconduct in office can be considered a crime of moral turpitude. Requested by Gwendolyn F. McGriff, Deputy Director and General Counsel, South Carolina Department of Insurance. Read full opinion.  

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November 18, 2016

Opinion on whether C funds can be used to pave ingress/egress and parking areas of fire departments located within Chester County. Requested by Joan Winters, Esquire, attorney for Chester County. Read full opinion.

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November 17, 2016

Opinion on whether the SC Dept. of Natural Resources or other state agency, county or local government have the authority to limit, restrict or close waterfowl hunting on navigable waters during statewide waterfowl seasons. Requested by The Honorable Stephen Goldfinch, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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November 15, 2016

Opinion on repair and maintenance of county roads in municipalities. Requested by G. Lee Cole, Esquire, Williamston Town Attorney. Read full opinion.

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November 7, 2016

Opinion on whether an agreement between a regional transit authority and private property owner is prohibited from containing an indemnification provision. Requested by Francenia B. Heizer, Esquire, McNair Law Firm. Read full opinion.

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November 1, 2016

Opinion on whether an ordinance setting an implementation date for a change in the form of government is consistent with the Constitution and the general law of the state. Requested by The Honorable Paul Thurmond, Member, South Carolina Senate Read full opinion.

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October 25, 2016

Opinion on whether Sections 21-1639 through 21-1641 of the S.C. Code of Laws of 1962 are still applicable in South Carolina. Requested by The Honorable Stephen Goldfinch, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.  

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October 25, 2016

Opinion on whether the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank can use tax revenue towards payment of revenue bonds. Requested by The Honorable Curtis Loftis, South Carolina State Treasurer. Read full opinion.      

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October 18, 2016

Opinion on S.C. FOIA, what information can be made public from applications submitted for financial assistance under the Farm Aid Bill. Requested by The Honorable Hugh Weathers, Commissioner, South Carolina Department of Agriculture. Read full opinion.  

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October 10, 2016

Opinion on Section 44-89-60(3) (physician requirements at licensed birthing centers). Requested by The Honorable Jonathan D. Hill and G. Murrell Smith, Jr., Members, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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September 30, 2016

Opinion on legality of wording of a bond referendum by the Dorchester County Council – whether it is legal to combine both of the requests for authorization to issue bonds for libraries and for parks into one referendum question. Requested by The Honorable Paul Thurmond, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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September 23, 2016

Opinion on tax rolls (S.C. Section 12-39-150) and the posting and delivery of the tax roll duplicate by the county auditor to the county treasurer. Requested by The Honorable Maria Walls, Beaufort County Treasurer. Read full opinion.

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September 23, 2016

Opinion on using public funds to do work on private property in emergency situations (Richland County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 21). Requested by Bradley T. Farrar, Esquire, Attorney for Richland County. Read full opinion.

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September 12, 2016

Opinion on meeting rules of the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs and the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Requested by The Honorable John Scott, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.  

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September 9, 2016

Opinion on whether a special purpose district is considered a city/town or an unincorporated community with respect to insurance (Sections 29-3-320 and 29-3-330). Requested by Paul Zier, Esquire, Counsel to the Langley Water Sewer and Fire District. Read full opinion.

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September 6, 2016

Opinion on Sections 30-1-10C and D and 30-1-90A (approval process for Records Retention Schedules by the SC Department of Archives & History. Requested by W. Eric Emerson, Ph.D., Director and SHPO, SC Department of Archives & History. Read full opinion.

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September 1, 2016

Opinion on Oconee County Ordinance 2015-35 (Reformed and Restated Ground Lease Agreement). Requested by David A. Root, Esquire, Oconee County Attorney. Read full opinion.

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August 29, 2016

Opinion on proposed ordinance to provide a mandatory retirement age for the municipal judge (Section 26-5). Requested by The Honorable Gloria Hines, Mayor, City of Darlington. Read full opinion.

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August 29, 2016

Opinion on what criteria must be met before state employees are allowed to participate in retirement system (Sections 9-1-1550, 1815, 1970 and 1980). Requested by The Honorable Jeffrey Bradley, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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August 29, 2016

Opinion on whether certain information must be redacted from voter registration lists prior to being furnished to any qualified elector. Requested by Ms. Marci Andino, Executive Director, S.C. Election Commission. Andino M. OS-10065 FINAL Opinion 8-29-2016 (01102168xD2C78)  

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August 24, 2016

Opinion on dual office holding. Requested by Mr. H. Jerry Morris, Chairman, Barnweil County Museum. Read full opinion.  

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August 19, 2016

Opinion on whether a special district fire board can be elected by popular vote. Requested by The Honorable Stephen Goldfinch, Jr., Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.  

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August 16, 2016

Opinion on whether an outcome of a vote can be changed in a subsequent meeting for filling vacancies on the Renewable Water Resources Board of Commissioners. Requested by The Honorable Bruce Bannister, Vice Chairman, Greenville County Legislative Delegation. Read full opinion.

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August 9, 2016

Opinion pertaining to the duration of limited partnerships contained in S.C. Code Section 33-42-75. Requested by The Honorable Mark Hammond, South Carolina Secretary of State. Read full opinion

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August 5, 2016

Opinion pertaining to covenants and bylaws of homeowners associations. Requested by The Hon. Stephen L. Goldfinch, Jr., South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion

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August 1, 2016

Opinion regarding the propriety of the Budget Savings Suggestion Program. Requested by Arrigo P. Carotti, Esq., Horry County Attorney. Read full opinion

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July 18, 2016

Opinion on whether airplanes used solely for crop dusting are considered farm machinery under Section 12-37-220(B)(14). Requested by The Honorable Brian Shult, Georgetown County Auditor. Read full opinion.

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July 11, 2016

Opinion seeking further clarification regarding how to determine the residency of members of the Cheraw Town Council, and whether a municipal councilman is required to resign his position upon military deployment or otherwise have his position filled by appointment. Requested by Mr. Michael D. Smith, Town Administrator, Town of Cheraw. Read full opinion

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July 7, 2016

Opinion regarding a recurring situation in Irmo. Requested by The Honorable Joe Nates, Chief, Irmo Police Department. Read full opinion

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July 5, 2016

Opinion regarding the legality and implications of certain actions by a county supervisor. Requested by The Honorable John Richard C. King, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion

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June 28, 2016

Opinion on whether an ordinance presented for the second and final reading in redline is in final form because it is redlined. Requested by G. Waring Parker, Attorney for Town of Summerville. Read full opinion.

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June 24, 2016

Opinion regarding whether a homeowners’ association can prohibit a residential homeowner from erecting a stand-alone flag pole on their property to fly the American flag. Requested by The Honorable Bill Taylor, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion

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June 21, 2016

Opinion regarding whether serving on both the Dorchester County Water Authority and the Department of Transportation Commission would constitute dual office holding. Requested by The Honorable Sean M. Bennett, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion

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June 21, 2016

Opinion regarding a decision of the South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Commission. Requested by The Honorable Peter M. McCoy, Jr., Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion

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June 14, 2016

Opinion regarding who should bear the medical expense for the physical required of county firemen. Requested by The Honorable Tom Corbin, Senator, District 5. Read full opinion

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June 14, 2016

Opinion regarding dual office holding. Requested by Mr. Gary Kubic, Beaufort County Administrator. Read full opinion

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June 6, 2016

Opinion regarding the Treasurer’s right to carry a concealed weapon in the Lexington County Treasurer’s Office. Requested by The Honorable James Eckstrom, Treasurer, County of Lexington. Read full opinion

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June 1, 2016

Opinion regarding whether simultaneous service as auditor for Lee County and as a non-voting advisory member of the Lee County Archives Commission would violate our State’s Constitutional prohibition against dual office holding. Requested by The Honorable Cecil LaVear Stevens, Lee County Auditor, Senior Official, Lee County Court House. Read full opinion

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May 31, 2016

Opinion on authority of a municipal council to remove a person from a meeting. Requested by Ms. Miriam Hair, Executive Director, Municipal Association of South Carolina. Read full opinion.

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May 24, 2016

Opinion on the legality of a grant awarded by the Marlboro County Transportation Commission for the resurfacing and fencing at a local state-owned lake. Requested by Harry R. Easterling, Jr., Attorney for Marlboro County. Read full opinion.  

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May 19, 2016

Opinion regarding Senate Bill 229.

Requested by The Honorable Jeffrey A. Bradley, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.

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May 17, 2016

Opinion regarding whether a referendum held by the Town of Duncan on November 3, 2015 is valid.

Requested by The Honorable Lisa C. Scott, Mayor, Town of Duncan.

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May 17, 2016

Opinion regarding purchases made by scrap metal dealers.

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

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May 12, 2016

Opinion regarding a possible conflict between statutes establishing the method of appointment of members of the Tri-County Technical College.

Requested by The Honorable Gary E. Clary, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.

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May 6, 2016

Opinion regarding whether service as a council member for the Cherokee County Council and as a member of the Macedonia Fire District Board would violate our State’s constitutional prohibition of dual office holding.

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

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May 6, 2016

Opinion pertaining to S.C. Code Ann. § 61-6-2010 (2009 & Supp. 2015).

Requested by Mary C. McCormac, Esquire, Legal Counsel for City of Clemson.

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May 3, 2016

Opinion regarding a contribution by the City of Orangeburg to South Carolina State University.

Requested by James F. Walsh, Jr., Esquire, City Attorney for Orangeburg.

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May 3, 2016

Opinion regarding whether or not the Home Rule Act invalidates the laws in Chapter
11, Title 6 of the SC Code of Laws, relating to special purpose districts.

Requested by The Honorable Donna C. Hicks, Member, and The Honorable Doug Brannon, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.

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May 3, 2016

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. § 17-5-130 (2014 & Supp. 2015) which relates to the qualifications that must be met to serve as coroner.

Requested by The Honorable Danny B. Verdin, Senator, District 9.

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April 29, 2016

Opinion pertaining to the annual ad valorem tax levy collected for the Recreation Commission of Richland County.

Requested by Mr. Larry C. Smith, Esquire, Attorney for Richland County.

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April 28, 2016

Opinion regarding whether commodity boards are exempt from the South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code.

Requested by The Honorable Hugh E. Weathers, South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

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April 25, 2016

Opinion on the South Carolina Comprehensive Health Education Program (Section 59-32-10). Requested by The Honorable Molly M. Spearman, Superintendent, South Carolina Department of Education. Read full opinion.

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April 25, 2016

Opinion concerning a coroner’s ability to access unfounded DSS case information.

Requested by Anthony S.H. Catone, General Counsel, South Carolina Department of Social Services.

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April 25, 2016

Opinion on whether or not the Legislative Audit Council has the authority to audit the Greenville Health System Office of Philanthropy.

Requested by Eric Douglass, General Counsel, Legislative Audit Committee.

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April 20, 2016

Opinion regarding Nov. 16, 2015 opinion to the Town of Irmo’s Chief of Police, Joe Nates.

Requested by The Honorable Hardy King, Mayor of Irmo; The Honorable Julius Waites, Irmo Town Council Member; and The Honorable Mark Pouliot, Irmo Town Council Member.

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April 20, 2016

Opinion regarding whether motor vehicles may be sold by retail auction to members of the public.

Requested by John F. Laganelli, Acting Executive Director, South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.

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April 20, 2016

Opinion concerning security for county voter registration and elections offices.

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

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April 20, 2016

Opinion on S.687 (regulation of non-profit corporations).

Requested by The Honorable Chip Huggins, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.

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April 14, 2016

Opinion regarding the correct method to determine the permitted operating millage increase for the School District in each fiscal year.

Requested by Francenia B. Heizer, Esquire, McNair Law Firm, P.A.

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April 12, 2016

Opinion pertaining to the Charleston County School District.

Requested by The Honorable Joseph K. Bowers, III, Member of the Board of Trustees, St. James-Santee Constituent School District.

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March 31, 2016

Opinion pertaining to fire protection services provided to the Town of Fort Lawn.

Requested by The Honorable John R. Rumford, Mayor, Town of Fort Lawn.

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March 31, 2016

Opinion regarding whether the Buffalo Volunteer Fire Department is a special purpose district.

Requested by The Honorable Bryan Gardin, Chief, Buffalo Fire Department.

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March 29, 2016

Opinion regarding whether service as a hearing officer, as designed in S.C. Code Ann. § 40-1-90(A) (2011), would constitute as an office for purposes of the dual office holding prohibition in the South Carolina Constitution.

Requested by Darra James Coleman, Esq., S.C. Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

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March 24, 2016

Opinion regarding whether the board of trustees of the Veterans’ Trust Fund of South Carolina has any personal liability with regard to their service on the board.

Requested by R. Bernard Chapman, Jr., Veterans’ Trust Fund of South Carolina.

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March 18, 2016

Opinion regarding pending legislation titled the South Carolina Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act.

Requested by The Honorable Robert W. Hayes, Jr., Senator, District No. 15, and The Honorable Ronnie W. Cromer, Senator, District No. 18.

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March 16, 2016

Opinion on whether the Governor possesses the authority to suspend or remove individuals from office. Requested by Holly Pisarik, Chief Legal Counsel, Office of the Governor. Read full opinion.

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March 15, 2016

Opinion on whether 5th & 12th DUI courts are operating in conformity with Sec. 44-53-450 and conditional pleas.

Requested Warren Ganjehshani, General Counsel, S.C. Department of Public Safety.

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March 15, 2016

Opinion regarding S.C. Code § 44-53-450.

Requested by Warren V. Ganjehsani, Esquire, General Counsel, S.C. Department of Public Safety.

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March 8, 2016

Opinion regarding South Carolina’s Voter ID law.

Requested by The Honorable Tommy Pope, Speaker Pro Tempore, SC House of Representatives.

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March 4, 2016

Opinion regarding the regulation of firearms in the Greenville Arena District.

Requested by Dante Russo, Vice Chairman, Greenville Arena District.

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March 4, 2016

Opinion regarding the Cherokee Springs Fire District in Spartanburg County.

Requested by The Honorable Shane Martin, Senator, District 13.

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March 1, 2016

Opinion regarding SC Constitution Article VII, Section 7.

Requested by Bradley T. Farrar, Esq., Chief Deputy Richland County Attorney.

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February 24, 2016

Follow-up opinion to the November 24, 2015 opinion regarding School Resource Officers.

Requested by The Honorable Paul Thurmond, Member, South Carolina Senate, District No. 41.

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February 24, 2016

Opinion regarding whether “toxicology reports are considered to be ‘medical records’ under Section 30-4-20(c) of the South Carolina Code and therefore exempt from disclosure under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.”

Requested by The Honorable Rusty Clevenger, Coroner, Spartanburg County.

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February 19, 2016

Opinion regarding dual-office holding, notaries public and summary court judges.

Requested by The Honorable James F. Hicks, III.

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February 12, 2016

Opinion regarding whether Lexington County Health Services District may donate funds to the Good Samaritan Clinic when the funds are to be used solely to operate free clinics located in Lexington County and to provide for healthcare services at those clinics.

Requested by Tod Augsburger, Chief Executive Officer, Lexington Medical Center.

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February 11, 2016

Opinion regarding whether the Beaufort County Board of Education has the authority to discipline one of its own members for policy or conduct violations in executive session pursuant to Section 30-4-70(a)(1) (2007 & Supp. 2015) of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.

Requested by Drew H. Davis, Esq., General Counsel, Beaufort County Board of Education.

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February 10, 2016

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of an abortion regulation.

Requested by The Honorable Gary E. Clary, Ad Hoc Committee Chair, Legislative Oversight Committee.

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February 10, 2016

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. § 27-18-40, which is part of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, S.C. Code Ann. § 27-18-10 et seq. (1976 Code, as amended).

Requested by The Honorable Curtis M. Loftis, Jr., State Treasurer.

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February 5, 2016

Opinion regarding “investigations and arrests made by private security officers.”

Requested by The Honorable Steve Loftis, Sheriff, Greenville County.

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January 26, 2016

Opinion regarding Section 4-8-20 of the 1976 South Carolina Code of Laws.

Requested by Walter H. Sanders, Jr., Esquire, Attorney for Allendale County.

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February 3, 2016

Opinion regarding suspended sentences in juvenile adjudications.

Requested by Caroline F. Fox, Senior Assistant Solicitor, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Office of the Solicitor.

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January 26, 2016

Opinion regarding books and records inspection for homeowners associations in South Carolina.

Requested by Senator Tom Davis.

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January 13, 2016

Opinion on the appropriate procedure to be taken by a magistrates’ court during an action for possession and subsequent appeal filed pursuant to the South Carolina Residential Landlord Tenant Act.

Requested by The Honorable Scott D. Whittle, Magistrate, County of Lexington.

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January 11, 2016

Opinion regarding the “wording and definition in the state statute for persons required to report, [S.C. Code] 63-7-310.”

Requested by The Honorable Michael Crenshaw, Sheriff, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.

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January 6, 2016

Opinion regarding whether certain maintenance renovations to the existing passenger facilities presently located and operating on the southern end of Union Pier Terminal in Charleston County would be exempt from permitting under the Coastal Zone Management Act, S.C. Code Ann. 48-39-10 et seq.

Requested by Philip L. Lawrence, Esq., General Counsel, South Carolina Ports Authority.

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January 5, 2016

Opinion regarding whether a conflict of interest would arise if an individual is serving in the capacity of both “an elected SC School Board member” and as an assistant or head coach of a sports team of the same district.

Requested by Chairman Linda A. Wooten, Board of Trustees for Lexington School District Two.

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