2017 Opinions

December 11, 2017

Opinion as to the exclusion of information relating to security plans and devices (cybersecurity matters) under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act (Section 30-4-20(c)). Requested by Ms. Marci Andino, Executive Director, South Carolina Election Commission. Read full opinion.

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December 5, 2017

Opinion on whether a county administrator can control an elected office indirectly and alter the performed duties of the auditor. Requested by The Honorable Jim Beckert, Beaufort County Auditor. Read full opinion.

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December 1, 2017

Opinion on the constitutional requirement to affix the Great Seal of the State upon a legislative act when enacted (S.C. Const. Art III, Section 18). Requested by The Honorable Joshua Putnam, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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November 30, 2017

Opinion on trespassing on public school property. Requested by The Honorable Mia McLeod, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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November 20, 2017

Opinion on South Carolina Code Ann. Sections 4-8-20 et seq. and 4-8-95 (Does a commission for the creation of a consolidated political subdivision have authority to continue studies and the drafting of a proposed consolidated government charter where a city council preemptively voted to exclude itself?) Requested by Walter H. Sanders, Esquire, Attorney for Allendale County. Read full opinion.

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November 14, 2017

Opinion on South Carolina Code Section 59-53-10 et seq. as to whether the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education has the authority to temporarily assume control of and financial operation of a technical college where the college has or is projected to have a budget deficit within the current fiscal year. Requested by Mr. Tim Hardee, President, SC Technical College System and Executive Director, State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education. Read full opinion.

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October 31, 2017

Opinion on schools of choice (South Carolina Code Section 59-19-350). Requested by The Honorable Molly M. Spearman, State Superintendent of Education. Read full opinion.

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October 31, 2017

Opinion on dual office holding (Deputy Coroner and board member of the Rescue Squad Board). Requested by The Honorable Laura G. Kneece, Coroner, Newberry County. Read full opinion.

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October 30, 2017

Opinion on the Town of James Island raising millage to purchase solid waste collection by contract from James Island Public Service District. Requested by The Honorable Bill Woolsey, Mayor, Town of St. James Island. Read full opinion.

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October 27, 2017

Opinion clarifying the October 11, 2017 opinion on the legality of a non-profit organization holding a Riverboat Casino night. Requested by The Honorable Neal Collins, The Honorable Gary Clary, Members, South Carolina House of Representatives, and The Honorable Thomas Alexander, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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October 27, 2017

Opinion on tobacco retail licensing. Requested by Teresa A. Knox, Esquire, Attorney for City of Columbia. Read full opinion.

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October 24, 2017

Opinion on the procedure of the disposition of cash property received from a defendant by the sheriff’s office. Requested by The Honorable S. Duane Lewis, Berkeley County Sheriff. Read full opinion.

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October 18, 2017

Opinion on dual office holding (board chairperson of S.C. public charter school and a member on a charter committee for a separate proposed charter school, Sec. 59-40-40(7)). Requested by Tyler R. Turner, Esquire, counsel to Cyber Academy of South Carolina. Read full opinion.

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October 17, 2017

Opinion on dual office holding (local magistrate and serve as county attorney in same county). Requested by The Honorable Margie Bright Matthews, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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October 11, 2017

Opinion on the legality of gambling in the context of a “casino night” held by a private organization as a charity fundraiser. Requested by Captain Chad Brooks, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. Read full opinion.

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October 11, 2017

Opinion on the interpretation of South Carolina Code Section 59-25-10 (regarding employment as a teacher of a member of the board of trustees or member of the immediate family of a member of the board of trustees of any school). Requested by The Honorable Shane Martin, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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October 11, 2017

Opinion on whether the City of Charleston can require animal-drawn carriage businesses to take part in a scientific study of working conditions for animal welfare. Requested by The Honorable Peter McCoy, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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October 10, 2017

Opinion on interpretation of S.C. Code Ann. Section 54-3-119 regarding eminent domain, the Rule Against Perpetuities, and the right of first refusal for landowners and their heirs. Requested by Randolph R. Lowell, Esquire, Attorney for the South Carolina Ports Authority. Read full opinion.

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October 9, 2017

Opinion on the rules of Greenville County Council. Requested by The Honorable Garry R. Smith, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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October 9, 2017

Opinion on reducing the number of polling places during a municipal election for council members to one central polling place. Requested by G.W. Parker, Esquire, Attorney for Town of Summerville. Read full opinion.

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September 26, 2017

Opinion on whether or not the South Carolina Department of Transportation projects and borrow pits for these projects are subject to local zoning ordinances. Requested by The Honorable Alan D. Clemmons, Chairman, Rules Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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September 26, 2017

Opinion on the constitutionality of the Base Load Review Act of 2007 (S.C. Code Section 58-33-210 et seq.). Requested by The Honorable G. Murrell Smith, Jr., Leon E. Stavrinakis, J. Gary Simrill, and James E. Smith, Jr., Members, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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September 22, 2017

Opinion on the custody and control of a county jail (Sections 24-5-10 and 24-5-12). Jerrod M. Bruder, Executive director, South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association. Read full opinion.

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September 7, 2017

Opinion on charter school funding. Requested by The Honorable Henry McMaster, Governor, South Carolina. Read full opinion.

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September 6, 2017

Opinion on whether individual convicted of arson and received a pardon from South Carolina can be allowed to work for the local fire department (Section 40-80-20, Code of Laws). Requested by The Honorable Kent Williams, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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August 30, 2017

Opinion on whether a county council can spend accommodations or hospitality tax funds to construct a culinary art institute or a culinary art tourism center (Section 6-1-500 et seq.). Requested by Christopher S. Inglese, Esquire, Assistant Attorney for Beaufort County. Read full opinion.

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August 22, 2017

Opinion on whether the Inspector General has authority to review a non-profit charitable foundation created to support a publically-funded state agency. Requested by The Honorable Brian D. Lamkin, Inspector General, Office of the Inspector General. Read full opinion.

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August 16, 2017

Opinion on the crime of moral turpitude, S.C. Const. art. VI, Section 8, and S.C. Code Section 16-5-50. Requested by Thomas A. Limehouse, Jr., Legal Counsel, Office of the Governor. Read full opinion.

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August 16, 2017

Opinion on the requirements for filing a Statement of Economic Interest (SEI). Requested by The Honorable Tommy M. Stringer, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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August 10, 2017

Opinion on the validity of recording deeds by auditors, registers of deeds and clerks of courts in light of S.C. Code Sections 30-5-30, 30-5-80, 8-21-130, and 12-39-260. Requested by James M. Holly, Esquire, Attorney for Aiken County. Read full opinion.

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July 27, 2017

Opinion on the funding for School Resource Officers. Requested William F. Halligan, Attorney for Kershaw County School District. Read full opinion.

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July 21, 2017

Opinion on a proposed municipal incorporation application. Requested by The Honorable Dennis C. Moss, Chairman, Joint Committee on Municipal Incorporation, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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July 13, 2017

Opinion on the Dillon County Council’s use of proceeds from the local option sales tax. Requested by Bruce E. Davis, Esquire, Attorney for Dillon County Board of Education. Read full opinion.

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July 12, 2017

Opinion on eligibility of candidates for certification as law enforcement officers. Requested by Director Lewis J. Swindler Jr., South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Read full opinion.  

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July 11, 2017

Opinion on a provision of the Deferred Presentment Services Act (Section 34-39-270(F) of the South Carolina Code of Laws)). Requested by The Honorable Edward Tallon, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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July 11, 2017

Opinion on S. Bills 365 and 263 (championship license plates). Requested by Mr. Kevin Shwedo, Executive Director, South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. Read full opinion.

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July 10, 2017

Opinion on disbursement of statutory plate fees. Requested by Mr. Kevin Shwedo, Executive Director, South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. Read full opinion.

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July 10, 2017

Opinion on whether an irrevocable credit line can be considered a discharge of real property under S.C. Code Ann. Section 29-5-110. Requested by D. Malloy McEachin, Jr., Attorney for Florence County. Read full opinion.

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June 30, 2017

Opinion on dual office holding (town councilman and member of advisory council on Office on Aging). Requested by The Honorable Mark Smith, Councilman, Town of Mount Pleasant. Read full opinion.  

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June 26, 2017

Opinion on service terms for Commissioners at the South Carolina Department of Transportation. Requested by The Honorable Kirkman Finlay III, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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June 8, 2017

Opinion on whether C-funds can be used to pay for an attorney’s services relating to contracts let by the CTC if the County Transportation Committee is a standalone Committee and not attached to a county council, or a town. Requested by The Honorable Michael W. Gambrell, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.  

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June 5, 2017

Opinion on a clerk’s use of fees paid by bail bondsmen (Section 38-53-100(d)). Requested The Honorable Charles L. Reel, Edgefield County Clerk of Court. Read full opinion.

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June 2, 2017

Opinion on whether the process delineated in Section 6-11-10 et seq. is violative of the South Carolina Constitution. Requested by The Honorable Steven W. Long, and the Honorable Josiah Magnuson, Members, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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May 17, 2017

Opinion on whether a police department may purchase a gyroplane with funds forfeited pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. Section 44-53-520 (2016). Requested by James R. Battle, Esquire, Attorney for the Myrtle Beach Police Department. Read full opinion.

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May 15, 2017

Opinion on which persons qualify as “agents” to represent a business in a civil magistrate’s court proceeding as a non-lawyer. Requested by The Honorable Paul G. Campbell, Jr., Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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May 15, 2017

Opinion on whether a local magistrate can void a county ordinance (Lancaster County Code 22, nuisance complaint). Requested by The Honorable Deborah Long, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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May 4, 2017

Opinion on dual office holding (member of Allendale County School Board and Allendale County Hospital Board). Requested by Walter H. Sanders, Jr., Esquire, Attorney for Allendale County. Read full opinion.

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May 1, 2017

Opinion on the constitutionality of ABA Model Rule 8.4 being adopted in South Carolina (governing the conduct of members of the South Carolina Bar). Requested by The Honorable John R. McCravy III, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.  

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May 1, 2017

Opinion on whether it is appropriate for the S.C. Department of Revenue to charge sales tax for certain transactions. Requested by The Honorable Sandy Senn, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.  

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April 26, 2017

Opinion on incentivized inclusionary zoning requirements (Home Rule Act of 1975). Requested by The Honorable Wendell G. Gilliard, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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April 25, 2017

Opinion on impact of 2016 SC-NC boundary line clarification on students’ ability to attend York County School District. Requested by The Honorable Raye Felder, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.  

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April 24, 2017

Opinion on potential conflict on corporate formation, licensing of two professions, and state procurement and exemptions. Requested by The Honorable Raye Felder, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.  

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April 14, 2017

Opinion on whether a school board chairman has authority to assign seating at meetings and deny the right to vote to a member who refuses to sit in assigned seat. Requested by The Honorable John W. Matthews, Jr., Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.  

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April 13, 2017

Opinion on whether the Pioneer Rural Water District has the power to contract for or undertake construction of a new freshwater treatment facility (Article 3 of Chapter 13, Title 6). Requested by The Honorable Bill Sandifer, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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April 5, 2017

Opinion on whether an audio recording is a public record subject to disclosure under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act (S.C. Code Ann. Sections 30-4-10 et seq.). Requested by The Honorable Katrina Shealy, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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April 3, 2017

Opinion on South Carolina Dept. of Motor Vehicles’ obligation to translate materials under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Executive Order No. 13166. Requested by Mr. Kevin A. Shwedo, Executive Director, South Carolina Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Read full opinion.  

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March 28, 2017

Opinion on whether a South Carolina municipality may implement a private percent for art as part of its building permit program. Requested by Mary C. McCormac, Esquire, Attorney for the City of Clemson. Read full opinion.    

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March 28, 2017

Opinion on whether Richland County is required to provide ambulance service to mentally ill patients (Section 44-17-440). Requested by Elizabeth A. McLean, Deputy Richland County Attorney. Read full opinion.

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March 24, 2017

Opinion on proposed Florence County School Dist. #3 legislation extending the school board term from 3 to 4 years and election of school board to be held on even number years. Requested by The Honorable Roger Kirby, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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March 24, 2017

Opinion on dual office holding (serves as Mayor pro tem and deputy coroner for a county). Requested by The Honorable Rick Martin, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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March 20, 2017

Opinion on dual office holding (County Council Member and Director of Elections/Voter Registration; or Director of Campaigns, Midland Technical College;  or Grants and Government Relations Specialist, Columbia Museum of Art. Requested by Bradley T. Farrar, Esquire, Chief Deputy Richland County Attorney. Read full opinion.

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March 20, 2017

Opinion on continuing education requirements for manufactured housing licenses (S.C. Code Ann. Sections 40-29-5 to -380). Requested by The Honorable Chip Huggins, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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March 14, 2017

Opinion on proposed Greenville County Council ordinance (two parts under one ordinance), number of votes required to pass the ordinance, and whether Section 6-1-330 violates the Home Rule Statute. Requested by The Honorable Dwight Loftis and J.M. “Mike” Burns, Members, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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March 9, 2017

Opinion on crime of moral turpitude. Requested by Thomas Limehouse, Legal Counsel, Office of the Governor. Read full opinion.  

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March 2, 2017

Opinion on legality of Barnwell ordinance (whether Barnwell County can vacate by ordinance the Barnwell County Economic Development Corporation’s and Barnwell County Economic Development Commission’s duties and ownership of land and assets as negotiated with three municipalities). Requested by Thomas M. Boulware, Attorney for City of Barnwell and Town of Williston. Read full opinion.  

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February 28, 2017

Opinion on term of Director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control when filling a previous Director’s unexpired term or serve a new full term (Sections 44-1-10 and 44-1-20). Requested by W. Marshall Taylor, Jr., Chief Counsel to the Board of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Read full opinion.    

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February 21, 2017

Opinion on dual office holding (member of Bishopville City Council and board member of Lee County Archives Commission). Requested by Ms. Henrietta Tindal, Bishopville. Read full opinion.  

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February 14, 2017

Opinion on the constitutionality of delegating the authority to establish business license tax rate classes to the MASC and whether it is permissible for the General Assembly to delegate to the MASC to be the filing body and collector for business license taxes owed by business operators in S.C.   Requested by The Honorable Bill Sandifer, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.  

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February 10, 2017

Opinion on S.C. Code Section 56-3-1965 (whether Charleston County Aviation Authority is a “municipality” and thus subject to the statute requiring municipalities to provide free parking to handicapped people with placards or plates).   Requested by The Honorable Sean M. Bennett, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.    

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February 7, 2017

Opinion on composition of accommodations tax advisory committee and proper disbursement of accommodations tax revenue.   Requested by John O. Williams II, Esquire, Berkeley County Attorney. Read full opinion.  

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February 1, 2017

Opinion on residency requirements for commissioners of the Richland County Recreation Commission.   Requested by The Honorable John Scott, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.

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January 31, 2017

Opinion on eligible voters to be included on voter registration list used when an election is overturned due to irregularities or illegalities.   Requested by Ms. Marci Andino, Executive Director, State Election Commission. Read full opinion.

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January 31, 2017

Opinion on whether Beaufort County has legal responsibility to clear marine debris from property located with the tidelands (Section 48-39-10(G)).   Requested by Thomas Keaveny, Esquire, Beaufort County Attorney. Read full opinion.

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January 25, 2017

Opinion on dual office holding (may the mayor of a small town also work full time as a procurement manager for the SC Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services?).   Requested by Octavia Y. Wright, Legal Counsel, SC Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. Read full opinion.  

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January 23, 2017

Opinion on dual office holding (serve as a member of the Denmark Technical College’s Local Area Commission and as a member of the board for the Orangeburg-Calhoun-Allendale-Bamberg Community Action Agency, Inc.).   Requested by Andrea White, Counsel, Denmark Technical College. Read full opinion.

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January 20, 2017

Opinion on the authority of a municipality to levy a new tax and/or increase a property tax in accord with S.C. Code §§ 6-1-310, 6-1-320 et seq.   Requested by Ms. Miriam Hair, Executive Director, Municipal Association of South Carolina. Read full opinion.

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January 18, 2017

Opinion on the interpretation of the Horizontal Property Act (S.C. Code Section 27-31-10 et seq.) regarding the allocation of insurance deductibles and expenses associated with hurricane damage to horizontal property regimes/associations.   Requested by The Honorable Wm. Weston Newton, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.  

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January 10, 2017

Opinion on statutorily required amortization schedule of unfunded liabilities of the South Carolina Retirement System (S.C. Code Ann. Section 9-1-1085(C)).   Requested by The Honorable Curtis M. Loftis, South Carolina State Treasurer. Read full opinion.  

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January 9, 2017

Opinion on supervised loans governed by S.C. Code Section 37-3-511 (S.C. Consumer Protection Code). Requested by The Honorable James Smith, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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January 6, 2017

Opinion on the Deferred Presentment Services Act (S.C. Code Section 34-39-110 et seq.). Requested by Commissioner Ronald R. Bodvake, South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions. Read full opinion.

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January 4, 2017

Opinion on the assessment of property pursuant to the Bailey Bill (S.C. Code §§ 4-9-195, 5-21-140). Requested by The Honorable Carl Pennington, IV, Mayor, City of Hartsville. Read full opinion.

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January 3, 2017

Opinion on Section 33-31-117 (does the State’s Nonprofit Corporation Act apply to homeowner associations?). Requested by The Honorable Mike Sottile, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.  

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