2019 Opinions

July 12, 2019

Opinion on whether the 5 day notice requirement was violated regarding the meeting of the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees (SC Code of Laws, Section 59-117-50).   Requested by The Honorable Stephen K. Benjamin, Mayor, City of Columbia.   Read full opinion.

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July 10, 2019

Opinion on The Hemp Farming Act (Act 14 of 2019).   Requested by Mr. Mark Keel, Chief, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.   Read full opinion.

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July 2, 2019

Opinion on whether a county council must meet in each calendar month.   Requested by Mr. Larry C. Smith, Attorney for Richland County.   Read full opinion.

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June 28, 2019

Opinion on whether law enforcement and emergency medical personnel are considered “caregivers” under the Omnibus Adult Protection Act.   Requested by The Honorable Katrina F. Shealy, Member, South Carolina Senate.   Read full opinion.

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June 28, 2019

Opinion on whether a member of a school district board of trustees must file a S.C. FOIA request for financial documents of the school district to which he or she was elected.   Requested by the Honorable Cal Forrest, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives and the Honorable Darrell Hudson, Member, Lexington County Council.   Read full opinion.

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June 28, 2019

Opinion on reimbursement for salary and benefit costs of mandatory law enforcement training pursuant to Section 23-23-120.   Requested by Angela B. Mulholland, General Counsel, College of Charleston.   Read full opinion.

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June 28, 2019

Opinion on the appropriate charging statute for operating a moped without a license.   Requested by The Honorable B. Lee Miller, Municipal Judge, City of Greenwood.   Read full opinion.    

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June 28, 2019

Opinion on whether certain high-level drug trafficking offenses should be treated as “day-for-day” offenses or instead are subject to the “eighty-five percent” rule.   Requested by Mr. Brian P. Stirling, Director, South Carolina Department of Corrections.   Read full opinion.

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June 25, 2019

Opinion on the jurisdiction of summary courts over seventeen-year-old persons charged with certain offenses under Section 63-3-520.   Requested by Mr. Robert L. McCurdy, Deputy Director, South Carolina Court Administration.   Read full opinion.

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June 21, 2019

Opinion on whether proof of U.S. citizenship is required to receive the homestead exemption for property taxes.   Requested by The Honorable Jerry N. Govan, Jr., Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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June 19, 2019

Opinion on whether the definition of “prearranged ride” in the Transportation Network Company Act prevents SCDHHS from permitting a nonemergency medical transport broker to contract with a transportation network company.   Requested by The Honorable Lawrence K. Grooms, Member, South Carolina Senate.   Read full opinion.

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June 18, 2019

Opinion on when a decrease in a mayor’s salary can be made effective following a change in the form of municipal government.   Requested by Lawrence E. Flynn , Jr., Esquire, Attorney for City of Union.   Read full opinion.

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June 14, 2019

Opinion on the disposition of forfeited funds and property including accounting requirements.   Requested by The Honorable Jason Elliott, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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June 14, 2019

Opinion on issues arising from implementing new prospective tax billing system for boats, boat motors, and watercraft in 2018 Act No. 223.   Requested by Mr. James Holly, Attorney for Aiken County and Mr. Chris Harmon, Lexington County Auditor.   Read full opinion.

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June 4, 2019

Opinion on the constitutionality of enforcing certain provisions of the South Carolina Ethics, Government Accountability, and Campaign Reform Act of 1991 with regard to political parties, as that term is defined in the Act.   Requested by Ms. Meghan L. Walker, Executive Director, State Ethics Commission.   Read full opinion.

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June 4, 2019

Opinion on whether a member of a school district board of trustees may revoke a tendered resignation before it is accepted.   Requested by Mrs. Bonnie Knight, Member and Acting Board Chairperson for Anderson County School District No. Two.   Read full opinion.

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May 28, 2019

Opinion on whether South Carolina job applicants whose criminal records have been expunged must disclose an arrest, charge or conviction on a job application.   Requested by The Honorable Ashley Trantham, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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May 23, 2019

Opinion on the legality of the City of Rock Hill’s policy of transferring utility revenue to its general fund when it lacks sufficient reserves.   Requested by The Honorable John Richard C. King, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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May 21, 2019

Opinion on the application of S.C.’s school trespass statute to administrative building owned by the school district where school board meetings are held (Section 16-11-620, Code of Laws of South Carolina).   Requested by The Honorable Calvin Collins, Chief of Police, City of Bishopville.   Read full opinion.

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May 16, 2019

Opinion on the Administrative Procedures Act (S.C. Code Ann. Section 1-23-10 et seq.).   Requested by Ms. Ashley Harwell-Beach, Code Commissioner and Director, S.C. Legislative Council.   Read full opinion.

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May 16, 2019

Opinion on whether a proposed sewer utility rate subsidy paid to low income residents for the purpose of offsetting a rate increase that is paid out of a county general fund would violate the prohibition against using public funds for a private purpose.   Requested by Mr. Larry C. Smith, Attorney for Richland County.   Read full opinion.

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May 15, 2019

Opinion on whether the Joint Resolution, 2018 Act No. 272, continues to be binding and controlling authority for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Dam Safety and Reservoirs Program.   Requested by The Honorable David R. Hiott and James M. Burns, Members, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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May 3, 2019

Opinion on how a special purpose fire district may raise its millage rate and how two special purpose districts may be merged.   Requested by The Honorable Glenn G. Reese, Member, South Carolina Senate.   Read full opinion.

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April 29, 2019

Opinion on whether a school resource officer may be assigned to a private, nonprofit school.   Requested by John G. Frampton, Esquire, Attorney for Dorchester County.   Read full opinion.    

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April 23, 2019

Opinion on whether an entity other than the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy would be authorized to provide basic law enforcement training in this State.   Requested by Director Lewis J. Swindler, Jr., South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.   Read full opinion.

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April 23, 2019

Opinion on whether certain test questions used by the SCCJA to evaluate certificate eligibility of LEO candidates must be disclosed in response to a FOIA request.   Requested by Director Lewis J. Swindler, Jr., South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.   Read full opinion.

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April 22, 2019

Opinion on whether sick leave, annual leave, and attendance log of public employees may be exempted from disclosure under the S.C. FOIA.   Requested by Stephen F. Morris, Director, South Carolina Department on Aging.   Read full opinion.

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April 17, 2019

Opinion on dual office holding and master-servant.   Requested by Joseph T. Mathis, Esquire, General Counsel for Cherokee County.   Read full opinion.

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April 12, 2019

Opinion on the interpretation of S.C. Code Ann. Section 63-13-20(4)(e) relating “to exemptions from the definition of a child care facility as relates to what is commonly called summer camps.”   Requested by The Honorable Shannon Erickson, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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April 8, 2019

Opinion on which State agency has jurisdiction over the New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam.   Requested by The Honorable W. Dean Moss, Jr., Chairman, Savannah River Maritime Commission.   Read full opinion.

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April 3, 2019

Opinion on whether the Pickens County Water Authority may provide water service in areas where municipalities also provide water service outside of their corporate limits.   Requested by The Honorable David R. Hiott, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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April 1, 2019

Opinion on prohibition on masking convections (49 C.F.R. 384.226).   Requested by the Honorable Jimmy A. Richardson, II, Solicitor, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit.   Read full opinion.

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March 29, 2019

Opinion on a political subdivision’s liability for “costs” upon submitting an excessive millage rate to a county auditor.   Requested by Andrea E. White, Esquire, Counsel to the Abbeville County School District.   Read full opinion.

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March 27, 2019

Opinion on dual office holding (part time police officer for Town of Chesterfield and director of Chesterfield County Animal Services).   Requested by Mr. Carlos G. Perez V., Director, Chesterfield County Animal Services.   Read full opinion.

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March 27, 2019

Opinion on the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle’s interpretation of Section 12-37-2850 regarding the collection of road use fees due on large commercial motor vehicles and buses.   Requested by The Honorable William M. Hixon, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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March 19, 2019

Opinion on dual office holding (service in the S.C. State Guard is exempt from dual office holder prohibition).   Requested by The Honorable Stephen L. Goldfinch, Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.    

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March 18, 2019

Opinion on whether a Superintendent of a County School District has the authority to close Islands Academy.   Requested By Herbert Berg, Ed.D. Interim Superintendent, Beaufort County School District.   Read full opinion.

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March 11, 2019

Opinion on dual office holding.   Requested by The Honorable Ronald Young, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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March 5, 2019

Opinion on whether information entered into the ODMAP application by first responders regarding drug-related overdoses violates any state or HIPAA laws concerning protected health information (Sections 44-22-100, 44-115-40, 44-4-560, 44-117-350; and 38-93-40, South Carolina Code of Laws).   Requested by Joseph Y. Shenkar, General Counsel, South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services.   Read full opinion.

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March 4, 2019

Opinion on whether, when the elements of the crime of voyeurism set out in Section 16-17-470(B) are met, South Carolina law criminalizes secret video recording by a consensual sexual partner just as if the recording were made by a third party.   Requested by Thomas M. Aiken, Investigator, Furman University Police. Read full opinion.  

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February 27, 2019

Opinion on whether the law related to casino night events was altered by certain amendments to Article XVII, Section 7 of the South Carolina Constitution and Section 33-57-100 et seq., of the Code of Laws which provided for the lawful operation of charitable raffles.   Requested by The Honorable W. Walter Wilkins, Solicitor, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit.   Read full opinion.

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February 27, 2019

Opinion on proposed House Bill 3086, regulation of commercial dog breeders and 4th Amendment privacy issues (Section 47-3-1050).   Requested by Ms. Kelsey Gilmore-Futeral, South Carolina State Director, Humane Society of the U.S.   Read full opinion.  

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February 27, 2019

Opinion on the Mayo Area Fire District’s increase of the tax millage rate and elected commissioners serving as volunteer firemen (Act No. 388).   Requested by The Honorable Glenn G. Reese, Member, South Carolina Senate.   Read full opinion.

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February 21, 2019

Opinion on the applicability of the South Carolina Fair Housing law to the Catawba Indian Nation (Section 31-21-10, South Carolina Code of Laws).   Requested by The Honorable Raymond Buxton, II, Commissioner, and R. Alexander Pate, II, Staff Counsel, South Carolina Human Affairs Commission.   Read full opinion.

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February 15, 2019

Opinion on whether the PRT or any State agency has the right to adopt regulations which restrict the public’s access to the beach on St. Phillips Island.   Requested by The Honorable Tom Davis, Member, South Carolina Senate.   Read full opinion.

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February 11, 2019

Opinion on the City of Charleston’s Municipal Ordinance Section 21-113 (trespass warnings).   Requested by The Honorable P. Alesia Rico Flores, Administrative Judge, City of Charleston.   Read full opinion.

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January 31, 2019

Opinion on pawn loan regulations (South Carolina Code of Laws Title 40, Chapter 39).   Requested by The Honorable Jonathon D. Hill, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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January 31, 2019

Opinion on e-citations (S.C. Code of Laws, Section 56-5-1900)   Requested by Brandy A. Duncan, Assistant General Counsel, S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.   Read full opinion.

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January 28, 2019

Opinion on the property tax appeals process.   Requested by The Honorable Con Chellis, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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January 23, 2019

Opinion on whether individual school districts can be licensed as proprietary security businesses in South Carolina (Section 40-18-60).   Requested by Mark A. Keel, Chief, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.   Read full opinion.    

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January 14, 2019

Opinion on Inclusionary Zoning (S.346 and H.4162).   Requested by The Honorable Marvin Pendarvis, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.    

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January 10, 2019

Opinion on whether the language “unless specifically prohibited by law” in Section 16-23-20 of the South Carolina Code includes prohibitions found in federal law (unlawful carrying of handgun; exceptions).   Requested by Sgt. Mike Lyons, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office.   Read full opinion.

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January 4, 2019

Opinion on the subpoena power of a standing committee (Sections 2-69-10, -20, -30, -40 and 2-2-50, Code of Laws of South Carolina).   Requested by The Honorable Marvin Pendarvis, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives.   Read full opinion.

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