Posts Tagged ‘Municipalities’

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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)

 

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.

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July 7, 2016

Opinion regarding a recurring situation in Irmo.

Requested by The Honorable Joe Nates, Chief, Irmo Police Department.

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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.

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June 14, 2016

Opinion regarding dual office holding.

Requested by Mr. Gary Kubic, Beaufort County Administrator.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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 15, 2016

Opinion on whether two DUI courts are operating in conformity with Sec. 44-53-450 and conditional pleas.

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

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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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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 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 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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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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December 30, 2015

Opinion regarding whether the Clarendon County Fire Protection Service Area would be subject to the millage rate cap imposed by S.C. Code Ann. 6-1-320 (Supp. 2014).

Requested by Patricia Pringle, Esq., Clarendon County Auditor.

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December 16, 2015

Opinion regarding whether S.C. Code Ann. 5-7-180 prohibits the Fire Chief or member of the City of Loris Volunteer Fire Department from simultaneously serving as a member of the Loris City Council.

Requested by Michael W. Battle, Esq., City Attorney for the City of Loris.

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December 11, 2015

Opinion on the State Ethics Act.

Requested by The Honorable David Pascoe, Solicitor, First Judicial Circuit.

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December 10, 2015

Opinion regarding the validity of a certain provision of a business license ordinance in place in the City of Hardeeville.

Requested by Prina C. Maines, Esq., Hardeeville City Attorney.

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November 12, 2015

Opinion regarding the Savannah Lakes Village Special Tax District.

Requested by G.P. Callison, Jr., Esquire, McCormick County Attorney, Callison Dorn Law Firm, P.A.

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November 2, 2015

Opinion on police officers signing other officers’ warrants.

Requested by The Honorable Dana Turner, Chief Administrative Judge, City of Columbia Municipal Court.

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October 13, 2015

Opinion regarding whether the Bamberg Board of Public Works may purchase, own and operate a golf course or a “country club” which would include a golf course, pool and meeting facilities, etc.

Requested by Will Martin, General Manager, Bamberg Board of Public Works.

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September 28, 2015

Opinion on Act 432, can Greenville Health Systems transfer ownership of itself to a private entity without public or legislative approval.

Requested by the Greenville Legislative Delegation.

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September 28, 2015

Opinion on whether Greenville Health Systems can transfer assets to a foundation that has no accountability to the Greenville Legislative Delegation.

Requested by The Honorable Mike Fair, Member, South Carolina Senate.

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September 17, 2015

Opinion regarding 30-9-30(B)(2) of the Code of Laws of South Carolina.

Requested by Marvin C. Jones, Esq., Office of the Jasper County Attorney.

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September 15, 2015

Opinion regarding if the Florence County’s borrowing of millions of dollars beyond the county’s Constitutional debt limit of $35 million dollars renders the Constitutional debt limit of a county a thing of the past.

Requested by The Honorable Dean Fowler, Office of Treasurer, Florence County

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September 3, 2015

Opinion regarding whether the Tourism Expenditure Review Committee is obliged to review expenditures of state accommodations tax funds by tourism promotion organizations which have received distributions from municipalities and counties from the special fund for tourism created by S.C. Code 6-4-10(3).

Requested by Edward W. Riggs, Sr. Chairman, South Carolina Tourism Expenditure Review Committee.

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August 7, 2015

Opinion regarding the interpretation of Section 17-13-40 of the South Carolina code, known to some as the “hot pursuit statute.”

Requested by The Honorable Dennis K. Tyndall, Chief of Police, West Columbia Police Department.

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July 20, 2015

Opinion on Columbia City Council ordinance banning weapons within 250 feet of the State House.

Requested by The Honorable Ronnie W. Cromer, Member, South Carolina Senate.

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July 6, 2015

Opinion regarding the legality of city council meetings alleged to be illegal pursuant to the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.

Requested by The Honorable Joe Owens, Mayor of West Columbia.

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June 11, 2015

Opinion regarding prosecutorial discretion and the limits the law places on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

Requested by Mary C. McCormac, Esq., Attorney for Town of Iva.

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June 2, 2015

Opinion regarding the ability of utilities to obtain encroachment permits on preexisting easements and rights of ways specifically related to the operations of the public utility.

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

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May 27, 2015

Opinion regarding whether it would be dual office holding for the Mayor of the Town of Edgefield to serve as Chief of the fire department.

Requested by Roger LeDuc, Town of Edgefield Administrator.

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May 19, 2015

Opinion regarding what appears to be a conflict between the ability to campaign within the vicinity of a polling place on an election day and the authority of a homeowners’ association to regulate political campaign signage and solicitation within the given community.

Requested by Ms. Allison C. Coppage, Esq., Assistant Beaufort County Attorney.

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April 17, 2015

Opinion regarding Section 17-13-60, persons are not arrested, but may be served process, precludes law enforcement officers from serving outstanding arrest warrants and/or bench warrants on persons or traveling to/from court for roll call and other proceedings except for treason, felony or breach of the peace.

Requested by Sheriff Anthony Dennis, Sumter.

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April 9, 2015

Opinion regarding whether a special tax district commission appointed by County Council for a specific purpose is entitled to governmental immunity as an arm of the County, and whether individual commissioners have governmental immunity.

Requested by Mr. Joshua A. Gruber, Esq., County Attorney for Beaufort County.

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March 31, 2015

Opinion regarding “the ability of utilities to obtain encroachment permits on preexisting easements and rights of ways specifically related to the operations of the public utility.”

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

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March 13, 2015

Opinion regarding Town of Atlantic Beach Ordinance No. 9-2009 amending 1-2-7 of the Code of Ordinances for the Town of Atlantic Beach.

Requested by The Honorable Jake Evans, Town of Atlantic Beach.

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February 25, 2015

Opinion regarding whether a “walk through” of the “Old Simpsonville School Building” / “‘Arts Center” attended by two of the three members of the Council’s Recreation and Events Committee would be subject to the open meeting requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.

Requested by Phyllis Long, City Clerk, Simpsonville City Council.

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February 17, 2015

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of Goose Creek Ordinance No. 13-009, and whether revenue from the Local Hospitality Tax established by the City of Goose Creek pursuant to S.C. Code §6-1-720 et seq. and the ordinance may be used to pay for a recreational facility.

Requested by The Honorable Joe Daning, Representative, District No. 92.

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February 12, 2015

Opinion regarding the boundaries of the Metropolitan Sewer Subdistrict.

Requested by James R. Freeland, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, Metropolitan Sewer Subdistrict.

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February 4, 2015

Opinion related to the expungement of criminal records of an individual arrested for driving under the influence on three occasions.

Requested by Chief Mark A. Keel, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

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February 2, 2015

Opinion regarding whether a defendant who has demanded a jury trial in summary court can waive such a demand by conduct.

Requested by Rosalyn W. Frierson, Director, South Carolina Court Administration.

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December 17, 2014

Opinion regarding the applicability of the South Carolina Tort Claims Act to tort claims brought against the South Carolina Municipal Insurance and Risk Financing Fund.

Requested by The Honorable Rebecca Vance, Manager, Town of Cayce.

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December 4, 2014

Opinion regarding a Freedom of Information Act request that was received by the Fairfield County Detention Facility.

Requested by John E. James, III, County Attorney for Fairfield County.

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November 25, 2014

Opinion regarding the suitability of implementing a land-use regulation permitting the Anderson Soil and Water Conservation District and each watershed director of the watersheds within the Anderson Soil and Water Conservation District the authority to issue and enforce criminal trespass notices to protect against “malicious trespass, damage and pollution to the watersheds, structures, and easements thereof.”

Requested by Captain Leonardo Ortiz, Anderson Soil and Water Commissioner.

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November 18, 2014

Opinion, requested on behalf of a constituent, regarding whether the Simpsonville City Council had “authority” in the actions of “demoting Police Chief Steve Moore and reinstating . . . [former police chief Keith] Grounsell . . . during a February 25, 2014, council meeting.”

Requested by The Honorable Mark N. Willis, House District No. 16.

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October 16, 2014

Opinion regarding whether an individual member of a town council in a council form of government, without prior vote of a majority of council, has authority to independently review employee personnel files, cell phone records which are paid for by the town, and professional contract documents.

Requested by J. Martin Harvey, Esq., Allendale Town Attorney.

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October 1, 2014

Opinion regarding the validity and enforcement of Town Ordinance 224, which “restricts all electronic communication in a. . . school zone.”

Requested by Chief H. Harold Brown, Chief of Police, Elgin Police Department.

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September 29, 2014

Opinion regarding whether it is a violation for people who do not live inside of a town’s limits to cast ballots in an election for a town official.

Requested by The Honorable Dennis Moss, Representative, House District 29.

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September 23, 2014

Opinion regarding the ownership of the Georgetown County Rice Museum/Town Clock and its contents.

Requested by Wesley P. Bryant, Georgetown County Attorney.

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September 3, 2014

Opinion regarding the applicable constitutional law concerning public invocations as provided in SC Code 6-1-160(C).

Requested by William F. Halligan, Esq., Childs & Halligan.

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August 28, 2014

Opinion regarding the ability of an associate probate judge to serve as the personal representative for an estate of a “family friend” pursuant to her appointment within the decedent’s Last Will and Testament.

Requested by The Honorable Kathy P. Zorn, Pickens County Probate Court.

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August 25, 2014

Opinion regarding whether the Election Commission should proceed with placing the form of government referendum question for the Town of Chapin on the November 4, 2014 general election ballot.

Requested by Jeff M. Anderson, Esq., Attorney for the County of Lexington.

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August 19, 2014

Opinion as to whether serving concurrently on the South Carolina State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education and the Horry County Solid Waste Authority Board of Directors would contravene the dual office holding prohibition set forth in our State’s Constitution.

Requested by: Ms. Connie S. Turner, Horry County Legislative Delegation, Administration Assistant

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August 14, 2014

Opinion regarding several questions on special elections in the County of Lexington.

Requested by: Mr. Jeff M. Anderson, Attorney for the County of Lexington

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August 8, 2014

Opinion regarding the interpretation of Section 16-1-57 of the South Carolina Code, also known as the “three strikes and you’re out” statute.

Requested by: The Honorable B. Lee Miller, Greenwood Municipal Court

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July 28, 2014

Opinion concerning the Beaufort County Library Board of Trustees (“Board”), this Office determined that the Board reported to and was accountable to the county administrator and not to the county council.

Requested by: Leesa Benggio, Interim Director, South Carolina State Library

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July 15, 2014

Opinion as to whether an individual can serve as Elloree’s clerk of court if she currently serves as a neighboring municipality’s clerk of court and associate municipal court judge.

Requested by: The Honorable Mike Fanning, Mayor Pro Tem

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July 14, 2014

Opinion answering multiple questions in regards to charging and prosecuting the DUI on the designated ticket.

Requested by: The Honorable Steve Loftis, Greenville County Sheriff’s Office

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July 3, 2014

Opinion concerning whether or not Oconee County may continue to utilize late tax penalties collected by the county on ad valorem taxes.

Requested by: The Honorable Gregorie W. Nowell, Oconee County Treasurer

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June 18, 2014

Opinion asking does the Charleston County Aviation Authority, as a special purpose district, have to pay building permit fees, or is the special purpose district exempt from such ordinances and regulations enacted by the county or municipality with jurisdiction over the special purpose district?

Requested by: Andrew Savage, Esquire, Charleston County Aviation Authority

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June 13, 2014

Opinion asking several questions regarding the James Island Public Service District receiving funds and statutory provision [S.C. Code §] 4-10-10.

Requested by: The Honorable Bill Woolsey, Mayor, Town of James Island

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June 3, 2014

Opinion on whether speeds posted on yellow traffic warning signs are legally enforceable or merely warnings to motorists, and, if enforceable, the appropriate traffic charges that can be issued for violation of such speeds.

Requested by: The Honorable Ronald C. Halfacre, Newberry County Magistrate Judge

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June 2, 2014

Opinion asking may a delinquent tax collector include fees such as stormwater runoff and solid waste fees as “any applicable fees” on the county tax bill pursuant to South Carolina Code 12-43-350(9)? And may a fee such as a stormwater runoff or solid waste fee be collected through a tax sale when no ad valorem property tax is included on a tax bill?

Requested by: The Honorable Daniel M. Gregory, Charleston County Delinquent Tax Collector

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May 21, 2014

Opinion regarding whether the City of Anderson can charge people who live outside the city limits higher rates for water than it charges its residents.

Requested by: The Honorable Don Bowen, Member, House of Representatives

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May 20, 2014

Opinion asking whether the definitions section of a county ordinance, which you say seems to be “broader” than the definitions section of a related state law, is superseded by that state law, “despite the fact that localities are permitted to enact ordinances.”

Requested by: The Honorable Daniel B. Verdin, Senator, District 9; The Honorable Katrina Shealy, Senator, District 23

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May 12, 2014

Opinion regarding authorized emergency vehicles.

Requested by:  Chief David W. Jennings, Flint Hill Fire Department

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May 5, 2014

Opinion regarding SC Code Section 5-7-170 and council members salary change.

Requested by Kenneth E. Gaines, Columbia City Attorney

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April 29, 2014

Opinion whether the position of an individual on both the Orangeburg County Planning Commission and the City of Orangeburg Aviation Commission would constitute dual office holding.

Requested by: James F. Walsh. Jr., Esq., City of Orangeburg Attorney

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April 29, 2014

Opinion regarding whether or not a portion of monies collected from a sales tax pursuant to section 4-10-10 et seq. by the City Florence can be used to support a facility for teaching third and fourth year medical students.

Requested by: The Honorable Kristopher R. Crawford, Member, House of Representatives

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April 28, 2014

Opinion asking several questions regarding taxes and receipt of funds in the Town of James Island and James Island Public Service District.

Requested by: The Honorable Bill Woolsey, Mayor, Town of James Island

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April 10, 2014

Opinion concerning several issues related to the expungement of criminal records.

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

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March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014 Opinion concerning whether State law requires that a referendum be held in order to change elections for the City of Georgetown from partisan to nonpartisan.

Requested by: Elise F. Crosby, Esquire, City Attorney, City of Georgetown; Donna Mahn, Director, Georgetown County Elections Commission

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March 27, 2014

Opinion asking may Gaffney City Council use funds from local hospitality tax collected pursuant to South Carolina Code Section 6-1-720 et seq. to repair roads ) e.g., fixing pot holes and resurfacing roads)?

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

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March 27, 2014

Opinion asking may a city council form of municipal government vote the mayor pro tempore instead of mayor as the presiding officer at city council meetings?

Requested by: The Honorable Joseph W. Owens, Mayor, City of West Columbia

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March 18, 2014

Opinion asking can a member of an organized fire department who has risen to the point that his duties may include those of a local fire marshal, but who is not certified by the State Fire Marshal and not acting under that state authority, be commissioned by a Police Chief or Sheriff as a law enforcement officer then be considered not to hold two public office in violation of the State Constitution.

Requested by: Mark A. Keel, Chief, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

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March 17, 2014

Opinion as to whether an out-of-state company can hire off-duty police officers to provide armed security in this State without being licensed as a private security business under Chapter 18 of Title of the S.C. Code.

Requested by: Mark A. Keel, Chief, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

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March 6, 2014

Opinion concerning the certification and nomination of candidates for countywide and less than countywide office by political parties in light of the recent enactment of the Equal Access to the Ballot Act (the “Act”) of 2013.

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

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February 24, 2014

Opinion asking does Rule 29(a) of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure allowing post-trial motions without a hearing permit a sentence reduction by a judge without prior notification to the Victim or opportunity for the Victim to be heard concerning such reduction?

Requested by: Veronica Swain Kunz, Crime Victims’ Ombudsman, Office of the Crime Victims’ Ombudsman

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February 3, 2014

Opinion on several issues regarding William E. Robinson’s service as a member of Allendale County Council, as an ex officio member of the Allendale County Aeronautics and Economic Development Commission, and as an employee of SouthernCarolina Alliance.

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

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January 31, 2014

Opinion asking, must a South Carolina Probate Court continue to maintain tangible paper index books in addition to electronic records or will an electronic system of record keeping suffice under the current law?

Requested by: The Honorable Deirdre W. Edmonds, Horry County Judge of Probate

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January 23, 2014

Opinion as to whether Spartanburg County (the “County”) may cease providing insurance benefits to members of the County Election Commission and the County Board of Registration when the County transitions from its current insurance plan to the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority’s (PEBA) insurance benefits program.

Requested by: Lisa R. Claxton, Esquire, Spartanburg County Attorney

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January 23, 2014

Opinion as to whether Spartanburg County (the “County”) must continue to provide members of the County Election Commission and the Board of Registration with the option to purchase health insurance through the County’s insurance program.

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

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January 15, 2014

Opinion asking may Greenville County use S.C. Code Section 12-37-235 to levy a fire service fee on tax exempt real property (such as cemeteries, hospitals, synagogues, non-profit corporations and churches) on behalf of a special purpose district and remit such a fee to the special purpose district?

Requested by: Mark W. Tollison, Esquire, Greenville County Attorney

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January 6, 2014

Opinion regarding the Regional Transportation Authority Law.

Requested by: The Honorable J. Gregory Hembree, Senator, District No. 28

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December 12, 2013

Opinion asking, may a mayor be appointed to a county planning commission without violating the dual office holding prohibition of the South Carolina Constitution?

Requested by: Mr. Steve Willis, Lancaster County Administrator

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November 18, 2013

Opinion regarding the definitions of “school” and “school district” in section 59-63-370 of the South Carolina Code a/k/a the “School Crime Report Act” for purposes of determining if York Technical College’s teachers or instructors must be notified of crimes that its students have committed.

Requested by: Charles J. Boykin, Esquire, Boykin & Davis, LLC

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Novmber 18, 2013

Opinion concerning the legality of counties and municipalities issuing tickets for traffic and other offenses under local ordinances as opposed to the Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways (the “UTA”), S.C. Code §§ 56-5-10 et seq.

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

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November 5, 2013

Opinion concerning the delegation of SLED’s authority to enforce the laws and regulations concerning alcoholic beverages under Title 61 of the S.C. Code to local law enforcement officers.

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

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November 4, 2013

Opinion clarifying the five days hold of impounded animals at a county/municipal shelter prior to disposition which is provided for in section 47-3-60(B) of the South Carolina Code.

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

Read full opinion here.

October 29, 2013

Opinion regarding expungement of criminal records.

Requested by Chief Mark Keel, SC Law Enforcement Division

Read full opinion here.

October 24, 2013

Opinion on two issues regarding dual office holding.

Requested by Chief H. Harold Brown, Elgin Police Department

Read full opinion here.

October 24, 2013

Opinion concerning the release of “dual arrest” incident reports under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) where one arrestee has had the records pertaining to his or her charge expunged but the other has not.

Requested by:  Chief Gregory C. Mullen, City of Charleston Police Department

Read full opinion here. 

October 10, 2013

Opinion concerning the Humane Society of McCormick County

Requested by:  G.P. Callison, Jr., Esquire, McCormick County Attorney

Read full opinion here. 

October 10, 2013

Opinion as to whether the Governor has the power to appoint someone to replace a magistrate who resigned in April of this year when the Legislature was in session, but the Governor’s Office did not receive notice of the resignation until the legislative session had ended.

Requested by:  The Honorable Floyd Nicholson, Senator, District No. 10

Read full opinion here.

October 8, 2013

Opinion concerning the authority of a magistrate to set bond for a defendant who is charged with, or has prior convictions for, several offenses classified as serious or most serious offenses under S.C. Code § 17-25-45.

Requested by:  The Honorable Kenneth H. Dover, Magistrate, Spartanburg County

Read full opinion here. 

October 2, 2013

Opinion regarding Architectural Board of Appeals.

Requested by:  The Honorable William L. Otis, Mayor, Town of Pawleys Island

Read full opinion here.

September 18, 2013

Opinion concerning the collection of fines by the State Transport Police for certain violations of the Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways, S.C. Code §§ 56-5-10 et seq.

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

Read full opinion here.

September 9, 2013

Opinion as to whether State law prohibits you from continuing to serve as a firefighter for a municipal fire department, while also holding certification from the State Fire Marshal, if you are elected to city council in a separate municipality.

Requested by:  Mr. Taylor A. Graham

Read full opinion here. 

August 20, 2013

Opinion as to whether a municipal judge may sign arrest and search warrants at his or her residence which is located outside the boundaries of the municipality over which he or she has jurisdiction.

Requested by:  The Honorable Gene T. Janikowski, Municipal Judge, Goose Creek Municipal Court

Read full opinion here. 

August 14, 2013

Opinion regarding the interpretation of Section 5-7-110 of the South Carolina Code, which deals with, among other things, the authority of a municipal police force to contract with private businesses to provide police protection beyond a municipality’s corporate limits.

Requested by Chief Christopher Garner, Pelion Police Department

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August 6, 2013

Opinion as to whether a campus police department may authorize its officers to use their personal vehicles for law enforcement purposes and install blue lights on such vehicles.

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

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July 19, 2013

Opinion as to whether two applicants—one employed as a Code Enforcement Officer for the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department and another employed as a State Trooper at the South Carolina Department of Public Safety—would be permitted to serve as a fire commissioner on a Special Purpose Fire District given the South Carolina Constitution’s prohibition on dual office holding.

Requested by: The Honorable Shane Martin, Delegation Chairman, Spartanburg County Legislative Delegation

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July 9, 2013

Opinion as to who may properly prosecute a courtesy summons charge issued pursuant to S.C. Code § 22-5-115 in summary court.

Requested by: The Honorable C. Ryan Johnson, Magistrate, Greenwood County

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July 8, 2013

Opinion concerning the propriety of the allocation of funds by the County Council to individual council members for certain purposes.

Requested by: The Honorable MaryGail K. Douglas, Member, House of Representatives

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July 8, 2013

Opinion determining whether the Town of Lexington followed proper legal procedure in entering into a contract to sell Barr Pond a/k/a Wildlife Pond and in accepting $60,000.00 as the sales price.

Requested by: The Honorable Katrina F. Shealy, Senator, District No. 23

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July 2, 2013

Opinion asking us to please clarify what documentation our Office believes is the minimum documentation required for travel reimbursement by a municipality for a municipal councilman.

Requested by: The Honorable Robert Williams, Member, House of Representatives

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June 20, 2013

Opinion as to whether an individual certified as a law enforcement officer in North Carolina can maintain such certification if he or she is also certified as a Class 2 law enforcement officer as a jailer in South Carolina.

Requested by: Brandy A. Duncan, Esquire, General Counsel, South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy

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June 19, 2013

Opinion regarding a situation that is affecting the City Council of the City of Aiken.

Requested by: Gary H. Smith, III, Esquire, Aiken City Attorney

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June 18, 2013

Opinion as to the issuance of tickets for handicapped parking violations. Specifically, are law enforcement officers authorized to issue tickets for handicapped parking violations on parking lots that are open to the public and are not posted by signage as referenced by S.C. Code § 23-1-15? And, may law enforcement officers issue uniform traffic tickets for handicapped parking violations, or are law enforcement officers required to use the tickets referenced in S.C. Code §§ 56-3-1971, -1972, and -1973?

Requested by: Sam W. White, Chief, City of Union Public Safety Department

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June 17, 2013

Opinion as to whether State law prohibits an individual from simultaneously serving as a member of the Union County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and as a member of the City of Union Municipal Election Commission.

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

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June 13, 2013

Opinion as to whether fines imposed in magistrates court for violations of county ordinances may be retained entirely by the county.

Requested by: John E. James, III, Esquire, Fairfield County Attorney

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June 12, 2013

Opinion as to who is legally responsible for inmates housed at the Marion County Prison Camp. Specifically, you wish to know whether you, as Sheriff, are responsible for inmates in the Marion County Prison Camp even though you are not over that facility.

Requested by: The Honorable Mark W. Richardson, Sheriff, Marion County

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June 7, 2013

Opinion concerning a city councilmember who is also a licensed bail bondsman. Specifically, whether the South Carolina Department of Insurance (DOI)’s letter informing Mr. Hunt that he must forfeit his position on the City Council or his license as a bondsman is correct.

Requested by: The Honorable Kent M. Williams, Senator, District No. 30

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June 5, 2013

Opinion concerning placing individuals on trepass notice with regards to apartment complexes and government housing.

Requested by: The Honorable Danny Singleton, Municipal Judge, City of Seneca

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June 3, 2013

Opinion concerning the disposition of weapons seized by law enforcement for offenses other than those covered by the Preservation of Evidence Act.

Requested by: Crystal Moore, Chief of Police, Latta Police Department

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May 29, 2013

Opinion as to whether a proposed traffic ordinance conflicts with State law.

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

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May 21, 2013

Opinion concerning the expungement of records pertaining to criminal charges in summary courts.

Requested by: Robert L. McCurdy, Assistant Director, South Carolina Court Administration

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May 2, 2013

Opinion regarding the language of South Carolina Code Section 40-59-260 providing that “an owner must personally appear and sign” a building permit application, may an individual under a Power of Attorney authority specifying the Attorney-In-Fact’s specific authorizations, properly executed and witnessed and recorded in the permitting county be an adequate substitute to the requirement that the owner “personally appear” and meet the requirements under the law.

Requested by: The Honorable Chip Huggins, Member, House of Representatives

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April 30, 2013

Opinion related to the Little Mountain Reunion (the “Reunion”), a festival that has historically been held on an annual basis in the Town of Little Mountain (the “Town”).

Requested by: The Honorable Jana W. Jayroe, Mayor, Town of Little Mountain

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April 23, 2013

Opinion regarding “the effects on projects approved in an initial referendum to impose a one percent sale tax pursuant to Section 4-10-300, et seq. of the South Carolina Code.”

Requested by: The Honorable J. Yancey McGill, Senator, District No. 32

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April 18, 2013

Opinion regarding the authority of National Park Service Rangers (“Rangers”) at a National Park site to issue South Carolina Uniform Traffic Tickets (“UTT”) for violations on federal property.

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

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April 18, 2013

Opinion addressing “social host” criminal liability as it pertains to the consumption of alcohol by minors.

Requested by: The Honorable James Lee Foster, Office of the Sheriff, County of Newberry

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April 4, 2013

Opinion regarding the appointment of reserve police officers by the Grenville-Spartanburg Airport District (“GSP”).

Requested by: Brandy A. Duncan, Esquire, General Counsel, South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy

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April 2, 2013

Opinion asking whether a commissioned South Carolina Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) Special Constable who presently works at a local school district may carry his weapon onto school property.

Requested by: The Honorable Michael A. Pitts, Member, House of Representatives

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March 28, 2013

Opinion asking whether pursuant to S.C. Code of Laws Section 5-9-10 (1976 Code, as amended), does the mayor has the authority to suspend or remove the city administrator; municipal clerk; city attorney; or municipal judges?

Requested by: The Honorable Tim Goodwin, Mayor, City of Folly Beach

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March 26, 2013

Opinion asking whether you, as the elected auditor of Georgetown County, may present a case before the magistrate’s court as a representative of the county so that you may perform your duties?

Requested by: The Honorable Linda Mock, Georgetown County Auditor

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March 20, 2013

Opinion asking if the vehicles of the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office [“Sherriff’s Office”] and [South Carolina] Department of Public Safety/[South Carolina] Highway Patrol [“DPS/Highway Patrol”] collide in an incorporated or unincorporated jurisdiction, where the Sheriff’s office vehicle is registered, which law enforcement agency should investigate the collision?

Requested by: The Honorable Michael A. Pitts, Member, House of Representatives

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March 12, 2013

Opinion asking may a constituent receive the homestead exemption for his real property taxes pursuant to S.C. Code §12-37-250 for tax year 2012 if he moved to the property in May of 2011 and if he was already 65 years old when he moved?

Requested by: The Honorable Thomas D. Corbin, Senator, District No. 5

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March 1, 2013

Opinion regarding a magistrate’s general contempt authority.

Requested by: The Honorable Ernest M. O’Brien, Magistrate, Greenville County Board Court

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February 22, 2013

Opinion regarding the establishment of agricultural district programs by counties in South Carolina. Specifically, whether local governments have the authority to establish, through ordinance, voluntary agricultural district programs without enabling legislation.

Requested by: The Honorable Daniel B. Verdin, III, Senator, District No. 9

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February 6, 2013

Opinion questioning if a process server in South Carolina violate any trespass laws (specifically S.C. Code § 16-11-620) when serving court papers (a summons, complaint, petition, or subpoena) when the property posts a “No trespassing” sign or the property owner tells the process server to leave the property and not return.

Requested by: Mr. John M. “Jake” Knotts

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January 31, 2013

Opinion regarding procedures to be followed when a magistrate or municipal court judge finds no probable cause at a preliminary hearing on a general sessions charge.

Requested by: Robert L. McCurdy, Assistant Director, S.C. Court Administration

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January 28, 2013

Opinion regarding the constitutional validity of “the Pickens County School Board…having an invocation at its regularly monthly meeting.”

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

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January 3, 2013

Opinion asking, is the City of Mullin’s Ordinance number 11-304 enforceable under South Carolina law?

Requested by: The Honorable William “Bo” McMillan, Mayor, City of Mullins

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December 31, 2012

Opinion as to whether an individual employed by the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (the “SCDMH”) Division of Public Safety as a cadet pending certification as a law enforcement officer is a “public officer” as defined in S.C. Code § 8-1-10 and as used in S.C. Code § 8-1-80 concerning official misconduct.

Requested by: The Honorable Todd Rutherford, Member, House of Representatives

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December 28, 2012

Opinion regarding the position of “Police Commissioner” for the Town of South Congaree (the “Town”).

Requested by: The Honorable Katrina Shealy, Senator, District No. 23

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December 4, 2012

Opinion regarding a proposed Christmas bonus program for reserve police officers appointed by the Seneca Police Department (the “Department”).

Requested by: John P. Covington, Chief of Police, Seneca Police Department

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November 28, 2012

Opinion concerning a request under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) for certain financial records related to the Camden City Drug Fund.

Requested by: W. Kevin Bronson, City Manager, City of Camden

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November 9, 2012

Opinion concerning the collection of delinquent taxes, penalties, and costs and the manner in which such funds should be disbursed.

Requested by: The Honorable Douglas E. Henderson, Beaufort County Treasurer

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October 31, 2012

Opinion questioning the exception listed in §6-1-120(B)(3) (“sharing of data between public officials or employees in the performance of their duties”) include a municipality sharing information with a county or does it only refer to public officials or public employees within the same municipality?

Requested by: Bradley T. Farrar, Esquire, Deputy Richland County Attorney

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October 19, 2012

Opinion regarding the enforcement of beach regulations on Fripp Island, a gated community in Beaufort County.

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

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October 16, 2012

Opinion questioning which town council members are authorized to vote on a matter concerning per diem and how many members would be required to constitute a quorum for such a vote on a per diem or other reimbursement issue where the Bishopville Municipal Code requires a majority vote, and a majority constitutes a quorum?

Requested by: Jacob M. Jennings, Esquire, Bishopville Town Attorney

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October 3, 2012

Opinion concerning dual service as Vice Chairman of the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission (“RSIC”) and as a member of the City of Aiken Planning and Zoning Commission.

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

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October 2, 2012

Opinion asking whether an instructor at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy (CJA) who, by virtue of that position, holds a state constable commission and is certified as a Class 3 law enforcement officer may also work part-time performing the duties of a deputy coroner.

Requested by: The Honorable Gary Watts, Coroner, Richland County

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September 25, 2012

Opinion questioning whether a private security guard has the right to sign an arrest warrant on a suspect that has committed an offense on the property the security guard is contracted to protect, and whether he has authority off the protected property, such as providing security for an arrestee at a medical facility or while booking an arrestee into jail.

Requested by: The Honorable Chuck Wright, Sheriff, Spartanburg County

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September 19, 2012

Opinion concerning the manner in which the proceeds of a sale by the Lancaster County Forfeited Land Commission should be distributed when such proceeds are insufficient to pay all “unpaid property taxes, penalties, assessments…and costs including taxes levied for the year in which the redemption period begins.”

Requested by: The Honorable Cheryl H. Morgan, Lancaster County Auditor

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September 19, 2012

Opinion as to “whether a municipal police officer, sheriff, or deputy sheriff who is an active member of the South Carolina Police Officer Retirement Systems who meets the definition of ‘police officer’ for purposes of Section 9-11-10(23) of the South Carolina Code because he is ‘required by the terms of his employment, either by election or appointment, to give his time to the preservation of public order, the protection of life and property, and the detection of crimes in this State’ is among the class of persons which may be appointed to the newly created Public Employee Benefits Authority (PEBA) pursuant to Section 9-4-10(B)(1)(b) of the South Carolina Code.”

Requested by: The Honorable John Courson, President Pro Tempore, SC Senate

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September 19, 2012

Opinion referring to section 5-7-260 of the South Carolina Code (2004), questioning “when must a municipality act by resolution and when may it act by a simple motion?”

Requested by: Thomas M. Boulware, Esquire, Brown, Jefferies & Boulware

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September 19, 2012

Opinion concerning the procedure for approving new debt not exceeding the eight percent limitation of article X, section 14(7) of the South Carolina Constitution.

Requested by: Dennis K. Ray, Fire Chief, Lugoff Fire District

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August 28, 2012

Opinion asking (1) whether or not the attendance of a BPW member may be via telephone, (2) whether or not a member present via telephone may be counted as part of a quorum, and (3) whether or not the vote of a member attending via telephone is valid.

Requested by: Will Martin, Manager, Bamberg Board of Public Works

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August 23, 2012

Opinion concerning a proposal to “add the cost of fire service fees to the billing cycles of the existing and future customers of the [c]ity-owned Department of Public Utilities.”

Requested by: Chief Wendell Davis, Director, Department of Public Safety

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August 20, 2012

Opinion regarding “whether a case written on a Uniform Traffic Ticket (“UTT”) may be scheduled for trial within 10 days of the arrest (§5-7-90), or no sooner than 10 days after the arrest (§56-5-6220)?” Also, “whether §5-7-90 applies to all persona charged, or to persons unable to make bail and remain incarcerated?”

Requested by: Rosalyn W. Frierson, Director, South Carolina Court Administration

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August 9, 2012

Opinion regarding water and sewer rates for the Richland-Lexington Airport District (“Airport District”).

Requested by: Rebecca V. Rhodes, AICP, City Manager, City of Cayce

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July 19, 2012

Opinion regarding dual office holding. Specifically, you request that we advise as to whether members of fire departments, including fire/arson investigators, are exempted from the dual office holding prohibition.

Requested by: Brandy A. Duncan, Esquire, General Counsel, SC Criminal Justice Academy

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July 11, 2012

Opinion regarding the power of a municipality to disband its police department.

Requested by: Benjamin F. Thomas, III, Assistant Chief, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

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July 5, 2012

Opinion concerning the effect of a redistricting plan on the unexpired terms of two incumbent members of the Board of Trustees.

Requested by: Rick S. Chandler, Jr., Esquire

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July 2, 2012

Opinion regarding several questions related to the appointment and terms as Municipal Court Judge.

Requested by: The Honorable Vanessa C. Hollins, Municipal Judge, Town of Winnsboro

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June 25, 2012

Opinion regarding the validity of a Spartanburg County ordinance that, in addition to a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, imposes a jail sentence of up to thirty days imprisonment for a violation of a drug paraphernalia ordinance even though State law only imposes a civil fine for such a violation.

Requested by: Terry W. Richards, Chief, Lyman Police Department

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June 22, 2012

Opinion inquiring whether the Town of St. George may adopt an ordinance stating that the costs of abating the conditions of “deteriorating structure and abandoned overgrown lots” borne by the Town will be “added to annual property taxes [and] must be paid along with the taxes and remitted to the Town by the county.”

Requested by: The Honorable Anne J. Johnston, Mayor, Town of St. George

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June 19, 2012

Opinion concerning the use of public funds (“C” funds) for the maintenance of highway/railroad crossings and bridges.

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

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June 11, 2012

Opinion regarding the implementation of a change in the form of municipal government.

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

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June 12, 2012

Opinion “on the application of State Code 48-23-205 regarding local regulation of development affecting forest land.”

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

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May 30, 2012

Opinion concerning the employment of the Mayor by a law firm that serves as general obligation bond counsel for the City of Columbia (the “City”) as well as underwriter’s counsel on the issuance of City water and sewer bonds.

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

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May 25, 2012

Opinion regarding the implementation of a change in the form of county government from the council-administrator to the council-manager form. Specifically, you have inquired whether a treasurer and auditor elected at the same election in which a referendum is passed adopting this change would be entitled to assume office and serve out their elected term.

Requested by: W. Lawrence Brown, Esquire, Aiken County Office of the County Attorney

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May 18, 2012

Opinion related to the prosecution of cases within the jurisdiction of the magistrates’ courts by deputy sheriffs with Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department (the “Department”).

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

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May 16, 2012

Opinion concerning eligibility requirements for members of the Saluda County Water and Sewer Authority (the “Authority”).

Requested by: Brian L. Burgess, Manager, Saluda County Water and Sewer Authority

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May 8, 2012

Opinion addressing whether §7-25-100 prohibits the reproduction of a ballot by devices such as a cell phone, video camera, camera or iPad.

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

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May 2, 2012

Opinion concerning the handling of shoplifting cases by the City of Columbia Police Department (the “Department”).

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

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April 30, 2012

Opinion “as to whether Article 3 of Chapter 13, Title 6 confers upon the Pioneer Rural Water District of Oconee and Anderson Counties the power to contract for or undertake the construction of new freshwater treatment facilities.”

Requested by: Andy Fiffick, Esquire

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April 24, 2012

Opinion concerning fees included on municipal property tax bills.

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

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April 23, 2012

Opinion regarding whether counties and municipalities may impose business license “fees” based upon gross income, rather than net income.

Requested by: The Honorable Christopher R. Hart, Member, House of Representatives

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April 19, 2012

Opinion regarding procedures for issuing a replacement Uniform Traffic Ticket (“UTT”).

Requested by: Thomas E. Ellenburg, City Attorney,  City of Myrtle Beach

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April 11, 2012

Opinion relating “to a potential annexation in the Town of Lexington.” Specifically, “[t]he Town argued that [it] had [the] legal ability to use [a] previously annexed right of way to become contigous to the property in question.”

Requested by: The Honorable Rick Quinn, Member, House of Representatives

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April 5, 2012

Opinion concerning the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court (“USSC”) in United States v. Jones, 565 U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 945 (2012) as it pertains to S.C. Code Ann. §17-30-140 and the use of Global Positioning System (“GPS”) tracking devices.

Requested by: Brian Buck, Chief of Police, Irmo Police Department

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April 2, 2012

Opinion concerning whether an elected official, who has a concealed weapons permit, may at any time and specifically, during meetings of city council, lawfully carry a concealable weapon inside a building that also houses City Hall, the Police Department, and the Courthouse.

Requested by: M. Bryan Turner, Chief of Police, Mauldin Police Department

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March 30, 2012

Opinion concerning the interpretation of sections 5-3-310 through -315 of the South Carolina Code (2004). The facts, as you have represented them, are that the City of North Charleston (“the City”) has annexed a portion of unincorporated Dorchester County that has heretofore been serviced by the Ashley River and Old Fort Fire Districts (collectively, “the Districts”).

Requested by: John G. Frampton, Esquire

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March 27, 2012

Opinion concerning dual office holding. You ask whether the law permits you to accept a position of employment with the Town of Estill as a code enforcement officer during your term as Mayor for the Town of Fairfax.

Requested by: The Honorable Dwight Causey, Mayor, Town of Fairfax

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March 21, 2012

Opinion regarding the authority of a registered private security officer employed in an enclosed and/or gated residential enclave to pursue and stop vehicles, and detain and issue uniform traffic tickets or administrative traffic tickets to violators on streets within the enclave.

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

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March 20, 2012

Opinion concerning Cherokee County Council’s authority to fund a scholarship program proposed by community members of the County that would provide tuition assistance to students who attend a local technical college and meet certain qualifications.

Requested by: Joseph L. Mathis, Esquire

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March 20, 2012

Opinion concerning whether State law prohibits you from simultaneously serving as a councilmember for the City of Bamberg (“City”), Chairman of the City Fire Commission, and a volunteer fireman for the City.

Requested by: The Honorable Buck Fralick, Member, Bamberg City Council

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March 16, 2012

Opinion regarding the Honorable James A. Preacher, Jr., mayor of the Town of Norway (“Mayor”).

Requested by: Hubert F. Harrell, Director, SC Criminal Justice Academy

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March 9, 2012

Opinion regarding 2012 S.C. Acts 155, §1 (R. 122, H. 3895) (the “Act”), which became effective on February 1, 2012, upon approval by the Governor. The Act amends S.C. Code Ann. §17-15-20 so as to provide that an appearance bond is valid for a certain time period in circuit and magistrate or municipal courts under certain circumstances, and also provides for a procedure to relieve the surety of liability when the time period has run.

Requested by: The Honorable John Richard C. King, Member, House of Representatives

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March 6, 2012

Opinion concerning Gilbert-Summit Rural Water District.

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

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March 5, 2012

Opinion regarding the Mayor of the Town of Norway (“Mayor”).

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

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March 2, 2012

Opinion concerning the approval power vested in the governing body of Kershaw County as that power concerns the levy of taxes for the benefit of the Lugoff Fire District.

Requested by: Dennis K. Ray, Fire Chief, Lugoff Fire District

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February 28, 2012

Opinion concerning the right of an individual who receives a judgment or sentence in municipal court to obtain a transcript or tape recording of the proceeding for purposes of an appeal.

Requested by: The Honorable William R. Johnson, Mayor, Town of Holly Hill

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February 23, 2012

Opinion concerning a potential conflict of interest.

Requested by:  The Honorable Jimmy Ward, Member, Isle of Palms City Council

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February 23, 2012

Opinion concerning whether South Carolina law prohibits you from continuing to serve as Chairperson of the Anderson County Tax Assessment Appeals Board (“Tax Appeals Board”) in consideration of your recent appointment to the South Carolina Medical Disciplinary Commission (“Commission”).

Requested by:  Mr. Kenneth C. Walker

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February 24, 2012

Opinion regarding the Richland-Lexington Airport District (the “Airport District”). You ask us whether or not the City of Cayce is obligated to provide the same water and sewer rates to the Airport District as it charges to resident customers.

Requested by: John M. Knotts, Jr., Senator, District No. 23

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February 21, 2012

Opinion concerning your intent to file as a candidate for Probate Judge for the County of Bamberg (“County”) and the applicability of a County ordinance purporting to terminate employees of the county who become candidates for an elected county office.

Requested by:  Sarah G. Noel, Clerk, Bamberg County Probate Court

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February 21, 2012

Opinion concerning the authority of a local housing authority to act state-wide.

Requested by:  Tracey C. Easton, General Counsel, S.C. State Housing Finance and Development Authority

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February 6, 2012

An opinion regarding whether the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) prohibits a school district from sharing information on crimes committed in the schools with the sheriff’s department.
Requested by:  The Honorable Leon Lott, Sheriff, Richland County

January 25, 2012

Opinion concerning the proper body to govern the affairs of the water and sewer system of the City of Tega Cay.

Requested by: The Honorable Ralph W. Norman, Member, House of Representatives

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January 13, 2012

Opinion concerning the legal status of a person who “performs the administrative duties” of the Town of Pinewood, such as collecting fees, paying bills, keeping the town checkbook, and other similar “duties required for the operation of the town.”

Requested by: The Honorable Al Pridgen, Mayor, Town of Pinewood

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January 12, 2012

Opinion concerning the legality of the following pending transaction.

Requested by: The Honorable Bruce Cooley, Abbeville County Director

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January 12, 2012

Opinion concerning certain property and the “reverter clause”.

Requested by: Miles Loadholt, Esquire

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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 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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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 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 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

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 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 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 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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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 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 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 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 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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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 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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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 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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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 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 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 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 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 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 concerning the removal of a city council member.

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

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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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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 16, 2011

Opinion concerning obligations of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office regarding an arrest on private property by a private security agency.

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Requested by: Thomas W. Holland, Sr., Esquire

March 16, 2011

Opinion concerning an issue involving the Florence City Council.

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Requested by: The Honorable Kris Crawford, Member, House of Representatives

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.

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Requested by: Chief R. Dale Horne, Anderson Fire Department

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.

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

February 8, 2011

Opinion concerning Sunday sales of alcoholic beverages.

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Requested by: John B. Williams, Town Attorney for St. Stephen, SC

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.

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Requested by: Chris Noury, City Attorney, City of North Myrtle Beach

January 14, 2011

Opinion regarding procurement issues and complying with State Procurement Code, S.C. Code § 11-35-50.

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Requested by: The Honorable Micki Fellner, Interim Town Administrator, Surfside Beach

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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November 23, 2010

Opinion as to the validity of an ordinance enacted by the Town of Cheraw.

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Requested by: Michael D. Smith, Town Administrator, Town of Cheraw

November 23, 2010

Opinion regarding the application of child support statutes across the state. Specifically, “the constitutionality of our state’s child support statutes not being applied consistently across our state agencies (in particular, our Family Court System and the Dept. of Social Services).”

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

November 18, 2010

Opinion concerning the mayor’s authority to contact an outside attorney at the city’s expense.

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Requested by: The Honorable John M. “Jake” Knotts, Jr., Member, SC Senate

November 1, 2010

Opinion referencing Act No. 320 of 2010 which authorizes the Board of Fire Control to adopt certain rules and regulations. Specifically, regarding writing citations on a county or municipal summons and law enforcement authority.

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Requested by: Jeff Allen, Arson Investigator, Irmo Fire District

September 29, 2010

Opinion regarding a potential conflict of interest issue. Specifically, “whether there will be a conflict of interest for a particular council member to vote on matters involving the Fort Lawn Community Center”.

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Requested by: The Honorable F.G. “Greg” Delleney, Jr., Member, House of Representatives

September 28, 2010

Opinion concerning the holding of a referendum by the Town of Elgin.

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

September 10, 2010

Opinion as to whether the performance of those duties pursuant to a management contact would constitute dual office holding in violation of the State Constitution.

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Requested by: Kenneth E. Gaines, Esquire

September 8, 2010

Opinion concerning actions taken by the South Carolina State University Board of Trustees with regard to the election of its president.

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Requested by: The Honorable Robert Ford, Member, SC Senate

August 26, 2010

Opinion regarding the State Forestry Commission’s fitness training and testing program. Specifically, questioning the legal exposure to the State for wrongful termination or other civil action under the current program and the proposed revision.

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Requested by: Joel T. Felder, Deputy State Forester, SC Forestry Commission

August 25, 2010

Opinion as to the coverages that may be available pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§ 42-7-10 et seq., the State Accident Fund, to College of Charleston EMS student volunteers who are injured while performing services for the College’s Emergency Medical Services.

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Requested by: Thomas A. Trimboli, Senior Vice President for Legal Affairs, College of Charleston

August 4, 2010

Opinion concerning Beaufort County’s policy of delegating its authority to enforce the County’s tree removal ordinance to homeowners associations.

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Requested by: The Honorable Shannon S. Erickson, Member, House of Representatives

July 19, 2010

Opinion questioning whether copies of arrest warrants and incident reports maintained at the Spartanburg County Detention Center must be made available for walk-in inspection by the media.

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Requested by: William McBee Smith, Esquire

July 9, 2010

Opinion concerning a new health insurance rate structure implemented by the City of Beaufort.

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Requested by: The Honorable Shannon S. Erickson, Member, House of Representatives

July 1, 2010

Opinion regarding Richland County employees serving on the Richland County Board of Voter Registration. Specifically, whether there is a conflict of interest and whether the Governor has the authority to name the Chairperson of the Board of Voter Registration.

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Requested by: Larry C. Smith, Esquire

June 28, 2010

Opinion regarding the use of a municipal summons to enforce its code provisions regarding nuisances within Florence. Specifically, questioning whether or not constables meet the requirement that the summons be served by a law enforcement officer having such jurisdiction.

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Requested by: James W. Peterson, Jr., Esquire, Florence City Attorney

June 3, 2010

Opinion regarding amending the language on the back of the State uniform traffic ticket.

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Requested by: Mark A. Keel, Director, SC Department of Public Safety

May 25, 2010

Opinion concerning extending the terms of Board of Trustees.

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

May 6, 2010

Opinion requesting the legality of the Columbia City Council attempting to pass an ordinance which would allow future accident investigations to be turned over to the Highway Patrol when involving an elected official.

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Requested by: Tandy P. Carter, Chief of Police, Columbia Police Department

May 18, 2010

Opinion questioning whether in circumstances where a member of the fire department is also a commissioned law enforcement officer, and is instructed to perform a regularly scheduled fire inspection, does the fact that they are a law enforcement officer require that the individual obtain a search warrant prior to making the inspection.

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Requested by: Jeff Allen, Fire Marshal, Irmo Fire District

May 7, 2010

Opinion on council form of government and the town administrator.

Requested by The Honorable K. Allen Deaton, Mayor, Surfside Beach.

Read full opinion.

April 22, 2010

Opinion regarding the applicability of the Nonresident Violators Compact (NRVC) when a driver appears in court, is fined, but subsequently fails to pay the fine.

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Requested by: The Honorable Veronica G. Small, Municipal Court Judge, City of Charleston

April 15, 2010

Opinion regarding arrests where the warrant has been entered into the NCIC system and a surrounding agency encounters the suspect and makes the arrest based upon the NCIC hit information.

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Requested by: Charles E. McNair, Chief, Cayce Department of Public Safety

April 9, 2010

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

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Requested by: Kenneth E. Gaines, Esquire

March 30, 2010

Opinion asking whether the “city ordinance giving power to the council to approve appointment or dismissal of department heads [is] consistent with state law regarding the mayor-council form of government.” And whether the council alone may reinstate an “employee or department head” who resigned.

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Requested by: Elise F. Crosby, Esquire

March 26, 2010

Opinion concerning term limits for a municipal council. Specifically, “whether a municipal council in the State of South Carolina can enact term limits on its council members, whether the method be by ordinance or by referendum vote.”

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Requested by: Elbert O. Duffie, III, General Counsel, Town of Edisto Beach

March 17, 2010

Opinion concerning the implementation date to change the form of government in the City of Columbia.

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Requested by: Kenneth E. Gaines, Esquire

March 16, 2010

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

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

March 16, 2010

Opinion questioning whether there are any statutory or constitutional prohibitions to instituting, reinstituting or enlargement of prisoner work programs more commonly referred to as “chain gangs.”

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Requested by: The Honorable Trey Gowdy, Solicitor, Seventh Judicial Circuit, and The Honorable Chuck Wright, Sheriff, Spartanburg County

March 16, 2010

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. § 5-7-200(b) and its applicability to the current vacancy on the Columbia City Council.

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Requested by: The Honorable James E. Smith, Member, House of Representatives

March 12, 2010

Opinion on dual office holding (a person who is employed as a County correctional officer can serve as a Town Council member).

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Requested by: Danny C. Crowe, Esquire

February 24, 2010

Opinion on whether Richland County has the authority to require a development site review on all of Richland County School District Two’s facilities and to also assess a per square foot fee for this review.

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Requested by: Stephen W. Hefner, Ed.D., Superintendent, Richland School District Two; and Larry C. Smith, Esquire

January 28, 2010

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of your city’s ordinance concerning loitering.

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Requested by: Chief S.W. White, City of Union, Public Safety Department

January 20, 2010

Opinion asking for clarification on the duties which may be assigned to a town administrator in a town with a council form of government.

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Requested by: The Honorable K. Allen Deaton, Mayor, Surfside Beach

January 14, 2010

Opinion questioning four things, if a fire inspector can complete and sign, as the affiant, a criminal search warrant? Is there an administrative search warrant and who issues the type warrant? If there is an administrative search warrant, can a fire inspector complete and sign this type of search warrant as the affiant? And may a fire inspector serve an administrative search warrant?

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Requested by: Randy S. Thompson, Fire Marshal, Department of Fire Safety, York County

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

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Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

Room 519 | Columbia, S.C. 29201

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

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