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Legal Opinions of the Attorney General - Monthly Opinion Report

The Attorney General’s Opinion Unit is responsible for researching and drafting the formal opinions of the Attorney General. This Monthly Opinion Report lists all of the questions that are currently under consideration for formal opinions.

If you would like to give us your input on any of these questions, the Opinion Unit would be delighted to hear from you. Please follow the instructions under How to Submit Views on Assigned Opinion Requests in the right side bar menu.

By law, the Attorney General is authorized to issue formal opinions only to certain public officials. Please see our FAQs page for more information about who may request an opinion, and how to request an opinion.

An embedded link is provided for viewing the published opinions. Please use Search for Opinions to look for more opinions.


Opinion Requests Assigned in June 2014

Opinion No. Question Requested by Assigned To
14-307

May an automated photographic enforcement system (AES) be used to detect and enforce violations of the anti-gridlock law (Veh. Code section 22526) at intersections where an AES is otherwise authorized?


Senator Philip Y Ting Binsacca
06/04/2014
14-401

May a person lawfully serve on the governing boards of both the Hornbrook Fire Protection District and the Hornbrook Community Services District?


Siskiyou County Counsel Brian L. Morris Daniels
06/10/2014
14-403

What is the scope of intergovernmental immunity (Gov. Code sections 53090-53091) where a city owns and leases real property in an unincorporated area of a county?


Mendocino Acting County Counsel Douglas L. Losak Eisenberg
06/19/2014
14-601

May the same person serve as Inyo County Assessor and Bishop City Council member?


Inyo County Counsel Margaret Kemp-Williams Nolan
06/26/2014

Assigned Opinion Requests Pending

Opinion No. Question Assigned To
09-301

May a county collect unpaid property taxes where, due to an error in the tax collection software, property owners who owe such taxes have not been notified of a delinquency, and, if so, how?


Eisenberg
09-308

In any case in which a person is ordered to make victim restitution, and any portion of that restitution remains unsatisfied, are the courts prohibited from collecting court fines and fees unless they first apply those funds to pay the amounts ordered as restitution to the victim? In any case in which a person is ordered to make victim restitution, and any portion of that restitution remains unsatisfied, do the courts have the authority to collect victim restitution?


Daniels
10-502

Does Title 10 of the United States Code limit the State’s authority for fire protection on the California National Guard Base at Los Alamitos?


Binsacca
11-201

Is a California charter school and its board or directors subject to the Ralph M. Brown Act; the California Public Records Act; the Political Reform Act of 1974; Government Code section 1090; or the review and inspection of books and records, by a Grand Jury formed pursuant to Penal Code section 888?


Medeiros
11-705

Can the authority of the court impose a probation condition on DUI defendants to make a specified payment to the DUIRR Program?


Eisenberg
11-707

Under the Emergency Medical Services Act, when are cities and counties required to enter into written agreements regarding local provision of emergency medical services? Does entering into such an agreement necessarily extinguish any pre-existing rights of obligations of a city? (Health and Safety Code section 1797.201.)


Daniels
12-401

To facilitate compliance with Brady v. Maryland, may the California Highway Patrol lawfully release to the district attorney’s office the names of officers who have sustained complaints of dishonesty or moral turpitude conduct, with no information other than the officer’s name and date of earliest conduct, so that the district attorney may bring a Pitchess/Brady motion for in camera review of the officers’ personnel files? Does Penal Code section 832.7, subdivision (a), authorize the district attorney to routinely review the personnel files of peace officers who will be prosecution witnesses?


Eisenberg
12-409

May a contract city attorney also act as "bond counsel" for the same city for which he or she is paid, based on a percentage of the bond issues, without violating Government Code section 1090?


Binsacca
12-902

When a special district appoints one of its own board members or staff to serve on an oversight board for the dissolution of a redevelopment agency, may the special district compensate its appointee for attending meetings notwithstanding Health and Safety Code section 34179(a), which states that "oversight board members shall serve without compensation or reimbursement of expenses?


Slavin
12-1203

May a former local agency employee serve on that same public agency's elected Board of Directors while still being carried on that agency's employee payroll solely for purposes of utilizing unused vacation leave remaining from his/her time as an active employee?


Eisenberg
12-1204

Do the conflict-of-interest statutes that governed members of former redevelopment agencies apply to members of the successor agencies responsible for winding down their affairs and, if so, how?


Eisenberg
13-202

Are the uniform standards developed by the Substance Abuse Coordination Committee for use by healing arts boards in dealing with their substance-abusing licensees valid, enforceable, and mandatory?


Slavin
13-303

May a city purchase products or order services from a glass company partially owned by a member of the city council if that member disqualifies herself from any influence or participation in the purchasing or ordering decision?


Binsacca
13-304

In connection with a school or community college bond measure, does a district violate state law by contracting with a bond underwriter for both pre-election campaign services and post-election underwriting services?


Medeiros
13-403

Does Proposition 26 require that prior to a County Board of Supervisors enacting an ordinance requiring a cable television company to pay to the County a PEG (public, educational, and governmental access) fee equal to one percent (1%) of the gross revenues under the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act ("DIVCA"), the voters must first approve the imposition of such a fee?


Binsacca
13-702

Does an incoming member to the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District have a conflict of interest due to his spouse's employment as a faculty member with the district, and is he thereby precluded from participating in or voting on specific issues?


Daniels
13-901

Are reverse cellular phone kiosks "secondhand dealers" within the meaning of Business and Professions Code section 21626?


Binsacca
13-903

Does Government Code section 1090 prohibit a city agency from utilizing the services of a public relations firm that occasionally retains the services of a city council member for its non-city clients?


Slavin
13-904

Does state law preempt a local ordinance that would require dentists in that jurisdiction to provide their patients with a Dental Materials Fact Sheet and Statement of Rights before performing specified procedures?


Eisenberg
13-1101

May a county clerk charge the district attorney's office for certified court records?


Medeiros
13-1201

If a school superintendent's contract allows the superintendent to receive cash in lieu of medical benefits, may the school board members receive an equivalent sum in a whole life insurance policy in lieu of medical benefits?


Slavin
13-1202

Are medical assistants legally permitted to perform basic pulmonary function testing, such as spirometry?


Daniels
13-1203

May health care professionals offer online discounts for their services through a third-party internet marketer?


Medeiros
14-101

May non-attorneys represent parties before the Office of Administrative Hearings?


Medeiros
14-202

May the "premium" generated from a school district bond sale be used to pay for expenses of issuance and other transaction costs?


Slavin
14-301

May an attorney who sits on a city council represent clients with interests adverse to that city?


Slavin
14-302

Under the Brown Act open meetings law, may a community college board of trustees meet in closed session to discuss and negotiate the terms of a project labor agreement?


Daniels
14-304

Under state law, may local authorities restrict parking on public streets to those persons issued residential parking permits?


Slavin
14-307

May an automated photographic enforcement system (AES) be used to detect and enforce violations of the anti-gridlock law (Veh. Code section 22526) at intersections where an AES is otherwise authorized?


Binsacca
14-401

May a person lawfully serve on the governing boards of both the Hornbrook Fire Protection District and the Hornbrook Community Services District?


Daniels
14-403

What is the scope of intergovernmental immunity (Gov. Code sections 53090-53091) where a city owns and leases real property in an unincorporated area of a county?


Eisenberg
14-601

May the same person serve as Inyo County Assessor and Bishop City Council member?


Nolan

Conclusions of Opinions Issued in June 2014

Opinion No. Conclusion Published
13-1102

1. Federal law has authorized the California Industrial Hemp Act to the extent that it permits institutions of higher education and the California Department of Food and Agriculture to grow and cultivate industrial hemp, for the purposes of agricultural or academic research, in compliance with the federal definition of industrial hemp. These same entities may also conduct agricultural pilot programs to study the growth, cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp, provided that such programs are conducted in a manner that (1) ensures that only institutions of higher education and the California Department of Food and Agriculture are used to grow or cultivate industrial hemp; (2) requires that sites used for growing or cultivating industrial hemp in California be certified by, and registered with, the California Department of Food and Agriculture; and (3) authorizes the California Department of Food and Agriculture to promulgate regulations to carry out the pilot program in accordance with the purposes of section 7606 of the federal Agricultural Act of 2014.


2. Federal law authorized, and rendered operative, the relevant portions of the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act on February 7, 2014.


3. Federal law imposes limitations that are inconsistent with the provisions of the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act in that: (1) it continues to prohibit the cultivation of industrial hemp for purposes other than agricultural or academic research; (2) it restricts those persons or entities who may cultivate industrial hemp for agricultural or academic research to the California Department of Food and Agriculture or an institution of higher education; (3) it prevents even these authorized entities from instituting an agricultural pilot program to study the growth, cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp, unless the program is conducted in compliance with additional federal requirements set forth in section 7606(b)(1)(B) of the federal Agricultural Act of 2014; and (4) it prohibits, even for research purposes, the cultivation or possession of the parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L. that exceed a 0.3% concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In general, provisions of the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act are inoperative to the extent that they apply or pertain to any form of industrial hemp cultivation not authorized by federal law.


06/06/2014

Opinions Answered by Letter or Withdrawn in June 2014

Opinion No. Question Status
13-306

Does the Office of the Attorney General have the authority to review and act on complaints from students of accredited private post-secondary institutions which are exempt from the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Institutions?

Answered by Letter on June 25, 2014

How to Submit Views on Assigned Opinion Requests

The Attorney General welcomes and solicits the views of all interested persons concerning the legal issues raised in any question submitted for an opinion. Views should be in writing and directed to the deputy assigned to prepare the opinion. All views submitted before publication will be considered, but early submissions are greatly preferred. All submissions will be treated as public records subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act.

To submit your written comment, contact the deputy attorney general whose name appears next to the item of interest in the list of pending opinion requests appearing on this web page:

Deputy Attorney General
455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 11000
San Francisco, CA 94102

Deputy Attorney General
300 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Deputy Attorney General
455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 11000
San Francisco, CA 94102-7004

Supervising Deputy Attorney General
455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 11000
San Francisco, CA 94102

Deputy Attorney General
1300 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Deputy Attorney General
300 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Deputy Attorney General
455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 11000
San Francisco, CA 94102

How to Submit a Question of Law for AG Consideration

The Attorney General is authorized to give opinions on questions of law to state legislators, heads of state departments, district attorneys, county counsels, sheriffs, and to city attorneys in their prosecutorial capacities. For more information about requesting an opinion, please see our FAQs and the Guidelines for AG Opinions.pdf a downloadable resource provided for users' reference.

To submit a request, or to ask questions about how to submit a request, please contact:

  • Susan Duncan Lee
  • Supervising Deputy Attorney General
  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Opinion Unit, Dept. of Justice
  • 455 Golden Gate Ave., Suite 11000
  • San Francisco, CA 94102

  • Susan.Lee@doj.ca.gov


How to Request a Copy of an Existing Opinion

A copy of a published opinion may be obtained by contacting the Opinion Unit:

  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Opinion Unit, Dept. of Justice
  • Attn. Stephanie Grimes
  • P. O. Box 944255
  • Sacramento, CA 94244-2550

  • Stephanie.Grimes@doj.ca.gov

  • Printed hardbound volumes of Opinions of the Attorney General of California are published by Lexis Publishing and may be read in public libraries. Opinions are also available online through Lexis dating back to 1960.


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