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Legal Opinions of the Attorney General -
Yearly Index

Opinions published in 2008

Opinion Question Conclusion Published
07-905 May a county enter into a joint-use agreement with a school district under which the county would lease a portion of a county park (a baseball field) to the district for its exclusive recreational use during non-school hours for three months of the year, four hours each day (see Pub. Resources Code, §§ 5400-5409)? A county may enter into a joint-use agreement with a school district under which the county would lease a portion of a county park (a baseball field) to the district for its exclusive recreational use during non-school hours for three months of the year, four hours each day.

Official Citation: 91 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 61
12/31/2008
07-903 May a member of the City Council of the City of Maywood serve simultaneously on the Board of Directors of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California? Whether a member of the City Council of the City of Maywood may serve simultaneously on the Board of Directors of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California presents substantial questions of fact and law warranting judicial resolution.

Official Citation: 91 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 25
05/27/2008
07-506 1. Would a Memorandum of Understanding between a county and certain cities within the county, under which the county would agree to implement certain land use development standards within each city's sphere of influence in exchange for the cities' agreement to adopt resolutions in support of a county-favored multiple species habitat conservation plan, amount to an illegal exchange of votes within the meaning of Penal Code section 86.

2. If not, would such a memorandum of understanding, and an associated agreement between the cities, county, and various federal, state, and local agencies to implement the multiple species habitat conservation plan, continue in effect even as the memberships of the legislative bodies of the county and signatory cities change over time?
1. A memorandum of understanding between a county and certain cities within the county, under which the county would agree to implement certain land use development standards within each city’s sphere of influence in exchange for the cities’ agreement to adopt resolutions in support of a multiple species habitat conservation plan, would not, in itself, amount to an illegal exchange of votes within the meaning of Penal Code section 86.

2. The proposed memorandum of understanding, and an associated agreement between the cities, county, and various federal, state, and local agencies to implement the multiple species habitat conservation plan, would continue in effect even as the memberships of the legislative bodies of the county and signatory cities change over time, provided that the agreements do not purport to surrender the “police power” of any of the local agencies involved.

Official Citation: 91 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 46
11/13/2008
07-313 May a city council member be paid a fee by a city for performing drug testing of a city employee who has been involved in a traffic accident, where the council member is the only certified drug tester in the immediate area who is available to perform the test? A city council member may be paid a fee for performing drug testing of a city employee who has been involved in a traffic accident, where the council member is the only certified drug tester in the immediate area who is available to perform the test, time is of the essence in performing the test, and the tester is paid on the same fee schedule and terms as any other tester operating under the contract.

Official Citation: 91 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 8
05/07/2008
07-303 Does a firefighter on full-time active duty in the California State Military Reserve, working at a military base and being paid by the California Military Department, qualify as "a permanent career firefighter employed by the state" who may become eligible for placement on a hiring list prepared by the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Program? A firefighter on full-time active duty in the California State Military Reserve, working at a military base and being paid by the California Military Department, does qualify as “a permanent career firefighter employed by the state” who may become eligible for placement on a firefighter hiring list prepared by the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Program for use by local governments.

Official Citation: 91 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 55
12/19/2008
07-302 Does a person designated by a regional open space district as a park ranger, and regularly employed and paid in that capacity as part of the district's police force, have peace officer powers under the terms of Penal Code section 830.31 with respect to violations of law that occur outside the boundaries of the district? A person designated by a regional open space district as a park ranger, and regularly employed and paid in that capacity as part of the district’s police force, has peace officer powers under the terms of Penal Code section 830.31 anywhere in the state, either for the purpose of performing his or her primary duty or when making an arrest as to any public offense with respect to which there is immediate danger to person or property, or of the escape of the perpetrator of that offense.

Official Citation: 91 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 28
06/26/2008
07-208 In response to a Public Records Act (Gov. Code, sections 6250-6276.48) request, must a law enforcement agency disclose the names of officers involved in a critical incident, such as use of lethal force in the course and scope of their duties as peace officers (see Copley Press, Inc. v. Superior Court (2006) 3 Cal.4th 1272; New York Times Co. v. Superior Court (1997) 52 Cal.App.4th 97)? In response to a request made under the California Public Records Act for the names of peace officers involved in a critical incident, such as one in which lethal force was used, a law enforcement agency must disclose those names unless, on the facts of the particular case, the public interest served by not disclosing the names clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosing the names.

Official Citation: 91 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 11
05/19/2008
07-206 Does a Local Agency Formation Commission have the authority to enlarge the boundaries of a proposed incorporation beyond those set forth in the petition for incorporation? A Local Agency Formation Commission has the authority to enlarge the boundaries of a proposed incorporation beyond those set forth in the petition for incorporation.

Official Citation: 91 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 33
06/27/2008
07-202 May a municipal water district provide paid health benefits to former elective members of its legislative body who served in office after January 1, 1981, but whose terms began before January 1, 1995, and whose total service at the time of termination was not less than 12 years where (1) in 1993, the water district ceased providing health benefits for current or future members after the expiration of their terms, and (2) in 2000, the water district reinstated its previous practice of providing paid health benefits for such members after the expiration of their terms? A municipal water district may provide paid health benefits to former elective members of its legislative body who served in office after January 1, 1981, but whose terms began before January 1, 1995, and whose total service at the time of termination was not less than 12 years, where (1) in 1993, the water district ceased providing paid health benefits for current or future members after the expiration of their terms, and (2) in 2000, the water district reinstated its previous practice of providing paid health benefits for such members after the expiration of their terms, provided that the former members received paid health benefits from the water district while serving on its legislative body prior to January 1, 1994.

Official Citation: 91 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 37
07/10/2008
07-104 Is Government Code section 1090 a barrier to compromise settlement by a city of suit for damages that was brought by a city council member against the city and its employees before his election to the council, for alleged wrongful conduct committed against him as a private citizen by city employees? Although the issue is not entirely free from doubt, under the current state of the law, we conclude that a court could invalidate as contrary to state law a city’s compromise settlement of a suit for damages that was brought by a city council member, before his election to the council, against the city and its employees for alleged wrongful conduct committed against him as a private citizen, because the plaintiff council member’s financial interest in the settlement would be prohibited by Government Code section 1090.

Official Citation: 91 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 1
02/15/2008
06-802 Where a county maintains a comprehensive database of property-related information that may incidentally contain the home addresses and telephone numbers of persons who are elected or appointed public officials, but who are not identifiable as such from the data, does Government Code section 6254.21(a) require the county to obtain those officials' permission before it may transmit the database over a limited-access network, such as an "intranet," "extranet," or "virtual private network"? Where a county maintains a comprehensive database of property-related information that may incidentally contain the home addresses and telephone numbers of persons who are elected or appointed public officials, but who are not identifiable as such from the data, Government Code section 6254.21(a) does not require the county to obtain permission from those officials before transmitting the database over a limited-access network, such as an “intranet,” “extranet,” or “virtual private network.”

Official Citation: 91 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 19
05/20/2008
06-408 1. May a school district or its employees promote or give preferred status to a particular provider of Internal revenue Code section 403(b) plans when offering such plans to the district's employees?

2. A school district or its employees receive compensation for the promotion or sale of a particular 403(b) plan to public school employees?
1. A school district and its employees may promote or give preferred status to a particular provider of 403(b) plans if the arrangement will aid the district in the administration of its benefit programs, does not unreasonably discriminate against any provider, and does not interfere with the rights of employees to purchase investment products from qualified providers of their own choice.

2. A school district and its employees may not receive compensation for the promotion or sale of a particular 403(b) plan to public school employees. However, a third-party administrator that is under contract to perform 403(b) plan administrative services for a school district and its employees may receive such compensation, so long as the third-party administrator’s relationship with a plan vendor or provider, and the nature of the compensation received, are fully disclosed to the school district and to the employees participating in the 403(b) plan.

Official Citation: 91 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 40
08/25/2008

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
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  • 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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