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.

The Attorney General welcomes and solicits the views of all interested persons concerning the issues raised in any question submitted for an opinion. Views should be in writing and directed to the deputy assigned to prepare the opinion. Please follow the instructions under How to Submit Views on Assigned Opinion Requests in the right side bar menu. 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.

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 how to request an opinion.


New Questions Assigned During April 2022

Opinion No. Question Requested by Assigned To
22-402

Is the governing body of an entity that employs a lobbyist and advocates on behalf of member school districts, and whose membership consists of substantially all the school districts in the county, a “legislative body” under the Brown Act when:
1) the administrators of the school districts created the entity consistent with standing school board policies;
2) the school boards have delegated their statutorily-authorized lobbying duties to the entity; and
3) the school boards authorize their districts to enter into yearly membership agreements with the entity, which provide that the entity will lobby state and federal policymakers collectively on the districts’ behalf, preclude the districts from taking lobbying positions adverse to or in conflict with the entity, and require the school districts to pay yearly dues?

San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson Medeiros
04/28/2022
22-403

May a member of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors concurrently serve as general manager for the Truckee Tahoe Airport District?

Nevada County Counsel Katharine L. Elliott Duncan Lee
04/21/2022

Opinions Issued or Concluded During April 2022

Opinion No. Question(s) Presented Conclusion(s) Issued
19-1001

Does Government Code section 83105, which bans campaign contributions by members of the Fair Political Practices Commission, apply to election campaigns for President and Congress?

Yes, the statutory ban applies to elections held in California, which includes elections for President and for seats in the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

04/01/2022
22-301

MICHAEL SEAN WRIGHT, a registered voter and resident of Orange County and the Orange County Department of Education’s Fourth District, has applied to this office for leave to sue TIM SHAW in quo warranto to remove him from his public office as a member of the Orange County Board of Education representing the Department of Education’s Fourth District. The application asserts that the Board of Education invalidly appointed Shaw to a vacancy on the Board in violation of Government Code section 1752(a) and the common law prohibition against self-appointments.

We conclude that there is a substantial legal issue as to whether Shaw’s appointment to the Orange County Board of Education was lawful. Consequently, and because the public interest will be served by allowing the proposed quo warranto action to proceed, the application for leave to sue is GRANTED.

04/07/2022

Pending Matters:


Opinion Requests

Opinion No. Question(s) Assigned To
22-403

May a member of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors concurrently serve as general manager for the Truckee Tahoe Airport District?


Duncan Lee
22-402

Is the governing body of an entity that employs a lobbyist and advocates on behalf of member school districts, and whose membership consists of substantially all the school districts in the county, a “legislative body” under the Brown Act when: 1) the administrators of the school districts created the entity consistent with standing school board policies; 2) the school boards have delegated their statutorily-authorized lobbying duties to the entity; and 3) the school boards authorize their districts to enter into yearly membership agreements with the entity, which provide that the entity will lobby state and federal policymakers collectively on the districts’ behalf, preclude the districts from taking lobbying positions adverse to or in conflict with the entity, and require the school districts to pay yearly dues?


Medeiros
22-302

Can the same person serve on both the Orange County Board of Education and the Tustin City Council?


Nolan
22-101

May three persons serving as Mission Viejo city councilmembers continue to serve up to an additional two years each after their two-year elected terms of office have expired?


Daniels
21-1102

1. Under the Ralph M. Brown Act, may legislative support staff of individual City Council members attend a closed session to assist and advise their individual members in the performance of the member’s duties?


2. If legislative support staff of individual City Council members are not permitted to attend a closed session as described in Question 1, may the members share information obtained in closed session with their individual support staff to assist the members in performing their legislative duties?


3. Would it violate the Ralph M. Brown Act for a City Council acting as the City’s Housing Authority to meet jointly in closed session with the Board of Housing Commissioners, which the Housing Authority oversees, provided that statutory authorization exists for both entities to go into closed session?


Bidart
21-1101

May a person, on behalf of another, lawfully purchase California state lottery tickets from an authorized retailer and charge a fee for the services rendered?


Nolan
21-1001

1. May a county adopt policies to address the environmental impacts of pesticides in a Local Coastal Program without violating Food and Agriculture Code section 11501.1?


2. May a county adopt ordinances to regulate pesticides in the coastal zone to implement Local Coastal Program requirements?


Daniels
21-401

May a district attorney provide criminal defense counsel or a self-represented criminal defendant an unredacted copy of a witness's or victim's state summary criminal history information during the criminal discovery process?


Medeiros
20-1001

May a district attorney provide criminal defense counsel the defendant's unredacted state summary criminal history information during the criminal discovery process?


Medeiros
19-301

Is a paid victim advocate for sexually exploited youth a mandated reporter under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act CANRA?


-
14-202

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


Duncan Lee

Quo Warranto Matters

Opinion No. Question(s) Assigned To
22-304

May a person who has served three previous four-year terms on the Los Angeles City Council be appointed to fill a temporary vacancy in the District 10 seat on the council?


Daniels
22-303

Is the person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 3 seat, eligible to hold this office?


Bidart