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Legal Opinions of the Attorney General -
Yearly Index

Opinions published in 1992

Opinion Question Conclusion Published
92-1001 Has G. B. Tucker ("defendant") ceased to comply with the residence requirement for representing the fifth supervisorial district, Nevada County Board of Supervisors? No substantial fact or law is presented in connection with defendant's compliance with the residence requirement for representing the fifth supervisorial district, Nevada County Board of Supervisors. It is determined that an action in quo warranto would not serve the public interest and, therefore, leave to sue is denied.

Official Citation: 76 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 31
12/09/1992
92-804 Are the meetings of a task force comprised of private citizens appointed by the State Insurance Commissioner to render advice on public policy issues, which operates under the direction and timetable of the commissioner and receives its resources from the Department of Insurance, required to be open to members of the public? The meetings of a task force comprised of private citizens appointed by the State Insurance Commissioner to render advice on public policy issues, which operates under the direction and timetable of the commissioner and receives its resources from the Department of Insurance, are not required to be open to members of the public.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 263
11/12/1992
92-708 1. When approving the subdivision of land subject to a Williamson Act contract, may a county require new contracts for each parcel of the subdivision?

2. May a county unilaterally impose new contract terms for the resulting parcels, including the waiver of a previous notice of nonrenewal filed for all of the property to be subdivided?
1. When approving the subdivision of land subject to a Williamson Act contract, a county may require, either pursuant to a term of the original contract or pursuant to a duly enacted subdivision ordinance, new contracts for each parcel of the subdivision.

2. A county may unilaterally impose new contract terms for the resulting parcels, including the waiver of a previous notice of nonrenewal filed for all of the property to be subdivided, either pursuant to a term of the original contract or pursuant to a duly enacted subdivision ordinance.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 278
12/02/1992
92-607 May a city prohibit its officers and employees from cooperating in their official capacities with Immigration and Naturalization Service investigation, detention, or arrest procedures relating to alleged violations of the civil provisions of the federal immigration laws? Due to the supremacy clause of the United States Constitution, a city may not prohibit its officers and employees from cooperating in their official capacities with Immigration and Naturalization Service investigation, detention, or arrest procedures relating to alleged violations of the civil provisions of the federal immigration laws.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 270
11/19/1992
92-518 With respect to a public school building designated as a polling place by the county clerk, may a school district board prohibit election campaigning on election day by members of the public on the school's property beyond 100 feet of the polling place? With respect to a public school building designated as a polling place by the county clerk, a school district board may prohibit election campaigning on election day by members of the public on the school's property beyond 100 feet of the polling place except for an area constituting a public forum under the Civic Center Act. The board may subject the latter area to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions to protect the school's education programs.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 232
10/08/1992
92-508 Are the meetings of a student body association of a community college subject to the open meeting requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act? The meetings of a student body association of a community college are subject to the open meeting requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 143
09/16/1992
92-408 John E. Duckworth has requested that this office grant leave to sue John C. Davis in quo warranto pursuant to section 803 of the Code of Civil Procedure to test the right of Mr. Davis to hold the office of trustee of the Rim of the World Unified School District. Leave to sue is granted to test whether the offices of trustee of the Rim of the World Unified School District and director of the Lake Arrowhead Community Services District are incompatible.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 112
07/09/1992
92-313 Are employees serving in the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges under the inter jurisdictional exchange program eligible to serve on qualifications appraisal panels for the hiring and promotion of state civil service employees? Employees serving in the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges under the inter jurisdictional exchange program are eligible to serve on qualifications appraisal panels for the hiring and promotion of state civil service employees.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 251
10/21/1992
92-310 May voters in the South Coast Air Quality Management District by an initiative measure change the district's board of directors from an appointive board to an elective board? Voters in the South Coast Air Quality Management District may not by an initiative measure change the district's board of directors from an appointive board to an elective board.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 103
06/23/1992
92-306 1. May a city or county prohibit by ordinance the parking of particular categories of vehicles on private property, such as private driveways, private residential streets, and private commercial parking lots?

2. If so, may a city or county enforce the ordinance by removing parked vehicles from private property even if the vehicles are duly licensed and operational and on the private property of their owners?
1. A city or county may generally prohibit by ordinance the parking of particular categories of vehicles on private property, such as private driveways, private residential streets, and private commercial parking lots?

2. A city or county may enforce the ordinance by removing parked vehicles from private property even if the vehicles are duly licensed and operational and on the private property of their owners provided that due process requirements have been met and the vehicles so parked have been declared by the ordinance to be public nuisances.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 239
10/21/1992
92-304 May a member of the State Board of Equalization remain in office after entering a plea of nolo contendere to a misdemeanor charge of violating Penal Code section 72? A member of the State Board of Equalization may not remain in office after entering a plea of nolo contendere to a misdemeanor charge of violating Penal Code section 72 involving a violation of official duties; suspension from office takes place upon the entry of the plea and the office becomes vacant when the trial court judgment is entered.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 64
03/26/1992
92-303 May fines for deposit in a county's fish and wildlife propagation fund be transferred to the state's General Fund? Fines for deposit in a county's fish and wildlife propagation fund may not be transferred to the state's General Fund.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 106
07/07/1992
92-302 Are the ocean ecological reserves established under Article X B of the Constitution to be limited to scientific research to the exclusion of all other human activities? The ocean ecological reserves established under Article X B of the Constitution are to be limited to scientific research to the exclusion of all other human activities.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 125
07/22/1992
92-213 May the homeowners' association of a common interest development prohibit children from using of one of its two swimming pools? The homeowners' association of a common interest development may prohibit children from using of one of its two swimming pools if the restriction is reasonable under the particular circumstances and does not create an inequity for families with children under 18 years of age.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 219
10/06/1992
92-212 May the legislative body of a local public agency limit public testimony on particular issues at its meetings to five minutes or less for each individual speaker, depending upon the number of speakers? The legislative body of a local public agency may limit public testimony on particular issues at its meetings to five minutes or less for each individual speaker, depending upon the number of speakers.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 89
05/07/1992
92-202 May a local public agency properly pay that portion of its attorneys' State Bar dues known as the "Hudson fees"? A local public agency may properly pay that portion of its attorneys' State Bar dues known as the "Hudson fees" if the agency is under a contractual obligation to make such payment as part of the attorneys' compensation.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 137
09/03/1992
92-201 1. Under federal law, does the use of metal detectors in schools to deter and detect the presence of weapons brought by students to school violate the "reasonableness" requirement of the Fourth Amendment? Is "individualized suspicion" a required element under the Fourth Amendment for student searches, such as metal detector searches?

2. Does any California statute provide for or permit the use of metal detectors on school grounds? Does the use of metal detectors in school violate California law, including the constitutional right of privacy, under article I, section 1? Of what bearing on these questions arising under California law is the inalienable right to safe schools, under article I, section 28(c) of the Constitution?
1. Under at least two separate legal theories, schools may use metal detectors to deter the presence of weapons consistent with requirements under the Fourth Amendment. First, school metal detector searches may be justified under the standard of "reasonableness, under all the circumstances," as dictated by New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985) 469 U.S. 325, and related cases, which take into account the special circumstances of student searches conducted by school officials. Alternatively, school metal detector searches may be warranted under the administrative search doctrine, which has provided the constitutional basis for metal detector searches in airports and at courthouses. Under either standard, appropriate procedures may be employed which advance the substantial government issues at stake and minimize the degree of intrusion into privacy interests. The application of the settled standards under either legal theory also leads to the conclusion that individualized suspicion is not a prerequisite for school metal detector searches of students.

2. Schools may decide to implement metal detector searches to deter weapons as part of a school safety plan adopted pursuant to Education Code section 35294 et seq., or consistent with Education Code section 49330 et seq., which permits the removal of "injurious objects." Because no statute proscribes the use of metal detectors in schools, school districts have the authority to employ metal detectors under Education Code section 35160 et seq. While California law forbids any school employees from conducting body cavity or strip searches of students, see Education Code section 49050, subjecting students to a metal detector examination does not transgress this statutory prohibition.

Because several compelling interests independently outweigh the minimal intrusion of privacy, the right of privacy under the California Constitution does not prohibit the reasonable use of metal detectors to deter weapons in schools. While the right to safe schools is an important inalienable right secured under the California Constitution, full consideration of the provision is not required unless it is found to be in an unavoidable conflict with the right to privacy. In that unexpected event, under settled principles of constitutional construction, the safe schools clause would permit the reasonable application of metal detectors in schools.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 155
10/06/1992
92-109 1. May a regional air pollution control district require employers to charge parking fees as a means of achieving average vehicle ridership goals for purposes of the California Clean Air Act of 1988?

2. May a regional air pollution control district impose civil penalties upon employers who fail to achieve average vehicle ridership goals?
1. A regional air pollution control district may not require employers to charge parking fees as a means of achieving average vehicle ridership goals for purposes of the California Clean Air Act of 1988.

2. A regional air pollution control district may impose administrative civil penalties of not more than $500 pursuant to its own rules and regulations and initiate judicial proceedings for imposition of civil penalties by a court upon employers who fails to achieve average vehicle ridership goals mandated by lawful orders of the district, the achievement of which was within the reasonable control of the employer.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 256
11/10/1992
92-104 1. Is quo warranto an appropriate remedy for testing the validity of a proposed statewide initiative?

2. Would such an action be in the public interest (a) prior to the submission of the initiative measure to the electorate, or (b) prior to the resolution of the same issues now pending before the Public Employment Relations Board?
1. Quo warranto is not an appropriate remedy for testing the validity of a proposed statewide initiative.

2. Such an action would not be in the public interest (a) prior to the submission of the initiative measure to the electorate, or (b) prior to the resolution of the same issues now pending before the Public Employment Relations Board.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 70
03/31/1992
91-1210 May a city levy a transient occupancy tax upon a state employee who, while on state business, contracts for a hotel room and submits payment for the room with a state issued check? A city may levy a transient occupancy tax upon a state employee who, while on state business, contracts for a hotel room and submits payment for the room with a state issued check.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 86
05/07/1992
91-1205 During the investigative phase of a criminal or civil law enforcement proceeding, does Rule 2-100 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit a public prosecutor, or an investigator under the direction of a public prosecutor, from communicating with a person known to be represented by counsel, concerning the subject of the representation, without the consent of such counsel? During the investigative phase of a criminal or civil law enforcement proceeding, Rule 2-100 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct does not prohibit a public prosecutor, or an investigator under the direction of a public prosecutor, from communicating with a person known to be represented by counsel, concerning the subject of the representation, without the consent of such counsel.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 223
10/08/1992
91-1203 Is the energy conservation manual developed by the California Energy Commission subject to the approval of the Building Standards Commission? The energy conservation manual developed by the California Energy Commission is not subject to the approval of the Building Standards Commission.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 131
08/18/1992
91-1112 Absent a written waiver, is a municipal court judge disqualified from handling a criminal master calendar based on the fact that (1) he is married to a deputy district attorney; (2) he previously represented police officers while in private practice; and (3) he was formerly a police officer? A municipal court judge is not disqualified from handling a criminal master calendar based on the fact that (1) he is married to a deputy district attorney; (2) he previously represented police officers while in private practice; and (3) he was formerly a police officer. He would, however, be required to disqualify himself with respect to any proceeding (1) where his spouse is the lawyer or has had any substantial involvement in the case; (2) where he believes he cannot be impartial; and (3) where an ordinary person would reasonably entertain doubt as to his ability to be impartial.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 58
03/25/1992
91-1109 1. Is continued residence within a community college district required during the entire term of office of a community college trustee?

2. Did defendant cease to comply with the residence requirement so as to vacate her office as a community college trustee?
1. Continued residence within a community college district is required during the entire term of office of a community college trustee

2. Defendant did not cease to comply with the residence requirement so as to vacate her office as a community college trustee.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 26
02/25/1992
91-1105 May a city close a street in its jurisdiction where it intersects with another city's boundary? A city may close a street in its jurisdiction where it intersects with another city's boundary if the street is not part of a regionally significant roadway and if closing the street is necessary to implement the circulation element of the city's general plan.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 80
04/14/1992
91-1104 1. Is an employer who has contracted with a health care provider to conduct a pre-employment physical examination upon an applicant for employment required, upon request, to disclose to the applicant the results of the examination?

2. Is a health care provider contracted by an employer to conduct a pre-employment physical examination upon an applicant for employment required, upon request, to disclose to the applicant the results of the examination?
1. An employer who has contracted with a health care provider to conduct a pre-employment physical examination upon an applicant for employment is not required, upon request, to disclose to the applicant the results of the examination.

2. A health care provider contracted by an employer to conduct a pre-employment physical examination upon an applicant for employment is not required, upon request, to disclose to the applicant the results of the examination.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 149
10/06/1992
91-914 Are current alterations and additions to structures that were in existence prior to May 4, 1975, subject to the seismic safety requirements of the Alquist-Priolo Special Studies Zone Act? Current alterations and additions to structures that were in existence prior to May 4, 1975, are not subject to the seismic safety requirements of the Alquist-Priolo Special Studies Zone Act.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 36
02/27/1992
91-906 Does the doctrine of incompatible public offices preclude a person from holding simultaneously the position of director of the Elsinore Water District and the position of city council member of the City of Lake Elsinore? Whether the doctrine of incompatible public offices preclude a person from holding simultaneously the position of director of the Elsinore Water District and the position of city council member of the City of Lake Elsinore presents a substantial question of law. It is determined, however, that an action in quo warranto would not serve the public interest and, therefore, leave to sue is denied.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 10
02/04/1992
91-902 1. What public entity bears the costs of the chemical testing?

2. Is $50 to be placed in the reimbursement account when the defendant is convicted even though no fine is imposed or collected?

3. Upon conviction, is each defendant to be assessed $50 for the chemical testing in addition to any base fine imposed?

4. Is a county administering the special reimbursement account required to account separately for each public entity: (1) the costs of the chemical testing, (2) whether $50 is set aside for each public entity, and (3) whether an additional penalty authorized by the county board of supervisors is collected from the defendant?

5. If a base find and an additional penalty authorized by the county board of supervisors are paid to the county probation department as a condition of probation, is the county required to transfer $50 and deposit the additional penalty into the special reimbursement account?
1. With respect to the costs of chemical testing necessary in "driving under the influence" cases, the costs of the chemical testing are to be paid from the funds deposited in the special reimbursement account. If the account becomes exhausted, the public entity ordering the particular tests must bear the costs of such tests.

2. The $50 is to be placed in the reimbursement account when the defendant is convicted even though no fine is imposed or collected.

3. Upon conviction, each defendant is not to be assessed $50 for the chemical testing in addition to any base fine imposed.

4. A county administering the special reimbursement account is required to account separately for each public entity: (1) the costs of the chemical testing, (2) whether $50 is set aside for each public entity, and (3) whether an additional penalty authorized by the county board of supervisors is collected.

5. If a base find and an additional penalty authorized by the county board of supervisors are paid to the county probation department as a condition of probation, the is county required to transfer $50 and deposit the additional penalty into the special reimbursement account.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 117
07/15/1992
91-811 Is the University of California bound by the provisions of the Subdivision Map Act when it constructs for-sale-on-campus homes as part of a program to provide faculty housing? The University of California is not bound by the provisions of the Subdivision Map Act when it constructs for-sale-on-campus homes as part of a program to provide faculty housing.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 98
06/04/1992
91-804 May a citation be issued to a county as the owner of a vehicle being operated by a county employee in a manner contrary to law? A citation may be issued to a county as the owner of a vehicle being operated by a county employee in a manner contrary to law. However, the county may not be held liable if the driver or the person directing the operation of the vehicle is held solely responsible for the violation.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 75
04/14/1992
91-803 May a local agency such as a county board of supervisors use the "pending litigation" exception of the Ralph M. Brown Act to go into closed session to deliberate and take action upon settlement of a lawsuit? A local agency such as a county board of supervisors may use the "pending litigation" exception of the Ralph M. Brown Act to go into closed session to deliberate and take action upon settlement of a lawsuit.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 14
02/05/1992
91-720 May a hospital district pay the traveling and incidental expenses incurred by the spouse of a district director who is attending a conference on official business of the district? A hospital district may not pay the traveling and incidental expenses incurred by the spouse of a district director who is attending a conference on official business of the district.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 20
02/24/1992
91-714 May two or more local public entities, by a joint powers agreement, provide the initial capitalization for a California domiciled mutual insurer which will provide liability insurance to the participating entities and other qualified local public entities? Two or more local public entities, by a joint powers agreement, may provide the initial capitalization for a California domiciled mutual insurer which will provide liability insurance to the participating entities and other qualified local public entities.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 6
02/04/1992
91-702 May the Community Law Center, an agency which charges reduced fees for legal services rendered primarily to low income clients, incorporate as a nonprofit public benefit corporation? The Community Law Center, an agency which charges reduced fees for legal services rendered primarily to low income clients, may not incorporate as a nonprofit public benefit corporation.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 92
05/13/1992
91-505 Under the law pertaining to unincorporated nonprofit associations, may the Secretary of State issue a certificate of registration as a "family" to any two or more individuals who share a common residence? Under the law pertaining to unincorporated nonprofit associations, the Secretary of State may not issue a certificate of registration as a "family" to any two or more individuals who share a common residence.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 1
01/16/1992
91-504 With respect to surplus campaign funds held by a statewide ballot measure committee after an election, may the committee (1) return the funds to contributors on a pro rata basis; (2) return the funds only to contributors of a specified minimum amount; (3) donate the funds to a nonprofit organization or a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation; (4) contribute the funds to another ballot measure committee, to a candidate committee, or to a political party; (5) use the funds for educational or lobbying efforts with respect to the subject of the ballot measure, if the committee is established for purposes in addition to supporting the ballot measure; or (6) retain the funds for use in future ballot measure campaign on the same or related subjects? With respect to surplus campaign funds held by a statewide ballot measure committee after an election, the committee may (1) return the funds to contributors on a pro rata basis; (2) return the funds only to contributors of a specified minimum amount; (3) donate the funds to a nonprofit organization or a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation; (4) contribute the funds to another ballot measure committee, to a candidate committee, or to a political party; (5) use the funds for educational or lobbying efforts with respect to the subject of the ballot measure, if the committee is established for purposes in addition to supporting the ballot measure; or (6) retain the funds for use in future ballot measure campaign on the same or related subjects.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 29
02/26/1992
91-503 May a municipal court rule require the attendance of a deputy district attorney at all arraignment proceedings, applications for bail, and hearings on diversion eligibility? A municipal court rule may not require the attendance of a deputy district attorney at all arraignment proceedings, applications for bail, and hearings on diversion eligibility.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 51
03/18/1992
91-502 Is a two-thirds vote of the entire membership of a city council required to override an adverse determination made by an airport land use commission concerning the city's proposed amendment of its general plan? A two-thirds vote of the entire membership of a city council is not required to override an adverse determination made by an airport land use commission concerning the city's proposed amendment of its general plan; a two-thirds vote of the members constituting a quorum is sufficient to override the determination.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 47
03/18/1992
91-305 1. Do California laws governing pharmacies apply to out-of-state mail order pharmacies filling prescriptions and mailing them to people in California?

2. Is California's current regulation of out-of-state mail order pharmacies consistent with the commerce clause of the United States Constitution?

3. Under California law, may a generic type drug listed on the negative drug formulary established by the Director of Health es may be substituted for a brand name drug by an out-of-state pharmacy when filling prescriptions and mailing them to people in California?
1. California laws governing pharmacies apply in limited circumstances to out-of-state mail order pharmacies filling prescriptions and mailing them to people in California.

2. California's current regulation of out-of-state mail order pharmacies is consistent with the commerce clause of the United States Constitution.

3. Under California law, a generic type drug listed on the negative drug formulary established by the Director of Health Services may be substituted for a brand name drug by an out-of-state pharmacy when filling prescriptions and mailing them to people in California, if the pharmacy is registered as a nonresident pharmacy.

Official Citation: 75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 41
03/03/1992

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
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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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