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.

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New Questions Assigned During February 2020

Opinion No. Question Requested by Assigned To
20-202

Under Government Code section 12519, does a county board of supervisors have jurisdiction to hear PACE assessment appeals, and, if so, what is the administrative procedure?

Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Nolan
02/06/2020

Pending Matters:


Opinion Requests

Opinion No. Question Assigned To
20-202

Under Government Code section 12519, does a county board of supervisors have jurisdiction to hear PACE assessment appeals, and, if so, what is the administrative procedure?


Nolan
20-102

Are the offices of executive director of a charter school (or similar title) and member of the county board of education in the same county incompatible offices?


Binsacca
20-101

1) May an elected county recorder, whose operations are solely funded by recording fees collected as directed by Government Code section 27361, subdivision (a), re-claim from the county those fees diverted to the county’s general fund and utilized for supporting other county departments? 2) In the alternative, may the county recorder recoup the diverted funds by means of an offset?


Daniels
19-1001

Does Government Code section 83105 prohibit a Fair Political Practices Commission member from making a campaign contribution to a federal candidate for (1) President; and/or (2) Congress?


Bidart
19-901

Under the "remote interest" exception set forth in Government Code section 1091(b)(17), may a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (District) apply for and obtain District grants for their import/export logistics business without violating Government Code section 1090's prohibition against public officials holding a personal financial interest in public contracts?


Medeiros
19-405

Does Government Code section 1090 permit a County Superintendent of Education to negotiate in collective bargaining with their represented employment unit?


Nolan
19-401

May a county enter into a joint contract with a local military installation?


Bidart
19-301

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


Eisenberg
19-203

Is there a statutory or constitutional exception for non-profit religious organizations conducting employee criminal background checks under Labor Code section 432.7(a)? (On hold per requestor.)


Binsacca
18-1001

Is a county animal shelter permitted to refuse to relinquish an owner-surrendered dog to a nonprofit no-kill shelter?


Medeiros
18-902

When a subdivider owns one parcel and subdivides that parcel pursuant to a parcel map, then sells off the resulting new subdivided parcels, and subsequently acquires a contiguous parcel and seeks to divide that parcel pursuant to a parcel map, should the local agency count the previously subdivided contiguous parcels as part of the application?


Medeiros
18-901

1. Is the Bagley-Keene Act violated if the Commission votes on an agenda item where the agenda states only that the matter will be discussed, not specifically that the Commission would take any action on the item, but the top of the agenda contains a general statement that the Commission may act on any item listed on the agenda?


2. Is the Bagley-Keene Act violated if a majority FPPC Commissioners meet outside a public meeting (e.g., over lunch) and talk about how the Bagley-Keene Act applies to the FPPC?


3. Is the Bagley-Keene Act violated if one member of the public sends an email to five FPPC Commissioners and other members of the public and one Commissioner responds by email, but only to the members of the public?


Daniels
18-603

1. Does a county superintendent of education’s “stay and rescind” authority permit the stay of sale or issuance of bonds by a school district with a qualified or negative certification? (Ed. Code sec. 42127.6)


2. May such a stay remain in place pending resolution of a related investigation by the District Attorney?


Binsacca
18-502

Do nuisance abatement liens expire after 10 years; if so, what is the procedure and effective date for renewal?


Bidart
18-201

Is it a Brown Act violation for joint powers authority members to consult appointing authority in open session?


Bidart
18-103

Does Penal Code section 919(b) require the civil grand jury to annually investigate local detention centers as "public prisons"?


Bidart
17-101

May a city validly set health and welfare benefits for its city council members at a dollar amount equal to a set percentage of the benefits provided to the city's highest-income employee group, and, if not, what are the consequences of overpayment?


Bidart
16-402

Must specified prior offenders receive a formal pardon from the Governor in order to obtain a "Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon" and qualify for a classified employment position at a school or community college district?


Eisenberg
16-201

May a local jurisdiction require a subdivision applicant to eliminate the designation of a remainder parcel on a tentative parcel map, or require an applicant to provide additional analysis of a remainder parcel that has already been approved for development?


Eisenberg
15-1102

Request for advice on the jurisdictional authority of a local housing authority and an out-of-state housing authority under state law.


Binsacca
15-301

Is the time for filing the report required under Business and Professions Code section 805 tolled when a healing arts "licentiate" requests a hearing on the action that triggered the filing requirement?


Binsacca
14-202

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


Medeiros

Quo Warranto Matters

Opinion No. Question Assigned To
19-1201

Was Hesperia city council member lawfully installed to a vacant seat?


Medeiros
17-603

Are Deanna Jackson and Matthew Hurley eligible to hold seats on the Atwell Island Water District Board of Directors? (On hold pending litigation.)


Daniels

Opinions Issued in February 2020

Opinion No. Conclusion Published
19-701

Question: Should the repeal of the Palo Alto city charter’s binding arbitration provision, which governed disputes with public safety employee unions, be invalidated on the ground that the City of Palo Alto failed to consult in good faith with Local 1319 before placing the repeal measure on the ballot?

Conclusion: Leave to sue is GRANTED to determine whether to invalidate the repeal of the Palo Alto city charter’s binding arbitration provision on the ground that the City of Palo Alto failed to consult in good faith with Local 1319 before placing the repeal measure on the ballot.

02/07/2020