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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Opinion Requests Assigned in April 2018

No opinion requests were assigned for this period.


Assigned Opinion Requests Pending

Opinion No. Question Assigned To
18-304

Are the positions of offices of county supervisor, member of a local transportation commission, and/or member of a multi-agency joint powers agency established to provide public transportation services incompatible offices?


Daniels
18-303

How is recordation of maps and surveys to be treated under SB 2?


Binsacca
18-302

Quo Warranto Application: Is the defendant lawfully residing in the city on whose city council he is serving?


Binsacca
18-301

Quo Warranto Application: Are the offices of Vineland School District Board member and Lamont Public Utilities District Board member compatible?


Bidart
18-202

Quo Warranto Application: Are defendants lawfully serving on the Fresno County Employees Retirement Board?


Daniels
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
17-1201

Quo Warranto Application: Does school district trustee lawfully reside in the area she was elected to represent?


Daniels
17-1101

Are the offices of Riverbank City Mayor and Stanislaus Consolidated Fire District Director compatible?


Eisenberg
17-1001

May the same person simultaneously serve as Concord City Council member and Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools?


Eisenberg
17-903

May a member of a hospital district board of directors simultaneously serve as a member of the city council, or on the planning and development commission, for the city in which the hospital district is located?


Medeiros
17-701

What are the proper uses of civil enforcement penalty funds collected under the Unfair Competition Law?


Medeiros
17-603

Quo Warranto Application: Are Deanna Jackson and Matthew Hurley eligible to hold seats on the Atwell Island Water District Board of Directors?


Daniels
17-602

May a city condition its grant of a land developer’s application for a “density bonus” (see Gov. Code, section 65915) on the developer’s payment of a public benefit fee?


Binsacca
17-202

Does state law preempt the enforcement of a county ordinance that declares “intentionally killed and left standing trees” to be a public nuisance?


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
16-702

Does Elections Code section 10515(a) require a county Board of Supervisors to appoint water district directors under circumstances where incompatible office holding would result?


Medeiros
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
16-301

May a water district provide retirement contributions to members of its governing board without violating statutory compensation limits?


Medeiros
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
16-102

When calculating the "maximum allowable residential density" number under the Density Bonus Law, must fractional numbers be rounded up to the next whole number, or may they be rounded up or down consistent with the local jurisdiction's zoning ordinances and/or general plan? (On hold due to pending litigation.)


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
14-403

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?


Nolan
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
11-705

May a court impose a probation condition on a DUI defendant to make a specified payment to the DUIRR Program?


Eisenberg
11-201

Is a California charter school and its board of directors subject to: a) the Ralph M. Brown Act; or b) the California Public Records Act; or c) the Political Reform Act of 1974; or d) Government Code section 1090; or e) the review and inspection of books and records, by a Grand Jury formed pursuant to Penal Code section 888? (Most notably, the Grand Jury whose function it is to investigate and inquire into county functions of civil concern, see also, Penal Code section 933.6.)


Medeiros

Conclusions of Opinions Issued in April 2018

Opinion No. Conclusion Published
14-301

1. A city council member who is also an attorney may not advocate on behalf of a client’s interests when those interests are adverse to the city.

2. A city council member who is also a practicing attorney may not participate in a governmental decision concerning a client’s interests when those interests are adverse to the city.

04/03/2018
17-601

Proposed relator does not raise a substantial question of law or fact that warrants initiating a judicial proceeding, and allowing the proposed quo warranto action to proceed would not serve the public interest. Proposed relator’s application for leave to sue in quo warranto is therefore DENIED.

04/11/2018
17-902

Whether proposed relator’s nominee was “a representative of a city” and was therefore improperly excluded from consideration for appointment—thereby requiring proposed defendant’s removal from office so that a new appointment process may be conducted—presents substantial questions of law and fact warranting judicial resolution. Further, allowing the action to proceed would serve the public interest. Therefore, leave to sue in quo warranto is GRANTED.

04/24/2018
17-702

The City of Hollister’s resolution approving the execution of an agreement to sell real property for development, pursuant to an approved plan for disposing a dissolved redevelopment agency’s property, is not subject to referendum.

04/27/2018

Opinions Answered by Letter, Withdrawn, or Cancelled in April 2018

Opinion No. Question Status
18-104

Does Education Code section 44987.3 apply to members of a Board of Education who are employed by schools in "other" districts?

Withdrawn on 04/19/2018
17-108

Does the ban on state-funded travel set forth in Government Code section 11139.8 apply to University of California and California State University athletic team staffs?

Cancelled on 04/23/2018