Legal Opinions of the Attorney General -
Yearly Index

Opinions published in 2022

Opinion Question Conclusion(s) Issued
22-804 When a vacancy arises on the board of supervisors in a general law county, Government Code section 25061 authorizes an election to fill the seat for the remainder of the term at the next “general election,” subject to certain timing considerations. Are the general election dates for statewide elections in Elections Code section 324(a)(2) considered “general election” dates for purposes of filling a board of supervisor’s vacancy under Government Code section 25061? Yes, the general election dates in Elections Code section 324(a)(2) are considered “general election” dates for purposes of filling a vacancy on the board of supervisors under Government Code section 25061. For a date to qualify as a general election date under section 324(a)(2), it must be a regular election date specified in Elections Code section 1000, and a statewide election must be held on that date. 12/01/2022
22-603 Proposed relators HQH CHINESE AMERICAN EQUALIZATION ASSOCIATION and ARCADIA VOTERS’ RIGHTS GROUP (Relators) have applied to this office for leave to sue proposed defendant MICHAEL DANIELSON (Defendant) in quo warranto to remove Defendant from his public office on the Arcadia City Council. Relators assert that the City Council’s appointment of Defendant violated Arcadia City Charter provisions governing vacancy appointments. We conclude that a substantial question of law exists as to whether Defendant’s appointment to the Arcadia City Council was lawful. Further, the public interest will be served by allowing the proposed quo warranto action to proceed. Consequently, the application for leave to sue is GRANTED.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 141
08/18/2022
22-502 1. Where a school district changes from at-large elections of board trustees to by-trustee area elections (in which the district is divided into trustee areas, and trustees must live within specific trustee areas), and a vacancy arises in a seat held by a member who was elected at-large, do the new by-trustee areas apply in filling the vacancy?

2. Where a school district has revised the boundaries of its trustee areas following the decennial census, do the revised boundaries apply if a vacancy occurs during the term of a governing board member elected prior to revision of the boundaries?
1. No. In this circumstance, the boundaries in effect at the time the member was elected apply for the purpose of filling the vacancy.

2. No. In this circumstance, the trustee area boundaries in effect at the time the member was elected apply for the purpose of filling the vacancy.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 182
10/27/2022
22-501 May the Orange County Board of Supervisors enact new supervisorial district boundaries that become effective before the next regularly scheduled election, such that supervisors are assigned to represent different constituents than those who elected them? For election-related purposes, the Elections Code provides that the county’s supervisorial district boundaries do not change after redistricting until the next regularly scheduled supervisorial election for that district. Until then, a supervisor remains electorally accountable to constituents in the district that elected that supervisor, and the board of supervisors may not prohibit a supervisor from representing those constituents. Nonetheless, the board of supervisors may direct a supervisor to also represent constituents according to the new district boundaries.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 132
07/20/2022
22-403 May a member of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors concurrently serve as general manager for the Truckee Tahoe Airport District?
No, a member of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors may not concurrently serve as general manager for the Truckee Tahoe Airport District because these are incompatible public offices.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 121
06/17/2022
22-304 Proposed relators SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, PASTOR WILLIAM D. SMART, JOY ATKINSON, MARY LEE, KWAME COOPER, and HARRY MCELROY (Relators), have applied to this office for leave to sue proposed defendants the CITY OF LOS ANGELES, the LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL, and HERB WESSON (Defendants) in quo warranto to remove Wesson from his public office on the Los Angeles City Council, representing Council District 10. Relators assert that the city council’s appointment of Wesson violated Los Angeles City Charter provisions governing vacancy appointments and term limits. We conclude that substantial questions of law exist as to whether Wesson’s appointment to the Los Angeles City Council was lawful. Further, the public interest will be served by allowing the proposed quo warranto action to proceed. Consequently, the application for leave to sue is GRANTED.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 126
06/22/2022
22-303 The ALAMEDA COUNTY TAXPAYERS’ ASSOCIATION, INC., MARCUS CRAWLEY, DAVID DENTON, STEVE SLAUSON, and ROBERT TUCKNOTT, have applied for leave to sue DAVID KYLE BROWN in quo warranto to remove him from his public office as a member of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, representing District 3. The application asserts that Brown is ineligible to serve on the Board of Supervisors because he did not and does not satisfy the legal residency requirements for that office. We conclude that there are substantial issues of law and fact as to whether Brown is eligible to hold office on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors 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.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 111
06/17/2022
22-302 MARK TARDIF, a registered voter and resident of the Orange County Department of Education’s First Trustee District, has applied to this office for leave to sue REBECCA “BECKIE” GOMEZ in quo warranto to remove her from her public office as a member of the Orange County Board of Education representing the Department of Education’s First Trustee District. The application asserts that Gomez, while serving her term on the County Board of Education, assumed a second and incompatible public office as a member of the Tustin City Council, in violation of Government Code section 1099, and by doing so forfeited her seat on the Board of Education. We conclude that there is a substantial legal issue as to whether Gomez is simultaneously holding incompatible public offices as a member of both the Orange County Board of Education and the Tustin City Council. 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.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 69
05/05/2022
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.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 65
04/07/2022
22-101 MICHAEL SCHLESINGER, a resident of the City of Mission Viejo, requests leave to sue ED SACHS, WENDY BUCKNUM, and GREG RATHS in quo warranto to oust them from their public offices as members of the Mission Viejo City Council. The quo warranto application alleges that ouster is required on the ground that the elected terms of Councilmembers Sachs, Bucknum, and Raths have expired. We conclude that whether the terms of Councilmembers Sachs, Bucknum, and Raths have expired presents substantial questions of law and fact that warrant a judicial resolution. Because we further conclude that it would be in the public interest to allow Schlesinger to initiate a lawsuit in quo warranto, leave to sue is GRANTED.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 101
05/26/2022
21-1102 1. Under the Ralph M. Brown Act, may legislative support staff of individual city councilmembers attend a closed session to assist and advise their individual members in the performance of the members’ duties?

2. If legislative support staff of individual city councilmembers 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 a board of housing commissioners, which the housing authority oversees, provided that statutory authorization exists for both entities to go into closed session?
1. No, as a general matter, legislative support staff of individual city councilmembers may not attend closed sessions. If a person on such staff has an official or essential role to play in a particular closed session, however, then that person may attend for that purpose.

2. No. City councilmembers may not share with their individual support staff, who were not permitted to attend a closed session, information obtained in that closed session unless the city council has authorized the disclosure of such information.

3. No. The Act does not prohibit a joint closed session of two local agencies, if each agency is authorized to meet in closed session based on the same exception and same set of facts. Such agencies may together meet in closed session under that exception.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 89
05/26/2022
21-1101 May a person lawfully purchase California State Lottery tickets from an authorized retailer on behalf of another person and charge a fee for doing so? No, a person may not lawfully purchase California State Lottery tickets from an authorized retailer on behalf of another person and charge a fee for doing so.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 76
05/12/2022
21-501 Does Civil Code section 4505(a) allow a homeowners association of a common interest development, with multiple gates all providing access to the entire community and each separate interest within it, to bar vendors from entering through certain gates?
Yes, section 4505(a) allows a homeowners association to adopt this type of regulation as a general matter. But any specific regulation must be reasonable and comply with all applicable laws.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 39
03/17/2022
21-401 1. May a district attorney voluntarily provide to criminal defense counsel, or to a self-represented criminal defendant, an unredacted copy of a victim’s or a witness’s RAP sheet, with or without a protective order limiting distribution, during the criminal discovery process under Penal Code section 11105 as recently amended?

2. If redaction is required, what information must be redacted before production?
1. As a general proposition, a district attorney may provide a copy of an adult witness’s or victim’s RAP sheet to defense counsel during the criminal discovery process, provided that certain information is redacted. A district attorney may not voluntarily provide a copy of a victim’s or witness’s RAP sheet, unredacted or otherwise, to a self-represented defendant.

2. Any juvenile court information, and (in the case of a victim) any information that may be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim’s family, must be redacted from the RAP sheet, unless the district attorney is required to disclose that information under Penal Code section 1054.1(a).

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 157
09/08/2022
20-1001 1. During the criminal discovery process, may a district attorney voluntarily provide a public defender, or other defense counsel of record, with a copy of the adult or juvenile defendant’s state summary criminal history information (“RAP sheet”)?

2. If voluntary compliance with defense counsel’s request for the defendant’s RAP sheet is permissible, must any information be redacted from the RAP sheet before furnishing it to defense counsel?

1. Yes. During the criminal discovery process, a district attorney may voluntarily provide a public defender, or other defense counsel of record, with a copy of the adult or juvenile defendant’s own RAP sheet.

2. Yes. Juvenile court information must be redacted from an adult defendant’s RAP sheet. Counsel for a juvenile defendant, however, may receive an unredacted copy of the juvenile defendant’s RAP sheet.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 146
09/08/2022
20-303 Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, does a consumer’s right to know the specific pieces of personal information that a business has collected about that consumer apply to internally generated inferences the business holds about the consumer from either internal or external information sources? Yes, under the California Consumer Privacy Act, a consumer has the right to know internally generated inferences about that consumer, unless a business can demonstrate that a statutory exception to the Act applies.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 26
03/10/2022
20-301 Does the declaration of a shelter crisis under Government Code section 8698 or a state of emergency under Government Code section 8625 create or define a “scene of an emergency” for purposes of the Good Samaritan law in Health and Safety Code section 1799.102?

No. Although a scene of an emergency within the meaning of Health and Safety Code section 1799.102 may sometimes exist within an area where a shelter crisis or state of emergency has been declared, such declarations do not, in and of themselves, categorically create or define a scene of an emergency under Health and Safety Code section 1799.102.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 7
02/03/2022
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.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 57
04/01/2022
19-301 Is a paid unlicensed victim advocate working with commercially sexually exploited children, or children at risk of becoming commercially sexually exploited, a mandated reporter under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA)? As a general matter, no. Paid victim advocates are not on CANRA’s list of mandated reporters of child abuse. But these advocates will nonetheless meet CANRA’s definition of a mandated reporter if they perform a function, such as supervising children as part of their employment, that places them in an enumerated reporter category under CANRA. And some paid victim advocates are mandated reporters because they have a license that places them in an enumerated reporter category.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 168
09/29/2022
18-1001 1. May a county animal shelter refuse to release an owner-surrendered dog to a nonprofit rescue group that has requested that the dog be released to it prior to euthanasia if, at the time of surrender, the owner checked a box on a form indicating that the dog was surrendered because it was vicious or dangerous?

2. May a county animal shelter refuse to release an owner-surrendered dog to a nonprofit rescue group that has requested that the dog be released to it prior to euthanasia if, at the time of surrender, the owner checked a box on a form indicating that the dog was surrendered because it had behavioral problems?

3. May a county animal shelter refuse to release an owner-surrendered dog to a nonprofit rescue group that has requested that the dog be released to it prior to euthanasia if, at the time of surrender, the owner made no representation as to whether the dog was vicious or dangerous, or had behavioral problems?
1. Yes, a shelter may refuse to release a dog if the shelter has documentation that the dog is “vicious or dangerous” under Food and Agricultural Code section 31108.5(b). A form filled out by the owner constitutes “documentation” within the meaning of the Code.

2. A shelter may refuse to release a dog if the shelter determines that the dog is not “adoptable” or “treatable” within the meaning of Food and Agricultural Code section 17005. A shelter may consider an owner’s representation that a dog had behavioral problems, but the shelter must make an independent determination as to whether the dog is adoptable or treatable.

3. A shelter may refuse to release a dog if the shelter determines that the dog is not “adoptable” or “treatable” within the meaning of Food and Agricultural Code section 17005.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 50
03/24/2022
18-902 If a subdivider owns one parcel and subdivides that parcel pursuant to a parcel map (that is, into four or fewer parcels), then sells all of the resulting 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 parcels as part of the second application? Yes. In this situation, the local agency should count the parcels created by the first subdivision as part of the second application.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 43
03/24/2022
18-603 1. Does Education Code section 42127.6 allow a county superintendent of schools to stay the issuance of bonds by a school district in fiscal distress?

2. May such a stay remain in place pending resolution of an investigation or outstanding audit deficiencies?
1. Yes. If the county superintendent provides notice and justification that a bond issuance would be inconsistent with the ability of a school district in fiscal distress to meet its financial obligations for the current or subsequent fiscal year, Education Code section 42127.6 authorizes the county superintendent to stay the bond issuance.

2. Yes. A county superintendent generally may stay any action, including a bond issuance, up to the point that the superintendent approves the district’s budget for the subsequent fiscal year, so long as the superintendent determines that the action would be inconsistent with the ability of the school district to meet its financial obligations for the current or subsequent fiscal year.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 1
01/21/2022
18-103 Does the Penal Code section 919(b) requirement that a grand jury “inquire into the condition and management of the public prisons within the county” apply to local detention facilities such as jails?
Yes. Section 919(b)’s reference to “public prisons” includes local detention facilities.

Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 15
03/10/2022
14-202 1. Must “premium” from the sale of school general obligation bonds be deposited in a school or community college district’s interest and sinking fund, also known as a debt service fund?

2. May premium be used to pay bond-related expenses such as bond issuance costs listed in Education Code section 15145(a), an underwriter’s discount, or interest on previously issued securities?
1. Yes, all premium from the sale of school general obligation bonds must be deposited in the district’s interest and sinking fund.

2. No, bond premium may not be diverted to another purpose, such as to pay bond issuance costs, an underwriter’s discount, or interest on previously issued securities.


Official Citation: 105 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 83
05/19/2022