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Legal Opinions - Yearly Index

Opinions published in 2013

Opinion Question Conclusion Published
13-504 Proposed Relators JOHN RANDO and MARIANO A. RODAS have requested leave to sue Proposed Defendants FRANK QUINTERO and the CITY OF GLENDALE in quo warranto in order to seek Mr. Quintero’s removal from the public office of Glendale City Council member based on their contention that, under the terms of the Glendale City Charter, he is ineligible to hold that office. Because it is not in the public interest to authorize the initiation of a quo warranto lawsuit under the present circumstances, leave to sue is DENIED.

Official Citation: 96 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 48
10/25/2013
13-102 1. Is Jack Halpin unlawfully exercising the powers and authority of a judge of the Superior Court of Shasta County?

2. Is each or any of the following practices an abuse of discretion, and either illegal or unconstitutional: (a) assigning retired judges for service in the absence of genuinely exigent or extraordinary circumstances; (b) issuing assignment orders that authorize an assigned retired judge to complete and dispose of causes and matters that the judge originally heard during the designated dates of the assignment, even when proceedings in the causes or matters continue after the designated dates; and (c) assigning the same retired judge to judicial service pursuant to successive or multiple temporary assignment orders, which may result in the retired judge serving on a court for a significant length of time?
1. The question whether Jack Halpin is unlawfully exercising the powers and authority of a judge of the Superior Court of Shasta County does not warrant the initiation of an action in quo warranto because the issue is moot.

2. Quo warranto does not lie to determine whether each or any of the following practices is an abuse of discretion, and either illegal or unconstitutional: (a) assigning retired judges for service in the absence of genuinely exigent or extraordinary circumstances; (b) issuing assignment orders that authorize an assigned retired judge to complete and dispose of causes and matters that the judge originally heard during the designated dates of the assignment, even when proceedings in the causes or matters continue after the designated dates; and (c) assigning the same retired judge to judicial service pursuant to successive or multiple temporary assignment orders, which may result in the retired judge serving on a court for a significant length of time.

The application for leave to sue in quo warranto is therefore DENIED.


Official Citation: 96 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 36
07/25/2013
12-901 Under what circumstances does an owner-operated business with no employees nevertheless constitute a “place of employment” under Labor Code section 6404.5, which prohibits smoking in a workplace? An owner-operated business with no employees nevertheless constitutes a “place of employment” under Labor Code section 6404.5 when employment of any kind is carried on at the business location—that is, even when such employment is carried on by persons who are employed by someone other than the business owner.

Official Citation: 96 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 80
12/20/2013
12-606 Does the exception to Government Code section 1090 for “public services generally provided” permit a mayor who sits on a city council, and another city council member, to participate in a city program that provides funds to residents to make home improvements designed to mitigate the effects of aircraft noise? On the facts presented, the exception to Government Code section 1090 for “public services generally provided” permits a mayor who sits on a city council, and another city council member, to participate in a city program that provides funds to residents to make home improvements designed to mitigate the effects of aircraft noise.

Official Citation: 96 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 67
12/20/2013
12-605 Did the City of San Jose fulfill its statutory collective bargaining obligations before placing an initiative measure on the June 2012 ballot that, after its passage, amended the City Charter so as to increase city police officers’ retirement contributions and reduce their retirement benefits? Leave to sue is GRANTED to determine whether the City of San Jose fulfilled its statutory collective bargaining obligations before placing an initiative measure on the June 2012 ballot that, after its passage, amended the City Charter so as to increase city police officers’ retirement contributions and reduce their retirement benefits.

Official Citation: 96 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 1
04/15/2013
12-402 When the Department of Child Support Services has issued a withhold order on the bank account of a debtor owing delinquent child support, and funds in the debtor’s account are eligible for protection under three different exempting provisions (California Code of Civil Procedure section 704.080, California Family Code section 17453(j)(2), and 31 Code of Federal Regulations Part 212, section 212.6), should the responding bank “stack” the exemptions—that is, add together the amounts that would be protected under each exemption—to calculate the amount protected, or is the debtor's protection limited to the amount excluded under the largest of the three individual exemptions? When the Department of Child Support Services has issued a withhold order on the bank account of a debtor owing delinquent child support, and funds in the debtor’s account are eligible for protection under each of the three exempting provisions mentioned above, the total amount protected is not determined by adding together, or “stacking,” the three exemptions; rather, the debtor's funds are protected only up to the amount excluded under the largest of the three individual exemptions.

Official Citation: 96 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 59
12/20/2013
12-107 Proposed relator NAPA POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION (“Napa POA” or “POA”), the exclusive bargaining unit for police officers and sergeants in the Napa Police Department, seeks leave to sue proposed defendant the CITY OF NAPA (“City”) in quo warranto on the following question: Does the City’s creation of a Human Resources Department and the appointment of a Human Resources Director usurp the authority of the office of Personnel Director in violation of the Napa City Charter? The equitable remedies of declaratory and injunctive relief that the Napa POA seeks are not available in a quo warranto action. Accordingly, leave to sue in quo warranto is DENIED. The denial of this application, however, does not preclude the Napa POA from bringing another form of legal action alleging that the City’s actions have infringed upon its interests.

Official Citation: 96 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 7
04/23/2013
11-706 Is a county’s district attorney required to pay over to the county treasurer the processing fees that his or her office collects for processing bad checks in connection with a bad-check diversion program? A county’s district attorney is required to pay over to the county treasurer the processing fees that his or her office collects for processing bad checks in connection with a bad-check diversion program.

Official Citation: 96 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 24
06/21/2013
11-703 If the management of a mobilehome park has enacted rules and regulations generally prohibiting mobilehome owners from renting their mobilehomes, is park management bound by these same rules and regulations? With the possible exception of rentals to park employees under appropriate circumstances that satisfy certain statutory requirements, if the management of a mobilehome park has enacted rules and regulations generally prohibiting mobilehome owners from renting their mobilehomes, then park management is also bound by these same rules and regulations.

Official Citation: 96 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 29
07/23/2013
11-601 When specified revenue sources—including off-highway vehicle registration fees, fees for using off-highway vehicular recreation facilities, and fuel taxes attributable to the use of off-highway vehicles—are designated by statute for deposit in the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund for program-related purposes, may the Legislature redirect that money to other purposes by (a) loaning part of the Trust Fund corpus to the General Fund, or (b) diverting a portion of the fuel-tax revenues that would otherwise flow into the Trust Fund? When the state’s General Fund has been depleted, the Legislature may loan money from the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund’s principal to the General Fund as a budget-balancing measure under certain conditions, which include prompt repayment of the loan and preservation of the core program for which the Trust Fund was created. The Legislature may also permanently divert and reallocate fuel-tax revenues previously allocated to the Trust Fund.

Official Citation: 96 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 12
06/12/2013
10-504 Is the offense of completing an “unlicensed firearm transaction”—that is, the sale, loan, or transfer of a firearm by persons not licensed as firearms dealers—committed by both the person transferring the firearm and the person receiving it, such that both persons may be prosecuted and punished under the applicable penal statutes for committing the offense? The offense of completing an unlicensed firearm transaction is committed by both the person transferring the firearm and the person receiving it, and both persons may be prosecuted and punished under the applicable penal statutes for committing the offense.

Official Citation: 96 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 54
10/29/2013

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