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Home / Member Services / Legislative / Legislative News / Attorney General Opinions and Requests 6-21-2012

Attorney General Opinions and Requests 6-21-2012

TAC has highlighted recent Attorney General Opinions and Requests for Opinions of interest to counties.

Requests for Attorney General Opinions

RQ-1063-GA, The Honorable Anna Laura Cavazos Ramirez, Webb County Attorney, Whether a county is required to pay accrued penalties and interest on delinquent taxes imposed on real property purchased from another governmental entity

RQ-1064-GA, The Honorable Kathryn H. Gurley, 287th Judicial District Attorney, Bailey & Parmer Counties, Whether a home rule municipality may require sex offenders who reside within the city to register with the sheriff rather than with the chief of police

RQ-1066-GA, The Honorable Dennis Bonnen, Chair, Sunset Advisory Commission, Whether the Sunset Advisory Commission is entitled to access confidential records, and attend all proceedings of, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct

RQ-1067-GA, The Honorable Jo Anne Bernal, El Paso County Attorney, Whether a county bail bond board may permit a licensed bail bond holder to change all or part of the collateral he or she posted as security

RQ-1069-GA, The Honorable Craig D. Caldwell, Cherokee County Attorney, Whether the Cherokee County Community Supervision and Corrections Department may prescribe a procedure that permits the issuance of checks without the signature of the county auditor

Attorney General Opinions

Opinion No. GA-0937 Authority of a county treasurer with regard to the reconciliation of accounts of elected officials (RQ-1018-GA) Summary: Pursuant to Local Government Code section 113.008, a county treasurer must reconcile the checks and orders for payment payable from funds that are under the direct authority of other county officials if those officials are unable or unwilling to perform the reconciliation themselves.

Opinion No. GA-0938 Whether a commissioners court may permit a constable of one precinct to provide the services authorized by section 351.061, Local Government Code, in a different precinct (RQ-1020-GA) Summary: Under section 351.061 of the Local Government Code, a constable may not provide law enforcement services for a fee to a private property owners association outside the precinct for which the constable was elected.

Opinion No. GA-0939 Whether a commissioners court may employ a county elections administrator to perform the duties of a 9-1-1 addressing agent and to assist in the preparation of redistricting maps (RQ-1023-GA) Summary: A commissioners court may employ the individual serving as county elections administrator to perform the duties of a 9-1-1 addressing agent and to assist in the preparation of redistricting maps.

Opinion No. GA-0940 Authority of a constable with regard to payment of outstanding warrants issued by a justice court (RQ-1024-GA) Summary: Texas law does not allow a constable to offer payment arrangements to, or accept partial payment from, defendants with outstanding warrants issued by a justice court. A constable's decision to temporarily delay executing a warrant could, depending on the facts involved, violate the constable's duty under Local Government Code section 86.021 to execute and return as provided by law each warrant that is directed to the constable. Constables must report the information required by Code of Criminal Procedure, chapter 60, to the criminal history record system established under that chapter.

Opinion No. GA-0941 Whether, under section 775.034, Health and Safety Code, a county commissioners court may meet to vote on the appointment of a member of the governing board of an emergency services district prior to January 1 of the year in which the appointment takes effect (RQ-1027-GA) Summary: A county commissioners court may meet to vote on the appointment of a member of the governing board of an emergency services district on a date prior to January 1 of the year in which the appointment takes effect.

Opinion No. GA-0942 Authority of a Type A general-law municipality with a population of less than 900,000 to enact an ordinance setting either a 300-foot "Alcohol-Free School Zone" or a 1,000-foot zone around a school in which the sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption would be prohibited (RQ-1028-GA) Summary: The governing body of Type A general-law municipality is generally authorized to enact an ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages by a dealer whose place of business is within 300 feet of a public school. The Legislature has not authorized a municipality to enact an ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages by a dealer whose place of business is within 1,000 feet of a public school unless the municipality receives a petition to enact such an ordinance from a school district that is principally located in a municipality of 900,000 persons or more.

Opinion No. GA-0943 Whether, in determining the market value of a residence homestead, a chief appraiser is required to consider the value of previously sold foreclosed residential property (RQ-1029-GA) Summary: Pursuant to Tax Code section 23.01(c), a chief appraiser, in appraising a residence homestead, may not exclude from consideration the value of neighboring properties simply because they were subject to a foreclosure sale.

Opinion No. GA-0944 Whether a mental health professional is required by chapter 261, Family Code, to report abuse or neglect that occurred during the childhood of a now-adult patient (RQ-1030-GA) Summary: Under subsection 261.101(b) of the Family Code, a professional is not required to report abuse or neglect that the professional believes occurred during an adult patient's childhood.

Opinion No. GA-0946 Whether a public school student who is at least eighteen years of age or older and younger than twenty-one, and who is enrolled in a district that has adopted a compulsory attendance policy under section 25.085 of the Education Code, is subject to prosecution under section 25.094 of the Education Code for a failure to attend school (RQ-1022-GA) Summary: Senate Bill 1489 amended section 25.094 of the Education Code by adding a necessary element to the offense described by that section. Under that amendment, a person eighteen years of age or older cannot commit an offense under section 25.094.

Opinion No. GA-0952 Final authority to set the salary of the official court reporter in the Van Zandt County Court at Law, and to determine whether the position is full-time or part-time (RQ-1039-GA) Summary: The judge of the Van Zandt County Court at Law is authorized to appoint an official court reporter and set the reporter's salary with approval of the commissioners court. The judge of the Van Zandt County Court of Law has exclusive authority to control the official court reporter's hours of work. Under section 25.2362(g) of the Government Code, neither the judge of the Van Zandt County Court at Law nor the Commissioners Court has exclusive authority to set the salary of the official court reporter. The Commissioners Court's authority to approve the salary of the County Court at Law court reporter does not include the authority to unilaterally set the reporter's salary. A reviewing court would likely conclude that Van Zandt County is required to provide the official court reporter for the County Court at Law a reasonable salary.

Opinion No. GA-0953 Authority of a county to issue bonds pursuant to article VIII, section 1-g(b), Texas Constitution (RQ-1040-GA) Summary: The Legislature has not authorized a county to issue tax increment financing bonds as a city may under chapter 311 of the Tax Code. A county qualifies as a "political subdivision" as that term is used in article VIII, section 1-g(b). A municipality has exclusive authority to pledge all or part of a tax increment fund, including any tax increments deposited by a county, for payment of tax increment bonds or notes. A county may not issue tax increment financing bonds or unilaterally pledge any part of the tax increment fund.