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Attorney General Opinions and Requests 3-19-2012

TAC has highlighted county-related Attorney General Opinions and Requests issued since Feb. 1, 2012.

Requests for Attorney General Opinions

RQ-1039-GA: The Honorable Chris Martin, Criminal District Attorney, Authority to set the compensation and the hours of the court reporter for a statutory county court.

RQ-1040-GA: The Honorable Joseph C. Pickett, Chair, Committee on Defense and Veterans' Affairs, Authority of a county to issue bonds pursuant to article VIII, section 1-g(b), Texas Constitution.

RQ-1042-GA: The Honorable Burt R. Solomons, Chair, Committee on State Affairs, Application of the Open Meetings Act, chapter 551, Government Code, to a coordinated county transportation authority created under chapter 460, Transportation Code, and to its committees.

RQ-1043-GA: The Honorable Jerry Patterson, Commissioner, Texas General Land Office, Whether the selection of a site for an event prior to submission of a statutorily required application precludes the event from receiving monies from the Major Event Trust Fund.

RQ-1044-GA: The Honorable Billy W. Byrd, Criminal District Attorney, Lease of Upshur County school land.

RQ-1045-GA: The Honorable Paul Johnson, Denton County Criminal District Attorney, Refund of cash bail bonds under article 17.02, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Attorney General Opinions

GA-0912: The Honorable Richard Peña Raymond, Chair, Committee on Human Services, whether a justice of the peace may adjudicate truancy cases where an interlocal agreement between the county and the school district provides that a school attendance officer will serve as juvenile court coordinator.

Summary: No statute prohibits an interlocal agreement between a school district and a county whereby attendance officers employed by the district would simultaneously serve as juvenile court coordinators in the justice of the peace courts. Questions about the propriety of such an arrangement should be addressed to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

GA-0913: The Honorable Lisa Pence, Erath County Attorney, whether an eight-liner machine that dispenses tickets for prizes redeemable only at the bingo hall in which the machine is located is a "gambling device" within the meaning of section 47.01(4) of the Penal Code (RQ-0995-GA)

Summary: Because the eight-liner machines described in your request issue tickets redeemable for items that do not constitute noncash merchandise prizes, toys, or novelties, the machines do not meet the standard for the illegal gambling device exception provided in subsection 47.01(4)(B), Penal Code. Accordingly, the eight-liner machines are illegal gambling devices under the Penal Code. If an eight-liner machine is designed, made or adapted as anything other than a pure amusement device, the machine cannot meet the requirement of subsection 47.01(4)(B) and is therefore illegal.