Attorney General Opinions

April 26, 2013

Legislative News

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

GA-0992: Authority of certain persons to direct the disposition of blood seized during the investigation of an intoxication-related offense (RQ-1082-GASummary: A district or inferior court likely does not have authority to order the destruction of blood collected during the investigation of an intoxication-related misdemeanor offense after the underlying case has been finally resolved.

GA-0993: Whether an arrested person may waive the requirement that he or she be taken before a magistrate and admonished in accordance with article 15.17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (RQ-1082-GASummary: The duty of a magistrate to admonish an arrested person as required by article 15.17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is a mandatory duty. An arrestee may waive his right to have a magistrate orally recite the admonishments of article 15.17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure only if the waiver is made plainly, freely, and intelligently.

GA-0994: Whether a sheriff must submit an office policy manual to the county commissioners court for approval (RQ-1087-GASummary: A court would likely determine that the county commissioners court is not authorized to approve or disapprove of the sheriff's office policy manual.

GA-0997: Whether a district attorney may, pursuant to section 41.005, Government Code, retain a commission on bond forfeiture collection (RQ-1090-GASummary: Section 41.005 of the Government Code authorizes a district attorney to separate a portion of bond forfeiture collections as a commission without the approval of the commissioners court. By statute, the commission shall be deposited in the county treasury in a fund to the credit of the person or department collecting the money. The commissioners court generally determines how such commissions may be used, subject to any other legal restrictions on its authority.

GA-1000: Whether article 42.12, sec. 15(h) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which authorizes a judge to award confined defendants time credit for participation in an educational, vocational or treatment program, violates the Texas Constitution (RQ-1094-GASummary: A court would likely conclude that article 42.12, subsection 15(h)(6) of the Code of Criminal Procedure does not conflict with article IV, section 11 or article II, section 1 of the Texas Constitution.

Requests for Attorney General Opinions
RQ-1114-GA: The Honorable John Mark Cobern, Titus County Attorney, Whether a county commissioners court may establish a rule that prohibits an elected county official from bringing a pet to his or her county office.

RQ-1115-GA: Ms. Lisa Smith, Bastrop County Auditor, Whether property owned by a hospital authority and leased to a charitable organization for use as a hospital is "used for public purposes" under Tax Code section 11.11.

RQ-1116-GA: The Honorable Jerry Rochelle, Bowie County Criminal District Attorney, Whether a county must reimburse a utility for relocating a water line in Department of Transportation right-of-way.

RQ-1117-GA: The Honorable René O. Oliveira, Chair, Committee on Business & Industry, Texas House of Representatives, Application of Government Code section 573.062, the nepotism continuous employment exception, to a school district board member's spouse.

RQ-1118-GA: The Honorable Susan D. Reed, Bexar County Criminal District Attorney, Whether a bail bond licensee's exclusive right to advertise in a magazine distributed in the county jail is a solicitation in violation of Occupations Code section 1704.304.

RQ-1119-GA: The Honorable Jeri Yenne, Brazoria County Criminal District Attorney, Whether Family Code section 58.0071 authorizes the custodian of physical records and files in a juvenile case to destroy hard copies in particular instances.

RQ-1121-GA: The Honorable Daphne Session, Houston County Attorney, The appropriate court for a surety to file a release of surety for the surrender of a bond principal.

RQ-1122-GA: The Honorable Patricia Harless, Chair, Committee on Environmental Regulation, Texas House of Representatives, Authority to create overlapping emergency services districts that provide duplicative services and levy additional ad valorem taxes.