Attorney General Opinions

May 29, 2014

Legislative News

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

Attorney General Opinions and Requests

GA-1055: The scope of subsection 51.607(a) of the Government Code concerning the Comptroller of Public Accounts’ identification of new or changed court costs and fees (RQ-1162-GA) Summary: The plain language of Government Code subsection 51.607(a) applies only to court-related costs and fees. The Records Management and Preservation Fee authorized under Local Government Code subsection 118.011(b) relates to the filing of non-court-related documents. It therefore does not fall within the scope of the Comptroller's duties under subsection 51.607(a).

GA-1056: Transportation Code prohibits a political subdivision or state agency from requiring peace officers to issue a certain number of warning citations (RQ-1164-GA) Summary: A court could conclude that only a warning that consists of a summons, ticket or other official document, a traffic violation, and an order requiring the motorist to respond is likely to be considered a traffic citation subject to the prohibition in section 720.002 of the Transportation Code. A court could also conclude that the text and purpose of section 720.002 require the term "traffic citation" to be construed broadly to include traffic warnings. We cannot definitively determine whether the prohibitions of section 720.002 encompass traffic warnings.
GA-1059: Whether Code of Criminal Procedure article 59.06 authorizes a district attorney to use asset forfeiture funds in specific circumstances (RQ-1166-GA) Summary: A court would be unlikely to conclude that a district attorney may use asset forfeiture funds to purchase land and a building for subsequent sale or lease to other entities as such use of the property would likely not be considered an official purpose of the district attorney's office under article 59.06 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

GA-1062: Salary increases for assistant auditors and administrative assistants after passage of the county budget (RQ-1170-GA) Summary: Section 84.021 of the Local Government Code requires a commissioners court to order the salaries of assistant county auditors, as properly certified by the district judges of the county, to be paid on the performance of services. Section 84.021 does not require district judges to include the names of assistant auditors in the list of appointees they certify to the county commissioners court under that provision.

Requests for Attorney General Opinions

RQ-1198-GA: The Honorable Craig Watkins, Criminal District Attorney, Dallas County - Civil Division, Authority of the Dallas County Juvenile Board to hire attorney as in-house counsel.

RQ-1199-GA: The Honorable Randall C. Sims, District Attorney, 47th Judicial District of Texas, Authority of an entity to require and maintain a photocopy of the credentials of a person covered by section 552.1175 of the Government Code.

RQ-1200-GA: The Honorable Timothy J. Mason, Andrews County Attorney, Whether a person disqualified from being a surety on a bail bond in a non-bail bond board county may again be a surety after receiving judicial clemency.