Attorney General Opinions

April 01, 2016

Legislative News

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

Attorney General Opinions

KP-0068 Disposition of revenue collected pursuant to section 502.403 of the Transportation Code, authorizing an optional county fee for child safety. (RQ-1177-GA) Summary: Section 502.403 of the Transportation Code allows a county that has imposed a fee under that section to retain a portion of the revenue from the fee for administrative costs as well as an amount proportional to the percentage of county residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county. Subsection (e) requires the county to send the remainder of the fee revenue to the municipalities in the county according to their population.

KP-0071 Constitutionality of Senate Bill 1876, relating to the appointment of attorneys ad litem, guardians ad litem, mediators, and guardians. (RQ-0060-KP) Summary: A court is unlikely to conclude that Senate Bill 1876 from the Eighty-fourth Legislature is unconstitutional under article II, section 1 of the Texas Constitution or is unconstitutionally vague.

KP-0072 Whether a school district, municipality, or county may reduce or repeal the local option homestead exemption from the amount that was adopted for the 2014 tax year through the 2019 tax year. (RQ-0082-KP) Summary: Subsection 11.13(n-1) of the Tax Code prohibits a school district, municipality, or county from repealing or reducing the local option homestead exemption from the amount that was adopted for the 2014 tax year through the 2019 tax year.

KP-0073 Applicability of expunction orders under article 45.0541 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to records in the possession of a juvenile probation department as a result of a referral for delinquent conduct as defined by subsection 51.03(a)(2) of the Family Code. (RQ-0057-KP) Summary: An expunction order issued to a juvenile probation department under article 45.0541 of the Code of Criminal Procedure would likely apply to documents in the department's possession as a result of a referral to the juvenile court for delinquent conduct as defined by subsection 51.03(a)(2) of the Family Code. A juvenile probation department must determine in the first instance how to comply with a court's expunction order according to its terms and consistent with article 45.0541.

KP-0074 Whether section 202.052 of the Estates Code requires citation by publication in all actions to determine heirship. (RQ-0058-KP) Summary: A court would likely conclude that section 202.052 of the Estates Code requires citation by publication in all heirship proceedings to determine whether a decedent has any unknown heirs.

KP-0075 Whether a county that has accepted a public dedication of a right-of-way is obligated to maintain the sidewalks in that right-of-way. (RQ-0061-KP) Summary: A county road may include the sidewalks in the right-of-way. Whether a county has accepted a public dedication of a right-of-way such that the sidewalks are within the county's maintenance obligations is a question beyond the purview of an attorney general opinion.

To the extent any of the actions in Transportation Code section 251.051 may be applicable to Dallas Drive, Williamson County may utilize them upon compliance with the requirements of the statute.

Requests for Attorney General Opinions

RQ-0102-KP: The Honorable Rodolfo V. Gutierrez, Jim Hogg County Attorney, Whether section 49.052 of the Water Code disqualifies an employee of the County Attorney's Office from serving as a member of the board of a water control and improvement district in the same county, when the County Attorney also provides professional legal services to the water district