Print this page   Close this window

Police Jury Association of LA



Attorney General Opinions
Below are the latest opinions related to local government:
 


#16-0057     Drainage & Drainage Districts













   
To read the opinion summary, choose the appropriate category from the drop down menu.
 
To read the full opinion, go to www.ag.state.la.us/Opinions.aspx.
 
Last updated:  4/24/2017

Archived PressRoom
Aeronautics, Public Lands<< Back To Top
DateArticle
01/30/2012  #11-0251
 Provided fair market value is received, the Authority is authorized to grant rights-of-way or servitudes over the Airport's property pursuant to La. R.S. 2:341, et seq.
11/14/2012  #12-0191
 The East Baton Rouge Parish Assessor may continue to pay health insurance premiums of an employee on long-term disability for a period of twelve months.
12/13/2013  #13-0188
 
Assessors, Exemptions, Taxes<< Back To Top
DateArticle
5/8/2012   #11-0169
  Answers numerous questions related to the tax valuation of oil and gas production equipment and components. 
5/15/2012   #11-0169
 Answers numerous questions related to the tax valuation of oil and gas production equipment and components.
Assessors, Highways, Municipal<< Back To Top
DateArticle
1/30/2012   #11-0229
 Annexing new territory and/or increasing the corporate limits of a municipality pursuant to La. R.S. 33:151 et seq., and La. R.S. 33:171 et seq, require that the area to be annexed or included within the new corporate limits be defined with specificity. If property is not specifically included in the original description of the newly incorporated or annexed area, it cannot be considered part of the incorporated municipality.
Cemeteries<< Back To Top
DateArticle
8/20/2013   #13-0120
 The curation and possession of a grave marker that was not intentionally or criminally moved from a grave space does not constitute desecration. In addition, such possession and curation is not restricted by the Louisiana Cemetery Act
Clerks of Court<< Back To Top
DateArticle
9/3/2013   #13-0094
 The East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court's Office may pay one hundred percent of the insurance premium costs for certain, already retired, clerks and employees.
Constitutional Law<< Back To Top
DateArticle
6/26/2012   #11-0215
 

The City of Tallulah may enact a personnel policy that regulates the rights of employees to engage in political activity.

10/1/2013   #13-0124
 In light of the United States Supreme Court decision in Shelby County, Louisiana is no longer a covered jurisdiction under Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act ("VRA”) and is not required to obtain preclearance pursuant to Section 5 of the VRA prior to implementing any new voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure.
Conveyance, Drainage & Flood<< Back To Top
DateArticle
01/30/2012  #11-0200
 Unless there is a provision included in a servitude indicating otherwise, La. R.S. 38:301 authorizes West Baton Rouge Parish to construct bicycle paths or walkways for the Brusly Landing Recreation Trails and Promenade project within the existing Mississippi River servitude without obtaining a new servitude for such construction. Further, La. R.S. 38:301(E) precludes liability for private owners and/or political subdivisions for any personal injury, property damage, or other loss which occurs while a person enters onto such property for recreational purposes relating to the construction or use of bicycle paths or of walkways constructed pursuant to La. R.S. 38:301.
Coroners & Public Funds<< Back To Top
DateArticle
5/9/2013   #05-0263
 Parish must reimburse sheriff for all expenses incurred for physician emergency certificate (PEC) transport when patient is resident of parish. If patient is not a resident of parish, sheriff must seek reimbursement from patient's parish of appropriate state agency.

8/20/2013   #13-0002
 

The coroner with custody over abandoned human remains of someone who died insolvent has the authority, in the absence of a declaration by the deceased or the express wishes of the family, under La. R.S. 9:1551 to dispose of such an individual's remains pursuant to La. R.S. 13:5715 when those with the right to control the remains refuse to assume such control. Cremation is permissible. The reimbursement for costs for funeral homes is not covered by the law and is dependent on general tort and contract theories.

Coroners, Compensation & Fees<< Back To Top
DateArticle
9/6/2012   #11-033A
 

Coroners are mandated under state law to perform a "necessary investigation” into the circumstances surrounding a decedent’s death in which the coroner has jurisdiction before issuing a permit for cremation; this mandate is not limited to those instances where a coroner only has had actual physical possession over a decedent’s body. Invthose instances where a coroner cannot provide the identity of the body pursuant tovR.S. 37:877(B)(1)(b)(iii) because the coroner never had possession of a decedent’s body to relinquish possession of, a funeral director, funeral establishment, or crematory may not rely on R.S. 37:883(C) for immunity under the law. As a legally necessary expense of the coroner’s office, the parish is financially responsible for paying the costs of the coroner’s office’s general liability insurance per R.S. 33:1556(B)(1). The governing authority for a parish should defend a coroner and his/her staff under the theory of respondeat superior, and indemnify them if judgments are rendered against them.

Dual Officeholding<< Back To Top
DateArticle
1/24/2012   #11-0204
 

Person holding state employment with the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism is prohibited by the Louisiana Dual Officeholding and Dual Employment Law, La. R.S. 42:61, et seq., from at the same time holding the elective office of school board member.

1/24/2012   #11-0240
 

Under La. R.S. 42:63(D) of the Louisiana Dual Officeholding and Dual Employment Law, a full-time deputy clerk of court may not also hold elective office as a justice of the peace.

1/26/2012   #11-0254
 

Provided the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton is able to adequately demonstrate that it has a reasonable expectation of receiving a benefit or value at least equivalent to the amount expended in constructing the gymnasium, the proposed Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the parties is authorized by law.

3/7/2012   #12-0015
 
The volunteer and unpaid Assistant Fire Chief of the Richard Volunteer Fire Department may also serve as a member of the Acadia Parish Fire Protection District #1. (Kilpatrick)
Op to Mr. Dwayne Thevis, Fire Chief, Richard Volunteer Fire Department, Church Point, LA
Educ., Health & Public Welfare<< Back To Top
DateArticle
3/6/2012   #11-0111
 
Chief administrators of schools, whether public or private, are mandated to submit student immunization compliance reports, electronically, when an existing student specific electronic data system is operated by the school. The Department of Health and Hospitals is authorized to establish immunization registries, such as the Louisiana Immunization Network for Kids Statewide System, for the purpose of improving immunization rates of the state's children. Parents can prevent their child's immunization records from being submitted to an immunization registry or may have their child's immunization records purged from an immunization registry. (Freel)
Op to Honorable John F. LaBruzzo, State Representative, District 81, Metairie, LA
Education, Schools & Districts<< Back To Top
DateArticle
3/7/2012   #11-0279
 
The RSD has the right to use school buildings, facilities and property otherwise part of the school transferred to its jurisdiction, and the RSD is responsible for and obligated to maintain the property in as good an order as when the right of use was acquired by the district. (McGimsey)
Op to Honorable Patricia Haynes Smith, State Representative, District 67, Baton Rouge, LA
Fire Protection District<< Back To Top
DateArticle
3/12/2012   #11-0244
 

A fire protection district may continue to levy a parcel fee, for the remainder of the period for which such fee was authorized, on property that is located within the boundaries of such fire district and has been recently annexed by a municipality.

Leases, Levees & Drainage Dist<< Back To Top
DateArticle
3/6/2012   #11-0239
 
La. R.S. 56:703 authorizes the Red River, Atchafalaya, and Bayou Boeuf Levee District to lease its public lands to the United States of America for operation as a wildlife refuge. Any determination of the validity of such a lease, with regard to La. Const. Art.
VII, § 14 and the receipt of fair market value, must consider all of the obligations assumed by the lessee, including the specific stated rental amount, any costs and expenses associated with the management, maintenance, and operation of the Refuge, and the value of any public benefits created by the existence of the Refuge. (Henry)
Op to Mr. Carlos Polotzola, President, Red River, Atchafalaya, & Bayou Boeuf Levee District, Alexandria, LA
3/7/2012   #12-0020
 
La. R.S. 38:219 generally prohibits the obstruction of drainage canals. However, Levee and Drainage Districts may grant exceptions due to their statutory authority over drainage and outflow canals. (Jones)
Op to Mr. T. Robert Lacour, General Counsel, Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, Kenner, LA
3/12/2012   #11-0239
 

La. R.S. 56:703 authorizes the Red River, Atchafalaya, and Bayou Boeuf Levee District to lease its public lands to the United States of America for operation as a wildlife refuge. Any determination of the validity of such a lease, with regard to La. Const. Art. VII, § 14 and the receipt of fair market value, must consider all of the obligations assumed by the lessee, including the specific stated rental amount, any costs and expenses associated with the management, maintenance, and operation of the Refuge, and the value of any public benefits created by the existence of the Refuge.

Municipalities<< Back To Top
DateArticle
3/6/2012   #12-0010
 
Under the St. James Home Rule Charter, the Chief Administrative Officer position is a parish "department, agency, or office.” Thus, the position may only be created by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the entire Council and the appointment of the CAO must be approved by a resolution adopted by a majority vote of the entire Council. (Day)
Op to Honorable Ricky L. Babin, 23rd Judicial District Attorney, Convent, LA
Police Juries<< Back To Top
DateArticle
3/6/2012   #12-0027
 
A police juror who was appointed to a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Pointe Coupee Parish Health Services District Number One may serve the remainder of his term with the Board, despite the fact that his term on the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury expired and he did not seek re-election. (Boyce)
Op to Mr. John Wayne Jewell, Assistant District Attorney, Eighteenth Judicial District, New Roads, LA
Port Authority<< Back To Top
DateArticle
1/24/2012   #11-049A
 

Opinion 11-0049 does not address the authority, vel non, of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission to create a police department in furtherance of its internal organization.

Public Funds & Contracts<< Back To Top
DateArticle
12/21/2011  #11-0228
 Pursuant to the Local Government Budget Act and, specifically La. R.S. 33:1305, the mayor of a Lawrason Act municipality may only spend general and special revenue funds that have been approved by the Board of Aldermen, but such spending limitations do not apply to discretionary enterprise funds. The Board of Aldermen lacks the authority to pass an ordinance that requires the mayor obtain Board approval for the spending of enterprise funds above two thousand dollars but may pass an ordinance requiring the mayor to submit a budget for use of the municipality's enterprise funds.
01/30/2012  #11-0264
 The Town of Bogalusa may not provide water and sewer services to the Bogalusa Housing Authority free of charge as the same would be tantamount to a prohibited donation of public funds and/or resources.
3/5/2012   #12-011
 

La. R.S. 13:4521(A)(1) exempts Franklin Parish Hospital Service District No. 1, a political subdivision of the state, from paying advance court costs to file collection lawsuits and the Winnsboro City Court cannot require the court costs be paid. It is further the opinion of this office that Franklin Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 may not, through a cooperative endeavor agreement or otherwise, voluntarily pay such costs without violating La. Const. art. VII, Sec. 14. (Hunter)

Op to Mr. Blake Kramer, Administrator, Franklin Medical Center, Winnsboro, LA

3/12/2012   #12-0011
 

La. R.S. 13:4521(A)(1) exempts Franklin Parish Hospital Service District No. 1, a political subdivision of the state, from paying advance court costs to file collection lawsuits and the Winnsboro City Court cannot require the court costs be paid. It is further the opinion of this office that Franklin Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 may not, through a cooperative endeavor agreement or otherwise, voluntarily pay such costs without violating La. Const. art. VII, Sec. 14.

Public Meetings<< Back To Top
DateArticle
1/24/2012   #11-0267
 

Members of the Commission who are not members of a subcommittee of the Commission may attend subcommittee meetings and participate in their capacity as citizens, but such participation must be limited to providing comment as is available to any other member of the public, as described by La. R.S. 42:14(D). However, as a cautionary measure, whenever it is likely that a quorum of the Commission will attend a subcommittee meeting, we recommend that the posted notice of the subcommittee meetings include a statement providing that it is possible that a quorum of the Commission may be in attendance at such meeting, but that no action of the Commission as a whole will be taken.

Separation of Powers<< Back To Top
DateArticle
1/24/2012   #11-0259
 

The Executive Branch may not prevent the City Council from directly communicating with administration employees as long as the communication does not constitute efforts to supervise, direct or manage municipal administrative officers and employees which is prohibited by the Slidell Home Rule Charter.

Taxation<< Back To Top
DateArticle
3/12/2012   #11-0230
 

A municipality can seek to have its voters rededicate unencumbered accumulated and future sales and use tax proceeds for a purpose different from that for which the tax was originally approved; provided, however, that such an election is first approved by the State Bond Commission in accordance with La. R.S. 39:1410.61.