One function of the Attorney General is to issue opinions to legislators and other state officers regarding questions of law in which the officer is officially interested. Generally, public officials are required to act in accordance with an Attorney General opinion unless or until the opinion is set aside by a court. However, opinions that conclude a statute is unconstitutional are advisory only.
Who may request an opinion from the Attorney General?
Legislators, District Attorneys, and any State officer, board, commission, or department. The Attorney General is not authorized to issue opinions to cities, towns, or other political subdivisions, school districts, or private citizens or organizations.
How do I request an Attorney General opinion?
Submit a signed written request containing, at a minimum, a complete statement of the relevant issues and a concise question of law, to:
Office of the Attorney General
313 NE 21st Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Requests from a State board or commission must be made by official action or vote the members. In addition, boards, commissions, or other agencies that have legal counsel must include in their request a legal memorandum citing basic research, points of law, and the requestor’s own conclusion of the question(s) asked.
What is the process for issuing an Attorney General opinion?
Once a request is received, it is assigned to an attorney to conduct legal research and prepare an initial draft. Once a draft is completed, it is presented to the Attorney General’s Opinion Conference, a group of experienced attorneys in the office, who discuss the draft, ask questions, and propose revisions. The Opinion Conference members then either approve the draft, with or without revision, or ask for draft to be revised and return for a subsequent Opinion Conference. Once approved, the draft is signed and issued by the Attorney General.
Are there circumstances under which the Attorney General will not issue an opinion?
Because opinions may be issued only as to questions of law, requests that turn on questions of fact or require factual determinations are not proper for Attorney General opinions.
While questions involving conflict between state law and municipal ordinances are an appropriate subject for an Attorney General opinion, the Attorney General does not interpret or construe the meaning of individual ordinances.
The Attorney General typically will not issue formal opinions on questions relating to pending legislation or questions that involve pending litigation.