Legal Opinions and Memoranda

The City Attorney’s Office makes many of its legal opinions available to the public.  You can learn more about how the City Attorney’s Office goes about preparing these legal opinions in the following PDF memo:

To learn about why the City Attorney’s Office must often issue confidential legal opinions—and the reasons and procedures for doing so—you may review the Aug. 20, 2009 PDF memo entitled…

From 2002 to the present

Public opinions prepared under City Attorney Chiu and City Attorney Herrera are posted below, in reverse-chronological order.

Historical Archive of Published City Attorney Opinions

Prior to 1992, the City Attorney’s Office issued numbered public legal opinions. Opinions issued before 1987 were published in bound volumes, which are available at the San Francisco Public Library. The historical archive of published City Attorney Opinions provided here is comprised of scanned versions, in Adobe Acrobat PDF, of public numbered opinions dating prior to 1992 that were not published in bound volumes. It is important to note that the conclusions and analyses in those earlier opinions may no longer apply due to changes in the law or facts, or because they have been otherwise superseded. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to rely on those opinions.

  • Application of Collective Bargaining Charter Amendment to City Officers, December 23, 1991
  • Controller’s Authority of School District Funds, November 20, 1991
  • Law Governing Qualifications for Candidates for San Francisco Sheriff, July 12, 1991
  • Adoption of Annual Appropriation Ordinance, July 19, 1990
  • Voluntary Salary Reductions, June 22, 1990
  • Administrative Powers of the Parking and Traffic Commission, January 22, 1990
  • Possible Interference in Administrative Affairs by Supervisor – Members of Advisory Task Force, December 16, 1988
  • General Advertising in Recreation and Park Department Gymnasiums, November 30, 1988
  • Authority of Legislature to Establish Number of Signatures Required to Qualify Local Measure for the Ballot, October 6, 1988
  • Applicability of Administrative Code Section 3.13 (Art Enrichment Ordinance) to Recreation and Park Commission Projects, March 15, 1988
  • Authority of the Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”) and Its Staff to Settle Civil Lawsuits and Unlitigated Claims Filed Against the City and County of San Francisco (“City”), January 26, 1988
  • Applicability of Administrative Code Chapters 12B and 12C to Agreement for the use of Candlestick Park for Papal Mass, October 19, 1987
  • Marina Small Craft Harbor Revenues, August 18, 1987
  • Power of the Board of Permit Appeals to Authorize Dwelling Units Not Complying with Current Planning Code Requirements, August 10, 1987
  • Duty of SFUSD to Provide Medical Examinations to Employees and Students When Asbestos is found in School Buildings, July 21, 1987
  • Authority of the War Memorial Board of Trustees to Adopt a Blanket Policy Regarding Abstention, July 17, 1987
  • Sanitation Requirements for Vending Machines, July 2, 1987
  • Berth Fees at the San Francisco Yacht Harbor, July 2, 1987
  • War Memorial Board of Trustees’ Hearing on Charges of Discrimination Against the American Legion War Memorial Commission Filed by Alexander Hamilton Post 448 of the American Legion, June 1, 1987
  • Health Service Benefits for Surviving Spouses, May 20, 1987
  • Applicability of Salary Standardization Ordinance to Community College, May 7, 1987
  • Constitutionality of Police Code Section 685, May 6, 1987
  • Disclosure of Departmental Disciplinary Charges, April 20, 1987
  • Jurisdiction of the Art Commission Over Recreation and Park Commission Projects, March 27, 1987
  • Legal Status of Patrol Special Police Officers Appointed Pursuant to Section 3.536 of the San Francisco Charter, March 9, 1987
  • Recalculation of Charter Section 3.530-2 Budget “Cap” for Office of Citizens Complaints, February 23, 1987
  • Interpretation of Self-Insurance Provisions of Police Code Section 1080.2, January 15, 1987
  • Simultaneous Participation By Superior Judges in State and Local Health Care Systems, January 13, 1987
  • Qualification of Retired Employees For Lifetime Health Service Benefits, January 13, 1987
  • Succession to the Office of Mayor: Powers of Acting Mayor; Eligibility ofSupervisors to Succeed to Office of Mayor and to Participate in Selection to Fill Vacancy in that Office; Number of Votes Required for Majority, December 4, 1978