Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Site Map | Feedback
2012-11-05-02
STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA )    
  ) IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
COUNTY OF RICHLAND  )    
     
Palmetto Marketing Associates, Inc. and Vicki W. Ragin, | Case No.:   2009-CP-40-2931
  |  
Plaintiffs, |  
  | ORDER

v.

|  
  |  
Michelle Glowacki and Marc Glowacki, |  
  |  

Defendants.

|  
  |  
_______________________________ |  
  |  
Palmetto Marketing Associates, Inc. and
Vicki Ragin,
|
|
Case No.: 2010-CP-40-7671
  |  

Plaintiffs,

|  
  |  

v.

|  
  |  
Wesley C. “Wes” Levitt, Richard “Rick”
Sutter, Philip “Phil” Brimer, Marie Cail
Taylor, Allstate Insurance and American
Heritage Life Insurance Co.,
|
|
|
|
 
  |  

Defendants.

|  

This matter is before the Court upon motion by the Plaintiffs to lift the temporary stay ordered by the Court on May 5, 2010 in Civil Action Number 2009-CP-40-2931, and Motion to Consolidate the two cases captioned above pursuant to Rule 42(a) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.

MOTION TO LIFT STAY
(Civil Action Number 2009-CP-40-2931)

Judge Barber ordered a “Temporary Stay of Proceedings” in Civil Action Number 2009-CP-40-2931 more than two years ago, based on a motion by the Defendants. The stay was based on the fact that the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office was investigating the Glowackis for reasons that do not appear in the record. According to Judge Barber’s Order, Assistant Attorney General John Potterfield indicated a final decision on whether to prosecute would be made within thirty (30) days of the Court’s May 5, 2010, Order.

At the hearing on Plaintiffs’ Motion to Lift the Stay held on October 17, 2012, counsel for the Glowackis were not aware of the status of the investigation. Counsel informed the Court that a Motion to Dismiss was pending and that they are seeking dismissal of the Complaint based on Plaintiffs’ failure to prosecute the case. The Court finds that the Temporary Stay of Proceedings should be lifted. This decision in no way hinders or limits the Glowackis’ ability to pursue their Motion to Dismiss, and the Court expresses no opinion on the merits of that motion.

MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE

In addition to moving to lift the temporary stay, Plaintiffs move to consolidate the cases pursuant to Rule 42(a), SCRCP. The rule provides that “[w]hen actions involving a common question of law or fact are pending before the court, it may order . . . all the actions consolidated; and it may make such orders concerning proceedings therein as may tend to avoid unnecessary costs or delay.”

At the October 17 hearing, counsel for the Defendants in Civil Action Number 2010-CP-40-7671 stated that none of the Defendants in that action opposed the Motion to Consolidate. Counsel for the Glowackis (the Defendants in Civil Action Number 2009-CP-40-2931) opposed the motion based on arguments they intend to raise in their pending Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiffs argue consolidation would preserve both the Court’s and the parties’ time and resources, because the actions involve a common nucleus of facts and identical legal theories.

Based on a review of the Complaints in the two actions, the representations of Plaintiffs’ counsel that consolidation serves the ends of efficiency and preserves time and resources, and in light of the fact that none of the Defendants established that they would be prejudiced if the cases are consolidated, the Court grants the Plaintiffs’ Motion to Consolidate. Again, the Court expresses no opinion on the merits of any pending motions, including the Glowackis’ pending Motion to Dismiss.

For the reasons set forth herein, the Temporary Stay of Proceedings in Civil Action Number 2009-CP-40-2931 is hereby lifted, and the above-captioned cases are consolidated pursuant to Rule 42(a), SCRCP.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

  ____________________________
Clifton Newman
Presiding Judge

This 5th day of November, 2012.