Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Site Map | Feedback
2009-UP-376 - Clegg v. Lambrecht

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals


Deborah J. Clegg, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Allison Clegg, Respondent,

v.

Elliot M. Lambrecht, Douglas A. Lambrecht, Rhett Barker, Jan Horan, and Anna C. Lambrecht, Defendants, Of Whom Douglas A. Lambrecht is the Appellant.


Appeal From Beaufort County
Roger M. Young, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2009-UP-376
Withdrawn, Substituted and Refiled June 30, 2009
Formerly Opinion No.4498
Heard December 2, 2008 – Filed February 5, 2009
Withdrawn, Substituted, and Refiled May 13, 2009


VACATED AND REMANDED


John E. North, Jr., and Pamela K. Black, both of Beaufort, for Appellant.

H. Fred Kuhn, Jr., of Beaufort and Richardson Wieters, of Hilton Head, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: Douglas Lambrecht appeals the denial of a motion to impose sanctions under Rule 11, SCRCP, or pursuant to the South Carolina Frivolous Civil Proceedings Sanctions Act (FCPSA) under Sections 15-36-10, et seq. of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2008).  We now withdraw our previous opinion from publication and substitute this revised opinion.  We vacate and remand.

Under the peculiar facts of this case, more specific findings and conclusions by the trial court are necessary because a duty to dismiss or withdraw frivolous litigation may arise at a subsequent point in the litigation based on whether an attorney knew or should have known a claim is frivolous.  This type of review requires an intensive factual consideration of the record, including discovery.  We are unable to determine which facts the trial court relied upon in its decision.  We therefore vacate the denial of sanctions and remand the matter to the trial judge for an order "identifying the facts and accompanying legal analysis on which [he] relied" to enable meaningful appellate review of this issue.  Doe v. Howe, 367 S.C. 432, 449, 626 S.E.2d 25, 34 (Ct. App. 2005); Bowen v. Lee Process Sys. Co., 342 S.C. 232, 234, 536 S.E.2d 86, 88 (Ct. App. 2000); see also Ackra Direct Mktg. Corp. v. Fingerhut Corp., 86 F.3d 852, 857 (8th Cir. 1996) (explaining that although courts are not normally required to make findings of fact or conclusions of law in ruling on motions, the court "may remand when the lack of findings by the district court would substantially hinder" appellate review).  Upon remand, the trial court shall conduct a separate evaluation under Rule 11, SCRCP, and under FCPSA, and make findings and conclusions as to each sanction mechanism asserted.

VACATED AND REMANDED.

WILLIAMS, PIEPER, and GEATHERS, JJ., concur.