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2010-UP-298 - Graham v. Babb

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

Carey Graham and Rodney A. Chardukan, Respondents,

v.

Malcolm M. Babb, Brenda M. Babb, Cable Plus of Carolina, Inc., South Bay Lakes Cable Partnership, Southbridge Cable Television, LLC, and Renaissance Enterprises, Inc., now known as Condo Services, Inc., Defendants,

Of Whom Brenda M. Babb and Renaissance Enterprises, Inc., now known as Condo Services, Inc., are Appellants.


Appeal From Horry County
J. Michael Baxley, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.   2010-UP-298
Submitted April 1, 2010 – Filed June 1, 2010


AFFIRMED


Brenda Babb, of Calabash, NC, pro se, and William Diggs, of Myrtle Beach, for Appellants.

Frank H. Durant, of Myrtle Beach, for Respondents.

PER CURIAM:  This appeal stems from the trial court's imposition of discovery-related sanctions on the Appellants.  We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authorities: 

1. As to whether the trial court abused its discretion in awarding sanctions against the Appellants: Rule 37(b)(2)(C), SCRCP (providing that when a party fails to comply with a discovery order, the trial court has the discretion to impose any sanction it deems just, including the dismissal of an action); Barnette v. Adams Bros. Logging, Inc., 355 S.C. 588, 593, 586 S.E.2d 572, 575 (2003) (holding the trial court's imposition of discovery sanctions will not be reversed on appeal absent an abuse of discretion, and the party appealing from the order of sanction carries the burden of proving an abuse of discretion occurred); McNair v. Fairfield County, 379 S.C. 462, 466, 665 S.E.2d 830, 832 (Ct. App. 2008) (holding sanctions resulting in the dismissal of an action "should only be imposed in cases involving bad faith, willful disobedience, or gross indifference to the opposing party's rights"); Griffin Grading & Clearing, Inc. v. Tire Service Equip. Mfg. Co., 334 S.C. 193, 199, 511 S.E.2d 716, 719 (Ct. App. 1999) ("In determining the appropriateness of a sanction, the court should consider such factors as the precise nature of the discovery and the discovery posture of the case, willfulness, and degree of prejudice."). 

2. As to whether the trial court erred in considering documents from a prior factually-related action: Dixon v. Dixon, 362 S.C. 388, 399, 608 S.E.2d 849, 854 (2005) (providing an issue first raised in a Rule 59(e), SCRCP, motion is not preserved on appeal); Wilder Corp. v. Wilke, 330 S.C. 71, 76, 497 S.E.2d 731, 733 (1998) (holding an issue must be raised to and ruled on by the trial court in order to be preserved on appeal).    

3. As to whether the trial court erred in awarding $6,000 in attorney's fees to the Respondents: Rule 37(b), SCRCP (allowing sanctions, including the award of attorney's fees, for discovery violations); Seabrook Island Property Owners' Ass'n v. Berger, 365 S.C. 234, 240, 616 S.E.2d 431, 434-35 (Ct. App. 2005) (holding an award of attorney's fees will be affirmed on appeal when sufficient evidence in the record supports each of the following factors: (1) nature, extent, and difficulty of the legal services rendered; (2) time and labor devoted to the case; (3) professional standing of counsel; (4) contingency of compensation; (5) fee customarily charged in the locality for similar services; and (6) beneficial results obtained).

AFFIRMED.  

FEW, C.J., SHORT, and WILLIAMS, JJ., concur.


[1] We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.