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2011-UP-151 - Smith v. SGM Moonglo, Inc.

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

Edwin O. Smith and Roger M. Caldwell, co-personal representatives of the estate of Marjorie H. Smith, Respondent,

v.

SGM Moonglo, Inc., Appellant.


 

Appeal From Lexington County

  Deadra L. Jefferson, Circuit Court Judge

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Unpublished Opinion No. 2011-UP-151

Heard March 9, 2011 – Filed April 12, 2011   

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AFFIRMED

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Robert L. Jackson, of Columbia, for Appellant.

James Ross Snell, of Lexington, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  This case involves a restrictive covenant in a deed from Marjorie Smith,[1] the original grantor, to SGM Moonglo, Inc., the fourth grantee.  The deed prohibited the sale of alcohol on the land.  When SGM began selling alcohol on the land, Smith sought an injunction enforcing the covenant.  SGM appeals the circuit court's order enjoining it from selling alcohol.  It argues (1) the prohibition on selling alcohol is a condition of sale rather than a restrictive covenant, (2) Smith did not have standing to enforce the covenant, (3) the language of the covenant was ambiguous, and (4) Smith was unqualified to testify to diminution in her property value.  SGM also alleges error in various factual findings by the circuit court.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities:

1. As to whether the prohibition is a condition of sale or a restrictive covenant: Bennett v. Investors Title Ins. Co., 370 S.C. 578, 599, 635 S.E.2d 649, 660 (Ct. App. 2006) (finding appellants abandoned an issue on appeal when they failed to cite any case law for a proposition and made only conclusory arguments in support); Rule 208(b)(1)(D), SCACR (stating that each "particular issue to be addressed shall be set forth in distinctive type, followed by discussion and citations of authority") (emphasis added). 

2. As to whether Smith had standing to enforce the restrictive covenant: McLeod v. Baptiste, 315 S.C. 246, 247, 433 S.E.2d 834, 835 (1993) ("[T]he grantor lacks standing to enforce a covenant against a remote grantee when the grantor no longer owns real property which would benefit from the enforcement of that restrictive covenant."). 

3. As to whether the deed language was ambiguous: Taylor v. Lindsey, 332 S.C. 1, 4, 498 S.E.2d 862, 863-64 (1998) ("Words of a restrictive covenant will be given the common, ordinary meaning attributed to them at the time of their execution.  Restrictive covenants are contractual in nature, so that the paramount rule of construction is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the parties as determined from the whole document.") (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

4. As to Smith's qualification to testify about property value diminution: AJG Holdings, LLC v. Dunn, 382 S.C. 43, 51, 674 S.E.2d 505, 509 (Ct. App. 2009) ("Generally, a restrictive covenant will be enforced regardless of the amount of damage that will result from the breach and even though there is no substantial monetary damage to the complainant by reason of the violation . . . .  The mere breach alone is grounds for injunctive relief.").

5. As to the alleged error in factual findings: Eaddy v. Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., 355 S.C. 154, 164, 584 S.E.2d 390, 396 (Ct. App. 2003) ("This court has noted that short, conclusory statements made without supporting authority are deemed abandoned on appeal and therefore not preserved for our review.").

AFFIRMED.

FEW, C.J., and THOMAS and KONDUROS, JJ., concur.


[1] Smith was the original plaintiff; however, she died during the pendency of this appeal.  Her personal representatives were substituted as parties to this litigation.