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2011-UP-155 - Barnes v. Serna

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

Thomas J. Barnes, Appellant,

v.

Victor M. Serna and Does 1 Through 50, Defendants,

Of Whom Victor M. Serna is the Respondent.


Appeal From Charleston County
Doyet A. Early, III, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2011-UP-155 
Submitted April 1, 2011 – Filed April 12, 2011


AFFIRMED


 

Thomas J. Barnes, pro se, of Goose Creek, for Appellant.

Duke R. Highfield, Stephen L. Brown, and Russell Hines, all of Charleston, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Thomas J. Barnes appeals the dismissal of his action against Victor M. Serna.  Barnes alleges the trial court (1) lacked jurisdiction to dismiss his case; (2) violated his right to due process; (3) failed to make sufficiently specific findings of fact and conclusions of law; and (4) abused its discretion in dismissing the case for the failure to prosecute and refusal to comply with a discovery order to produce his tax returns.  Moreover, Barnes's Statement of Issues on Appeal include whether the trial court abused its discretion in (1) granting attorney's fees and costs; (2) "sanctioning [Barnes] for no good cause shown" under Rule 11(a), SCRCP; and (3) "permitting [Serna] to shop around until [he] found a judge that dismissed th[e] case."  We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities:

1.  As to whether the trial court lacked jurisdiction and violated Barnes's right to due process: R & G Constr., Inc. v. Lowcountry Reg'l Transp. Auth., 343 S.C. 424, 437, 540 S.E.2d 113, 120 (Ct. App. 2000) (holding an issue is abandoned if the appellant's brief treats it in a conclusory manner); Carolina Water Serv., Inc. v. Lexington Cnty. Joint Mun. Water & Sewer Comm'n, 367 S.C. 141, 149, 625 S.E.2d 227, 231 (Ct. App. 2006) ("A reference to supporting authority without any discussion of their applicability is conclusory and constitutes an abandonment of the party's reliance on those cases."), rev'd on other grounds, 373 S.C. 96, 97, 644 S.E.2d 681, 681 (2007).

2. As to whether the trial court's dismissal order included sufficiently specific findings: Rule 208(b)(1)(B), SCACR ("[N]o point will be considered which is not set forth in the statement of the issues on appeal.").

3. As to the issues relating to the grant of attorney's fees and costs; sanctions pursuant to Rule 11(a), SCRCP; and court shopping: Jinks v. Richland Cnty., 355 S.C. 341, 344 n.3, 585 S.E.2d 281, 283 n.3 (2003) (holding an issue enumerated in the "Statement of Issues on Appeal" that is not argued in the brief is deemed abandoned).

4.  As to whether the trial court abused its discretion in dismissing Barnes's case for the refusal to comply with discovery orders:[2] Rule 26(b), SCRCP (providing any nonprivileged matter is discoverable so long as it is "relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action"); Rule 37(b)(2)(C), SCRCP (providing that when a party fails to obey an order to provide or permit discovery, the court "may make such orders in regard to the failure as are just," including the dismissal of the case); Barnette v. Adams Bros. Logging, Inc., 355 S.C 588, 593, 586 S.E.2d 572, 575 (2003) ("[S]anctions imposed in discovery matters will not be disturbed on appeal absent a clear abuse of discretion.  The burden is on the party appealing from the order to demonstrate the trial court abused its discretion." (citations omitted)).

AFFIRMED.

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


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

[2] Because we affirm the dismissal for Barnes's failure to comply with discovery orders, we need not address whether dismissing the case for failure to prosecute was an abuse of discretion.  See Bailey v. S.C. Dep't of Health & Envtl. Control, 388 S.C. 1, 8, 693 S.E.2d 426, 430 (Ct. App. 2010) (holding that an appellate court need not address remaining issues when a decision on a prior issue is dispositive).