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2011-UP-550 - McCaskill v. Roth

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

Baron L. McCaskill, III and Blane O. Ruschak, Respondents,

v.

Leslie Roth, Southern Croth I, LLC, CBC Wood Products, Inc., Builders Source Direct, LLC, The Due South Development Group, Inc., Due South Development, Inc., Gale Contractor Services, S&T Roofing, LLC, Anything Electric, T&C Construction, LLC, Johnston Roofing, Absolute Home Services, LLC, H.L. Middleton Masonry, McGee Brothers, Inc., Sanchez Brothers Painting, Inc., Paver Creations, LLC, Conditioned Air, Agapito Hernandez, and Charleston Marble and Granite, LLC, Defendants,

Of Whom Leslie Roth is, Appellant.


Appeal From Charleston County
Thomas L. Hughston, Jr., Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2011-UP-550
Heard October 5, 2011 – Filed December 9, 2011   


AFFIRMED


Leslie Roth, pro se, for Appellant.

A. Bright Ariail, of Charleston, for Respondents.

PER CURIAM: Leslie Roth appeals the trial court's distribution of funds held pursuant to an escrow agreement.  He argues the trial court erred in holding he was not entitled to the funds remaining in escrow. 

"When the language of a contract is clear, explicit, and unambiguous, the language of the contract alone determines the contract's force and effect, and the court must construe it according to its plain, ordinary, and popular meaning."  Moser v. Gosnell, 334 S.C. 425, 430, 513 S.E.2d 123, 125 (Ct. App. 1999).  The escrow agreement clearly provided that any excess funds left after payment for each punch list item were to be returned to Baron L. McCaskill, III and Blane O. Ruschak (Purchasers).  It also provided that any funds remaining in escrow after a year were to be returned to Purchasers without the need for further action on the part of Purchasers, Seller, or Escrow Agent.  The escrow agreement did not provide for any funds remaining in escrow to be given to Roth.  It is irrelevant whether Purchasers included items that were outside of the escrowed items or cost more than the allowed amount because Roth was not entitled under the agreement to any excess funds remaining after the punch list items were completed. 

Accordingly, the trial court's order is

AFFIRMED.[1]

HUFF, PIEPER, and LOCKEMY, JJ., concur. 


[1] Purchasers argue the appeal is moot because Roth failed to stay the trial court's order providing for the escrow agent to release the funds to Purchasers' attorneys.  A case becomes moot when some event occurs making it impossible for the reviewing court to grant effectual relief and the judgment, if rendered, will have no practical legal effect upon the existing controversy.  Linda Mc Co. v. Shore, 390 S.C. 543, 557, 703 S.E.2d 499, 506 (2010).  The relief Roth sought is distribution of the escrow funds, not a continuation of the escrow account.  Accordingly, we find the case is not moot.