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2012-UP-061 - Singleton v. City of Georgetown

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

Willie Singleton and Julia Thomas, Heirs at Law of Victoria Gadson, deceased, Plaintiffs,

Of whom Willie Singleton is the Appellant,

v.

City of Georgetown Building Official Stephen Stack, Mayor Lynn Wood Wilson, Mayor Pro Temp Brendon M. Barber, Sr., Council Member Clarence Smalls, Council Member Paige B. Sawyer, III, Council Member Rudolph A. Bradley, Council Member Jack Scoville, Director of Building Planning Sabrina Morris, Steve Thomas, City Administrator, and The City of Georgetown, Respondents.


Appeal From Georgetown County
Larry B. Hyman, Jr., Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2012-UP-061
Submitted January 3, 2012 – February 8, 2012


AFFIRMED


Willie Singleton, pro se, of Georgetown.

Douglas Charles Baxter, of Myrtle Beach, and Mason A. Summers, of Columbia, for Respondents.

PER CURIAM:  Willie Singleton appeals the dismissal of individual defendants and his claim for punitive damages from his civil action, arguing the circuit court erred in: (1) dismissing individual defendants from the complaint; (2) dismissing his claim for punitive damages; (3) not supporting its order with proper legal authority; (4) concluding the demolition of the building was an accident; and (5) not considering "dual capacity" and "dual persona" theories.  We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities:

1. As to whether the circuit court erred in dismissing individual defendants from the complaint:  Cricket Cove Ventures, LLC v. Gilland, 390 S.C. 312, 321, 701 S.E.2d 39, 44 (Ct. App. 2010) ("In deciding whether the [circuit] court properly granted the motion to dismiss, the appellate court must consider whether the complaint, viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, states any valid claim for relief. . . .  [T]his [c]ourt . . . must presume all well pled facts to be true." (citations and quotation marks omitted)); S.C. Code Ann. § 15-78-70(a)-(b) (2005) ("An employee of a governmental entity who commits a tort while acting within the scope of his official duty is not liable . . . [unless] the employee's conduct was not within the scope of his official duties or that it constituted actual fraud, actual malice, intent to harm, or a crime involving moral turpitude."); S.C. Code Ann. § 15-78-30(i) (2005) ("'Scope of official duty'. . . means (1) acting in and about the official business of a governmental entity and (2) performing official duties."); Flateau v. Harrelson, 355 S.C. 197, 205, 584 S.E.2d 413, 417 (Ct. App. 2003) (holding an employee of a governmental entity may exceed his authority, but an action still falls within the scope of official duty if done in furtherance of his master's business); S.C. Code Ann. § 5-7-80 (2004) (stating municipalities are empowered to enact ordinances to abate public nuisances).

2.  As to whether the circuit court erred in dismissing Singleton's claim for punitive damages from the complaint:  S.C. Code Ann. § 15-78-70(a) (2005) (stating the Tort Claims Act "constitutes the exclusive remedy for any tort committed by an employee of a governmental entity"); S.C. Code Ann. § 15-78-120(b) (2005) (stating punitive damages are precluded by the Tort Claims Act). 

3.  As to Singleton's remaining issues:  West v. Newberry Elec. Coop., 357 S.C. 537, 543, 593 S.E.2d 500, 503 (Ct. App. 2004) (holding an issue that is neither addressed by the circuit court in its final order nor raised by way of a Rule 59(e), SCRCP, motion is not preserved for review).

AFFIRMED.

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


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