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
William Alvin Hueble, Jr., Appellant,
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Eric Randall Vaughn, Defendants,
of whom Eric Randall Vaughn is, Respondent.
Appeal From Greenwood County
Eugene C. Griffith, Jr., Circuit Court Judge
Unpublished Opinion No. 2012-UP-081
Heard January 26, 2012 – Filed February 15, 2012
Jonathan S. Gasser and Gregory P. Harris, of Columbia and John P. Riordan, of Greenville, for Appellant.
Andrew F. Lindemann, of Columbia, J. Victor McDade, of Anderson and Thomas E. Hite, Jr., of Abbeville, for Respondent.
PER CURIAM: Appellant
William Alvin Hueble, Jr. appeals from an order of the trial court denying his
motion for costs and attorney's fees. On appeal, Hueble argues the trial court
erred by finding he was not the "prevailing party" and even if he was
the prevailing party, the existence of special circumstances precluded an award
of attorney's fees. We find no error of law in the trial court's decision to
decline awarding fees and costs, and therefore we affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the
following authorities: 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b) ("In any action or proceeding
to enforce a provision of sections . . . 1983 . . . the court, in its
discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a
reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs . . . ."); Grissom v.
The Mills Corp., 549 F.3d 313, 318 (4th Cir. 2008) (holding that in order
for a plaintiff to qualify as the "prevailing party" for purposes of
section 1988, there must be a material alteration of the parties' legal
relationship and there must be judicial imprimatur on such an alteration); Buckhannon
Bd. & Care Home, Inc. v. West Virginia Dep't of Health & Human Res.,
532 U.S. 598, 604 (2001) (providing there must be an enforceable judgment upon
the merits or a court-ordered consent decree to create the kind of material
alteration in the legal relationship of the parties that is necessary for an
award of "prevailing party" attorney's fees under the fee shifting
statutes); Belton v. State, 339 S.C. 71, 74 n.4, 529 S.E.2d 4, 5 n.4
(2000) ("A case resolved by acceptance of an offer of judgment is considered
settled."); Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 429 (1983) (holding
a prevailing plaintiff should ordinarily recover attorney's fees unless special
circumstances would render such an award unjust); Gregg v. Ham, No.
3:08-4040-CMC, 2010 WL 5060583, at *1 n.3 (D.S.C. Dec. 6, 2010) (noting that a
prevailing plaintiff is eligible for, rather than entitled to, an award of
HUFF, PIEPER, and LOCKEMY, JJ., concur.