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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - December 2001

Note: Beginning in June 2012, opinions will be posted as Adobe PDFs. You can download a free copy of Adobe Reader here.

The summary following each opinion is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what a particular opinion decides. The summary is not necessarily a full description of the issues discussed in an opinion.

12-3-2001 - Opinions

3413 - Glasscock v. United States Fidelity and Guaranty Co

USF&G issued a liability policy to Glasscock with specific language covering loss of use in reference to a property loss. Concominantly, USF&G offered underinsured motorist protection with restrictive verbiage in regard to property damage loss. The holding in the case is that an insurance company is required to offer the same type of coverage in the underinsured motorist offering that is contained in the liability insurance language.

3414 - State v. Proctor

There are two issues encapsulated within this writing: (1) competency of the defendant to stand trial; and (2) pretrial production of proficiency test results of a DNA expert.

3415 - State v. Proctor

There are two issues encapsulated within this writing: (1) competency of the defendant to stand trial; and (2) pretrial production of proficiency test results of a DNA expert.

12-10-2001 - Opinions

3416 - Widman v. Widman

This is a cross appeal in a divorce action. The issues on appeal concern (1) the equitable apportionment of marital property, (2) the means of distribution of the marital property, including the requirement of the execution of a mortgage to secure a note, (3) the valuation of certain marital property, (4) the inclusion of certain property in the marital estate, (5) the mathematical calculation regarding the division of the marital estate, (6) the findings of contempt of court, and (7) the provision regarding uncovered medical expenses of the parties' children.

3417 - Hardee v. Hardee

This opinion discusses the enforceability of an antenuptial agreement.

3418 - Hedgepath v. A.T.&T.

12-17-2001 - Opinions

3419 - Martin v. Paradise Cove

This is an action challenging the subject matter jurisdiction of the circuit court to award costs after issuance of the remittitur.

3420 - Brown v. Carolina Emergency

This is a medical malpractice action alleging the negligent failure to treat and/or hospitalize a patient.

3421 - Trivelas v. SCDOT

Nicholas Trivelas was injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a vehicle owned and operated by the South Carolina Department of Transportation. Trivelas and his wife sued DOT for damages, alleging DOT's violation of several traffic statutes. The trial court, finding DOT was negligent per se, granted partial summary judgment in the plaintiffs' favor. Following a comprehensive analysis of the law of negligence as applied to the facts, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case to the Circuit Court, concluding the record demonstrated that genuine issues in regard to

3422 - Allendale County Bank v. Cadle

This is an action to determine the priority of liens after a bank mistakenly satisfied a mortgage.

3423 - Jumper v. Hawkins

Joseph K. Jumper sued Anissa R. Hawkins for custody of the parties' minor child, Benjamin David Sims. The Family Court issued a pre-trial order requiring the parties to exchange witness lists within 10 days of the custody hearing. The order further stated that no witness could be added within the 10-day period. At the beginning of the hearing, Hawkins moved to add a psychologist as a witness. The psychologist's name did not appear on Hawkins' witness list; however, Jumper was aware of the witness. The Family Court judge denied Hawkins' motion, ruling the addition was in violation of the pre-trial order. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case, finding the Family Court did not examine the necessary factors regarding exclusion of a witness before denying Jumper's motion.

3424 - State v. Hook

Ray Edward Hook appeals his conviction for driving under the influence, third offense. At trial, the circuit judge admitted incriminating statements Hook made to probation agents during his detention. Hook made these statements while experiencing severe pain to his side and chest. Subsequent surgery would reveal a source of this pain was a ruptured spleen that required removal. The Court of Appeals determined these statements were involuntary and held they could not be used for any purpose, including impeachment.

3425 - State v. Taylor

Linda Thompson Taylor, a Department of Motor Vehicles employee, was charged with two counts of unlawful issuance of a fictitious motor vehicle driver's license. A jury returned a guilty verdict for both counts. Taylor moved for a verdict in arrest of judgment and for a new trial and entry of judgment of acquittal. The trial judge issued an order of verdict in arrest of judgment and entry of judgment of acquittal. The Court of Appeals reversed and reinstated the convictions, holding an order of verdict in arrest of judgment and entry of judgment of acquittal cannot be based on the sufficiency of evidence.

3426 - State v. Crosby

Leon Crosby shot and killed Lavaris Dunham during a fight at a Kershaw County apartment complex. A jury found Crosby guilty of voluntary manslaughter. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction, holding: (1) the facts and circumstances of the case did not warrant an involuntary manslaughter charge, contrary to Crosby's contention; (2) the circuit judge did not err by denying Crosby's motion for mistrial; and (3) admission of a crime scene photograph was proper.

12-20-2001 - Opinions

3431 - State v. Rice

This opinion addresses whether a code section which bars subsequent South Carolina prosecution of certain offenses against an individual who has been either convicted or acquitted in federal or another state court of a crime based on the same conduct involves subject matter jurisdiction allowing the issue to be raised for the first time on appeal.

12-31-2001 - Opinions

3427 - Means v. Gates

This is a negligence action in which Roderick Means obtained a verdict of $25,000 against Richard Gates for injuries he sustained in an automobile accident. Means appealed, alleging the trial court erred in excluding the testimony of his expert witness, a neuropsychologist, which was offered to rebut Gates' implication that Means' physical symptoms were not genuine. Means contends the exclusion of this evidence prejudiced his case and resulted in a lower jury verdict. The Court of Appeals agreed and reserved and remanded, finding the exclusion of the neuropsychologist's testimony was reversible error warranting a new trial.

3428 - Harris-Jenkins v. Nissan Car Mart

Nissan Car Mart agreed to pay $20,000 to Cynthia Harris-Jenkins and George Jenkins to settle the Jenkinses' suit against the dealer. Notwithstanding an order by the Circuit Court to do so, Nissan Car Mart did not pay. The Jenkinses sought sanctions against the dealer. The circuit judge ordered the dealer to pay the $20,000 plus interest and $1,500 in attorney's fees. The Court of Appeals reversed the attorney's fee award, holding: no statute or rule of civil procedure exists that permits a judge to mandate a party pay attorney's fees due to the party's failure to pay a civil debt; the settlement agreement between the parties, which was a contract, did not provide for attorney's fees in the event of breach; and compesatory contempt relief was not an available remedy because the judge's order did not expressly find Nissan Car Mart to be in contempt.

3429 - Charleston County School Dist v. Laidlaw

This appeal discusses whether defendant could maintain equitable counterclaims while admitting an express contract governed the obligations at issue.

3430 - Barret v. Charleston County School Dist

Roberta Barrett, a teacher at a Charleston County middle school, was terminated from her job for manifesting an evident unfitness to teach based on, inter alia, her dishonesty in handling the proceeds of an ice cream sales account. Barrett appealed her termination to the school board, which voted to terminate. She appealed to the Circuit Court, which reversed the school board. Applying the substantial evidence test, the Court of Appeals held substantial evidence existed in the record to support the school board's decision to terminate because Barrett manifested an evident unfitness for teaching based on her dishonesty in dealing with the ice cream account. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals reversed the Circuit Court.