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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - April 2004

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.

4-5-2004 - Opinions

3769 - Moosally v. W. W. Norton Company

In these civil actions, Appellants contend the trial judge erred in dismissing the cases pursuant to Rule 12(b) motions for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and lack of personal jurisdiction. These actions emanate from the death of 47 men on the USS IOWA. A book titled "A Glimpse of Hell" was written by Respondent Thompson, using Respondent Meyer, as a collaborator and published by W.W. Norton.

3770 - Hinds v. Elms

Following a verdict for Respondent Peggy Long Elms, Appellants Robert and William Hinds moved for a new trial “as to damages only,” contending that the defense verdict was a result of improper influences since the trial court directed a verdict as to “liability.” The Hinds appeal from the denial of their motion for a new trial. We affirmed, holding that a plaintiff in a personal injury action is not entitled as a matter of law to a favorable verdict where the court directs a verdict against the defendant on the issue of negligence and the issues of proximate cause and damages are submitted to the trier of fact.

3771 - Burton v. York Sheriff's Department

In this civil action, Appellants contend the trial judge erred in: (1) concluding that the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act applies to a "Sheriff"; (2) holding that records maintained by the office of the Sheriff were not exempt from disclosure; (3) ruling that the records were not constitutionally protected by the right of privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment; (4) ordering disclosure of records of a personal nature which constituted an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy under the Act; and (5) admitting hearsay testimony by the editor of a newspaper.

3773 - State v. Richardson

In this case, Appellant appeals his convictions for criminal sexual conduct, third degree and criminal sexual conduct with a minor, second degree. He asserts the trial judge erred in: (1) denying his motion for a directed verdict as to the charge of criminal sexual conduct, third degree; (2) admitting improper character evidence; and (3) permitting the solicitor to make improper comments during closing arguments.

4-12-2004 - Opinions

3774 - Marlboro v. SC Department of Health and Environment

Marlboro Park Hospital and Chesterfield General Hospital (Hospitals) appealed the circuit court’s decision affirming the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Board’s (the DHEC Board) grant of a certificate of need to Doctor’s Outpatient Surgical Clinic (DOSC), which reversed the decision of a South Carolina Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) denying the certificate. On appeal, the Hospitals argued the circuit court erred in (1) affirming the DHEC Board’s de novo review of the ALJ’s decision; and (2) finding that the ALJ improperly considered evidence not presented at a preceding Staff Review Hearing conducted by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The court of appeals agreed with DOSC and reversed, finding the DHEC Board erred in using a de novo standard of review rather than one requiring substantial evidence. Additionally, it found substantial evidence supported the ALJ’s decision, and that the ALJ properly considered evidence not presented to DHEC in a preceding Staff Review Hearing because the evidence was related to issues presented during that hearing. Accordingly, we reverse and remand to the circuit court to reinstate the decision of the ALJ.

3775 - Gordon v. Drews

Purchaser sued seller of unregistered securities for illegal sale of stock in a corporation, misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty. Seller was found liable for the sale of the unregistered stock, and the other claims were dismissed. Seller appeals, arguing: (1) he was not liable under the Securities Act; (2) a release and settlement agreement signed by the other purchasers was binding on purchaser; and (3) purchaser's claims were barred by laches. We affirm.

3776 - Boyd v. Southern Bell

This case involves whether the trial court properly granted summary judgment on an implied easement claim.

3777 - State v. Childers

Childers appeals his conviction for murder, ABHAN, and firing a firearm into a dwelling, arguing: (1) the trial judge erred in refusing his request to relieve defense counsel based on counsel's prosecution of him in the past and counsel's previous representation of the victim's brother, and (2) the trial judge erred by declining to charge the jury on the law of voluntary manslaughter. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

4-19-2004 - Opinions

3778 - Hunting v. Elders

Affirms the trial court order piercing corporate veil to hold dominant shareholder liable for substantial judgment awarded for injuries caused by a drunk driver who was served in bar owned and operated by corporation.

3779 - Home Port Rentals v. Moore

Home Port Rentals, Inc. brought a declaratory judgment action in July 2000 against Roger Moore, seeking to determine the enforceability of a March 20, 1989 judgment. The circuit court granted Moore’s motion for summary judgment, finding the judgment was more than ten years old and no longer enforceable. The court of appeals affirmed and held that the ten-year enforcement period for execution on judgments as provided in S.C. Code Ann. § 15-39-30 (Supp. 2003), once commenced, is absolute and not subject to tolling. Such a judgment is “utterly extinguished” ten years from the date of its entry.

3780 - Pope v. Gordon

In this civil forfeiture action, the State appeals the circuit court's order returning certain property to the defendant.

4-26-2004 - Opinions

3781 - Nationwide Mutual Insurance v. Prioleau

This is an underinsured motorist coverage case involving the purchase by a spouse who rejected UIM coverage. Nationwide appeals the trial court's ruling that a valid and effective offer of UIM coverage had not been made because (1) such an offer had been made to and rejected by the spouse as the named insured and applicant for the policy and (2) such an offer had been made to and rejected by the spouse as the agent for his wife.

3782 - Video Gamming Consultants v. SC Department of Revenue

The South Carolina Department of Revenue appeals the trial court's award of attorney's fees to Video Gaming Consultant, Inc. pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. Section 15-77-300 (Supp. 2003).

3783 - State v. Perry

In this case, Perry appeals his convictions for trafficking in marijuana, manufacturing marijuana, manufacturing marijuana on the lands of another, and resisting arrest. He argues the trial judge erred in: (1) failing to direct a verdict as to the charges of trafficking in marijuana and manufacturing marijuana; (2) denying his motion to require the State to elect to prosecute either manufacturing marijuana or entry on another's land for the purpose of cultivating marijuana; and (3) denying his motion to quash the indictment charging him with assault on a police officer while resisting arrest.

3785 - State v. Hutton

In this cirminal matter, the appellant appeals the trial judge's denial of his motion to dismiss based on the fact that his counsel was deprived of the opportunity to fully cross-examine a key State's witness when he was not provided with a pre-trial statement.

3786 - Hardin v. SCDOT

In this civil action, the court analyzes whether the circuit court judge erred in ruling that respondents are entitled to just compensation for the loss in value of properties caused by the closing of two roads at an intersection. Additionally, the court analyzes the efficacy of Gray v. S.C. Dept. of Highways and Public Transportation, 311 S.C. 144, 427 S.E.2d 899 (Ct. App. 1993).