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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - May 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.

5-3-2004 - Opinions

3787 - State v. Horton

In this criminal appeal, the court analyzes a reckless homicide charge in regard to a vehicle collision scenario with a pedestrian. Additionally, the chain of custody rule is reviewed in connection with the admissibility of a urine test.

3788 - Gene Frye Bail Bonds v. Husted

Determines circuit court lacks statutory authority to require refund of portion of bail bond fee when company is relieved as surety.

3789 - Upchurch v. Upchurch

In this domestic relations case, the court analyzes the following issues: (1) subject matter jurisdiction relating to a mailing emanating from the office of the family court judge to the parties and a notice of appeal filed in that regard; (2) the effect of the parties' prior child support agreement on the family court's authority to award child support; and (3) the sufficiency of the pleadings in regard to an allegation of changed circumstances.

3790 - State v, Reese

In this criminal appeal, the court reversed a murder conviction of Reese because: (1) the trial court failed to charge the lesser-included offense of involuntary manslaughter; and (2) the solicitor's closing argument was improper and prejudicial.

3791 - Seabrook Island v. Marchland Trust

Property owners' association brought a declaratory judgment action and an action for an injunction against a development company to prevent the construction of a bridge from a lot on Seabrook Island to two nearby marsh islands. The association appealed the circuit court's finding that the association did not have the right to deny the construction and the court's denial of the association's request for an injunction. We affirm.

3792 - Bateman v. Rouse

Bateman brought this action against Rouse alleging conversion and wrongful withholding of certain funds and personal proeprty due to the widow of Robert L. Bateman. The trial court issued an order aawarding certain items of property to each party. Both parties appeal. We reverse and remand.

5-11-2004 - Opinions

3793 - Pirayesh v. Pirayesh

Husband and Wife appeal a family court order that apportioned the couple's marital property, awarded custody of the parties' children to Husband, prohibited Husband from traveling with the children outside th United States, and required the parties to pay half of the guardian's fee and all of their own attorney's fees. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

3794 - State v. Pipkin

Richard Shawn Pipkin was convicted of attempted first-degree burglary and sentenced to twenty years imprisonment, suspended on service of ten years confinement and five years probation. He appeals this conviction, claiming error by the trial court in disallowing testimony regarding the victim’s alleged bias and denying his motion for a directed verdict.

3795 - State v. Hill

The primary issue in this appeal from the revocation of Appellant's probation is whether the disclosure rules of Rule 5, SCRCrimP, and Brady are applicable to probation revocation proceedings.

3796 - Settlemeyer v. McCluney

This case involves whether a trust was created where a father bought property but titled it in his daughter's name.

5-12-2004 - Opinions

3744 - Angus v. Burroughs & Chapin Co.

Linda Angus appeals from the dismissal of her civil conspiracy claim against Horry County Council, her former employer, and other defendants. We affirm as to the members of the Council and reverse as to the remaining defendants.

5-14-2004 - Opinions

3747 - RIM Associates v. Blackwell

John Blackwell appeals the trial court's order directing him to make contributions to a debt paid to him by a partnership of which he was a partner. We reverse.

5-17-2004 - Opinions

3797 - Gaddy v. Douglass

Dr. Roger A. Gaddy brought this action as the attorney-in-fact for Ms. M against George G. Douglass, III and William P. Sherrod (Appellants) seeking to declare invalid a March 12,1999, power of attorney executed by Ms. M in favor of Appellants and the concomitant revocation of Ms. M’s durable power of attorney executed in 1988. Appellants, third cousins of Ms. M, appealed the trial court’s order finding that Ms. M lacked capacity to execute the documents. The court of appeals affirmed, finding that on March 12, 1999, Ms. M was suffering from chronic and severe dementia caused by the advanced state of Alzheimer’s disease. However, it vacated the trial court’s sua sponte finding that Ms. M lacked testamentary capacity on March 12, 1999.

5-21-2004 - Opinions

3772 - State v. Douglas

In this case, Appellant appeals her convictions for murder and armed robbery as well as her sentence for murder. Appellant contends the trial judge erred in admitting the following evidence: (1) testimony concerning her inquiry about procuring a life insurance policy for the victim; (2) a secretly recorded conversation with an investigator; and (3) items seized during the investigation. She further asserts the judge erred in: (1) denying her motions for a directed verdict as to the charges of murder and armed robbery; (2) sentencing her to life imprisonment for the charge of murder; and (3) denying her motion for a new trial.

5-24-2004 - Opinions

3798 - Cline v. Faulkner Homes

William Cline brought suit against Modular Home Sets, Inc. after his newly purchased modular home was damaged during a delivery accident. Modular Home appeals, arguing the trial court erred by failing to dismiss Cline's action as barred by the statute of limitations.

3799 - Burnell v. Burnell

The family court found Mother in contempt of court for violating the terms of its previous order awarding her and Father joint custody of their minor child. Mother appeals. We reverse.

3800 - Beard v. Watkins

Alexander Beard appeals the trial court's order denying his motion for sanctions under the Frivolous Civil Proceedings Sanctions Act. We affirm.

3801 - Smith v. Smith

Wife filed an order and rule to show cause seeking to hold Husband in contempt for failing to pay alimony. The trial judge declined to hold Husband in contempt, finding Husband did not willfully disobey the court order. Wife appeals.

3802 - Roberson v. Roberson

The family court granted Wife a divorce from Husband, equitably divided the marital property, awarded alimony, secured the alimony, and awarded attorney's fees. Husband appeals. We affirm.

3803 - McCall v. State Farm

In this civil appeal, the court addresses two principles of law: "the law of the case" and the "door closing statute."