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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - October 2005

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.

10-3-2005 - Opinions

4027 - Mishoe v. QHG

In this civil action, QHG of Lake City, Inc. appeals the award of $750,000 in actual damages and $1,250,000 in punitive damages in favor of Jenny C. Mishoe. QHG alleges a new trial should be granted as a result of an improper closing argument and the circuit court's erroneous restriction of the scope of QHG's cross-examination of Mishoe. Moreover, QHG argues the evidence does not support an award of punitive damages. We affirm.

4028 - Armstrong v. Collins

Fred Collins appeals from a jury award in favor of Marshall Armstrong on causes of action for fraud, constructive fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and breach of contract accompanied by a fraudulent act. Collins argues the trail court erred in: (1) failing to direct a verdict as to all causes of action; (2) allowing Armstrong to amend his complaint to include the two breach of contract causes of action; and (3) failing to grant Collins a continuance based upon the late amendment.

4029 - Corbin v. Carlin

In this action to quiet title, Carlin appeals, arguing the trial court erred in finding the landowner could challenge the tax sale of the property because the statute of limitations had run. We affirm.

10-10-2005 - Opinions

4014 - State v. Wharton

Wharton appeals from his conviction for voluntary manslaughter, arguing the trial judge erred in: (1) charging voluntary manslaughter; (2) failing to charge involuntary manslaughter; and (3) failing to charge accident. We reverse.

10-17-2005 - Opinions

4030 - Blackmon v. Weaver

In this will construction case, the majority determined that the testator's intention was to devise to his widow a life estate coupled with a power to dispose, and the full panel concluded it was error to remove the widow as personal representative.

4031 - Browning v. Browning

In this domestic contempt action, Husband appeals the family court's order, arguing the court erred in: (1) finding Husband in contempt for failing to timely comply with the parties' Property Settlement Agreement; (2) ordering Husband to submit to a medical examination so that Wife could obtain a life insurance policy on Husband; (3) addressing issues regarding a life insurance policy for the benefit of the parties' emancipated son; and (4) awarding Wife attorney's fees.

4032 - A & I, Inc. v. Gore

Gore appeals the circuit court decision to affirm the magistrate court's verdict in favor of A&I, arguing: (1) a new trial should have been granted because the magistrate's return violated statutory mandates; (2) the return was prepared ex parte; (3) the tapes of the original proceeding were lost; and (4) a continuance should have been granted by the circuit court. We affirm.

4033 - State v. Washington

In this criminal case, the court affirms the trial court's evidentiary rulings finding, inter alia, no Sixth Amendment confrontational rights violated because the witness was available at trial.

10-24-2005 - Opinions

4034 - Brown v. Greenwood Mills

In this Workers’ Compensation case, the appellate entity decides the following issues: (1) did the claimant file his occupational disease claim within the applicable statute of limitations set forth in S.C. Code Ann. § 42-15-40; (2) is the appeal premature because the circuit court order is not a final judgment; and (3) did the circuit court properly remand the case to the Workers’ Compensation Commission for determination of an allocation between compensable and non-compensable causes in accordance with S.C. Code Ann. §§ 42-11-90 and 42-11-100.

10-31-2005 - Opinions

4035 - State v. Mekler

In this criminal matter, the appellant appeals her conviction for murder. She contends the trial court erred in (1) refusing to allow her to impeach one of the State's witnesses, the deceased's wife, with evidence that the witness expressed fear of the deceased after a domestic dispute, when the witness denied she was ever afraid of the victim; (2) refusing to allow evidence appellant was aware of the deceased's prior act of violence against the wife and the wife's property as this was relevant to appellant's claim of self-defense; and (3) refusing to instruct the jury on the law of involuntary manslaughter based on appellant's self-defense theory, where there was evidence appellant armed herself in self-defense but discharged the gun due to her reckless handling of the weapon.

4036 - State v. Pichardo & Reyes

The State appeals an order suppressing drug evidence in a pending indictment for trafficking marijuana. The issues are: (1) did the officer’s actions after completion of the traffic stop constitute a seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment; (2) did the officer have a reasonable articulable suspicion to support continued detention of defendants after completion of the traffic stop; and (3) was the consent to search the vehicle given by defendants invalid.

4037 - Eagle Container Co., LLC v. County of Newberry

In this zoning case, Appellants contend the circuit jduge erred in ruling that Ordinance No. 12-49-02 amended Ordinance No. 12-24-01 to permit a "landfill" in the R-2 Rural Districts. Additionally, Appellants assert error by the circuit judge in applying: (1) the plain meaning rule; (2) the last legislative expression rule; (3) the last legislative intent rule.

4038 - State v. Crocker

Crocker appeals his conviction for trafficking in marijuana. Several assignments of error are raised, including alleged lack of personal and subject matter jurisdiction, improper venue, improper denial of Crocker’s motions for a directed verdict, and improper admission of evidence obtained during a law enforcement search of Crocker’s home.