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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - December 2008

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.

12-4-2008 - Opinions

4463 - In The Matter Of The Care And Treatment Of John David Canupp

The State brought this action under the Sexually Violent Predator Act, S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-48-10 to -170 (Supp. 2007) for a determination that Appellant was a sexually violent predator in need of involuntary civil commitment in a secure facility for long-term control, care, and treatment. A jury found that Appellant was a sexually violent predator, and the trial court ordered that Appellant be committed to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. Appellant challenges the commitment order on the ground that the trial court failed to charge the jury that Appellant had a constitutional right to decline to take the witness stand. The Court of Appeals held that Appellant had no such right and affirmed the circuit court's commitment order.

4464 - Crusader Servicing Corporation v. County of Laurens

Following a delinquent tax sale, the Department of Revenue determined Southeastern Housing Foundation was exempt from taxes. As a result, the County of Laurens returned Crusader Servicing Corporation’s bid. All parties appeal the special referee’s determination that the County of Laurens was liable to Crusader for statutory interest but not prejudgment interest. Affirmed in part and reversed in part.

4465 - Trey Gowdy v. Gibson

The Gibsons argue the trial court erred in affirming the seizure and forfeiture of $146,050 in cash arising out of the discovery of drugs and paraphernalia. The Gibsons contend the trial court erred in failing to grant them a directed verdict because the State presented no evidence the money was related to the drugs. The Gibsons further maintain they presented sufficient evidence the money was unrelated to the drugs. Affirmed.

12-12-2008 - Opinions

4466 - McCall v. IKON

This is a breach of contract action that initially arose before this court following a default judgment entered against IKON. Following remand of the matter to the circuit court for a new hearing on damages, the circuit court determined McCall sustained damages in the amount of $24, 379.33. McCall now appeals asserting error in the court's determination of damages and the admission and or interpretation of certain evidence.

4467 - Pee Dee Stores v. Doyle

Appellant Billy W. Huggins, d/b/a Huggins Farm Service (Huggins), brought this action, seeking review of an order granting Pee Dee Stores, Inc.’s (Pee Dee Stores) summary judgment motion and motion to compel settlement based on a Settlement Agreement. Huggins asserts that the Settlement Agreement was intended to resolve only the landlord/tenant claims and that his civil conspiracy and unfair trade practices claims against both Pee Dee Stores and Third-Party Defendant Helena Chemical Company (Helena) survived the Settlement Agreement. As such, Huggins alleges that summary judgment was improper because a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the parties to the Settlement Agreement intended to extinguish Huggins’ claims against Pee Dee Stores and Helena. The Court of Appeals held that summary judgment was improper and reversed the circuit court's judgment.

4468 - Southeastern Housing Foundation v. Smith

In this appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's grant of a 60(b) motion for relief from judgment to a non-profit housing foundation and affirmed the grant of summary judgment for legal malpractice against its attorney.

12-17-2008 - Opinions

4469 - Hartfield v. McDonald

Jon Hartfield and Haskell L. Hartfield, individually and as Conservator to John Hartfield, (collectively referred to as Hartfield) appeal the circuit court’s grant of a directed verdict in favor of Respondents Robert Cockrell, individually and d/b/a Williams Package and South Pointe Pub’s (collectively referred to as the Pub). Hartfield contends the circuit court erred in directing a verdict in favor of the Pub because there was sufficient evidence presented to the court to survive the Pub’s motion for a directed verdict. Hartfield also contends the circuit court erroneously required direct evidence of service of alcohol and level of intoxication. We affirm.

4470 - State v. Kirton

In this criminal sexual conduct case, Appellant argues the trial court erred in denying: (1) Appellant’s motion to exclude evidence of prior bad acts, (2) Appellant’s motion to suppress a statement made during his bond hearing, and (3) Appellant’s motions regarding testimony that exceeded the parameters of time and place during the trial.

12-18-2008 - Opinions

4471 - Coker v. Cummings

In this boundary dispute case, James Coker appeals the master-in-equity’s grant of summary judgment in Respondents’ favor finding Coker had acquiesced to the boundary lines. We affirm.

12-22-2008 - Opinions

4472 - Eadie v. Krause

In this legal malpractice action, Christopher A. Eadie appeals from a trial court order granting summary judgment in favor of Steven M. Krause and the law firm of Krause and Moorhead, P.A.. We affirm.

4473 - Hollins v. Wal-Mart Stores

Maria Hollins appeals from a jury verdict in favor of Wal-Mart in this action for negligent hiring and retention. We affirm.

12-23-2008 - Opinions

4474 - Stringer v. State Farm

In this civil appeal, Appellant raises several issues that are encapsulated in the trial court’s ruling that the Plaintiff had uninterrupted automobile insurance coverage for the full policy period.

4475 - State v. Parker

In this murder case, Appellant posits two issues: (1) the court erred by ruling Appellant’s confession was admissible, and (2) the court erred by denying Appellant’s motion for a change of venue.