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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - March 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.

3-4-2008 - Opinions

4349 - MBNA America Bank v. Christianson

In this action, the court examines the authority of an arbitrator to rule where the existence of an arbitration agreement is disputed.

3-10-2008 - Opinions

4350 - Hooper v. Ebenezer Senior Services

In this civil appeal, the Appellant contends the circuit court erred: (1) in not equitably tolling the statute of limitation; (2) in failing to apply the amended version of Rule 3(a), SCRCP; (3) in failing to conclude that the assertion of the statute of limitation as a defense would be unjust; and (4) in failing to rule, pursuant to Rule 86, SCRCP, application of the amended version of Rule 3(a), SCRCP, would work an injustice so that the former procedure should apply, and that service under that procedure was completed within a reasonable time after delivery to the Sheriff.

4351 - In the Matter of Anthony Valentine

The State appeals the circuit court’s determination that there was no probable cause to believe Anthony Valentine was a sexually violent predator. We reverse and remand.

4352 - SCDC v. Mitchell

The South Carolina Department of Corrections (Department) appeals the Administrative Law Court’s (ALC) order requiring it to provide an inmate with new shoes. We reverse.

4353 - Turner v. SCDHEC

Mary Ann Turner appeals the circuit court’s order affirming the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (Appellate Panel). Turner contends the circuit court erred in finding substantial evidence existed for the Appellate Panel to hold she sustained a thirty percent permanent partial disability to her back and had reached maximum medical improvement. Turner also maintains the circuit court erred in failing to find she is entitled to have her doctor designated as the authorized treating medical provider and in failing to find she is entitled to an award for travel reimbursement. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand as follows.

3-11-2008 - Opinions

4354 - Mellen v. Lane

In this civil action for assault and battery, the following issues are decided: (1) Did the Master-in-Equity err in failing to find the intervening act of a third party broke the chain of causation and insulated Lane from liability for Mellen’s injuries? (2) Did the Master-in-Equity err in awarding $200,000 in actual damages? (3) Did the Master-in-Equity err in denying punitive damages?

4355 - Grinnell Corporation v. Wood

In this declaratory judgment action, the moving parties all seek declarations concerning the existence or non-existence of optional coverage as they relate to American Home’s policy of insurance that Grinnell asserts provides only liability, workers’ compensation, and minimum uninsured coverage.

3-13-2008 - Opinions

4356 - Morgan v. SCBCB

In this action to determine the cost to purchase non-qualified service credit under South Carolina Retirement Systems, E. Bruce Morgan appeals the order of the Administrative Law Court requiring the purchase price to be calculated based on Morgan’s highest salary. We affirm.

4357 - State v. Moore

Appellant Gary Robert Moore (Moore) was convicted of felony driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident involving death. Moore asserts the trial court erred in refusing to suppress evidence removed from his brother’s truck because the search exceeded the scope of consent. He also asserts the trial court erred in failing to declare a mistrial when the solicitor implied that Moore had an affirmative duty to modify his statement to police. We affirm.

4358 - Thomas v. Dootson

A directed verdict was granted in this medical malpractice case due to the plaintiff's failure to provide expert testimony. As notice was the central issue, expert testimony was not necessary. Therefore, we reverse the granting of the directed verdict.

3-18-2008 - Opinions

4359 - State v. Culbreath

Virgil Lee Culbreath appeals from his conviction for trafficking of crack cocaine, asserting the trial judge erred in denying Culbreath’s motion for a mistrial after the State’s witness mentioned prior drug dealings with Culbreath. We affirm.

4360 - State v. Hicks #1

Hoss Hicks appeals the circuit court’s decision to grant the State’s motion to reconsider his sentence, specifically asserting that good cause was not shown to require him to register as a sex offender. We disagree and affirm.

3-20-2008 - Opinions

4361 - Abate v. Abate

In this family court action to enforce a divorce decree incorporating an agreement between the parties, Father appeals the family court’s order: (1) holding Father in contempt for his failure to give Child his prescribed medication during summer vacation, (2) excluding Father’s work-related childcare expenses from the childcare costs divisible between the parties, and (3) denying Father’s motion for attorney’s fees. We reverse on the issue of contempt, affirm on the issue of childcare expenses, and remand for further consideration of Father's claim for attorney's fees.

4362 - State v. Adams

Blair Adams appeals the circuit court’s failure to grant his motion to suppress evidence. Adams maintains the purpose of the initial traffic stop had been fulfilled, and police had no reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or Adams’ consent to continue the stop. We affirm.

3-31-2008 - Opinions

4363 - Smith v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co.

In this action to recover under a policy of underinsured motorist coverage, the Estate of Tracy Smith argues the statutory definition of "insured" does not restrict an insured from having more than one household for purposes of insurance coverage. We affirm, finding the evidence in this case does not indicate that either Tracy Smith or his parents established more than one household.