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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - April 2010

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.

4-5-2010 - Opinions

4668 - In the Interest of Spencer R.

Spencer R. appeals his conviction for presenting a firearm, alleging the family court erred in finding sufficient evidence to support his conviction.

4669 - Gorecki v. Gorecki

In this appeal from the family court, the Court of Appeals affirmed the family court's decision to award the wife a divorce based on physical cruelty, while denying husband's request for a divorce based on wife's adultery. The court also upheld the family court's award of $1,000 per month in permanent periodic alimony and its decision to award the husband 60% of the value of the marital residence, despite the husband's contention that he was entitled to a greater share based on his individual contributions from his father's inheritance. Because the husband's argument to overturn the award of attorneys' fees was solely based on his contention that the grounds for divorce was in error, the Court of Appeals declined to rule on the propriety of requiring the husband to pay a portion of the wife's attorneys' fees.

4670 - South Carolina Department of Corrections v. Cartrette

Billy Joe Cartrette filed a grievance with the South Carolina Department of Corrections concerning conditions of his participation in the Prison Industries Program (PIP). Cartrette appeals the circuit court's order remanding his case to the Administrative Law Court (ALC) for a determination of the prevailing wage for similar work, reversing the ALC's finding that Cartrette was an employee of the private sponsor, affirming the ALC's denial of overtime wages, and affirming the ALC's denial of reimbursement for certain pay deductions. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

4671 - South Carolina Department of Corrections v. Tomlin

George Lee Tomlin filed a grievance with the South Carolina Department of Corrections concerning conditions of his participation in the Prison Industries Program (PIP). Tomlin appeals the circuit court's order remanding his case to the Administrative Law Court (ALC) for a determination of the prevailing wage for similar work, reversing the ALC's finding that Tomlin was an employee of the private sponsor, affirming the ALC's denial of overtime wages, and affirming the ALC's denial of reimbursement for certain pay deductions. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

4672 - State v. Porter

Johnell Porter (Porter) appeals his convictions for conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed robbery, entering a bank with intent to steal, kidnapping, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. On appeal, we must determine whether the trial court erred in (1) refusing to quash the indictments or dismiss the case when Porter was arrested in North Carolina by South Carolina officers who did not take him before a magistrate; (2) admitting into evidence items found in the parking lot where Porter's vehicle stopped; (3) excluding Porter from a bench conference during the trial when Porter was representing himself pro se; and (4) refusing to issue the kidnapping charge requested by the defense. We affirm.

4-6-2010 - Opinions

4673 - Bailey v. SCDHEC

In this dispute involving a dock, James Bailey appeals from the Administrative Law Court's (ALC) order, arguing the ALC erred in: (1) finding the dock was a private dock; (2) failing to remand the permit application for consideration of the use of the proposed construction and the impact of the use on Bailey; and (3) determining Bailey lacked legal standing to contest the permit decision.

4-12-2010 - Opinions

4674 - Brown v. James

This case addresses the issue of exhaustion of administrative remedies. Sharon Brown, a former Cherokee County elementary teacher, received notice from the school district's superintendant, William James, that her contract would not be renewed for the upcoming school year. Brown then requested a hearing before the school district's Board of Trustees; yet, unbeknownst to Brown, the Board had already made its final decision to terminate her. Nevertheless, the Board requested that Brown participate in a deposition prior to scheduling a hearing. When Brown refused to participate in a deposition, the Board dismissed her request for a hearing and closed her case.

4-19-2010 - Opinions

4675 - Middleton v. Eubank

In this dispute involving the interpretation of a real property lease, Ernest Middleton, III, and Marjorie Middleton (collectively, Appellants), as co-trustees of the will of Ernest Middleton, Jr., appeal from the Master-in-Equity's order finding in favor of Manly Eubank, 1625 Partnership, and Palmetto Ford, Inc. (collectively, Respondents), the lessees of the property owned by Ernest Middleton, Jr.

4-20-2010 - Opinions

4676 - King v. James

In this case, Beaufort County (the County) argues the Master erred in finding the two-year statute of limitations in South Carolina Code section 12-51-160 (Supp. 2008) did not apply to Sheila King's (King) action to set aside the 1999 tax sale of her property even though the action was brought in 2006. The County also contends the Master erred in finding the defenses of laches, estoppel, abandonment, acquiescence, and stale demand were inapplicable in this case. We affirm.

4-22-2010 - Opinions

4677 - Moseley v. All Things Possible, Inc.

All Things Possible, Inc. and James H. Hampton appeal the circuit court's finding that they committed fraud in the inducement through the sale of a parcel of real estate. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

4-26-2010 - Opinions

4678 - Carroll v. SCDMV

David Carroll appeals an Administrative Law Court (ALC) order affirming his license suspension for registering an alcohol concentration of 0.15% or greater. Carroll argues the ALC erred in finding he was not prejudiced by the arresting officer's failure to advise him of his implied consent rights in writing as required by section 56-5-2950 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2009).

4-28-2010 - Opinions

4679 - Faltaous v. Anderson Ocean Club Development

Anderson Ocean Club Development, LLC appeals the trial court's decision denying a motion to compel arbitration.

4680 - State v. Garner

In this criminal matter, Luther Garner (Appellant) was convicted of murder, first-degree burglary, and attempted armed robbery, stemming from an incident at the home of Amadro Flores Espinozat (Victim). The State's key eyewitness was Lonya Sowdon. Appellant now appeals three evidentiary rulings of the trial court as to various parts of Sowdon's testimony.