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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - October 2012

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.

10-3-2012 - Opinions

5036 - Pearson v. Hilton Head Hospital

Hilton Head Hospital a/k/a Hilton Head Health System, L.P.; Tenet HealthSystem Medical, Inc.; and Tenet Physician Services-Hilton Head, Inc. (collectively the Hospital) appeal the circuit court's denial of its motion to compel arbitration against Dr. William F. Pearson. It contends because the circuit court granted a co-defendant's motion to compel, the court also should have granted the Hospital's motion because the claims are intertwined and based upon the same facts. It further argues because Dr. Pearson has received the benefit of the contract between it and the co-defendant, which contains an arbitration clause, and because it received a benefit under Dr. Pearson and the co-defendant's contract, which also contained an arbitration clause, he should be forced to arbitrate with it when his causes of action against the Hospital included breach of contract. We reverse.

10-10-2012 - Opinions

5017 - State v. Manning

In this appeal, Christopher Manning (Manning) asserts the circuit court erred by (1) denying Manning's motion to dismiss the case because the State violated section 56-5-2953 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2011) by failing to provide an affidavit of the arresting officer certifying that it was physically impossible to provide a video recording as required by the statue when Manning needed emergency medical treatment; (2) denying Manning's motion to suppress the blood test evidence pursuant to section 56-5-2946 of the South Carolina Code (1991) because there was not sufficient probable cause for an arrest; (3) denying Manning's motion for a mistrial based on prejudice suffered by Manning after the circuit court severed the felony DUI charge and the possession of a schedule three substance charge after the jury was aware Manning was being tried on both charges; and (4) charging the jury on section 56-5-2950(b) of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2011). We affirm.

10-17-2012 - Opinions

5038 - State v. McMillan

Jeremy McMillan appeals his convictions for two counts of murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, arguing the court erred in (1) finding his reason for striking jurors was pretextual; (2) not following this court's order requiring it to hold a hearing to address his motion for remand to reconstruct the record; and (3) not making an evidentiary ruling regarding the State's introduction of prior bad acts because it inflamed the jury. We reverse and remand for a new trial.

10-24-2012 - Opinions

4960 - Lucey v. Meyer

In this civil action involving an employment contract, Justin O'Toole Lucey and Justin O'Toole Lucey, P.A. (Firm) (collectively Appellants) appeal the trial court's denial of their motion to compel arbitration. Appellants contend the trial court erred in: (1) finding the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) did not apply because the relationship between Firm and Amy Meyer did not involve interstate commerce; (2) finding the arbitration clause was unconscionable; (3) striking the entire arbitration clause when it was more appropriate to sever the alleged unconscionable portion and compel arbitration; and (4) finding the South Carolina Arbitration Act (SCAA) applicable to the contract.

5039 - State v. Williams

Wendell Williams appeals his conviction for voluntary manslaughter, arguing the circuit court erred in: (1) refusing to instruct the jury on the law of self-defense; (2) refusing to instruct the jury on the law of accident; and (3) refusing to admit toxicology evidence regarding the intoxication of the victim. We reverse and remand for a new trial. Judge Lockemy concurs in part and dissents in part.

5040 - Williams Carpet Contractors v. Skelly

Williams Carpet Contractors, Inc. appeals the circuit court's granting of Mark Skelly's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV). Williams Carpet argues the court improperly weighed the evidence in making its determination. We reverse.

5041 - Carolina First v. BADD, LLC

On appeal, BADD, LLC and William McKown (collectively, Appellants) argue the circuit court erred by (1) holding Appellants waived their right to a jury trial; (2) holding the Appellants' counterclaims were permissive; and (3) referring the entire case to a master in equity.

5042 - State v. Cheeks

In this criminal matter, Ricky Cheeks appeals his convictions for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within a one-half mile of a school, trafficking in crack cocaine of more than 400 grams, and trafficking in crack cocaine of more than 100 grams, asserting the trial court erred in (1) failing to suppress drugs seized in a residence because the search warrant was facially invalid inasmuch as it did not include a description of the place to be searched and (2) instructing the jury that actual knowledge of the presence of crack cocaine is strong evidence of a defendant's intent to control its disposition or use.

5043 - Benedict College v. National Credit Systems

National Credit Systems, Inc. (NCS) appeals the dismissal of its counterclaim for civil conspiracy. NCS argues the circuit court erred in (1) finding it failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and (2) failing to provide an opportunity to amend its pleading. We reverse.

10-31-2012 - Opinions

5044 - State v. Vinson

The Court of Appeals upholds Gene Vinson's conviction for driving under the influence, finding the circuit court properly denied Vinson's motion to dismiss because the police had reasonable suspicion that Vinson violated section 56-5-1900 of the South Carolina Code (2006).

5045 - Millvale Plantation v. Carrison Family

Carrison Family Limited Partnership and Mary H. Carrison appeal the circuit court's award of a fifty acre tract of land to Millvale Plantation, LLC, arguing the circuit court erred in (1) construing the deed at issue, (2) finding Mary Carrison failed to prove her trespass to try title claim, and (3) finding Mary Carrison failed to prove her adverse possession claim.