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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - June 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.

6-6-2012 - Opinions

4979 - Major v. Hartsville

This appeal involves constructive notice under subsection 15-78-60(15) of the South Carolina Code (2005), a provision of the Tort Claims Act. We affirm the circuit court's finding that Alberta Major did not present evidence the City of Hartsville was on notice of the defect or condition that allegedly caused her injury. Judge Huff dissents.

4980 - Hammer v. Hammer

In this appeal, Howard Hammer (Appellant) argues the circuit court erred in dismissing his complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Appellant sought a declaratory judgment and other relief in connection with a contract with Shirley Hammer (Respondent). Appellant contends: (1) Respondent failed to file a proper motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 7(b), SCRCP; (2) the contract clearly demonstrated the parties' intent that the family court not have exclusive jurisdiction over the contract; and (3) sections 20-3-690 and 63-3-530 of the South Carolina Code do not provide for exclusive family court jurisdiction in the present case. We affirm.

4982 - Buist v. Buist

On appeal, Michael Buist (Husband) contests the family court's division of marital assets, arguing the family court failed to properly assess the fair market value of the marital property. In addition, Husband appeals the family court's decision to grant primary placement of the parties' minor child with Katie Buist (Wife). Moreover, Husband challenges the family court's determination of the visitation schedule and child support payments. Finally, Husband alleges the family court erred in failing to make the necessary findings of fact in awarding attorney's fees to Wife. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand in part.

4983 - State v. Ramsey

This appeal involves the circumstances in which the State may use a uniform traffic ticket to commence judicial proceedings in the magistrate court on a charge of criminal domestic violence, first offense (CDV). We hold that the ticket officers issued to James Ramsey for CDV did not commence judicial proceedings. We affirm the dismissal of the charge.

4984 - State v. Golston

Bennie Golston appeals his conviction for criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature (CDVHAN). His primary contention on appeal is that the trial court erred in declining to charge the jury on criminal domestic violence (CDV) as a lesser-included offense. We affirm.

6-13-2012 - Opinions

4939 - Cranford v. Hutchinson Construction

In this workers' compensation appeal, Beau Cranford (Cranford) challenges the Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission's (Appellate Panel) findings that he was not entitled to temporary disability compensation, permanent partial disability compensation, and additional medical treatment for injuries he incurred while working for his employer, Hutchinson Construction (Hutchinson). Additionally, Cranford contends the Appellate Panel erred in failing to make specific findings regarding whether he had reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and in implicitly finding he had reached MMI. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand in part.

4985 - Boyd v. Liberty Life

Appellant Hal Boyd appeals from an order of the circuit court granting Liberty Life Insurance Company's and SelectQuote Insurance Service's joint motion for summary judgment on the ground that no valuable consideration existed to form a contract for life insurance between Boyd and Liberty Life Insurance Company.

4986 - Cason Companies v. Gorrin

Appellants contend the circuit court erred in finding their transaction with Respondent was not a "consumer credit sale" and in awarding attorney's fees, costs, and expenses to Respondent, pursuant to the terms of the Credit Agreement. We affirm the circuit court's order.

4987 - Carolinas Recycling Group v. SC Second Injury Fund

In this workers' compensation action, the Carolinas Recycling Group and Employers Insurance Company of Wausau (collectively, Carrier) appeal from the circuit court's order affirming the appellate panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission's (Appellate Panel) order finding Carrier was not entitled to partial reimbursement from the South Carolina Second Injury Fund (the Fund) for substantially increased medical expenses paid to Willie Sligh (Claimant). We reverse.

4989 - Lambries v. Saluda County Council

Dennis Lambries appeals the circuit court's ruling that the amendment of the agenda by the Saluda County Council during its meetings does not violate the Freedom of Information Act. We reverse.

4990 - State v. Heller

Christopher Heller was convicted of murder and assault and battery with intent to kill. He appeals, asserting the trial court erred in (1) allowing him to be impeached with his prior drug convictions, (2) refusing to declare a mistrial where a witness made reference to him being on parole, and (3) refusing to grant an in camera hearing on the admissibility of a witness's voice identification of him.

4991 - Clary v. Borrell

In this matter involving an operating agreement, Jeffrey S. Clary appealed the grant of summary judgment on his breach of contract cause of action against Clifton David Borrell. We affirm.

6-20-2012 - Opinions

4958 - State v. Jenkins

Daniel Jenkins appeals his conviction for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. Jenkins argues the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress DNA test results because the affidavit offered in support of the search warrant for samples of his DNA did not meet the constitutional and statutory requirements for issuance of the warrant. We agree. We remand the case to the trial court for a factual determination of whether the inevitable discovery doctrine precludes application of the exclusionary rule in this case.

6-27-2012 - Opinions

4992 - Ford v. Beaufort County Assessor

This is an appeal of an ALC order upholding a county assessor's decision to assess a taxpayers' legal residence at the six-percent ratio instead of the four--percent ratio.

4993 - Rice-Marko v. Wachovia Corporation

In this appeal, Deborah Rice-Marko, John Edward Marko Jr., the John Edward Marko, Jr. Irrevocable Trust, Evan Rice Marko, the Evan Rice Marko Irrevocable Trust, and the Evelyn G. Rice Revocable Trust (collectively, Appellants) argue the circuit court erred in dismissing their causes of action for fraud and fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, breach of duties as corporate officers, negligence and gross negligence, and violation of the South Carolina blue sky laws. We affirm.

4994 - State v. Meggett

David Meggett appeals his convictions of first-degree burglary and first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC). Meggett argues the trial court erred in (1) denying his motion for a continuance; (2) denying his motion for a mistrial and request for a curative instruction; and (3) denying his motion for a directed verdict as to the first-degree burglary charge. We affirm.

4996 - State v. Stephens

Kasseem Stephens appeals his conviction and sentence for murder, arguing the trial court erred in admitting into evidence an unfairly prejudicial and needlessly cumulative photographic array containing his "mug shot." We affirm.