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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - October 2013

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.

10-2-2013 - Opinions

5174 - State v. Scott

Appellant Dondre Scott appeals his convictions for murder, armed robbery, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Scott argues the trial court erred in granting the State's Batson motion and quashing the first jury selected. We reverse and remand for a new trial.

10-9-2013 - Opinions

5175 - State v. Lane

This appeal arises out of Appellant Karl Ryan Lane's conviction for first-degree burglary. On appeal, Lane argues the trial court erred (1) by refusing to grant a directed verdict when the evidence merely raised the suspicion of his guilt and the State failed to present substantial circumstantial evidence that he was guilty of first-degree burglary and (2) by refusing to charge the jury on the circumstantial evidence instruction he requested. We reverse.

5176 - Hartzell v. Palmetto Collision

The Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission (Appellate Panel) awarded Richard A. Hartzell (Claimant) medical care and treatment benefits for a back injury. Palmetto Collision, LLC, (Employer) appeals the award, arguing the Appellate Panel erred in (1) determining Employer regularly employed four or more employees and, therefore, was subject to the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Act (Act) ; (2) finding Claimant accidentally injured his back "on or about February 25, 2009," and failing to make any conclusion of law thereon; (3) finding Claimant reported the injury timely and failing to make any conclusion of law thereon; and (4) awarding Claimant medical benefits for the injury. We find jurisdiction was proper and reverse on the issue of notice.

10-16-2013 - Opinions

5177 - State v. Lemire

Leo David Lemire appeals his convictions on charges of lynching, conspiracy, and presenting and pointing a firearm, arguing (1) the trial judge erred in submitting his written charge to the jury when the jury had not requested it and after the jurors had been deliberating for several hours, (2) the trial judge should have directed a verdict on the lynching and conspiracy charges, and (3) the trial judge erred in charging the jurors that they could infer that all persons present as members of a mob when an act of violence is committed are guilty as principals.

10-30-2013 - Opinions

5178 - State v. Hilton

This appeal arises from Michael Hilton's indictment for one count of felony driving under the influence resulting in a death and one count of felony driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury. On appeal, the State argues the circuit court erred by: (1) retroactively applying a statutory change to the implied consent statute and excluding the results of Hilton's breath alcohol test; and (2) finding either Hilton's breath test was not conducted within the two-hour time limit or Hilton was not provided with a complete written report. We reverse and remand.

5179 - Ward v. Washington

Katherine Washington (Mother) appeals a contempt order, arguing the family court erred in (1) finding she willfully violated the family court's 2009 order, (2) imposing criminal sanctions without a finding of willful violation beyond a reasonable doubt, and (3) awarding Matthew Ward (Father) attorney's fees.

5180 - Delta Apparel, Inc. v. Farina

Daniel G. Farina appeals the trial court's denial of his Rule 60(b), SCRCP motion for relief from judgment. He argues the trial court did not have personal jurisdiction to award a judgment against him and that he was not served with proper notice of Delta's initial claim. We reverse.

5181 - Frampton v. SCDOT

In this inverse condemnation case, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) appeals the judgment in favor of Henry W. Frampton, III. DOT first argues the trial court's decision to seat the jury during the takings phase of the trial was unduly prejudicial and deprived it of a mode of trial to which it was entitled. Additionally, DOT argues (1) Frampton did not prove any facts that would constitute a taking of property; (2) the trial court did not apply the appropriate law in its finding of a taking; (3) the compensation verdict exceeded any credible evidence of Frampton's loss; and (4) Frampton was not entitled to attorney's fees and costs under the governing statute. We find certain arguments are not preserved for our review, and we affirm the remaining issues.