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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - June 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.

6-5-2013 - Opinions

5139 - H&H of Johnston v. Old Republic

In this appeal arising out of a real estate transaction, H&H of Johnston, LLC (H&H) argues the circuit court erred in granting Henry Bufkin and Old Republic National Title Insurance Co.'s (Old Republic) summary judgment motions. H&H contends (1) Bufkin's agreement to provide H&H with title insurance coverage was not the practice of law requiring an expert witness affidavit under section 15-36-100(B) of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2012), and (2) Bufkin made an oral contract with H&H at closing for coverage as to three adverse claims.

5140 - Bank of America v. Draper

In this mortgage foreclosure action, Todd Draper and Matthew H. Henrikson appeal the master-in-equity's granting summary judgment to Bank of America (the Bank), arguing the Bank lacked standing because it did not own the loan but was the servicer of the loan. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

6-12-2013 - Opinions

5095 - Town of Arcadia Lakes v. SCDHEC

The Town of Arcadia Lakes and various individuals challenge a decision by the Administrative Law Court upholding the authorization by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control of coverage to Respondent Roper Pond, LLC, for certain land-disturbing activities under a State General Permit.

5141 - Graham v. Welch, Roberts and Amburn

David M. Graham, Jr. appeals the circuit court's order entering summary judgment for Welch Roberts and Amburn, LLP, and Russell Patrick Welch based on its finding that Graham's claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Graham contends the circuit court erred in failing to present the issue of when the statute of limitations period began to the jury. We affirm.

5142 - Hembree v. One Thousand Eight Hundred Forty-Seven Dollars

Michaela Albin, as personal representative for the estate of Michael J. Albin , appeals the circuit court's order (1) ordering the forfeiture of his motor home pursuant to section 44-53-520(a)(3) and (4) of the South Carolina Code (2002), (2) finding that his failure to appeal the denial of his summary judgment motion rendered it the "law of the case", and (3) dismissing his counterclaim for conversion. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

5143 - Carlson v. SC State Plastering

Del Webb Communities, Inc. (Del Webb) and Pulte Homes, Inc. (Pulte) appeal the circuit court's order denying their motion to compel arbitration based on its finding that they waived any right to arbitration. We reverse.

6-19-2013 - Opinions

5144 - Hamilton v. Martin Color-Fi

Emma Hamilton appeals the order of the Workers' Compensation Commission's Appellate Panel (Appellate Panel) arguing the Appellate Panel erred in finding (1) her employer terminated temporary total disability benefits in compliance with statutory requirements, (2) she had reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), (3) she recieved the neccessary medical treatment to lessen her period of disability, (4) she was not a credible witness, and (5) the award for permanent partial disability to her arm was appropriate. We affirm.

6-26-2013 - Opinions

5117 - Colonna v. Marlboro Park

In this workers' compensation appeal, Loida Colonna (Colonna) claims the circuit court erred in affirming the Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission (the Commission) when it: (1) held Colonna's recovery was limited to scheduled disability under section 42-9-30 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2012) as opposed to total disability under section 42-9-10 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2012); (2) held Colonna did not suffer from any additional permanent partial disability; (3) held Colonna had reached maximum medical improvement (MMI); and (4) failed to explicitly hold Marlboro Park Hospital (Marlboro Park) responsible for lifetime maintenance of the spinal cord stimulator implanted in Colonna's back. We affirm.

5145 - State v. Beekman

Richard Burton Beekman was convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and lewd act upon a child. We affirm his convictions, finding no error in the trial court's denial of his motion to sever the two charges, which involved his two stepchildren.

5146 - State v. Sobers

Rashaun Sobers appeals his conviction for murder, arguing the trial court erred in (1) excluding testimony regarding gang activity, and (2) finding Rocky Watts was not qualified as an expert in gang activity.

5147 - SCDSS v. Jennifer M.

Appellant, Jennifer M. (Mother), appeals an order of the family court finding she abused and/or neglected her child and ordering Mother's name entered into the Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect. We reverse the family court's finding of abuse and neglect and ordering placement of Mother's name on the Central Registry, holding the family court erred in finding Mother abused and neglected her unborn Child based upon conduct occurring while Mother did not know or have reason to know she was pregnant.

5148 - State v. Dukes

A jury found Henry Dukes guilty of murder for the shooting death of Andrico Gowans. Dukes argues the trial court erred in refusing to suppress an eyewitness's identification of Dukes because (1) the pretrial hearing did not comport with due process because the detective who conducted the identification procedure was unavailable to testify, and (2) the identification procedure was impermissibly suggestive and created a substantial likelihood of misidentification. We affirm.

5149 - State v. McGaha

Marshall McGaha was tried for sexually abusing two young children. A jury convicted him of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the first degree and lewd act upon a child as to each victim. On appeal, he argues the trial court erred in trying the charges related to both victims in the same trial. We affirm.

5150 - State v. Murray

A jury found Christopher Murray guilty of murder for the shooting death of James Gibson. Murray argues the trial court erred by not charging the jury on the lesser-included offense of involuntary manslaughter. We affirm the trial court's decision not to charge involuntary manslaughter because there is no evidence the shooting was unintentional.

5151 - Simpson v. Simpson

This is a cross-appeal from the family court's order that modified the division of property in the parties' decree of divorce. Daisy Wallace Simpson (Wife) argues the family court committed error by modifying the division of property in the decree and failing to award her attorney's fees and expenses. William R. Simpson, Sr. (Husband) and William R. Simpson, Jr. (Son) also appeal, arguing the family court erred in: (1) modifying the decree because it did not have subject matter jurisdiction; (2) disregarding the law of the case; (3) finding the decree was ambiguous and, consequently, modifying the decree in an effort to ascertain the intent of the trial judge; (4) modifying the decree when Husband, Son, and the LLC had complied with the terms of the decree; (5) its reapportionment of the marital property; and (6) failing to make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law. Husband and Son also contend that Wife is judicially estopped from demanding a cash sum award or that the LLC transfer real estate to her.