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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - June 2014

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.

6-4-2014 - Opinions

5236 - Brown v. Brown

In this appeal from the family court, the court of appeals finds the application of the E.D.M. vs. T.A.M. factors cannot support awarding Desiree Brown attorney's fees.

6-11-2014 - Opinions

5211 - CoastalStates Bank v. Hanover Homes

This is an appeal from an order granting partial summary judgment to CoastalStates Bank (the Bank) in its breach of contract action against Hanover Homes of South Carolina, LLC, Hanover Homes, Inc., and George Cosman. Cosman appeals, arguing the trial court erred in: (1) finding the statute of limitations had not expired; (2) finding personal guaranties were controlling; and (3) granting the Bank summary judgment while also finding a genuine issue of material fact existed as to Cosman's defenses to the Bank's breach of contract claim. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

5226 - State v. Gordon

The State appeals the circuit court's reversal of the magistrate court's conviction of Cody Roy Gordon for driving under the influence (DUI). It contends the circuit court erred in finding the State did not comply with section 56-5-2953(A) of the South Carolina Code because Gordon's head was not visible on the required recording during one of the field sobriety tests administered. We affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand.

5238 - State v. Abraham

In this driving under the influence case, the State appeals the circuit court's reversal of Nezar Abraham's conviction in magistrate court. The State contends it presented sufficient independent evidence corroborating Abraham's extra-judicial confession to establish a jury question as to Abraham's guilt. We reverse.

5239 - Shatto v. McLeod Regional Medical Center

On remand from the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals addresses whether Mildred Shatto's fall while in the operating room at McLeod Regional Hospital was idiopathic in nature. The Court of Appeals affirms the award of workers' compensation benefits, finding Shatto presented satisfactory evidence that her injury flowed as a natural consequence of her work at the hospital and thus arose out of and in the course of her employment.

5240 - State v. Gray

The State indicted Henry Gray for murder and first-degree lynching, and the jury convicted him of both charges. Gray argues the trial court erred by not excluding graphic autopsy photographs under Rule 403, SCRE. We find the trial court acted within its discretion, and affirm.

6-25-2014 - Opinions

5241 - Fisher v. Shipyard Village

The Shipyard Village Council of Co-Owners, Inc. (the Council) appeals the circuit court's grant of partial summary judgment to owners of condominiums within the development in the case involving faulty windows and sliding doors. The Council argues it did not have a duty to investigate, the business judgment rule should have applied, and a jury could have found it did not breach any duty. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

6-30-2014 - Opinions

5225 - State v. Hendricks

Matthew Ryan Hendricks appeals his convictions for kidnapping and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. He argues the trial court erred in admitting a recording of the victim's mother's 911 call, in which the mother's statement to the 911 operator repeated the victim's statement of what Hendricks did to her. We find the trial court correctly admitted the victim's statement, but erroneously admitted the mother's statement. However, we find Hendricks suffered no prejudice from the error, and therefore we affirm.

5242 - Fore v. Griffco of Wampee, Inc.

This is a workers' compensation case. After Patricia Fore reached maximum medical improvement, she was awarded benefits based on a finding by the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission that her workplace injury resulted in a forty percent disability to the back. Fore challenges this finding, contending she is totally and permanently disabled and she was denied a fair hearing before the Commission.

5243 - Levi v. Northern Anderson County EMS

In this workers' compensation case, Kerry Levi appeals the Appellate Panel's dismissal of her claim. She contends the single commissioner's denial of Northern Anderson County EMS (EMS) and its carrier's, Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Insurance Company, motion to dismiss was not immediately appealable. Levi also argues the question of whether she settled her third-party claim is not ripe for review. We vacate the Appellate Panel's decision and remand to the Appellate Panel for it to dismiss the appeal.

5244 - Thompson v. State

Clifford Thompson appeals the circuit court's order dismissing his action seeking a declaration that his kidnapping convictions did not include a criminal sexual offense and would not require him to register as a sex offender. We agree with the circuit court that no justiciable controversy existed, and affirm. Judge Thomas filed a dissenting opinion.

5245 - Allegro v. Scully

In this civil action, Emmett Scully, Synergetic, Inc. (Synergetic), George Corbin, and Yvonne Yarborough (collectively, Appellants) contend the trial court erred in (1) admitting into evidence the order granting a temporary injunction; (2) admitting into evidence Allegro, Inc.'s (Allegro) expert report; (3) certifying Daniel McHenry as an expert; (4) excluding evidence relating to the issue of Allegro's damages; (5) failing to grant motions for directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) as to the claims for civil conspiracy, breach of contract, breach of contract accompanied by a fraudulent act, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation; (6) reforming the jury's damages verdicts without providing the option of a new trial; and (7) failing to require an election of remedies. We reverse and remand.

5246 - State v. Johnson

Jason Alan Johnson appeals his conviction for trafficking methamphetamine in an amount of twenty-eight grams or more, but less than one hundred grams. Johnson argues the circuit court erred in (1) denying his motion to suppress evidence stemming from a warrant he alleges was obtained without probable cause after an illegal entry and warrantless search, and (2) ruling as a matter of law that all of the mixture that contained methamphetamine would count towards its weight, admitting such evidence, and ordering defense counsel not to argue that fact to the jury, which Johnson contends violated statutory intent and the Sixth Amendment. We affirm.

5247 - State v. Haygood

Henry Haygood was convicted of criminal domestic violence in magistrate's court and his conviction was affirmed by the circuit court. We now reverse his conviction on the basis admission of statements made by his non-testifying wife to the investigating officer violated his Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause rights.