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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - July 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.

7-9-2014 - Opinions

5205 - Beckman v. Sysco Columbia

In this appeal from the Workers' Compensation Commission, Neal Beckman argues the Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission erred in finding he was limited to a disability award for his back as a scheduled member because the evidence showed he should have been awarded disability under the loss of earning capacity statute. We reverse and remand.

5232 - State v. Jenkins

Appellant Clarence Williams Jenkins seeks review of his convictions for kidnapping and murder. Appellant argues the trial court's refusal to provide the jury with the circumstantial evidence instruction quoted in State v. Edwards, 298 S.C. 272, 274-76, 379 S.E.2d 888, 889 (1989), abrogated by State v. Cherry, 361 S.C. 588, 595, 606 S.E.2d 475, 478-82 (2004), violated Appellant's right to require the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Appellant also challenges the trial court's failure to strike the testimony of the State's fingerprint expert, or, in the alternative, to grant a mistrial, arguing the prosecution withheld evidence material to the testimony in question. We affirm.

7-23-2014 - Opinions

5248 - Mack v. Lott

The Richland County Sheriff's Department arrested Demetrius Mack, a licensed private security officer, for simple assault after Mack chased, apprehended, and handcuffed McKenzie Williamson for trespassing at the business where Mack was working. Mack brought suit for false imprisonment against Leon Lott, in his official capacity as Sheriff of Richland County. After a bench trial, the court awarded Mack $7,500 in actual damages, finding the Sheriff lacked probable cause to arrest Mack. We remand for more detailed factual findings as required under Rule 52(a) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.

5249 - State v. Williams

Michael D. Williams was convicted of two counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) with a minor and five counts of committing a lewd act upon a child. The trial court sentenced him concurrently to twenty-five years' imprisonment for CSC and fifteen years' imprisonment for lewd act upon a child. Williams appeals his convictions and sentence, arguing the trial court erred in excluding evidence the stepbrother of one of the victims sexually abused her. We affirm.

5250 - Precision Walls v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance

In this declaratory judgment action seeking a determination of coverage under an insurance policy, Precision Walls, Inc. (Precision) appeals the trial court's order, which found no coverage and granted judgment in favor of Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. (Liberty Mutual). Precision argues the court erred in: (1) failing to find "property damage" under the policy; (2) failing to find an "occurrence" under the policy; (3) broadly construing one of the policy's exclusions to defeat coverage; and (4) narrowly construing the policy against coverage. We affirm.

7-30-2014 - Opinions

5251 - State v. Pearson

Appellant Michael Wilson Pearson challenges his convictions for first degree burglary, armed robbery, grand larceny, kidnapping, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Pearson argues the State failed to present substantial circumstantial evidence of his involvement in any of the crimes charged and, therefore, the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict. We reverse.

5252 - State v. Mimms

Daisy Mimms appeals a circuit court order dismissing an appeal of her conviction in magistrate court for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI). Mimms contends the circuit court erred in finding the magistrate court did not err in concluding: (1) there is no criminal intent required for the crime of DUI; and (2) veering off a roadway on one occasion was sufficient to show impaired driving. We affirm.

5253 - Sierra Club V. SCDHEC

This is an appeal from the administrative law court, which upheld the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's decision to renew the license under which Chem-Nuclear Systems, LLC operates a disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste. We affirm the ALC as to all issues, except four subsections of the regulation governing DHEC's issuance and renewal of such licenses.

5254 - State v. Parvin

In this criminal appeal, Leslie Todd Parvin argues the trial court committed reversible error in allowing inadmissible hearsay statements from two witnesses. We affirm because we find the trial court's error was harmless.

5255 - Katzburg v. Katzburg

Peter Katzburg (Husband) appeals family court orders holding him in contempt, refusing to consider evidence, and requiring him to pay Loretta Katzburg (Wife) $704,861.76 pursuant to a foreign judgment registered in South Carolina. Husband argues the family court: (1) lacked subject matter jurisdiction to enforce the foreign judgment; (2) denied him due process; (3) erred in holding him in contempt; and (4) erred in refusing to consider an affidavit in his motion to reconsider. Additionally, Husband argues to the extent this court reverses the family court order, the award of attorneys' fees should be reversed as well. We vacate the family court's orders.