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Supreme Court Published Opinions - May 2004

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.

5-3-2004 - Opinions

25815 - Newell v. Trident Medical

The Court reversed jury verdicts against a hospital, holding that the attending physician was not the hospital's actual agent for purposes of obtaining the patient's informed consent.

25816 - State v. Sparkman

The Court upheld Petitioner's conviction holding that the jury was not wrongfully influenced when the jury's foreman concealed that he had been the victim of an attack because the foreman's concealment was unintentional as per State v. Woods, 345 S.C. 583, 550 S.E.2d 282 (2001).

25817 - Lucas v. Rawl Family

This case concerns the nuisance exception to the common enemy rule of diverged surface waters.

5-3-2004 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Phillip Wayne Hudson

This order concerns the interim suspension of a judge.
ORDER - Amendments to the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure
5-11-2004 - Opinions

25818 - State v. Myers

We affirm the trial court's rulings on all counts, and affirm Appellant's convictions.

25819 - State v. Wise

A jury convicted Hastings Arthur Wise (Appellant) of four counts of murder, three counts of assault and battery with intent to kill, one count of second-degree burglary, and four counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Appellant committed the crimes at the R.E. Phelon manufacturing plant in Aiken County in September 1997, where he formerly was employed. The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentence of death for each count of murder. The Court held the trial judge properly excused a potential juror for cause because her religious beliefs would have prevented her from fulfilling her responsibilities as a juror. The Court further held the trial judge properly refused to allow a surviving victim, called by the prosecutor to provide victim impact evidence, to testify on cross-examination that he previously had stated Appellant should not receive the death penalty.

25820 - SCE&G v. Town of Awendaw

The Supreme Court held that a municipality may, in subsequently annexed or newly incorporated areas, impose a reasonable franchise fee on an electrical utility provider despite the lack of a franchise agreement between the two entities. The Supreme Court reversed a prior decision by the Court of Appeals

5-17-2004 - Opinions

25821 - In the Matter of Colleton County Magistrate Rearden

This opinion involves magistrate misconduct.

25822 - In the Matter of McMillian

This is an attorney disciplinary matter

25823 - Durlach v. Durlach

We affirm the family court's civil contempt order but reduce the amount owed, finding that the court erred in awarding pre-judgment interest.

5-24-2004 - Opinions

25824 - Patel v. Patell

This domestic relations dispute involves, among other things, child custody, alimony, attorney's fees, and judicial recusal issues.

25825 - Patel v. Patel

This domestic relations dispute involves whether Appellant is entitled to post-judgment interest on his share of a brokerage account.

25826 - Patterson v. State

The issue in this case is whether the PCR judge erred in concluding Patterson’s counsel was ineffective because Patterson was sentenced as a second-time offender.

25827 - Kiawah Property Owners Club v. The Public Service Commission of Sout Carolina

"This Court finds that the circuit court did not err in affirming the PSC's determination to allow Kiawah Island Utility to increase its utility rates."

25828 - Covington v. George

The trial judge properly excluded evidence of the actual amount paid for medical bills in a personal injury suit under Rule 403, SCRE.

25829 - Denene, Inc. v. City of Charleston

Charleston bar owners sought to have a city ordinance, which required all commercial establishments that serve alcohol close at 2 a.m., declared invalid. The Court affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the City of Charleston, holding that the ordinance did not violate the bar owners' equal protection or due process rights, and that the ordinance was not a regulatory taking without compensation.