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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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Supreme Court Published Opinions - January 2006

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.

1-3-2006 - Opinions

26090 - Upchurch v. Upchurch

Petitioner appeals the court of appeals’ dismissal of the petitioner’s appeal as untimely. Petitioner also appeals the family court’s award of child support and denial of attorney’s fees. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

1-9-2006 - Opinions

26091 - Ellenburg v. State

In this PCR case, the Court finds counsel was not ineffective for failing to object to the solicitor's mention of a polygraph in closing argument.

26092 - Morris v. Monceaux

Appellant, the temporary custodian of a minor child, appealed the family court’s decision to issue a permanency planning order without holding an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court held that it is error, in the face of a request by a party for an evidentiary hearing, for the family court to issue a permanency planning order based on an examination of the file and pleadings, the arguments of counsel, and the GAL’s report, but without considering testimony and evidence at a hearing where witnesses are subject to direct and cross-examination. Although the Supreme Court found error, it affirmed the order of the family court because Appellant failed to appeal the ruling which dismissed her from the case. In a related issue, the Supreme Court explained that a nonrelative such as Appellant who has a real, material, or substantial interest in the long-term custody and potential adoption of a child has standing to participate in a family court proceeding addressing those issues.

26093 - State v. Haase

The issue on appeal in this case is whether or not the circuit court erred in reversing Haase’s conviction due to the failure of police to follow the procedures mandated by S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-2934.

26094 - State v. Baccus

Appellant was convicted of murder and burglary in the first degree. The Court held the trial judge properly admitted evidence emanating from Appellant’s warrantless arrest. The Court found the trial judge erred in refusing to suppress evidence of Appellant’s blood because the order compelling the blood sample failed to comply with constitutional and statutory requirements. The Court further found the trial court erred in admitting evidence seized from Appellant’s residence because the issuing magistrate did not have a substantial basis to find probable cause for a search. However, the Court held these errors were harmless and affirmed Appellant’s convictions.

26095 - Dearybury v. State

Petitioner was convicted of criminal domestic violence and denied PCR. The Court remanded for a hearing to determine whether Petitioner knowingly and voluntarily proceeded pro se at trial.

26096 - In the Matter of Scott L. Hood

This is an attorney disciplinary matter in which the Court imposed 1) a definite suspension as reciprocal discipline and 2) an indefinite suspensionas discipline for other matters.

26097 - Buist v. Huggins

The issues on certiorari are whether the Court of Appeals properly held the Administrative Law Judge was without subject matter jurisdiction, and whether interest collected pursuant to S. C. Code Ann. § 12-51-90 is properly calculated based on a flat fee, or on a per diem basis.

1-9-2006 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of James T. McBratney

ORDER - In the Matter of Darren S. Haley
1-17-2006 - Opinions

26098 - In the Matter of Douglas E. Brafford

This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court disbarred an attorney.

26099 - State v. Weston

This is a murder case in which the victim's body was never found. The defendant, the murder vicitm's son, raises numerous evidentiary issues, and contends he was entitled to a directed verdict.

1-17-2006 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Robert Edward Hemingway

This is an order placing an attorney on interim suspension.
1-23-2006 - Opinions

26020 - David v. McLeod Regional Medical Center

Willie Mae David appealed the trial court’s decision granting the respondents’ motions for summary judgment. As in the previous opinion, this Court affirms the trial court’s decision. The original opinion is withdrawn and substituted with this opinion.

26100 - In the Matter of Newberry County Magistrate Mark E. English

This is an opinion in which the Court publicly reprimands a magistrate.

1-23-2006 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Robert Lee Newton, Jr.,

This is an order reinstating an attorney to the practice of law.
1-30-2006 - Opinions

26101 - Nance v. Ozmint

After reviewing this case in light of Florida v. Nixon, the Court reversed the decision of the PCR court to deny relief.

26102 - Avant v. Willowglen Academy

This is a workers' compensation case. The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review Avant v. Willowglen Academy, 356 S.C. 181, 588 S.E.2d 125 (Ct. App. 2003). The Court affirmed the Court of Appeals' decision that the assigned-risk insurance carrier was not responsible for the workers' compensation claim. Rather, the voluntary insurance carrier was responsible, because it was the only carrier with an effective policy on the date of the incident that led to the claim.

26103 - McMillan v. Oconee Memorial Hospital

The Court reversed the trial court’s decision denying Oconee’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The Court held that a cause of action for civil conspiracy could not be maintained against a single entity.

1-30-2006 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of John J. Dodds

This is an order reinstating an attorney to the practice of law pursuant to Rule 32, RLDE.