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South Carolina
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Supreme Court Published Opinions - May 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.

5-1-2006 - Opinions

26121 - Porter v. State

The post-conviction relief court granted Johnell Porter a new trial after finding that counsel was ineffective for failing to file a Brady motion, failing to investigate the validity of a photographic identification, and failing to interview a witness. This Court granted the State’s petition to review the PCR court’s decision. We reverse.

26142 - Baxter v. Martin Brothers, Inc.

This is a workers' compensation case. The Court affirmed the circuit court's order, which affirmed the order of the appellate panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission. The Court held that a single commissioner lacks authority to award attorney fees as litigation expenses because no statute provides such authority.

5-4-2006 - Opinions

26146 - Layman v. State of South Carolina

The Court held that the State breached its statutory contract with old TERI participants. Further, the Court remanded the breach of contract claim for old working retiree participants to the trial court.

5-8-2006 - Opinions

26143 - In the Matter of Spartanburg County Magistrate Johnny Lee Cash

This is a judicial disciplinary opinion in which the Court removed a magistrate from office.

26144 - In the Matter of Dillon County Magistrate John R. Davis, Respondent

This is a judicial disciplinary opinion in which the Court publicly reprimanded a magistrate.

26145 - State v. Hill

In this case, the Court reversed the court of appeals’ opinion which held that Rule 5, SCRCrimP (titled “Disclosure in Criminal Cases”) and the disclosure rule announced in Brady v. Maryland applied to probation revocation proceedings.

26147 - Capital U-Drive-It v. Beaver

A family court judge previously sealed the record of a divorce proceeding between Rhett A. Beaver and Michelle W. Beaver with the consent of the parties. Rhett Beaver subsequently pleaded guilty in federal court to mail fraud in connection with the embezzlement of funds from his former employer, Capital-U-Drive-It, Inc. Capital filed a lawsuit against Rhett Beaver and others in an effort to recover embezzled funds. The Supreme Court held that the order of the family court judge which unsealed the divorce record to allow Capital to review financial information pertaining to Rhett Beaver is immediately appealable. The Supreme Court further held that the family court did not abuse its discretion in unsealing the record.

5-8-2006 - Orders

ORDER - Amendments to Rule 34, Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement, Rule 413, SCACR

ORDER - Amendments to Rules 408, 419, and 504 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules
ORDER - Amendments to South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure
ORDER - Court-Annexed ADR Rules and Amendment to Rule 601, SCACR
5-15-2006 - Opinions

26149 - WRB Limited Partnership v. County of Lexington

This is an inverse condemnation case involving whether there was an aggressive, affirmative, and positive act by the county.

26150 - Kurtz v. State

In this PCR case, the Court held trial counsel misadvised respondent regarding parole eligibility.

26151 - Sloan v. Friends of the Hunley

Appellant Edward D. Sloan Jr. brought an action against Friends of the Hunley, Inc. and its chairman, Warren F. Lasch, seeking injunctive and declaratory relief for a violation of the Freedom of Information Act. After the commencement of the litigation, Friends of the Hunley provided Sloan with the requested information. Friends of the Hunley subsequently moved for summary judgment, arguing that the action was moot and that Sloan lacked standing. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Friends of the Hunley on all causes of action. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

5-22-2006 - Opinions

26152 - Charleston County DSS v. King

This is a termination of parental rights case.

26153 - Riddle v. Ozmint

The Court reversed a post-conviction relief order and granted a deathrow inmate a new trial.

26154 - Palmetto Princess v. Georgetown County

This case involves the issue of whether the circuit court erred by finding Georgetown County exceeded its authority in passing ordinances that prevented a gambling day cruise business.

5-22-2006 - Orders

ORDER - Lewis v. State

ORDER - In the Matter of Anthony C. Odom
This order places Anthony C. Odom on interim suspension and appoints Michael W. Chesser to protect the interests of Mr. Odom's clients.
5-30-2006 - Opinions

26155 - State v. Rayfield

The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review State v. Rayfield, 357 S.C. 497, 593 S.E.2d 486 (Ct. App. 2004). The Court determined the Court of Appeals properly found the trial judge committed harmless error in granting the State’s Batson motion and redrawing the petit jury. The majority of the Court held the Court of Appeals also properly found the trial judge did not err in charging the jury that the victim’s testimony need not be corroborated by other testimony or evidence.

26156 - State v. Downs

This death penalty case involves the issue of whether appellant is competent to be executed.

26157 - Palmetto Princess v. Town of Edisto Beach

This case involves the issue of whether the circuit court erred by finding the Town of Edisto's ordinance preventing a gambling day cruise business violates the South Carolina Constitution.

26158 - In the Matter of William B. Harper, Jr.

This is an attorney disciplinary opinion in which the Court suspends a lawyer for two years, retroactive to the date of his interim suspension.

26159 - Hearst-Argyle Television v. Williams

This is a reversal of the trial court’s decision closing the courtroom during a pre-trial suppression hearing in a capital murder case.

26160 - Butler Contracting v. Court Street

This appeal raises issues relating to whether a mechanic’s lien was timely perfected and the denial of prejudgment interest to the prevailing party. The Court affirmed the trial court’s decision regarding timeliness of perfection of the lien, and reversed the trial court’s decision denying prejudgment interest to the prevailing party.

5-30-2006 - Orders

ORDER - Amendments to Rule 501, Canon 4, of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules

ORDER - In the Matter of Samantha D. Farlow
This is an order placing an attorney on interim suspension and appointing an attorney to protect her clients' interests.
ORDER - Amendments to Rule 4(f)(4), Rule 5(b), and Rule 19(c) of the Rules for Judicial Disciplinary Enforcement, Rule 502, SCACR
ORDER - Amendments to Rule 4(f)(4), Rule 5(b), and Rule 19(c) of the Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement, Rule 413, SCACR