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Supreme Court Published Opinions - June 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.

6-5-2006 - Opinions

26161 - Smith v. State

The Court reversed the PCR’s decision to grant relief. In doing so, the Court held an applicant seeking relief from a guilty plea must present probative evidence to support the allegations in the PCR application.

6-5-2006 - Orders

ORDER - Layman v. SC Retirement System

This order denies the petition for rehearing filed by respondents to the extent it asks the Court to reconsider its opinion in Layman v. State of South Carolina, but grants respondents’ request to decertify the classes, their request to set forth a procedure for refunds, their request to clarify the Court’s opinion with regard to remand of the issues relating to working retirees and their request to prescribe procedures for addressing petitioners’ request for attorneys fees and costs. The order
6-8-2006 - Opinions

26164 - SC Public Interest Foundation v. Judicial Merit Selection Commission

The trial court held that the claim in the present case was nonjusticiable. We affirm.

6-12-2006 - Opinions

26130 - Hardy v. Aiken

In this case, the Court affirmed the special referee’s decision that these restrictive covenants could not be extended by amendment.

26148 - Edwards v. SunCom

The sole issue addressed is whether an order granting a stay is immediately appealable.

26162 - In the Matter of Carter D. Harrington

This is an attorney disciplinary opinion in which the Court imposed a sixty day suspension from the practice of law.

26163 - SCDOT v. First Carolina Corporation of SC

This case arises out of a condemnation action by South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT). First Carolina Corporation of South Carolina (First Carolina) initiated a suit to determine the value of the condemned property. After the jury returned a verdict, SCDOT moved to deposit the judgment with the court pursuant to Rule 67, SCRCP, in order to stop the accrual of post-judgment interest during SCDOT’s appeal. The trial judge granted the motion. First Carolina appealed, and we reverse.

26165 - In the Matter of Randolph Frails

This is an attorney-discipline matter. Respondent violated Rules 1.1, 1.3, and 5.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The Court imposed a sixty-day definite suspension and required Respondent to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceeding.

6-19-2006 - Opinions

26166 - Bursey v. SCDHEC

The Court affirmed a Court of Appeals decision, holding that an appeal was properly and timely taken from DHEC to the Mining Council, that upon appeal to the Circuit Court review under the Administrative Procedures Act was proper, and that the Court of Appeals correctly found substantial evidence supported the Council's decision.

26167 - State v. Douglas

The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review State v. Douglas, 359 S.C. 187, 597 S.E.2d 1 (Ct. App. 2004). The Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ finding that the trial court erred in admitting testimony regarding Respondent’s inquiry about obtaining a life insurance policy on the victim, and the Court reversed the Court of Appeals’ finding that this was reversible error.

26168 - Jeter v. SCDOT

The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review Jeter v. S.C. Dep’t of Transportation, 358 S.C. 528, 595 S.E.2d 827 (Ct. App. 2004). The Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ finding that § 15-78-100(b) establishes subject matter jurisdiction in the circuit court of South Carolina and venue in the county where the act or omission occurred. The Court also reversed the Court of Appeals’ finding that the lower court did not abuse its discretion by transferring venue under § 15-7-30.

26169 - Seabrook v. Knox

This case deals with due process and equal protection challenges to the actions of the City of Folly Beach regarding the zoning of an unusual tract of land on Folly Island. The trial court held that the City of Folly Beach denied the due process and equal protection rights of Edward M. Seabrook and Folly North Partners. The Supreme Court reversed.

26170 - Boyd v. BellSouth

The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review Boyd v. BellSouth Tel. Telegraph Co., 359 S.C. 209, 597 S.E.2d 161 (Ct. App. 2004). The Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ reversal of the grant of summary judgment on the easement implied by prior use claim and remanded for further proceedings. The Court also reversed the Court of Appeals’ reversal of the grant of summary judgment on the easement by equitable estoppel claim.

26171 - State v. McClinton

Frye Brothers Bonding agreed to act as surety for the $10,000 bond of Robert F. McClinton in a criminal case. McClinton subsequently failed to appear for trial. The circuit court issued a bench warrant for McClinton’s failure to appear in February 1998. The circuit court found at a hearing in August 2005 that the conditions of the bond had been violated and ordered the bond to be estreated and forfeited, i.e., Frye Brothers Bonding and its insurer were ordered to pay $10,000 to Lexington County. The Court reversed the circuit court and held the three-year statute of limitations for contract actions applies to actions by the State for the forfeiture of a bail bond in a criminal case. The Court found, therefore, the State’s forfeiture action in this instance was barred by the statute of limitations.

26172 - State v. Pagan

The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review State v. Pagan, 357 S.C. 132, 591 S.E.2d 646 (Ct. App. 2004). The Court concluded the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial court’s admission of testimony that Petitioner failed to stop for a blue light in an unrelated incident to the current crime. A majority of the Court found this error was harmless and affirmed Petitioner’s conviction.

6-20-2006 - Opinions

26173 - Douglas v. State

Appellate counsel must exercise professional discretion in determining whether to seek certiorari following the Court of Appeals' decision in a criminal direct appeal, and her decision not to seek extraordinary relief does not give rise to a cognizable PCR claim.

6-26-2006 - Opinions

26174 - State v. Bennett

This is an appeal from a capital sentencing proceeding. Appellant alleged the trial court committed errors in limiting voir dire, in admitting improper evidence, and in allowing the solicitor to improperly inject racial issues into the trial. The Court disagreed and affirmed Appellant’s death sentence.

26175 - Burriss v. Anderson County Board of Education

In this appeal from the circuit court’s decision granting summary judgment for respondents, the Court affirmed, holding that Anderson County’s two-tiered school governance system does not violate the Equal Protection clause of the federal constitution or the South Carolina Constitution’s guarantees of no taxation without representation and uniform taxation within a jurisdiction.

26176 - In the Matter of Henry H. Cabaniss

This is an attorney disciplinary opinion in which the Court imposed a definite suspension.