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Supreme Court Published Opinions - July 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.

7-3-2006 - Opinions

26177 - In re: Matter of Anne D. Ulmer

This appeal arises from an order of the probate court restricting Will Ulmer from visiting his mother, Anne Ulmer. During the appeal of a separate issue, Will Ulmer made a motion to the circuit court to modify the probate court’s visitation order. The circuit court granted the motion. Jane Ulmer Patrick, successor trustee and conservator for Anne Ulmer, appealed. We reverse the circuit court’s order modifying the probate court’s visitation order.

26178 - Goldman v. RBC

The Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision affirming the circuit court judge's ruling which quieted title to a strip of land containing an abandoned railroad line in Respondents.

26179 - Pope v. Gordon

We affirm the court of appeals’ decision holding that the State failed to provide probable cause that the property sought to be forfeited was traceable to illegal drug activity.

26180 - Kirkman v. Parex

The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review Kirkman v. Parex, Inc., 356 S.C. 525, 590 S.E.2d 36 (Ct. App. 2003), in which the Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment to Respondent. The Court of Appeals held that as a matter of law, Respondent was a mere lender and therefore did not impliedly warrant the habitability of the house that Respondent sold to Appellants. The Supreme Court reversed, because there remains a genuine issue of material fact whether Respondent was substantially involved in completing construction of the house. As a matter of first impression, the Court also held that the implied warranty of habitability can be disclaimed, but only under narrow circumstances. The disclaimer must be: (1) conspicuous; (2) known to the buyer; and (3) specifically bargained for by the parties. On remand, the circuit court must determine whether this standard was met in this case.

7-3-2006 - Orders

ORDER - Theodore Edith v. State

In a post-conviction relief action, an applicant cannot seek appellate review of a final order of dismissal which is issued based on the applicant’s failure to respond to a conditional order of dismissal.
ORDER - In the Matter of Richard A. Blackmon
Order of reinstatement in a lawyer disciplinary matter.
7-10-2006 - Opinions

26181 - Charleston Trident Home Builders v. Town Council of Town of Summerville

This case involves a challenge to a development impact fee ordinance on several statutory grounds.

26182 - Home Port Rentals v. Moore

The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review Home Port Rentals, Inc. v. Moore, 359 S.C. 230, 597 S.E.2d 810 (Ct. App. 2004), in which the Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Respondent. The Court affirmed as modified, holding that the ten-year limitation period on judgment execution cannot be tolled for time during which a judgment debtor is out of state.

7-10-2006 - Orders

ORDER - Amendments to the Commission’s Regulations for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education for Judges and Active Members of the South Carolina Bar

ORDER - Amendment to Rule 402, SCACR
This is an order changing the fee for handgrading of the Multistate Bar Examination.
7-17-2006 - Opinions

26183 - State v. Bryant

We granted Petitioner a writ of certiorari to review State v. Bryant, 356 S.C. 485, 589 S.E.2d 775 (Ct. App. 2003), in which the court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s admission of Petitioner’s two prior firearms convictions. We reverse.

26184 - Delahoussaye v. State

In this PCR case, the Court affirmed that the claim was properly brought under the PCR Act, but reversed the grant of relief finding respondent was not entitled to credit for time served for federal crimes committed after he escaped from South Carolina's custody.

7-24-2006 - Opinions

26185 - State v. Roberts

In this death penalty case, the sole issue raised on appeal is whether the trial court erred in requiring appellant to remain present during the sentencing phase of his trial.

26187 - Harbor Island Owners’ Association v. Preferred Island Properties

In this default-judgment case, the Court affirmed the entry of default by the master-in-equity. The Court held that a foreign corporation's registered agent for service of process does not constitute a "person designated by statute to accept service" as contemplated in Rule 6(e), SCRCP; therefore, the defendant is not entitled to five extra days to respond to the summons and complaint. The Court reversed the order of default judgment with respect to the master's finding that a contractual interest rate of eighteen percent applied to the judgment, because there was no evidence in the record to support the finding. The Court therefore remanded the case to the master with instruction to apply the judgment rate.

26188 - BB&T v. Taylor

The Court found Petitioner was not properly served with process and reversed the denial of Petitioner’s motion to set aside a judgment against her.

26189 - Cornelius v. Oconee County

The Court affirmed cicuit court ordesr holding tha a county is bound by the terms of a constitutional refendum when expanding sewer services, and awarding the respondent attorneys fees under S.C. Code Ann. §15-77-300.

26190 - Russell v. Wachovia

In this challenge by beneficiaries to an estate, the Court held that the beneficiaries lacked probable cause to contest the estate plan and reversed the trial court’s order granting summary judgment. In addition, the Court affirmed the trial court’s decision to impose sanctions against one of the challenging beneficiaries. Further, the Court remanded the issue of additional sanctions to the trial court.

26191 - In the Matter of Kenneth Ray Martin

This is an attorney disciplinary matter in which the Court imposed a public reprimand.

26192 - In the Matter of David G. Ingalls

This is an attorney disciplinary matter in which the Court issued a public reprimand.

26193 - Pye v. Fox

Russ and Lee Pye, along with their partnership, Justin Enterprises, initiated this action against the Estate of Dorothy T. Fox, the Estate of John C. Fox, John Richard Fox, III, and attorney G. Thomas Hill, alleging (1) abuse of process, (2) civil conspiracy, and (3) a violation of the South Carolina Frivolous Civil Proceedings Sanctions Act, S.C. Code Ann. section 15-36-10. The circuit court dismissed Hill from the action at the summary judgment stage, and directed a verdict in favor of the Foxes at the close of the Pyes’ case. The court analyzes the procedural application of error preservation pursuant to Rule 59(e), SCRCP. An elemental review of civil conspiracy is engaged in by the court.

26194 - Edwards v. Campbell

In this direct appeal, the Court affirmed the family court's denial of compound interest but remanded to the family court for a calculation of simple post judgment interest on the $7,410.28 award of past due child support.

7-25-2006 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Randolph Frails

Reinstatement to the practice of law.
ORDER - Amendments to Rule 404, SCACR
This order amends Rule 404, SCACR, to specify that an attorney who files more than six pro hac vice applications in a calendar year is considered regularly engaged in the practice of law in South Carolna.
7-31-2006 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Dean D. Porter