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Supreme Court Published Opinions - February 2007

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.

2-5-2007 - Opinions

26257 - Waiters v. State

In this PCR case, the Court determines that the date of the offense does not affect second-offender status.

26258 - McSherry v. Spartanburg County Council

This case involves the validity of the Spartanburg County Council’s enactment of a road maintenance fee. The Court held that the ordinance was validly enacted.

26259 - Marcum v. Bowden AND Barnes v. Cohen Dry Wall Inc.

The Court recognized a new common law duty imposing first and third party liability on social hosts who knowingly and intentionally serve alcoholic beverages to underage persons.

26260 - State v. Dunbar

This case involves the issue of whether the Court of Appeals erred by finding the magistrate was not neutral and detached.

2-5-2007 - Orders

ORDER - Dunlap v. State

The petition for a writ of ceritorari to the Court of Appeals in this PCR action is denied. The Bar is reminded that a petition for a writ of certiorari following the decision of the Court of Appeals in a PCR action is not required.
2-12-2007 - Opinions

26261 - State v. Turner

The Court held that neither Miranda nor the Fourth Amendment were violated by the admission of a tape made while the appellant and his codefendant were seated in a police car following their arrests.

26262 - Hardin & Tallent v. SCDOT

These cases deal with the issue of whether and to what degree realignments and closures of public roads constitute “takings.” In both cases, the Court reversed determinations that the plaintiffs suffered takings as a result of actions of the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

2-20-2007 - Opinions

26263 - Gecy v. Bagwell

The Court held that votes cast in the wrong precincts must be thrown out, resulting in the declared winner of the election no longer carrying a majority of total votes cast, and ordered a new election. The Court also found appellant’s notice of protest to be sufficient.

26264 - In the Matter of Willie Bethune

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

26265 - In the Matter of Will Roger Helton

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

26266 - In the Matter of Kristine L. Esgar

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

26267 - Grant v. Grant Textiles

This workers' compensation case involves the issue of whether the Court of Appeals erred by finding claimant's accident did not arise out of and in the course of his employment.

26268 - State v. Lindsey

In this death penalty case, the Court considers the disqualification of a juror and sentencing phase isssues including the aggravator submitted to the jury.

26269 - SC Department of Mental Health v. McMaster

The issue in this case is whether Bull Street property owned by the Department of Mental Health is held in a charitable trust, and whether it may be sold.

26271 - State v. Northcutt

Appellant’s death sentence is reversed and remanded for further sentencing proceedings because of the solicitor’s prejudicial closing argument and the inclusion of evidence of the victim’s prior injury.

26272 - Clear Channel Outdoor v. City of Myrtle Beach

The Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals to reinstate the Zoning Board of Appeals’ denial of Petitioner’s application. The Court also held Petitioner’s procedural due process rights were not violated and estoppel did not apply to prevent the City from alleging Petitioner’s sign was nonconforming.

2-21-2007 - Orders

ORDER - Wise v. SC Department of Corrections

In this order, the Court refuses to act on documents filed by appellant and dismisses the matter because the remittitur was properly sent thereby depriving the Court of jurisdiction.
ORDER - Suspension of Fee Required by Rule 7.2(b) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR.
By order dated February 15, 2007, the fee required by Rule 7.2 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407, SCACR, has been suspended until further order of the Court while the Court considers proposed amendments to the advertising rules proposed by the Commission on Lawyer Advertising. However, the filing requirement in Rule 7.2(b) is not suspended.
2-26-2007 - Opinions

26273 - B&A Development v. Georgetown County

he Court affirmed as modified the Court of Appeal’s decision which found that the circuit court properly dismissed because petitioners failed to exhaust their administrative remedies under the S.C. Revenue Procedures Act.

26274 - Williams v. SCDC

This case determines that inmates participating in a prison industries program have no cause of action under the Payment of Wages Act.

2-27-2007 - Opinions

26275 - SCDOT v. First Carolina

First Carolina Corporation of South Carolina (First Carolina) initiated a suit to determine the value of a piece of condemned property. The trial court submitted the case to the jury with instructions for the jury to utilize a special verdict form provided by the court. The jury returned a verdict in favor of First Carolina and awarded compensation for the land taken and special damages to the remaining property. SCDOT appealed. We affirm.

26276 - James v. State

This case deals with what constitutes proper notice under S.C. Code Ann. § 17-25-45 (2003), the “recidivist statute.” Reversing the court of appeals, the Court held that actual notice is sufficient to comply with the statute’s notice requirement.

26277 - Johnson v. SC Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services

This case deals with early termination of probation, subject matter jurisdiction, and compliance with South Carolina’s appellate court rules. The Court affirmed the court of appeals’ decision declining to address the merits of the Department’s argument due to procedural defects in the appeal.

26278 - State v. Bryant

This is an appeal from a capital sentencing proceeding in which the trial court sentenced James Nathaniel Bryant to death. Bryant appeals claiming that the trial court erred in 1) failing to require that jurors be physically present during jury selection; 2) failing to order the State to produce Bryant’s prison records pursuant to Brady v. Maryland and Rule 5, SCRCrimP; and 3) failing to admit the defense expert’s opinion testimony that the death penalty was more merciful than a sentence of life without parole. The Court affirms.

26279 - In the Matter of the Care and Treatment of Larry Gene Beaver

This case involves the issue of whether the circuit court erred by dismissing the State's Sexually Violent Predator petition.

2-27-2007 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Kelly Christen Evans

This order places Kelly Christin Evans on interim suspension pursuant to Rule 17(c) of Rule 413, SCACR, and appoints Mark S. Sharpe to protect the interests of Ms. Evan's clients.