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Supreme Court Published Opinions - April 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.

4-2-2007 - Opinions

26297 - Staggs v. State

The sole issue we address is whether the trial court erred in denying Petitioner Post-Conviction Relief where counsel acted under an actual conflict of interest.

26298 - City of Camden v. Fairfield Electric Cooperative, Inc.

At issue in this appeal is whether Fairfield Electric Cooperative, Inc. has legal authority to provide electric service to a newly constructed Lowe’s Store located in an area recently annexed by the City of Camden.

4-9-2007 - Opinions

26299 - State v. Slater

Lord Byron Slater was convicted of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. The court of appeals reversed Slater’s conviction and remanded the case for a new trial finding that Slater was entitled to a self-defense charge. See State v. Slater, 360 S.C. 487, 602 S.E.2d 90 (2004). The State appealed and this Court granted a Writ of Certiorari to review the court of appeals’ decision.

26300 - In the Matter of Kenneth S. Roper

In this opinion, Kenneth S. Roper is publicly reprimanded for failing to properly oversee a closing, including the execution of related documents, and providing false or misleading information on a document required by the laws of this State.

26302 - Key Corporate Capital v. County of Beaufort

The Court held that the plain language of the applicable tax sale statute did not entitle successful bidders to the interest earned on the purchase price when the tax sales were voided by the County.

26304 - Burgess v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

The Court holds that insurers may limit the portability of basic UIM coverage from at-home vehicles when an insured is involved in an accident while in a vehicle he owns, but does not insure under the policy.

26305 - Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Erwood

The Court affirms, as modified, the Court of Appeals’ decision allowing an insured to collect UM benefits from her at-home policy when she was involved in an accident as a passenger on an uninsured motorcycle.

26306 - Carolina Water Service, Inc. v. Lexington County

In this opinion, the Court reverses the decision of the Court of Appeals in Carolina Water Service, Inc. v. Lexington County Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission, 3667 S.C. 141, 625 S.E.2d 227 (2006) on the basis that the order of the circuit court lifting the stay in this matter was not immediately appealable.

26307 - Connor Holdings, LLC v. Cousins

The Court affirmed the special referee’s dismissal of this private enforcement action based on Appellants’ lack of standing.

26308 - State v. Bixby

This criminal case involves the issue of whether one who is charged as an accessory before the fact to murder is ineligible for the death penalty.

26309 - McClain v. Pactiv Corporation

The writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted.

4-9-2007 - Orders

ORDER - Amendments to the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules

The Court has amended Rules 411, 413, and 502, SCACR, to eliminate the subpanel process, to allow the imposition of a confidential admonition if a lawyer or judge fails to object, and to allow the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection to accept and disburse funds for the purpose of restitution.
ORDER - Administrative Suspension for Failure to Pay South Carolina Bar License Fees and Assessments
4-23-2007 - Opinions

26301 - In the Matter of Steven Robinson Cureton

This opinion suspends Steven Robinson Cureton from the practice of law for two years based on his commission of certain criminal offenses and his failure to adequately communicate with clients regarding his interim suspension.

26310 - State v. Ladner

In this direct appeal, the Court addressed issues related to an excited utterance by a child victim and affirmed appellant's conviction for first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

26311 - In the Matter of Richard M. Campbell, Jr.

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

26312 - In the Matter of Mark S. Keegan

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

26313 - Aiken v. World Finance Corporation

Respondent Richard Aiken filed a law suit against Appellants World Finance Corporation of South Carolina and World Acceptance Corporation alleging various torts arising from the misuse of Aiken’s personal financial information by employees of World Finance. The circuit court denied World Finance’s motion to compel arbitration on the grounds that Aiken’s claims were not within the scope of the arbitration clause. The court of appeals affirmed and this Court granted certiorari. This Court affirms as modified the decision of the court of appeals.

26314 - Simpson v. World Finance Corporation

Respondent Tawanda Simpson filed a law suit against Appellants World Finance Corporation of South Carolina and World Acceptance Corporation alleging various torts arising from the misuse of Simpson’s personal financial information by employees of World Finance. The circuit court denied World Finance’s motion to compel arbitration on the grounds that Simpson’s claims were not within the scope of the arbitration clause. The court of appeals affirmed and this Court granted certiorari. This Court affirms the court of appeals’ decision pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authority: Aiken v. World Finance Corp. of South Carolina, Op. No. 26313 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed April 23, 2007) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 16 at _).

26315 - Ex Parte: GEICO

Government Employee’s Insurance Company appeals the family court’s denial of its petition to join or intervene in a family court action involving the validity of a common law marriage. We affirm.

26316 - State v. Turner

This case involves the issues of whether the trial court erred by (1) admitting identification testimony where the photographic line-up was unduly suggestive, (2) sending written charges to the jury, and (3) limiting the cross-examination of the victim by not allowing questions regarding her schizophrenia diagnosis, her treatment, and her medications.

26317 - Majors v. South Carolina Securities Commission

The issues on appeal involve whether or not Appellants, Ned Majors and Tax Lien Agents, Inc., were properly order to cease and desist from selling unregistered securities.

26318 - Chassereau v. Global-Sun Pools, Inc.

The trial court denied Petitioners’ motion to compel arbitration of several claims Respondent asserted as a result of Petitioners’ aggressive debt collection practices, and the court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision. Relying on the Court’s decision in Aiken v. Simpson, Op. No. 26313 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed Apr. 23, 2007), the Court affirmed.

26319 - State v. Childers

The Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision that the trial court did not err in denying Childers’ request to relieve counsel. Also, a majority of the court reversed the Court of Appeals’ decision that the trial court erroneously denied Childers’ request for a voluntary manslaughter charge.

4-30-2007 - Opinions

26320 - RWE NUKEM Corporation v. ENSR Corporation

The Court reversed the circuit court’s grant of partial summary judgment and remanded for further proceedings.

26321 - Elephant, Inc. v. South Carolina Department of Revenue

The issue on appeal is whether it is within the Department of Revenue’s authority to impose an administrative sanction for the unlawful transfer of alcohol to a minor, without the necessity of the minor being prosecuted.

26322 - Henderson v. Allied Signal, Inc.

The Court affirms the trial court’s decision granting summary judgment to Respondents based on a lack of product exposure pursuant to the Door Closing Statute, S.C. Code Ann. § 15-5-150, and finds no error in the trial court’s exclusion of certain evidence as cumulative.