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Supreme Court Published Opinions - February 2009

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.

2-2-2009 - Opinions

26591 - State v. Wharton

The Court holds that the trial court erred in charging the jury on voluntary manslaughter because there was no evidence to support the charge and overturns Wharton’s conviction.

2-9-2009 - Opinions

26575 - Richardson v. Donald Hawkins Construction, Inc.

The issue in this case involves the admission of hearsay evidence at a civil trial.

26592 - Gay v. Ariail

The issue in this case is whether Gay was eligible to have a prior conviction expunged.

26593 - Dykeman v. Wells Fargo

This case involves the interpretation of penal statutes imposing a duty on the record holder of a mortgage on real estate to enter a satisfaction of the mortgage in the proper office, upon the occurrence of certain conditions. The sole condition before us relates to the requirement in sections 29-3-310 and 320 of the South Carolina Code (2007), that the mortgagor request the mortgagee enter the satisfaction. In this case, we hold the mortgagor did not make such a request.

26594 - Barton v. Higgs

The Court reverses the court of appeals’ decision and holds that Respondent Total Homes may not transfer liability to the SC Uninsured Employers Fund for failing to comply with applicable regulations.

26595 - State v. Ramsey

In this case, the magistrate held a probable cause hearing on Respondent Jimmy Ramsey’s criminal domestic violence charge and dismissed it for lack of probable cause. The circuit court affirmed the magistrate’s finding. On appeal, the State claimed the magistrate erred in holding a probable cause hearing and dismissing Respondent’s CDV charge. This Court holds that the magistrate did not have the authority to hold a preliminary hearing on the CDV charge, and therefore reverses and remands the case to the magistrate for summary disposition.

26596 - Harris v. Anderson County Sheriff’s Office

The Court reversed the trial court's granting of summary judgment.

26597 - In the Matter of Clinton J. Hall

This is a disciplinary matter.

26598 - In the Matter of John L. Drennan

This is an opinion definitely suspending a lawyer.

26599 - In the Matter of Charles N. Pearman

This is an opinion definitely suspending a lawyer.

26600 - In the Matter of Arthur C. McFarland

This is an opinion publicly reprimanding a lawyer.

2-10-2009 - Orders

ORDER - Thomas R. Wieters v. Bon-Secours-St. Francis Xavier Hospital, Inc.

In this case, the Court denied a petition for a writ of certiorari and vacated the decision of the Court of Appeals because the trial judge’s order was not immediately appealable.
ORDER - Amendments to the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure
The Court has amended Rule 33(a), SCRCP, to correct an internal citation within the rule.
ORDER - Amendments to the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules
The Court has amended Rules 225, 608, and Canon 3, Rule 501, SCACR, to correct a number of internal references based on the fact the General Assembly transferred the South Carolina Children’s Code from S.C. Code Ann. § 20-7-10 et seq. to a new title in the Code, Title 63.
2-17-2009 - Opinions

26601 - Historic Charleston Holdings v. Mallon

The Court reverses the court of appeals decision and holds that a full accounting of the company is not required and Respondent is entitled to ½ the proceeds from the sale of the property in dispute.

26602 - In the Matter of Glenn Oliver Gray

In this attorney disciplinary matter, the Court imposed, among other sanctions, a nine-month suspension.

26603 - State v. Stokes

This criminal appeal involves issue regarding admitting evidence of prior bad acts and a prior inconsistent statement.

2-23-2009 - Opinions

26604 - Judy v. Martin

In this case, Appellant filed a declaratory judgment action seeking to declare an underlying magistrate’s judgment void for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The master-in-equity found in favor of Respondent. On appeal, Appellant claimed that the magistrate lacked jurisdiction to render the underlying judgment. The Court holds that the magistrate’s subject matter jurisdiction was passed upon in the underlying suit and therefore became the law of the case. The Court declines to reopen that issue in this subsequent action.

26605 - Hardee v. McDowell

We granted the petition for a writ of certiorari by Smith Construction and its insurer to consider the meaning of the phrase "engaged to perform work" as used in section 42-1-415 of the South Carolina Code.

2-23-2009 - Orders

ORDER - State v. Lyles

The Supreme Court denied the petition for a writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals and held it will no longer entertain petitions for writs of certiorari where the Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal after conducting a review pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967).
ORDER - Amendments to the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules
The Court has amended Rules 1.0 and 1.15(f), RPC, Rule 407, SCACR, concerning the definition of the term depository institution. The Court has also amended Rule 412, SCACR, to correctly state a credit union is insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.