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Supreme Court Published Opinions - August 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.

8-3-2009 - Opinions

26695 - Ardis v. Sessions

8-3-2009 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Elizabeth Mason Smith

This order places Elizabeth Mason Smith on interim suspension.
ORDER - In the Matter of Clyde A. Eltzroth, Jr.
This order reinstates Clyde A. Eltzroth, Jr. to the practice of law in this state.
8-10-2009 - Opinions

26696 - K&A Acquisition Group v. Island Pointe

In this declaratory judgment action, Appellant appeals the master-in-equity's order finding that a .42 acre parcel of coastal property was "abandoned" by the South Carolina Department of Transportation and properly conveyed by quitclaim deed to private landowners. We affirm as modified.

26697 - Stalk v. State

The Court affirmed as modified a Court of Appeals opinion which reversed an order granting post-conviction relief.

26698 - Duncan v. Little

This direct appeal arises out of an action brought by Appellants Frankey Galloway and Cleo Galloway against Respondent SunTrust Bank involving its surrender of the contents of two safe deposit boxes. The Galloway brothers appeal the trial court’s dismissal of their claims against SunTrust Bank. We find SunTrust Bank breached a duty owed to Cleo Galloway and reverse.

26699 - State v. Jones

In this capital case, Jones appeals his convictions and sentences, alleging the trial judge erred in: (1) permitting the State to subpoena a witness against Jones who was an expert the defense had engaged to challenge evidence, and (2) admitting "barefoot insole impression" evidence.

8-12-2009 - Opinions

26702 - Moore v. Weinberg

The Court affirmed the court of appeals and held that the Petitioner, an attorney, owed a duty to the Respondent by virtue of his role as an escrow agent.

8-17-2009 - Opinions

26700 - Sundown Operating v. Intedge Industries

In this case, the court of appeals held that Petitioner failed to show good cause sufficient to overcome the entry of default pursuant to Rule 55(c), SCRCP. We affirm.

26701 - Lane v. Gilbert Construction

In this premises liability action the Court affirmed the trial court's granting of a motion for a new trial absolute.

26703 - State v. Wallace

The Court reversed the Court of Appeals, and held that a close degree of similarity is required before evidence of prior bad acts can be admitted under the common scheme or plan exception to Rule 404(b), SCRE in a child sexual case.

26704 - State v. Hubner

The Court reversed the Court of appeals in a brief opinion citing State v. Wallace, Op. No. 26703 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed August 17, 2009).

26705 - State v. Clasby

We affirm Appellant's conviction for lewd act upon a child, finding the trial judge properly admitted prior bad act evidence.

8-20-2009 - Opinions

26692 - In the Matter of Frank Rogers Ellerbe, III

In this opinion, the Court suspended Frank Rogers Ellerbe, III, from the practice of law for ninety days retroactive to the date of his interim suspension.

8-24-2009 - Opinions

26672 - Major v. SCDPPPS

In this case, the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services appeals the Administrative Law Court's decision that the Department erred in its interpretation of S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-490 regarding the implementation of the sentence imposed by the trial judge and Respondent's eligibilty for parole. We affirm as modified.

26706 - The Vestry v. Orkin Exterminating

The Church of the Holy Cross filed suit against Orkin Exterminating Company for breach of contract. The case was tried, and the jury returned a verdict for Orkin. Shortly thereafter, the trial judge informed the parties that there were allegations of juror misconduct. Holy Cross moved for a new trial. After examining the jurors, the trial judge denied the motion. The court of appeals reversed and remanded the case for a new trial. We granted Orkin’s petition for a writ of certiorari and reverse the court of appeals’ decision.

26707 - Neal v. Brown

In this case, the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) granted Respondent Neal a dock permit. Petitioner Brown, an adjacent property owner, appealed the award of the permit, claiming that the issuance of the permit did not comply with OCRM regulations. The Court of Appeals held that Respondent was entitled to a dock permit. The Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari and reversed the Court of Appeals decision, holding that the regulatory language was clear and unambiguous and the OCRM Appellate Panel is entitled to deference in the interpretation of its own regulations.

26708 - Turner v. State

The Court affirms the PCR court’s denial of relief and holds that probation counsel was not ineffective for failing to inform the probationer of his right to appeal his probation revocation.

26709 - Richardson v. P.V., Inc.

The Court affirms the trial court’s entry of default and holds that service of process was effective and that the defendant failed to show good cause to set aside the entry of default.

8-24-2009 - Orders

ORDER - The Friends of McLeod, Inc. v. City of Charleston

The Court granted Respondents’ motion to dismiss this matter as moot, denied a motion to substitute parties, and vacated the Court of Appeals’ opinion in Friends of McLeod, Inc. v. City of Charleston, 376 S.C. 610, 658 S.E.2d 544 (Ct. App. 2008).
ORDER - In the Matter of William F. “Troup” Partridge, III
This is an order granting a petition for reinstatement.
ORDER - In the Matter of Frank Rogers Ellerbe, III
Lawyer reinstated to the practice of law.
ORDER - In the Matter of Michael James Sarratt, Respondent.
Lawyer reinstated to the practice of law.
8-31-2009 - Opinions

26711 - State v. Edwards

In this case, Petitioners appeal their criminal convictions on the grounds that the trial court erred in quashing the first jury panel based upon a violation of Batson v. Kentucky. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court. We granted a writ of certiorari to Petitioners and reverse the court of appeals decision.

26712 - Metts v. Mims

This Court of Appeals certiorari case involves issues related to a defamation action against newspapers.

26713 - Hill v. York County Natural Gas

We affirm the decision of the trial court finding that York County Natural Gas Authority has the authority to condemn certain real property.

26714 - Eason v. Eason

This is a cross-appeal in a divorce case.