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Supreme Court Published Opinions - April 2010

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.

4-5-2010 - Opinions

26795 - City of Newberry v. Newberry Electric Cooperative

In this case, the trial court held the City of Newberry could not challenge Newberry Electric Cooperative’s provision of electric service to a retail store on property recently annexed by the City. The court of appeals affirmed, holding the Cooperative had the right to serve the property pursuant to a contract, and the suit was barred by the expiration of the statute of limitations. The Supreme Court reversed, holding the statute of limitations did not begin until the City annexed the property; thus it had not expired before initiation of the suit. The Supreme Court also held that the City had the exclusive right to provide electric service to the property, and a contract for services was not sufficient for the Cooperative to meet the annexation exception in S.C. Code Ann. § 33-49-250.

26796 - Hutto v. State

In this case, the Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ denial of Petitioner’s request for post-conviction relief. The Supreme Court held that trial counsel’s performance was not deficient for failing to move to suppress a probation agent’s testimony, and, even assuming deficient performance, Petitioner suffered no prejudice.

4-12-2010 - Opinions

26797 - Ward v. West Oil Company

In this contract dispute case involving "pull-tab" game machines, this Court granted the petition of Charles Ward and Robby Hodge, d/b/a R&B Amusements for a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision in Ward v. West Oil Co., Inc., 379 S.C. 225, 665 S.E.2d 618 (Ct. App. 2008).

26798 - Zurich American Insurance v. Tolbert

The Court affirmed a decision of the Court of Appeals which reversed an order granting summary judgment.

26799 - Tobaccoville USA v. Attorney General

The South Carolina Attorney General appealed the order of the administrative law court compelling production of numerous documents the Attorney General asserted are privileged, confidential communications. The Supreme Court held: (1) the attorney-client privilege may apply on these facts; (2) the work product doctrine does not apply; (3) the deliberative process is not recognized in South Carolina; and (4) the common interest doctrine is adopted for narrow application in South Carolina. The Court reversed the administrative law court and remanded for further findings in accordance with the opinion.

26800 - In the Matter of H. Ray Ham

This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court indefinitely suspended a lawyer.

26801 - In the Matter of William Robert Witcraft, Jr.

This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court definitely suspended a lawyer.

26802 - In the Matter of James Michael Brown

In this opinion, the Court suspended James Michael Brown, from the practice of law for six months from the date of the opinion.

26803 - State v. Lee-Grigg

The Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals.

26804 - In the Matter of Glenburn M. McGee

This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court indefinitely suspended a lawyer.

4-12-2010 - Orders

ORDER - Hendricks v. State

ORDER - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority v. SC Department of Health and Environmental Control
4-19-2010 - Opinions

26806 - In The Interest of M.B.H.

Appellant, a minor, was charged with several criminal sexual offenses, but ultimately pled guilty to two counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. The family court ordered him committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice suspended upon probation, and required him to register as a sexual offender. The Supreme Court affirmed the family court’s ordering Appellant to register as a sexual offender.

26807 - Webb v. Sowell

In this case, the Court found that its previous interpretation of the statute now found at S.C. Code Ann. § 63-3-530(A)(17) violates equal protection.

26808 - Jones v. Lott

The Court holds Petitioner failed to appeal the circuit court's holding that Respondent was entitled to immunity under section 15-78-60(6). Also, the court of appeals correctly held that section 15-78-60(21) provided an additional sustaining ground to the circuit court's findings. Lastly, even if all of Petitioner's issues were preserved for review, the deputies would still be immune from suit pursuant to section 15-78-60(21).

4-26-2010 - Opinions

26809 - In the Matter of Jane Matthews Moody

This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court definitely suspended a lawyer from the practice of law.

26810 - In the Matter of Charleston County Magistrate Mary Brown Holmes

This is a judicial disciplinary opinion in which the Court imposed a public reprimand.

26811 - Friends of the Earth v. SC Public Service Commission

Friends of the Earth (Appellant) appeals from the order of approval issued by the Public Service Commission (Commission) of the combined application of South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) to construct and operate an additional two-unit nuclear facility, as well as to revise its rates to reflect the cost of capital applied to the project. We affirm.