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South Carolina
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Supreme Court Published Opinions - July 2014

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.

7-2-2014 - Opinions

27404 - State v. Wessinger

The Court held the trial court committed no error in determing that appellant's offenses should be classified as sexually violent under S.C. Code Ann. § 44-48-30(2)(o)(Supp. 2013).

27405 - State v. Burgess

This Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals in State v. Burgess, 393 S.C. 396, 712 S.E.2d 1 (Ct. App. 2011), which affirmed Petitioner's conviction for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute. Petitioner raises issues regarding the validity of a multi-jurisdictional enforcement agreement and the admissibility of an arresting officer's personnel records. Although we find the Court of Appeals correctly affirmed Petitioner's conviction, we disagree with the court's conclusion regarding the multi-jurisdictional agreement. Accordingly, we affirm as modified.

27406 - Crossland v. Crossland

In this appeal from a divorce action, the Court reverses the decision of the court of appeals regarding alimony, equitable division, and attorney's fees and reinstates the family court's order as to those issues.

27407 - State v. Reid

The Court affirms the trial court's denial of Reid's motion to suppress his confession and reverses the trial court's denial of Reid's motion for a directed verdict on his charges of possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

27408 - State v. Nation

The Court affirms the circuit court's decision to statutorily impose lifetime global positioning satellite (GPS) monitoring on Appellant due to his prior guilty plea for a sex offense with a minor and subsequent probation violations. See S.C. Code Ann. § 23-3-540 (Supp. 2010) (enumerating the circumstances in which a court may impose GPS monitoring on a person convicted of a sex offense with a minor).

27409 - In the Matter of Kenneth B. Massey

This is an opinion publicly reprimanding a lawyer.

7-9-2014 - Opinions

27411 - State v. Hill

In this case, Appellant challenges two evidentiary rulings by the circuit court and argues that his rights under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers were violated. We affirm.

27412 - Robert Harrell v. Attorney General of the State of South Carolina

The Court reversed the circuit court order finding the state grand jury lacks subject matter jurisdiction to investigate a violation of the Ethics, Government Accountability, and Campaign Reform Act, and remanded the matter to the circuit court for a decision on whether the Attorney General should be disqualified from participating in these state grand jury proceedings.

7-16-2014 - Opinions

27413 - In the Interest of Stephen W.

In this direct appeal, the Court finds that the state and federal constitutions do not entitle juveniles to a jury trial in family court delinquency proceedings.

27414 - In the Matter of William Jones Rivers, III

This is an opinion disbarring a lawyer.

27415 - State v. Hewins

Erick Hewins appeals his conviction for possession of crack cocaine, arguing the circuit court judge erred in ruling he was collaterally estopped from challenging the search of his vehicle, which precipitated the drug charge, because Hewins waived any challenge when he was convicted in municipal court of an open container violation resulting from the same search. We hold the conviction in municipal court had no preclusive effect on Hewins's ability to litigate his motion to suppress and that the drug evidence should have been suppressed. Accordingly, we reverse Hewins's conviction.

27416 - State v. Wills

The Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals.

27417 - Board of Trustees for the Fairfield County School District v. State

We hold that Appellant has failed to show that Act. No. 294 of 2010 is unconstitutional special legislation and affirm the circuit court's grant of summary judgment.

27418 - State v. Ramsey

The Court affirms the court of appeals' opinion in State v. Ramsey, 398 S.C. 275, 727 S.E.2d 429 (Ct. App. 2012), holding the alleged crime was not committed "in the presence of a law enforcement officer" as and therfore the issuance of the uniform traffic ticket was improper.

27419 - Perry v. Bullock

The Court holds autopsy reports are excluded from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act as medical records.

7-23-2014 - Opinions

27420 - Ashley II v. PCS Nitrogen

In answering a certified question from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, this Court holds the rule that a contract of indemnity will not be construed to indemnify the indemnitee against losses resulting from its own negligent acts, unless such intention is expressed in clear and unequivocal terms, does not apply in the context of the underlying claim in federal court.

27421 - Weik v. State

The Court reverses and remands for a new sentencing hearing.

27422 - Ranucci v. Crain

This Court granted certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals in Ranucci v. Crain, 397 S.C. 168, 723 S.E.2d 242 (Ct. App. 2012), which held the pre-litigation filing requirement for a medical malpractice case found in section 15-79-125 of the South Carolina Code incorporates only the parts of section 15-36-100 that relate to the preparation and content of an expert's affidavit. We reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals and remand the case to the circuit court as we hold that section 15-79-125(A) incorporates section 15-36-100 in its entirety.

7-30-2014 - Opinions

27424 - State Accident Fund v. SC Second Injury Fund

The Court reverses the Appellate Panel of the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission's order denying Appellant's request for reimbursement from the South Carolina Second Injury Fund and remands to determine the amount of reimbursement to which Appellant is entitled.

27425 - In the Matter of Robert P. Taylor

This is an opinion in which the Court disbars a lawyer.

27426 - In the Matter of James W. Smiley

This is an opinion in which the Court publicly reprimands a lawyer.