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South Carolina
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Supreme Court - Roster of Cases for Hearing

April 2013

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The summary below each case is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what issues are included in a case which will be argued. The summary is not a limit on what issues a party to a case may present at oral argument.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-206546    Chris and Frankie Broom, Respondents, v. Jennifer J., Derrick H., and South Carolina Department of Social Services, Defendants, Of Whom Jennifer J. is the, Appellant.

Jennifer A. Jeffrey and Thomas L. Bruce, both of Greenville, for Appellant. Philip James Temple, of Temple and Mann, of Greenville, for Respondent. Kaye Davis, of Greenville, for Defendant. Deborah Murdock, of Murdock Law Firm, LLC, of Mauldin, for Amicus Curiae. Michael Anthony Andrews, of Andrews Law Firm, LLC, of Easley, for Guardian Ad Litem.

Child was removed from her biological mother and placed in foster care. The foster parents filed an action to terminate the mother's parental rights and the family court terminated her parental rights on two grounds: willful failure to visit and Child remaining in foster care for fifteen of the most recent twenty-two months. Mother appeals the termination on the grounds the family court lacked clear and convincing evidence establishing that the statutory prerequisites for termination had been met, erroneously terminated her rights after denying her the right to assistance of counsel, and abused its discretion in permitting a bonding expert to testify who had not been disclosed prior to trial.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2011-194406    The State, Respondent, v. Clarence Logan, Jr., Appellant.

Appellate Defender LaNelle Cantey DuRant, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General Mark Reynolds Farthing, both of Columbia, for Respondent.

Appellant argues that the trial court erred in providing a circumstantial evidence jury charge in accordance with State v. Grippon, 327 S.C. 79, 489 S.E.2d 462 (1997). Appellant asserts that the circumstantial evidence charge explained in Grippon is no longer valid in light of this Court's decisions in State v. Bostick, 392 S.C. 134, 708 S.E.2d 774 (2011) and State v. Odems, 395 S.C. 582, 720 S.E.2d 48 (2011), and that the trial court should have provided the circumstantial evidence charge as explained in State v. Edwards, 298 S.C. 272, 379 S.E.2d 888 (1989).

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-194466    Shannon Hutchinson, Personal Representative of the Estate of Stephen F. Ney, a/k/a Steve K. Ney, Petitioner, v. Liberty Life Insurance Company, Respondent.

Kenneth C. Anthony, Jr., of The Anthony Law Firm, PA, of Spartanburg, for Petitioner. Kevin Kendrick Bell and Rebecca Ann Roser, both of Robinson McFadden & Moore, PC, of Columbia, for Respondent.

The Court granted certiorari to review a decision by the Court of Appeals interpreting the term "any narcotic" in a life insurance policy.

11:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-212034    Don Alexander, Carolyne Williams, Georgia F. Fields, William R. "Bob" Dixon, Colonel Joe H. Zorn, Jr., Melanie Wright, and Dr. M.O. Khan, Appellants, v. Freddie Houston, David Kenner, Keith Sloan, Lowell Jowers, Sr., Joe Smith, Harold Buckmon, and Travis Black, individually and in their capacity as members of Barnwell County Council, Respondents.

A. Camden Lewis and Arial Elizabeth King, of Lewis Babcock & Griffin, LLP of Columbia, for Appellants. Elmer Kulmala, of Harvey & Kulmala and James D. Mosteller, III, of The Mosteller Law Firm, LLC, both of Barnwell, for Respondents.

The Court reviews the trial court's order granting Respondents' motion to dismiss.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Supreme Court Courtroom
10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-200106    Bank of North Carolina, Respondent, v. Amy Breunig, Appellant.

William Isaac Diggs, of Law Office of William Isaac Diggs, of Myrtle Beach, for Appellant. Vonda Denise Hamilton and Stacy L. Stanley, both of Stanley Law Firm, LLC, of Little River, for Respondent.

The Court reviews the special referee's order denying Appellant's motion for relief from default judgment and stay of a foreclosure sale.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-208126    Carolina Water Service, Inc., Appellant, v. South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff, Forty Love Homeowners' Association and Midlands Utility, Respondents.

Scott A. Elliott, of Elliott & Elliott, P. A., Charles L.A. Terreni, of Terreni Law Firm, L.L.C., John Marion S. Hoefer and Benjamin Parker Mustian, both of Willoughby & Hoefer, PA, all of Columbia, for Appellant. Charles H. Cook, of Cook Law Firm, Florence P. Belser, Nanette Solveig Edwards, Jeffrey M. Nelson, all of S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff, and Laura Puccia Valtorta, of Valtorta Law Office, all of Columbia, for Respondents.

Carolina Water Service appeals the Public Service Commissions denial of rate relief arguing it erred in basing its decision on purported quality of service concerns.

Thursday, April 4, 2013
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2011-195567    The State, Petitioner, v. Ryan Hercheck, Respondent.

Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., both of Columbia, for Petitioner. Joseph M. McCulloch, Jr. and Kathy Ridenoure Schillaci, both of Law Offices of Joseph M. McCulloch, Jr., of Columbia, for Respondent.

The Court granted certiorari in this case to determine whether the court of appeals erred in affirming the magistrate court's decision to dismiss this DUI case under section 56-5-293 of the South Carolina Code because the State failed to produce videotape evidence of the twenty minute pre-test waiting period and the arresting officer terminated the videotape after Petitioner refused the breath test.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-209726    The State, Respondent, v. Justin Elwell, Petitioner.

Michael Langford Brown, Jr., of Rock Hill and Heath Preston Taylor, of West Columbia, for Petitioner. Solicitor Douglas A. Barfield, Jr., of Lancaster, for Respondent.

This case presents the question of whether there is an exception to the videotaping requirements of section 56-5-2953 of the South Carolina Code where Petitioner refused the breath test.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 25-25-10)
2011-199886    John Doe, Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, Jane Doe 3, Appellants, v. The Bishop of Charleston, A Corporation Sole, and The Bishop of The Diocese of Charleston, in His Official Capacity, Respondents.

Gregg E. Meyers, of Jeff Anderson & Assoc. PA, of St Paul, Minnesota, for Appellants. Albert P. Shahid, Jr., of Shahid Law Office, LLC, of Charleston, for Respondents.

Appellants argue the circuit court erred when it dismissed four consolidated cases on the basis the plaintiffs' claims were barred by the settlement of a previous class action.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Supreme Court Courtroom
08:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2013-000754    South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission, Petitioner, v. Curtis M. Loftis, Jr., as custodian of the South Carolina Retirement Systems Group Trust, Respondent.

Henry Pickett Wall and Edward Wade Mullins, III, both of Bruner Powell Wall & Mullins, LLC, of Columbia, for Petitioner. William J. Condon, Jr., of Columbia, for Respondent, Curtis M. Loftis, Jr., and Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, of Columbia, for Respondent, State of South Carolina. William A. Coates and Joseph Owen Smith, both of Roe Cassidy Coates & Price, PA, of Greenville, for Amicus Curiae, State Retirees Association of South Carolina.

This is a petition for a writ of mandamus filed in the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court relating to the funding of an investment approved by the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission.

09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-196906    Progressive Max Insurance Company, Appellant, v. Floating Caps, Inc., d/b/a Silver Dollar Cafe, Respondent.

John Martin Grantland, Adam J. Neil and Timothy J. Newton, all of Murphy & Grantland, PA, of Columbia, for Appellant. Francis Marion Ervin, II, of Rogers Townsend & Thomas, PC, of Charleston, for Respondent.

Appellant, an automobile insurer, brought this action against Respondent, a Charleston bar, pursuant to South Carolina's Uniform Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act following the settlement of an underlying tort lawsuit in the federal district court by an individual against an allegedly underaged patron of the bar (and his parents). The underlying suit alleged the individual was struck when the patron drove into a crowd while leaving the bar in an intoxicated condition. The circuit court denied Appellant's request for contribution and granted summary judgment to Respondent. Appellant now challenges that ruling.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-197207    Cape Romain Contractors, Inc., Respondent, v. Wando E., LLC and Sean Barnes, a/k/a Sean A. Barnes, Appellants.

E. J. Westbrook and Catherine H. McElveen, both of Richardson Patrick Westbrook & Brickman, LLC, of Mt. Pleasant, for Appellants. Albert A. Lacour, III, of Clawson & Staubes, LLC, of Charleston, for Respondent.

This is an appeal from the circuit court's order denying Appellants' motion to dismiss and compel arbitration.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-198473    In the Interest of David L., a Juvenile under the Age of Seventeen, Appellant.

Ernest Charles Grose, Jr., of Grose Law Firm, of Greenwood and Chief Appellate Defender Robert Michael Dudek, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General John Benjamin Aplin, both of Columbia, for Respondent.

David L. appeals the family court's order requiring him to register as sex offender for life arguing this imposition violates his rights to due process and equal protection and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-197648    Dorris W. Green, Jr., as Guardian ad Litem for Inman G., a minor, Appellant, v. United States Automobile Association Auto and Property Insurance Company, Respondent.

Bernard McIntyre, of Beaufort, for Appellant. Charles R. Norris, of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, of Charleston and C. Mitchell Brown, of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, of Columbia, for Respondent.

This is an appeal from a circuit court order refusing to reform a Florida automobile insurance policy to remove a family member exclusion finding enforcement of that exclusion does not offend South Carolina's public policy.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2011-196887    Centex International, Inc. and Affiliates, Appellant, v. South Carolina Department of Revenue, Respondent.

Burnet Rhett Maybank, III, of Nexsen Pruet, LLC, of Columbia, for Appellant. Milton Gary Kimpson, Adam Nicholas Marinelli and Harry A. Hancock, all of Columbia, for Respondent.

Appellant, a taxpayer that filed consolidated income tax returns for three corporate affiliates that wholly owned the general partnership of Centex Homes, appeals the Administrative Law Court's order denying its claim for infrastructure tax credits for the 2002 to 2005 income tax years. Appellant contends the ALC erred in: (1) concluding the corporate affiliates of Appellant were not eligible to claim the infrastructure tax credit as partners of Centex Homes; (2) its application and interpretation of the aggregate and entity theories of partnership taxation; and (3) concluding that Appellant and its affiliates are not a single taxpayer and may not claim the infrastructure tax credit on its consolidated tax return.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2011-195510    Crouch Construction Company, Inc., Appellant, v. Bryan Causey, Celebrations of Columbia, LLC, and Causey Consulting, LLC, Respondents, v. GS2 Engineering and Environmental Consultants, Inc., Gist, Inc., Third Party Defendants.

Jean Perrin Derrick, of Lexington, for Appellant. Gary Allen Pickren, of Rogers Townsend & Thomas, PC, of Columbia and Stephan Victor Futeral, of Futeral & Nelson, LLC, of Mt. Pleasant, for Respondents.

This is an appeal from the circuit court's order vacating an arbitration award.