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Supreme Court - Roster of Cases for Hearing

May 2014

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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, May 6, 2014
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2013-000606    Christine Watts, Respondent, v. Sonic Automotive, d/b/a Century BMW, Appellant.

Kurt Matthew Rozelsky, of Smith Moore Leatherwood, LLP, of Greenville, Dennis M. Black and Richmond T. Moore, both of Williams & Connolly, LLP, of Washington, DC, for Appellant. Gedney M. Howe, III, of Charleston, Richard A. Harpootlian, of Columbia, A. Camden Lewis, of Lewis Babcock & Griffin, LLP, of Columbia, Terry E. Richardson, James David Butler and Brady R. Thomas, all of Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC, of Barnwell, and Michael Eugene Spears, of Spartanburg, for Respondent.

This is a direct appeal from the denial of a motion to compel arbitration.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2013-001683    Richland County Assessor, Respondent, v. James M. Hull, d/b/a Hull Storey Gibson Companies, LLC, Appellant.

Timothy E. Madden, of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, of Greenville, and Matthew W. Matson, of Augusta, Georgia, for Appellant. John Marion S. Hoefer, of Willoughby & Hoefer, PA, of Columbia, and Malane S. Pike, of White Rock, for Respondent.

This case is an appeal from an administrative law court decision upholding a county assessor's valuation of property.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-212041    York County and Nazareth Baptist Church of Rock Hill, Inc., Defendants, of whom York County is, Petitioner, v. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and C & D Management Company, LLC, Respondents.

Amy E. Armstrong, of South Carolina Environmental Law Project, of Pawleys Island, for Petitioner. Susan A. Lake, of South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, of Columbia, W. Thomas Lavender, Jr., Leon C. Harmon and Joan W. Harley, all of Nexsen Pruet, LLC, of Columbia, for Respondents.

In this appeal, Petitioner contends that the court of appeals erred in affirming the Administrative Law Court's (ALC) decision to affirm the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's (DHEC) issuance of a landfill permit in light of York County's solid waste management plan, an emergency ordinance, and local zoning laws.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-213391    Barbara B. Clark, Warren E. Hatcher, Cassie Keeton, Daniel Green, Powell Hampton, Amos Hatcher, Bobby Keeton, James Moseley, Willie B. Oliver, Individually, and as General Officers of the RMUE Church, Respondents, v. Fred Henderson Moore, Appellant.

Eduardo K. Curry, of Curry & Housey, P.A., of North Charleston, for Appellant. Darrell T. Johnson, Jr. and Mills L. Morrison, Jr., both of Law Offices of Darrell Thomas Johnson, Jr., LLC, of Hardeeville, for Respondents.

Appellant raises three issues in this appeal: 1) did defendant's notice of removal deprive the lower court of jurisdiction; 2) was Jasper County a proper venue; and 3) did the lower court have subject matter jurisdiction over a dispute involving ecclesiastical law?

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-212790    Dennis N. Lambries, Respondent, v. Saluda County Council, T. Hardee Horne, Chairman, William "Billie" Pugh, Councilman, Steve Teer, Councilman, Jacob Schumpert, Councilman, and James Frank Daniel, Sr., Councilman, Petitioners.

Christian G. Spradley, of Moore, Taylor & Thomas, PA, of Saluda and Katherine Carruth Goode, of Winnsboro, for Petitioners. Richard R. Gleeissner, of Gleissner Law Firm, LLC, of Columbia, for Respondent. Danny Calvert Crowe, of Crowe LaFave, LLC, of Columbia, for Amicus Curiae, The Municipal Association of South Carolina, Robert E. Lyon, Jr., General Counsel, John K. DeLoache, Staff Attorney and Alexander W. Smith, Staff Attorney, all of Columbia, for Amicus Curiae South Carolina Association of Counties.

We have granted certiorari to consider whether the Saluda County Council's practice of amending its agenda during a regularly scheduled council meeting violates the notice requirement contained in the Freedom of Information Act.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-212779    The State, Respondent, v. Alfred Adams, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender Robert M. Pachak, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, Assistant Attorney General Deborah R.J. Shupe, all of Columbia and Solicitor Scarlett Anne Wilson, of Charleston, for Respondent.

In this case, the Court reviews the court of appeals' decision in State v. Adams, 397 S.C. 481, 725 S.E.2d 523 (2012).

Thursday, May 8, 2014
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-212258    Stephen C. Whigham, Petitioner, v. Jackson Dawson Communications, Employer, and The Hartford, Carrier, Respondents.

Douglas A. Churdar, of Douglas A. Churdar, PC, of Greenville, for Petitioner. Benjamin M. Renfrow, of Willson Jones Carter & Baxley, PA, of Greenville, for Respondents.

The Court granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' opinion in Whigham v. Jackson Dawson Communications, Op. No. 2012-UP-223 (S.C. Ct. App. filed April 11, 2012), which affirmed the Workers' Compensation Commission's denial of benefits based on the finding that the petitioner's injuries did not arise out of and in the course of his employment.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-206607    The State, Petitioner, v. William Coaxum, Sr., Respondent.

Attorney General Alan Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott and Assistant Attorney General Mark Reynolds Farthing, all of Columbia, for Petitioner. Appellate Defender David Alexander, of Columbia, for Respondent.

In this appeal, the Court reviews the court of appeals' decision in State v. Coaxum, Op. No. 2011-UP-496 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Nov. 7, 2011), reversing Coaxum's convictions and remanding for re-trial. At Coaxum's trial, a juror inadvertently concealed information during voir dire and disclosed the information mid-trial, resulting in the trial court excusing the juror from service and requiring the alternate juror to take her place. The court of appeals reversed, and the State now asserts that the removal of a juror from an otherwise competent and impartial jury when the juror is replaced with a qualified alternate juror is insufficient to warrant a new trial and that, even if there was an error, the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-212043    The State, Respondent, v. Jake Antonio Wilson, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender LaNelle Cantey Durant, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka and Assistant Attorney General Brendan J. McDonald, all of Columbia, and Solicitor Scarlett Anne Wilson, of Charleston, for Respondnet.

The Court granted certiorari to consider a decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the circuit court's admission of evidence of the defendant's post-Miranda invocation of his right to counsel.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-211188    Shannon Ranucci, Petitioner, v. Corey K. Crain, Respondent.

Eric C. Davis, of Atwater & Davis, LLC, of West Columbia, Daryl G. Hawkins, of Columbia, Blake Hewitt and John S. Nichols, both of Bluestein Nichols Thompson & Delgado, of Columbia, for Petitioner. D. Gary Lovell, Jr., Lee C. Weatherly and Michael Baxter McCall, all of Carlock Copeland & Stair, of Charleston, for Respondent.

This Court granted a writ of 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 that the pre-suit filing requirement for a medical malpractice case found in section 15-79-125 of the South Carolina Code only incorporates the parts of section 15-36-100 that relate to the preparation and content of an expert's affidavit.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2012-213464    Vicki L. Wilkinson, Appellant, v. East Cooper Community Hospital, Inc., d/b/a East Cooper Regional Medical Center, Carolina Plastic Surgery Institute, PA, and Thomas X. Hahm, M.D., Respondents.

John S. Nichols, of Bluestein, Nichols, Thompson & Delgado, LLC, of Columbia and Nathan Hughey, of Hughey Law Firm, LLC, of Mt. Pleasant, for Appellant. Robert H. Hood, James B. Hood, H. Cooper Wilson, III and Deborah H. Sheffield, all of Hood Law Firm, LLC, of Charleston, Lindsay K. Smith-Yancey, Daniel S. McQueeney, Jr. and Katie Fowler Monoc, all of Pratt-Thomas Walker, P.A., of Charleston, for Respondents. Andrew A. Mathias, of Nexsen Pruet, LLC, of Greenville, for Amicus Curiae, South Carolina Hospital Association.

In this direct appeal, the Court reviews the circuit court's order granting Respondents' motions to dismiss Appellant's Notice of Intent to File Suit (NOI) and Complaint in a medical malpractice case for failure to file an expert affidavit contemporaneously with her NOI pursuant to section 15-79-125 of the South Carolina Code. This appeal requires the Court 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 that the pre-suit filing requirement for a medical malpractice case found in section 15-79-125 only incorporates the parts of section 15-36-100 that relate to the preparation and content of an expert's affidavit.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)
2013-000577    Edward D. Sloan, Jr., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, and South Carolina Public Interest Foundation, Appellants, v. South Carolina Department of Revenue and James F. Etter, its Director, Respondents.

James G. Carpenter and Jennifer J. Miller, both of Carpenter Law Firm, PC, of Greenville, for Appellants. Chief Counsel for Litigation Milton Gary Kimpson, Counsel for Litigation Adam N. Marinelli and General Counsel for Litigation Harry T. Cooper, Jr., all of Columbia, for Respondents.

This is a direct appeal regarding the Freedom of Information Act.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Supreme Court Courtroom
09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-205508    Richland County Sheriff's Department, Appellant, v. Nizar Awde, Respondent.

Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh and Assistant Deputy Attorney General David A. Spencer, all of Columbia, for Appellant. Jonathan S. Gasser, of Harris & Gasser, LLC, of Columbia, and Jonathan Scott Altman, of Derfner Altman & Wilborn, LLC, of Charleston, for Respondent.

In this direct appeal, the State argues the circuit court erred in affirming the magistrate's findings that two games seized from the respondent's business were not illegal gambling devices and that their seizure was unlawful.

10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-206186    The State, Respondent, v. Anthony Clark Odom, Appellant.

Brian D. McDaniel, of Beaufort, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., both of Columbia, for Respondent.

Appellant contends that the circuit court erred in (1) unconstitutionally taking judicial notice of an element of the crime charged, thereby preventing the jury from deliberating over that particular element; (2) failing to dismiss the indictment for vindictive prosecution; and (3) failing to dismiss the charges because section 16-15-342 of the South Carolina Code defining the crime of "solicitation of a minor" violates the Equal Protection and Free Speech clauses of the South Carolina and United States Constitutions.

10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)
2012-213064    The State, Respondent, v. Christopher Chad Wessinger, Appellant.

William G. Rhoden, of Winter & Rhoden, LLC, of Gaffney, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General John Benjamin Aplin, both of Columbia, for Respondent.

The Court is asked what procedure is to be used to determine whether a conviction should be deemed a sexually violent offense following a guilty plea.

 

Cases to be Submitted Without Oral Argument

Judy B. South, Respondent, v. Brian L. South, Petitioner.

Robert L. Jackson, of Jackson & Jackson, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Judy Bistany South, of St. Petersburg, Florida, pro se Respondent.