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South Carolina
Judicial Branch
Supreme Court
Case of the Month
January 2006

Case Overview

Palmetto Princess, LLC v. Town of Edisto Beach

Palmetto Princess, LLC applied for a business license on February 23, 2003, to operate a “cruise to nowhere” which would originate and conclude within the waters and municipal boundaries of the Town of Edisto Beach. The plan was to have the vessel travel from the Town of Edisto Beach to a point beyond the three mile territorial waters of the State of South Carolina, at which time customers on the vessel would play games such as black jack, roulette, and craps, which are illegal on the South Carolina mainland, and then the vessel would return to the Town of Edisto Beach. Based upon Section 58-138 of the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Edisto Beach, which prohibits the possession of a gambling device on a vessel within the waters of the municipal boundaries of Edisto Beach, the application was denied.

Palmetto Princess then filed an action in the Court of Common Pleas in Colleton County seeking a judgment that the Town of Edisto’s ordinance exceeded the authority granted to it by the Legislature in S.C. Code Ann. § 5-7-30 and that it violated art. VIII, § 14 of the South Carolina Constitution. Judge Howard King found that the ordinance was not preempted by the Johnson Act, 15 U.S.C.A. §§ 1171 through 1175, and that the “cruise to nowhere” Palmetto Princess sought to operate was legal under the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decisions in Stardancer Casino, Inc. v. Stewart, 347 S.C. 377, 556 S.E.2d 357 (2001) and Diamonds v. Greenville County, 325 S.C. 154, 480 S.E.2d 718 (1997).

The Town of Edisto Beach now asks the South Carolina Supreme Court to review and reverse the decision of the lower court.

Case Briefs

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Appellant's Final Brief (631 Kb)

Respondent's Final Brief (425 Kb)


Oral Arguments

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