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Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch
Supreme Court
Case of the Month
October 2009

Case Overview

Teresa Edwards, Appellant, v. Lexington County Sheriff’s
Department and County of Lexington, Respondent.

Appellant brought this negligence action against the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department in the Lexington County Court of Common Pleas.  She alleged the Sheriff’s Department was negligent in failing to protect her from attack by her former boyfriend during a court proceeding to revoke his bond for failure to adhere to its condition that he have no contact with appellant.

The Sheriff’s Department moved for a summary judgment prior to the start of the trial.  The trial judge granted the motion, finding that based on the facts of this case, no special duty of care was owed to appellant under the Criminal Domestic Violence Act.

Appellant filed an appeal in the South Carolina Court of Appeals.  She argues the trial judge erred in concluding the Criminal Domestic Violence Act did not impose a duty on the Sheriff’s Department, that there was no duty of care based on negligent creation of a risk of harm, that there was no common law duty to protect appellant based on the Sheriff’s Department’s special relationship with the perpetrator, and that there was no duty to protect appellant because of the Sheriff’s Department special relationship with appellant.

The appeal was transferred to the South Carolina Supreme Court.  The case is scheduled for oral argument on Wednesday, October 7, 2009, at 10:30 a.m. in the Supreme Court Courtroom. 

Case Briefs

Appellant's Final Brief


Respondent's Final Brief

Oral Arguments

View Oral Arguments
(54 minutes playing time)