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South Carolina
Judicial Branch
Supreme Court
Case of the Month
September 2007

Case Overview

The State v. Tillinghast

The Appellant, Charles Jordan Tillinghast, was arrested and charged on February 2, 2005, with the criminal offense of Possession of Alcohol by a Minor, in violation of S.C. Code Ann. �20-7-8920 (Cum.Supp.2005). The alleged offense occurred in Cherokee County, South Carolina, and was heard in the Cherokee County Magistrate Court. On November 18,2005, the Appellant's case was called for trial, and after the State rested its case, the presiding magistrate directed a verdict of not guilty. The presiding magistrate issued a written order on its ruling on December 5, 2005. On December 8, 2005, the State timely filed its Notice of Appeal, which asserted that the presiding magistrate had committed a legal error in directing a verdict of not guilty.

On July 31, 2006, the State's appeal was heard in the circuit court before Judge J. Mark, Hayes, II. Judge Hayes stated he would first address the issue of whether the circuit court had jurisdiction to hear the State's appeal, and if so, then he would address the substantive issue of the correctness of the magistrate's ruling at a later hearing. The state filed a brief in support of its position, and the Appellant submitted a proposed order. On September 6, 2006, Judge Hayes issued a 'Form 4" Order, holding the circuit court had jurisdiction to hear the State's appeal, and directed the State to submit a more detailed order. On September 26, 2006, an 'Order on Jurisdiction" was issued by Judge Hayes. Thereafter, on December 12, 2006, another hearing was held in the circuit court before Judge J. Mark, Hayes, II, to address the substantive issue as to whether the magistrate erred in directing a verdict of not guilty, because the provisions of S.C. Code �20-7-8920 Ann. (Cum. Supp. 2005), were unconstitutional as applied to Appellant. On December 20, 2006, Judge Hayes issued an 'Order," reversing the Magistrate Court. On January 8, 2007, the Appellant timely filed his notice of Appeal. This appeal follows.


Case Briefs

Final Brief of Appellant Final Brief of Respondent


Oral Arguments

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