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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - February 2004

Note: Beginning in June 2012, opinions will be posted as Adobe PDFs. You can download a free copy of Adobe Reader here.

The summary following each opinion is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what a particular opinion decides. The summary is not necessarily a full description of the issues discussed in an opinion.

2-2-2004 - Opinions

3730 - State v. Anderson

Anderson was convicted of murder, armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. He appeals, arguing the trial court erred (1) in allowing the admission of hearsay evidence adn (2) in admitting statements into evidence which were taken in violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

3731 - Electro-Lab of Aiken v. Sharp Construction Co.

Electro-Lab asserts that Sharp Construction Company breached the parties' contract by replacing Electro-lab with a different subcontractor. The parties became contractually bound, Electro Lab argues, by virtue of Sharp's use of Electro-Lab's subcontracting bid in its general contracting bid and by certain acts following the use of the bid.

3732 - Frame v. Resort Services

In this workers' compensation case, the court examines the issue of jurisdiction of the Workers' Compensation Commission in a mental-mental award scenario.

3733 - Smith v. Rucker

This case asks us to determine whether an estate owned by Erest Smith and his wife, Joanne Rucker, is subject to partition. The case was heard by a master-in-equity who partitioned the property after finding that the parties owned it as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, a cotenancy subject to partition. Wife appeals, arguing the property is not subject to partition because she and her Husband own the property as tenants in common for life with indestructible survivorship rights.

3734 - SC Department of Social Services v. Ledford

DSS brought this termination of parental rights action against mother and father, and the family court terminated both parents' parental rights. Father appeals, arguing the family court erred in finding that he had abandoned his daughter and in finding that termination of his parental rights would serve her best interests.

3735 - State v. Simuel

Simuel was convicted and sentenced to thirty months imprisonment for escaping from the Kirkland Correctional Center. He appeals, asserting th etrial judge erred in sentencing him to an enhanced penalty when the enhancement element was neither charged in the indictment nor submitted to the jury.

3736 - State v. Higgins

During the sentencing phase of his guilty plea, Michael Higgins asked the trial court to be credited for time served while he was released on bond but placed on house arrest. The trial court denied this request, and Higgins appeals.

3737 - West v. Newberry Electric

Newberry Electric Cooperative, Inc. appeals from the trial court’s finding that Billye West, his children, and their family corporation were entitled to declaratory relief and ordering Newberry Electric to relocate a power line on the Wests’ property. We affirm.

3738 - Rumpf v. Massachusette Mutual Life Insurance

In this civil action, the Court analyzes a multiplicity of theories relating to the liability of an insurance company and a bank.

3739 - Trivelas v. SC Department of Transportation

This is an appeal from the trial court’s grant of a new trial absolute to the Plaintiff-Respondent in an automobile negligence case.

3740 - Tillotson v. Keith Smith Builders

A subcontractor hired by a builder was allegedly injured at the builder's work site and sued the builder in tort. The builder, relying on S.C. Code Ann. 42-1-415 (Supp. 2000), argued that the subcontractor's sole recovery in under workers' compensation.

3741 - Ellie v. Miccichi

In this civil action, the Court analyzes the issue of multiple agreements merging into a final agreement encompassing a lease. The additional issues of justification for termination of a lease and the efficacy of a personal guarantee are reviewed.

3742 - State v. McCluney

In this criminal appeal, the Court analyzes the refusal of the trial judge to allow counsel for appellant to question a witness concerning "no deal with the Solicitor's office or law enforcement." Additional issues involve a motion for directed verdict in a trafficking cocaine scenario allegedly involving imitation cocaine and state of mind testimony proferred by appellant.

2-4-2004 - Opinions

3743 - Kennedy v. Griffin

In this appeal from a jury verdict in a car accident case, the Court analyzes the refusal of the trial judge to exclude evidence that the plaintiff had marijuana in his system at the time of the accident. Additionally, the Court examines the trial judge's decision to instruct the jury on the law of negligence per se.

2-17-2004 - Opinions

3745 - Henson v. International Paper Company

This is a wrongful death action brought by Harriet Hunt against the respondent International Paper Company ("IPC") and others. The issues on appeal relate to the verdict, which Hunt challenges as inconsistent, and to the trial judge's failure to instruct the jury regarding the doctrine of attractive nuisance.

2-19-2004 - Opinions

3717 - Palmetto Homes v. Bradley

This case involves whether an arbitration proceeding can bar subsequent litigation through principles of res judicata, where the specific issues were not raised in the original arbitration proceeding but could have been rasied. Additionally, the case involves service of process.

2-23-2004 - Opinions

3746 - State v. Arthur

The court of appeals found that the offense of tampering with a motor vehicle, prohibited by SC Code Ann. Sec. 16-21-90 (Supp. 2003) is not a lesser-included offense of breaking into a motor vehicle, which is prohibited by SC Code Ann. Sec. 16-21-90 (Supp. 2003).