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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - December 2011

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.

12-7-2011 - Opinions

4915 - Clark v. State

Petitioner, Anthony Clark, seeks review of the post-conviction relief (PCR) court's denial of his request for belated review of his direct appeal issue, and further seeks reversal of his murder conviction, asserting the trial court erred in denying his motion for directed verdict based upon the insufficiency of the evidence. We reverse the PCR court's denial of Petitioner's request for a belated review, but affirm petitioner's conviction for murder after review of his direct appeal issue.

12-14-2011 - Opinions

4916 - State v. Howard

Stacy Howard appeals his conviction of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN). Howard argues the trial court misapplied the Colf factors when weighing the probative value and prejudicial impact of admitting his prior ABHAN convictions.

4917 - State v. Johnson

On appeal from his conviction for driving under the influence, Appellant Bruce Scott Johnson argues the magistrate erred in failing to dismiss the charge based on the State's failure to record audio for two and a half minutes during the incident site videotape and the failure to videotape the breath test. We reverse based on the failure to videotape the administration of the breath test.

4918 - Lewin v. Lewin

In this domestic action, Albert Lewin (Father) appeals the family court's award of attorney's fees and costs to Patricia Lewin (Mother). Father argues the family court erred in (1) finding Mother was the prevailing party, (2) finding Father's uncooperative conduct contributed to litigation costs, (3) considering the conduct of Father's wife, (4) determining Father's ability to pay, (5) failing to consider Mother's assets, and (6) determining the amount of attorney's fees awarded to Mother.

4919 - Fitzwater v. Fitzwater

In this domestic action, Alice Fitzwater (Wife) contends the family court erred in (1) failing to find Lloyd Fitzwater's (Husband) Antioch Church Road property was transmuted into marital property, (2) valuing Husband's retirement fund, (3) granting a sixty-forty division of the marital properties in favor of Husband, (4) granting Husband a special equity interest in the Hill Billy Way property, and (5) requiring Wife to contribute to Husband's attorney's fees and costs.

4921 - Roof v. Steele

Appellant contends the family court erred in requiring him to pay Respondent's health insurance premiums as a form of modified alimony. The Court of Appeals affirms in part, reverses in part, and remands to the family court for further proceedings.

12-16-2011 - Opinions

4922 - SCDSS v. Mother and Father

The court of appeals reverses the family court's order requiring SCDSS to initiate TPR proceedings against Mother.

12-21-2011 - Opinions

4891 - SCDSS v. Mary C.

In this appeal from the family court, the Court of Appeals determines the family court correctly weighed the evidence in an intervention action initiated by DSS regarding the identity of the child's sexual abuser. The Court of Appeals reverses the family court's decision to assess attorney's fees against the mother for the substitute counsel representing the volunteer guardian ad litem in the intervention action and reverses the assessment of guardian ad litem fees against the mother for the appointed guardian in the private custody action based on the court's failure to follow the statutory mandates for assessing guardian fees.

4920 - State v. Taylor

Robert Troy Taylor appeals his convictions and sentence of life without parole for criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the second degree and kidnapping. Taylor argues the trial court erred in (1) granting the State's Batson motion, (2) admitting evidence of Taylor's prior conviction for criminal sexual conduct with a minor, (3) denying his motion for a directed verdict, and (4) sentencing him to life without parole. We affirm.

4923 - Price v. Peachtree

Bob Wire Electric, Inc. and the South Carolina Homebuilders Association Injury Fund (Appellants) contend the circuit court erred in affirming the order of the worker’s compensation commission requiring Appellants to reimburse Peachtree Electrical Services, Inc. for disability payments made to Claimant resulting from an alleged second injury sustained while working for Bob Wire Electrical. Appellants claim the worker’s compensation commission lacks jurisdiction to require such reimbursement. We vacate the single commissioner's, the Appellate Panel's, and the circuit court's orders.

4924 - State v. Senter

Bradley Senter appeals his convictions of assault and battery with intent to kill (ABWIK) and criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature (CDVHAN). Senter argues the trial court erred in (1) denying his directed verdict and new trial motions and (2) denying his request to waive his right to a jury trial.

4925 - Sanders v. Sanders

On appeal, Latane Sanders (Wife) contests the family court's decision to treat her AG Edwards account (AG account) as marital property. Alternatively, Wife argues the family court erred by dividing the marital estate equally. On cross-appeal, Roy Sanders (Husband) claims the family court erred in determining the date for valuation of the marital assets, valuing and awarding the marital home, and classifying certain items as nonmarital assets. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.