Court of Appeals Published Opinions - May 2012
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.
5-2-2012 - Opinions
Appellants, H.R. Allen, Inc. (Employer) and Zurich North America (Zurich), appeal from an order of the circuit court affirming the Workers' Compensation Commission's Appellate Panel's (Commission's) award of benefits to Respondent Gaines Adams. We hold procedural due process requires that the parties to a rehearing must be provided an opportunity to be heard and to confront and cross-examine witnesses. We vacate the circuit court's ruling and remand the case to the Commission to conduct a de novo hearing on the merits.
5-9-2012 - Opinions
George Way appeals the family court's order granting him a divorce from Mary Way (Wife), arguing the family court erred in ordering him to pay Wife $20,000 as part of the equitable division of marital property and $500 per month in alimony. We affirm as modified.
These cross appeals arise out of a broken engagement between Matthew Campbell and Ashley Robinson. Campbell appeals the trial court's (1) denial of his motions for directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) and (2) overruling of his objections to the jury charge and verdict form. Robinson appeals the trial court's denial of her post-trial motions. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
Peter Noce, Melinda Noce, DDLabs, Inc., AvVenta Worldwide, Inc., AvVenta Worldwide, S.A., AvVenta Holdings, LLC, and Wild Dunes Investments (Appellants) appeal an order of the circuit court denying their motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens. We dismiss the appeal as not immediately appealable.
5-16-2012 - Opinions
In this appeal, Charles Bickerstaff and Barbara Magera (Appellants) argue the circuit court erred in finding it lacked jurisdiction to consider Appellants' motion to set the rate of interest. Appellants contend: (1) the rate of interest applicable post-judgment was established in a prior order of the circuit court, and that order is the law of the case; (2) the circuit court erred in declining to consider matters not affected by this court's decision in the initial appellate process; (3) a post-judgment interest rate of 1% per day is punitive and grossly disproportionate to the amount of principal; and (4) the imposition of excessive post-judgment interest violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.
Forrest Byrd (Byrd) appeals from the trial court's order finding an agreement, which stemmed from a land purchase, was enforceable. Byrd argues the court erred in: (1) finding his son was a discretionary party to the agreement; (2) concluding the subsequent conduct of the parties and attorneys established the parties had a meeting of the minds on all terms of the agreement; (3) failing to apply the law of joint contracts to the motion to enforce the agreement; (4) failing to apply the legal principle of condition precedent to his alleged obligation with respect to a final settlement agreement; and (5) ruling the agreement's provision that included his son was severable from the remainder of the agreement.
In this criminal appeal, the Court of Appeals affirms the circuit court's decision to deny the defendant's motion for a mistrial on grounds that a juror's discussion of the case with her mother prejudiced the defendant.
Appellant Greeneagle, Inc. (Greeneagle) appeals from an order of the Administrative Law Court (ALC) upholding Respondent South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's (DHEC) decision to deny Greeneagle's landfill permit application. On appeal, Greeneagle argues the ALC erred as a matter of law by finding DHEC properly denied its permit application because the proposed landfill was inconsistent with the 2007 York County Solid Waste Management Plan. We affirm.
5-23-2012 - Opinions
James and Bobby Judy appeal the master-in-equity's order permitting a locked gate to remain across an easement. Scott and Beau Kennedy appeal the master-in-equity's determination that the Judys had not abandoned the easement in question. We affirm as modified.
Phillip Miller appeals his conviction for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. He argues the trial court erred in admitting the drugs into evidence and in denying his motion for a new trial based on a juror's failure to respond to a question asked during voir dire. We affirm the admission of the drugs. As to the ruling on the new trial motion, we reverse the trial court's finding that the information the juror concealed would not have been a material factor in Miller's use of his peremptory challenges. We remand for a factual determination of whether the juror intentionally concealed the information.
5-30-2012 - Opinions
In this child custody appeal, we find the order changing custody does not adequately set forth the basis on which it awarded the change and does not demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances affecting the welfare of the child. We also address the circumstances under which a lower court may proceed with matters not affected by the appeal. We reverse and remand for a new trial.