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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - February 2015

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.

2-4-2015 - Opinions

5293 - Frewil v. Madison Price

In this lease dispute, Madison Price and Carter Smith appeal the circuit court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Frewil, LLC on its claim for breach of contract. Price and Smith further appeal the circuit court's grant of summary judgment in Frewil's favor as to their counterclaims. We reverse.

5294 - State v. Drayton

Darryl L. Drayton appeals his murder conviction, arguing the trial court erred in: (1) refusing to charge the jury concerning how to consider circumstantial evidence; (2) admitting evidence where the search warrant lacked probable cause; and (3) limiting Drayton's cross-examination of the pathologist concerning the toxicology report relating to the deceased. We affirm.

2-11-2015 - Opinions

5295 - Freiburger v. State

In 2001, the State indicted Edward Freiburger for a murder that occurred in 1961. Following his conviction and the denial of his direct appeal, Freiburger filed an application for post-conviction relief (PCR), claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. We find the PCR court correctly denied PCR as to all issues except one, Freiburger's claim that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to introduce a letter written in 1961 by the Chief of SLED, J.P. Strom, to the director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover. We find the letter would have deeply undermined the foundation of the State's case, its ballistics evidence. We reverse the denial of PCR as to this issue and remand to the court of general sessions for a new trial. Judge Thomas concurs in part and dissents in part.

5296 - State v. Rivers

Mitchell Rivers was convicted of homicide by child abuse following the death of his four-month-old adopted son (the victim). Rivers appeals his conviction, arguing the trial court erred in admitting evidence of injuries the victim sustained at an earlier time because no evidence connected Rivers to the injuries. We affirm.

2-18-2015 - Opinions

5298 - Thomas v. 5 Star Transportation

In this workers' compensation case, 5 Star Transportation appeals the Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission's awarding benefits to Emily Thomas as George W. Thomas's putative or common law spouse. 5 Star contends the Appellate Panel erred in finding George's injuries arose out of and in the course and scope of his employment because he suffered an aneurysm. 5 Star also maintains the Appellate Panel erred in finding Emily was George's surviving spouse because George was already married when they married. We affirm.

2-25-2015 - Opinions

5287 - Srivastava v. Srivastava

In this divorce action, Jane Srivastava (Wife) appeals the family court's final order. Wife argues the family court erred by (1) failing to either impute income to Ravindra Srivastava (Husband) or deviate from the Child Support Guidelines in its child support award, (2) giving credit to Husband for excess child support payments, (3) awarding Husband attorney's fees, (4) not awarding Wife attorney's fees, (5) dividing the marital property in an inequitable manner, (6) finding Husband did not condone Wife's adultery, (7) denying Wife alimony, and (8) rendering a partial and biased decision. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.