Court of Appeals Published Opinions - March 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.
3-4-2015 - Opinions
5299 - SC Public Interest Foundation v. SCDOT
South Carolina Public Interest Foundation and Edward D. Sloan, Jr., individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated (Appellants), filed this declaratory judgment action against South Carolina Department of Transportation, and John V. Walsh, Deputy Secretary of Transportation for Engineering (SCDOT). Appellants appeal, arguing the trial court erred in (1) failing to grant Appellants public importance standing, (2) failing to acknowledge taxpayer standing, (3) failing to apply exceptions to mootness, (4) ruling SCDOT was legitimately assisting a municipality, and (5) failing to find SCDOT used public funds for private purposes.
In this shareholder dispute case, Joseph E. Mason, Jr. appeals the special referee's decision granting judgment on his causes of action including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, wrongful termination, and civil conspiracy in favor of Catherine L. Mason, Joseph E. Mason, Sr., Kathy St. Blanchard (collectively, the Masons), Mason Holding Company, Inc. (the Company), and Irwin Levine (collectively, Respondents). He also asserts the special referee erred in not ordering the repurchase his shares of the Company. He further contends the special referee erred in finding for the Masons and the Company on their counterclaims. We affirm.
Andrew Looper appeals the circuit court's order, which reversed the magistrate court's order dismissing a charge of driving under the influence.
3-11-2015 - Opinions
Marvin Bowens Green was convicted of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime (possession of a weapon) and armed robbery. The trial court sentenced him concurrently to five years' imprisonment for possession of a weapon and life imprisonment without the possibility of parole (LWOP) for armed robbery. Green appeals, arguing the trial court erred in (1) not giving the jury specific instructions concerning how to analyze identification evidence; (2) allowing the State to introduce his "mug shot"; and (3) sentencing him to LWOP in violation of the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. We affirm.
3-18-2015 - Opinions
Conrad Lamont Slocumb appeals his aggregate one hundred and thirty year sentence for offenses committed when he was a juvenile, arguing it is the functional equivalent of a life sentence without parole and violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
This case arises out of the disappearance of Portia Washington and her granddaughter, Angelica Livingston (collectively, the victims). The victims were last seen on June 10, 2006. Their bodies have never been recovered. The State indicted Kenneth Lynch with grand larceny of Portia's car and with the murder of the victims. Lynch was convicted as indicted following a bench trial before the Honorable Eugene C. Griffith, Jr. The State sought the death penalty; however, the trial court sentenced Lynch to two terms of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the murders and ten years' imprisonment for grand larceny. Lynch appeals his convictions, arguing the trial court erred in (1) denying his motion for a directed verdict because the State failed to present substantial circumstantial evidence of his guilt; (2) not giving a jury instruction regarding how to use and evaluate circumstantial evidence; and (3) not suppressing evidence seized during his arrest because the arrest warrant was not supported by probable cause. We affirm.
3-25-2015 - Opinions
Sidney Patten appeals the family court's determination he is a vulnerable adult as contemplated by the Omnibus Adult Protection Act, sections 43-35-5 to -595 of the South Carolina Code. We reverse and remand.