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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.
6-3-2015 - Opinions
In this civil matter, Beth Ann Prince (Tenant) appeals the master-in-equity's order awarding Bluffton Towne Center, LLC (BTC) $35,784 in rent and late fees for Tenant's breach of a commercial lease. Tenant argues the master erred in (1) finding the lease was terminated by abandonment; (2) finding Tenant was liable for future rents under the lease; (3) considering extrinsic evidence after finding the lease unambiguous; (4) not allowing Tenant to cross-examine Paul Watson, the managing member of BTC, about specific language in the subject lease and language in two subsequent leases BTC entered into with different parties; and (5) failing to recognize the lease was ambiguous. We affirm as modified.
6-10-2015 - Opinions
In this criminal appeal, Leslie Todd Parvin argues the trial court committed reversible error in allowing inadmissible hearsay statements from two witnesses. We affirm because we find the trial court's error was harmless.
This appeal involves section 29-7-10 of the South Carolina Code (2007), and whether the section created a first lien on money paid to a contractor when (1) the laborers claiming the lien did not work for the contractor, but for its subcontractor, and (2) the funds to which the lien would attach were held in escrow by court order instead of paid directly to the contractor. A special referee granted summary judgment based on a finding that the section did not create a lien. We reverse and remand for trial.
6-17-2015 - Opinions
Atlantic Private Equity Group, LLC defaulted on a promissory note personally guaranteed by Terry L. Rohlfing and Jerry T. Caldwell. The master-in-equity ordered foreclosure of the mortgage securing the note and entered a deficiency judgment against Atlantic. On appeal, Atlantic challenges the master's admission of evidence on authentication and hearsay grounds. We affirm the judgment of foreclosure because we find the loan documents upon which the judgment was based were properly admitted into evidence. However, we reverse the deficiency judgment because the testimony of the amount remaining due on the note was hearsay. In addition, we vacate the master's finding that Rohlfing and Caldwell were liable on the guaranties because the finding was outside the scope of the order of reference. We remand for further proceedings.
6-24-2015 - Opinions
Ron McCray appeals his murder conviction, arguing the circuit court erred in (1) denying his request to charge the jury with the language from section 16-11-440(C) (Supp. 2014) of the South Carolina Code; (2) allowing an expert who did not prepare a forensic report to testify and act as a conduit for the admission of the report; (3) refusing to admit testimony relating to Reginald Porcher's criminal record, drug use, and previous violent acts; and (4) restricting his cross-examination of two witnesses when the State failed to produce relevant impeachment evidence prior to his initial cross-examination of the two witnesses. We affirm.
Daniel Demond Griffin appeals his convictions for first-degree assault and battery, armed robbery, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He contends the circuit court erred in denying his motion to dismiss, in which he asserted he was unlawfully stopped, seized, detained, and arrested by deputies who had not been duly qualified to serve as deputy sheriffs. We affirm.