Court of Appeals Published Opinions - July 2016
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.
7-6-2016 - Opinions
In this action arising from an automobile accident, Jonetha Singleton appeals, arguing the trial court erred in directing a verdict that she was negligent as a matter of law under section 56-5-2770(A) of the South Carolina Code (2006) by turning left behind a vehicle stopped behind a stopped school bus. We reverse and remand.
Ashley Noojin, Ph.D. (Mother) appeals the family court's order finding her in contempt and requiring her to pay Frank Noojin's, M.D. (Father) attorney's fees and costs. She argues the family court erred in (1) finding she willfully violated a court order; (2) excluding an exhibit; (3) limiting cross-examination of an expert witness; and (4) ordering her to pay Father's attorney's fees and costs and failing to award her attorney's fees and costs. We affirm.
7-13-2016 - Opinions
5424 - Buchanan v. SC Property and Casualty Insurance
In this declaratory judgment action, the South Carolina Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association (the Association) appeals the trial court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Janette Buchanan and Shana Smallwood, individually and as co-personal representatives of the estate of James Buchanan. On appeal, the Association argues the trial court erred in finding the Association's statutory offset of $376,622 should be deducted from the claimant's total amount of stipulated damages of $800,000 rather than the Association's mandatory statutory claim limit of $300,000. Affirmed.
5425 - Taylor-Cracraft v. Cracraft
In this divorce action, Carolyn Taylor-Cracraft appeals the family court's order, arguing (1) the family court lacked jurisdiction to apportion her 2.26 acres of riverfront property (the Highway 221 Property) because it was nonmarital property that had not been transmuted into marital property; (2) the family court erred in listing the Highway 221 Property and the parties' jointly-owned corporation, RiverWinds Landing, Inc., for sale at $800,000; (3) the family court's 61% to 39% division of the marital estate was not equitable and the family court erred in "awarding" her all of the marital debt; and (4) the family court erred in not awarding attorney's fees to her. Reversed and remanded.
In this family court action between Tina G. McMillan (Wife) and Jimmy Dan McMillan (Husband), Husband appeals the final order, arguing the family court erred in (1) finding the parties' work for Husband's businesses during the marriage constituted a basis for transmutation; (2) finding Husband's business created prior to the marriage was transmuted when no marital funds were used to increase the equity in the business; (3) finding two businesses Husband created during the marriage were marital property when they were acquired in exchange for nonmarital property; (4) finding three businesses Husband created during the marriage were marital property when the majority of funds contributed to them were nonmarital; (5) finding Husband did not have a nonmarital interest in his retirement accounts; (6) finding Wife's jewelry acquired during the marriage was nonmarital property; (7) dividing the marital estate without weighing the statutory factors for equitable division; and (8) sealing the record without the consent of the parties or consideration of the necessary factors. We affirm in part, reverse in part and remand.
5427 - Spartanburg Buddhist v. Ork
Appellants Ron Ork and Luke Dong appeal several circuit court orders, arguing the court erred in (1) issuing a temporary injunction on April 21, 2014, (2) issuing a second temporary injunction on May 16, 2014, (3) holding Ork in contempt of the April 21 injunction, (4) holding Ork in contempt of the May 16 injunction, and (5) awarding Respondent Spartanburg Buddhist Center (the Center) $3,500 in attorney's fees. We reverse.
7-20-2016 - Opinions
Roy Lee Jones appeals his convictions for one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) with a minor, one count of second-degree CSC with a minor, and two counts of lewd act upon a child. Jones argues the circuit court abused its discretion by allowing the State's witness to testify as an expert in child sex abuse dynamics because the subject matter of her testimony was not beyond the ordinary knowledge of the jury, the State failed to prove the reliability of the substance of her testimony, she improperly bolstered the victims' credibility, and her testimony was highly prejudicial. We affirm.
Jason Randall Morgan appeals the circuit court's order awarding restitution, arguing the settlement of the initial civil action between Morgan and Victim as well as Victim's signing of a covenant not to execute bars restitution as a condition of Appellant's probationary sentence. We disagree and affirm.
7-27-2016 - Opinions
In this appeal from family court, Appellant Etta Woods (Wife), argues the family court erred in (1) denying her motion to dismiss because the court lacked jurisdiction based on the parties' prior agreement; (2) reducing alimony from $8,000 to $4,000; (3) providing for an automatic decrease in alimony two years in the future; (4) granting Respondent Wilfred Woods's (Husband) motion to reconsider; and (5) failing to require Husband to pay any portion of her attorney's fees. We affirm in part and reverse in part.
In this marital litigation, Lori Dandridge Stoney (Wife) contends the family court erred in (1) permitting Husband's brother to intervene or, in the alternative, failing to control the extent of this intervention; (2) denying Wife's motion to reopen on the basis of newly discovered evidence; (3) imputing income of only $100,000 per year to Respondent Richard S.W. Stoney Sr. (Husband); (4) failing to award Wife alimony; (5) failing to make a proper child support determination; (6) failing to require that Husband maintain life insurance/other security; (7) erroneously apportioning the marital property in several respects; (8) failing to find Wife has a special equity in certain businesses; (9) declining to hold Husband in contempt; (10) failing to grant Wife a divorce on the ground of adultery; and (11) failing to award Wife attorney's fees. We reverse and remand for a new trial.