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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - April 2018

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.

4-4-2018 - Opinions

5549 - Winrose Homeowners' v. Hale

Appellants Devery A. Hale and Tina T. Hale filed this appeal following the denial of their motion to set aside a foreclosure sale. Appellants claim the successful bid shocked the conscience and violated equitable principles. We affirm.

4-11-2018 - Opinions

5551 - State v. Rose

Paula Reed Rose appeals her convictions of third-degree arson, filing a false police report, burning personal property to defraud an insurer, and making a false insurance claim to obtain benefits for fire loss, for which the trial court sentenced her to a cumulative term of five years' home incarceration with five years' probation. On appeal, Rose argues the trial court erred by (1) refusing to direct a verdict of acquittal on all charges when the State failed to present substantial circumstantial evidence of her guilt, (2) qualifying Investigator Benjamin Cannon as an expert in the origin and cause of fires, and (3) permitting the expert testimony of Investigator Charles Gonzalez regarding the use of his accelerant detection canine at the scene. We affirm.

4-18-2018 - Opinions

5552 - State v. Tucker

Convicted by a jury of the murder of Quantez Greer and the attempted armed robbery of Jessica Power, Walter Tucker appeals, claiming the trial court erred by (1) denying his motion for directed verdict; (2) admitting prior bad act evidence against him in violation of Rules 403 and 404, SCRE; and (3) denying his motion for a new trial and refusing to hold a full evidentiary hearing on his claim of juror misconduct. We affirm.

5553 - State v. Sims

Indicted for attempted murder, Bobby R. Sims claimed immunity from prosecution pursuant to the Protection of Persons and Property Act (Act), S.C. Code sections 16-11-410 to 450. The trial court held an evidentiary hearing and denied Sims' immunity claim. Sims then pled guilty to the lesser-included offense of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN). He now appeals, contending his assertion of immunity is a jurisdictional challenge a defendant may raise on appeal even after pleading guilty. Finding Sims' argument fits no exception to our steadfast rule against conditional guilty pleas, we affirm.

4-25-2018 - Opinions

5550 - Morin v. Innegrity, LLC

A jury awarded Brian Morin damages on his breach of contract and Wage Payment Act claims against Innegrity, LLC. Pursuant to section 41-10-80(C) of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2017), the trial court trebled the Wage Payment Act damages, and awarded Morin prejudgment interest, costs, and attorney's fees. Innegrity appeals, arguing the trial court erred by (1) denying its judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) motion as to Morin's breach of contract claim because it had proven the defense of impossibility, and some of the damages were speculative; (2) denying its JNOV motion on Morin's Wage Payment Act claim because the damages were unsupported by the evidence, and Innegrity established the defense of equitable estoppel; (3) trebling the Wage Payment Act award; (3) excluding Morin's deposition testimony from evidence; and (4) denying its motion for a new trial based on after-discovered evidence. We affirm all of the trial court's rulings except the trebling of part of Morin's Wage Payment Act damages.

5554 - State v. Jett

Antwan Jett appeals his convictions and sentences for burglary first degree, armed robbery, criminal conspiracy, and possession of a weapon during a crime of violence, arguing the trial court erred in admitting his recorded statement because it was obtained in violation of his Miranda rights. We affirm.

5555 - Parker v. The National Honorary Beta Club

The National Honorary Beta Club appeals the trial court's denial of its directed verdict and JNOV motions, asserting there was not sufficient evidence of breach of contract accompanied by a fraudulent act to submit punitive damages to the jury. We affirm.

5556 - BLH by parents v. SCDSS

This case involves the alleged breach of adoption subsidy [AAS] agreements by the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS). DSS contends (1) the circuit court erred in certifying a class when the class representative failed to prove the necessary element of commonality, and (2) the class certification and notification process violates the statutory and constitutional rights of potential class members and their families. We agree that the circuit court erred in granting class certification.