Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - November 2019

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.

11-6-2019 - Opinions

5690 - Kosciusko v. Parham

In this family court action, Robert Kosciusko ("Father") sought a finding of contempt against Alice Witherspoon Parham Casey ("Mother") for alleged violations of an order confirming an arbitration award concerning child custody and visitation. Father argues the family court erred in dismissing his contempt action by: 1) finding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to enforce the family court's prior order confirming the arbitration award; 2) failing to find that Mother was estopped from challenging the award and waived any objection to the enforceability of the order confirming the award; 3) refusing to enforce the unappealed order of a different family court judge confirming the arbitration award; and 4) refusing to enforce the order confirming the arbitration award when South Carolina's public policy favors alternative dispute resolution and the widespread practice in the state includes voluntary arbitration of children's issues. As an additional sustaining ground, Mother argues Father failed to meet his burden of proof in the underlying rule to show cause motion. We affirm.

5691 - Walpole v. Charleston County

In this defamation action, Appellants--six members of the 2014-2015 Academic Magnet High School (AMHS) football team and their head coach, Eugene Walpole (Coach Walpole)--appeal the circuit court's order granting summary judgment to Respondent Jones Street Publishers. Appellants contend the circuit court erred in (1) finding the statements of fact in certain articles published by Jones Street Publishers are protected by the fair report privilege, (2) finding the opinions expressed in the articles are not actionable, (3) finding Appellants have not shown proof of injury to reputation, (4) finding the alleged defamatory statements were not "of and concerning" the students, and (5) finding Coach Walpole has not shown that Jones Street Publishers acted with actual malice. We affirm.

11-13-2019 - Opinions

5692 - Tomlinson v. Melton

In this child custody action, Samuel Tomlinson appeals the family court's final order, arguing the family court erred in (1) ordering a week-to-week alternating custody arrangement, rather than continuing; (2) failing to make a finding as to Jenna Melton's (Mother's) child support arrearage and failing to offset that amount; and (3) abusing its discretion in its awards to Mother of child support and attorney's fees. We reverse and remand.

11-20-2019 - Opinions

5693 - State v. Brooks

Appellant Gregory Lamont Brooks seeks reversal of his convictions for murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Appellant argues the circuit court erred by instructing the jury that malice may be inferred from the use of a deadly weapon because there was evidence that could have reduced the murder charge to voluntary manslaughter and, therefore, the instruction was confusing and prejudicial. Appellant also argues the circuit court erred by excluding from evidence two photographs found on the cell phone of a bar patron present at the shooting and in communication with a suspect because the photographs, which depicted a gun, were relevant to Appellant's defense of third party guilt. We affirm.