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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - February 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.

2-6-2019 - Opinions

5623 - Turner v. Kellett

Michael and Carmen Kellett (collectively, the Kelletts) appeal a trial court order finding they violated the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act (the Act). On appeal, the Kelletts argue the trial court erred in finding they violated the Act because the unfair or deceptive act at issue was not capable of repetition and therefore did not affect the public interest. In a cross-appeal, Natasha Turner argues the trial court properly found she prevailed under the Act but erred in finding she was not entitled to (1) attorney's fees, (2) punitive damages, and (3) costs. We reverse and remand.

2-13-2019 - Opinions

5624 - State v. Brown

Trey C. Brown appeals the circuit court order amending his sentence for murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and denying his request for additional credit for time served. On appeal, Brown argues the circuit court erred by denying him credit for time served for the entire time period between his arrest date and the date of his guilty plea and sentencing. We reverse.

5625 - Keene v. CNA Holdings

In this wrongful death action, Appellant CNA Holdings, LLC challenges the circuit court's denial of its motions for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV), new trial absolute, and new trial nisi remittitur. Appellant argues the circuit court erred by concluding that Dennis Seay was not a statutory employee of Appellant's predecessor in interest, Hoechst Celanese Corporation (Celanese), pursuant to section 42-1-400 of the South Carolina Code (2015). Appellant also argues the circuit court erred by (1) declining to grant a mistrial on the ground of jury misconduct; (2) admitting into evidence a video of Seay crying out in pain; and (3) upholding the amount of the jury's verdict. We affirm.

5626 - SCDSS v. Wiseman

Pursuant to an investigation regarding minor child's (Minor's) allegations of abuse and neglect by her adoptive parents, the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) sought the indictment of James (Father) and Judy (Mother) Wiseman (collectively, the Wisemans), for excessive corporal punishment and abandonment. Although the family court declined to make a finding of abuse and neglect, it found the Wisemans abandoned Minor when they were unable to accept custody upon her release from the Medical University of South Carolina's Institute of Psychiatry (MUSC-IOP). We reverse the finding of abandonment.

5627 - Georgetown County v. Davis & Floyd, Inc.

This appeal requires us to determine whether a county may sue another political subdivision and the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) for inverse condemnation. Because we hold the property Georgetown County (the County) alleges was inversely condemned is not "private property" within the meaning of the Takings Clause, S.C. Const. Art I, §13, and further hold that the County may not sue SCDOT, a state agency, on such a claim, we affirm dismissal of the County's claim.

2-20-2019 - Opinions

5628 - Personal Care, Inc. v. Theos

In this appeal, Personal Care, Inc., argues the circuit court erred in denying its motion to restore a legal malpractice action against its former attorneys based upon a finding the statute of limitations had expired. Personal Care also contends the circuit court applied an incorrect standard when failing to find the statute of limitations begins to run in a legal malpractice context when the underlying case is resolved against the client.

2-27-2019 - Opinions

5588 - Walbeck v. The I'On Company

In this action alleging violation of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1701 to -1720 (1994), Appellants, The I'On Company, LLC, The I'On Club, LLC, The I'On Group, LLC f/k/a Civitas, LLC, and I'On Realty, LLC, seek review of the circuit court's orders (1) denying their motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict or new trial absolute and new trial nisi remittitur, (2) declaring a recreational easement invalid, (3) denying their motion for attorney's fees against Respondent Lea Ann Adkins, and (4) granting attorney's fees to Respondent Brad J. Walbeck. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

5590 - State v. Mealor

Michael Levant Mealor appeals his conviction of trafficking methamphetamine in the amount of twenty-eight grams or more but less than one hundred grams. He contends the trial court erred in permitting the introduction of logs from a national database of pseudoephedrine sales. He also argues the trial court erred in allowing testimony on the theoretical yield of methamphetamine from the amount of pseudoephedrine allegedly purchased by or for him. Additionally, Mealor maintains the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict. We affirm.

5629 - Citizens for Quality Rural Living v. Greenville County Planning Commission

Appellant Citizens for Quality Rural Living, Inc. challenges the circuit court's order dismissing its declaratory judgment action and its appeal from a decision of Respondent Greenville County Planning Commission (Commission) approving the subdivision proposal of Respondent RMDC, Inc. Appellant argues the circuit court erred by concluding that Appellant had no standing to appeal the Commission's decision or to file its declaratory judgment action. We reverse and remand to the circuit court for a determination on the merits of Appellant's issues.

5630 - State v. Massey

The State challenges the circuit court's pre-trial dismissal of John Kenneth Massey, Jr.'s first-degree burglary indictment, arguing the circuit court lacked authority to quash the indictment because evidence existed to support the charge. We affirm.

5631 - State v. Sims

Heather Sims appeals her conviction of voluntary manslaughter for which she was sentenced to twenty-five years' imprisonment, suspended to ten years' imprisonment and five years' probation. Sims argues the circuit court erred in instructing the jury on voluntary manslaughter. We reverse.