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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - October 2021

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.

10-6-2021 - Opinions

5863 - State v. Lawrence

A jury convicted Travis Latrell Lawrence of attempted murder. He now appeals, raising two grounds. The first is that the trial court erred in ruling his co defendant who was awaiting trial, Terrell Bennett, was protected by the right against self-incrimination from being forced to testify at Lawrence's trial. The second error Lawrence alleges is the admission of evidence that Bennett was the subject of a traffic stop three months before the attempted murder occurred. We see no error in the trial court's handling of the self-incrimination issue, but it was error, albeit harmless, to admit the traffic stop evidence. We therefore affirm.

5864 - Flowers v. Giep MD

Treva C. Flowers, Tristan Flowers, and their daughter Ashley F. (collectively, Appellants) brought a cause of action against Dr. Bang N. Giep and Spartanburg & Pelham OB-GYN (Doctor and OB-GYN respectively, Respondents collectively) for injuries suffered by Ashley during birth. Appellants assert the trial court erred in denying their motion to strike Respondents' affirmative defense of emergency medical care. We affirm.

5865 - SC Public Interest Foundation v. Richland County

This opinion affirms the circuit court's decision that the Optional Methods for Financing Transportation Facilities Act does not prohibit Richland County from using "penny tax" revenue to fund the continued operation of a mass transit system. The opinion reverses the circuit court's decision dismissing the remainder of appellants' claims for failure to prosecute and remands those claims for further proceedings.

5866 - Herrington v. SSC Seneca Operating Company

A number of related organizations operating a chain of senior care facilities appeal a circuit court order declining to compel arbitration. They argue the stated basis for avoiding arbitration - that the parties only agreed to arbitrate disputes involving precisely $50,000 - is erroneous. We agree and reverse.

5867 - Weldon, v. South Carolina

Victor M. Weldon (Petitioner) argues the post-conviction relief (PCR) court erred in finding he received effective assistance of counsel despite trial counsel's failure to call Petitioner or either of his alibi witnesses to testify at Petitioner's trial. As to the alibi witnesses, we agree.

10-13-2021 - Opinions

5868 - State v. Benton

Tommy Lee Benton appeals his convictions for murder, first degree burglary, first degree arson, and third degree arson, arguing the circuit court erred in (1) trying his case after previously granting a mistrial on the same charges and (2) admitting into evidence certain crime scene photographs, text messages, and Facebook messages. We affirm Benton's convictions.