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

12-1-2021 - Opinions

5873 - State v. Stewart

In this criminal appeal, Meleke Stewart asserts the trial court erred in admitting (1) evidence retrieved from a warrantless search of his cell phone data and (2) a recorded confession he made during custodial interrogation. We affirm.

5874 - Campione v. Best

In this cross-appeal of dueling family court contempt actions, we affirm the ruling of the family court that Wife was not in contempt for retaining alimony overpayments by Husband. We also affirm the ruling that Husband was in contempt for removing Wife as beneficiary of a life insurance policy. As to the ruling that Husband violated the parties' court-approved settlement agreement requiring him to make certain payments to Wife from earnings he made from intellectual property, we reverse, holding the violation constituted willful contempt. Finally, we affirm the award of compensatory attorney's fees to Wife.

12-8-2021 - Opinions

5875 - State v. Sanchez

Victoria Lorraine Sanchez appeals her convictions for trafficking more than twenty-eight grams of heroin and unlawful conduct toward a child, arguing, inter alia, the trial court erred in refusing to charge her requested circumstantial evidence jury charge. We reverse and remand.

5876 - Oakley v. Beaufort County Assessor

This case concerns the four percent assessment for owner occupied residential property, commonly called the homestead exemption. J. Annette Oakley appeals the Administrative Law Court's (the ALC's) order granting the Beaufort County Assessor's motion for summary judgment. The ALC held Oakley does not qualify for the homestead exemption because her husband resides in Tennessee. We agree and affirm.

5877 - Hines v. State

In this post-conviction relief (PCR) action, Travis Hines (Petitioner) appeals the denial of his PCR application as to his guilty plea for distribution of heroin, third offense. He contends he did not waive his right to counsel with a full understanding of his rights and the consequences of self-representation. Petitioner also maintains the PCR court erroneously found the State "turned over all evidence as [it] received it" because the State did not allow Petitioner to view video evidence that allegedly depicted him involved in a controlled drug purchase. We affirm.

5878 - State v. Pickrell

Gregg Pickrell appeals her conviction for murder, asserting error in the denial of immunity from prosecution as well as in the admission of testimony during her trial. Finding the record supports the immunity hearing court's determination that she failed to show by a preponderance of the evidence that she was entitled to immunity from prosecution, and further finding no reversible error in the admission of the complained of testimony, we affirm.

5879 - Jordan v. The Hartford Financial Group, Inc.

We reverse the dismissal of Appellant's Worker's Compensation appeal, finding the Full Commission's summary denial of Hartford's motion to reinstate without rational analysis of the good cause standard was arbitrary and an abuse of discretion.

12-15-2021 - Opinions

5880 - Wilkinson v. Redd Green Investments, LLC

In this action to enforce a guaranty agreement, Redd Green Investments, LLC, A. Bruce Green, and L. Cliff Redd (collectively, Guarantors) appeal the trial court's grant of a directed verdict in favor of Stephen Wilkinson as Trustee of the George B. Buchanan, Jr. Irrevocable Family Trust dated the 15th of July, 2001 (the Trust). Guarantors argue the trial court erred in finding that as a matter of law the Trust's violation of section 15-39-720 of the South Carolina Code could not operate as a defense to its enforcement of the guaranty agreements. We affirm.

5881 - Christian v. Healy

Gregory T. Christian, pro se, appeals the circuit court's dismissal of his complaint pursuant to Rules 12(b)(5) and 12(b)(6) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. We affirm.

12-22-2021 - Opinions

5882 - Donald Stanley v. Southern State

This is an appeal of an order certifying a class action lawsuit against Appellant, the Southern States Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (PBA). PBA attacks the order on several fronts, but none of the preserved issues are immediately appealable. We therefore dismiss the appeal.

5883 - State v. Michael James Dinkins

Michael James Dinkins appeals his convictions for second-degree assault and battery and criminal sexual conduct (CSC) with a minor in the third degree, arguing the circuit court erred in: (1) failing to direct a verdict on one count of third-degree CSC with a minor when the State failed to produce evidence of intent; (2) charging the jury that assault and battery is a lesser included offense of third-degree CSC with a minor due to the circuit court's lack of subject matter jurisdiction; and (3) admitting evidence of prior bad acts. We affirm.

5884 - Frank Rish, Sr. v. Kathy Rish

Frank James Rish, Sr. (Husband) filed this action in family court against Kathy Cotney Rish (Wife) seeking to terminate or modify alimony. Wife appeals the family court's order terminating alimony, arguing the court erred in finding (1) the parties' 2003 divorce decree did not divest the court of the power to modify alimony, (2) Wife waived the court's lack of jurisdiction by failing to appeal a 2011 modification of alimony order, and (3) the court erred in denying her motion to reconsider pursuant to Rule 59(e), SCRCP, or set aside as void pursuant to Rule 60(b)(4), SCRCP. We vacate in part and affirm in part.

5885 - State v. Montrelle Lamont Campbell

Montrelle Lamont Campbell appeals his convictions for murder and attempted murder. He contends that because attempted murder is a specific intent crime, the trial court erred in charging the jury that malice may be inferred when a deadly weapon is used. Additionally, he maintains that because no evidence supported an accomplice liability charge, the trial court erred by instructing the jury on "the hand of one is the hand of all" theory of accomplice liability. We reverse and remand.