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

6-2-2021 - Opinions

5823 - Singletary v. Shuler

In this civil matter, Kevin Shuler appeals a judgment granted against him in a wrongful death and survival action. Specifically, Shuler appeals the master-in-equity's order (1) finding he was not entitled to self-defense immunity under the Protection of Persons and Property Act (the Act), (2) finding the respondent presented evidence to support a finding of wrongful death; and (3) finding the respondent presented evidence of conscious pain and suffering to support a survival action.

6-16-2021 - Opinions

5824 - State v. Miller

Robert Lee Miller, III, a juvenile offender, appeals his sentence of fifty-five years' imprisonment for the murder of Willie Johnson (Victim). Miller argues the trial court erred by imposing what amounted to a de facto life sentence, which he asserts requires a finding of irreparable corruption under Aiken v. Byars. Miller also argues the trial court erred in admitting statements he made to officers during a custodial interrogation, contending he did not voluntarily and knowingly waive his Miranda rights. We affirm.

5825 - State v. Heath

William H. Heath appeals his conviction for first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) with a minor, second-degree CSC with a minor, two counts of third-degree CSC, and sentence of life imprisonment. On appeal, Heath argues the trial court abused its discretion by (1) admitting three unfairly prejudicial photographs, (2) admitting the victim's hearsay statements to law enforcement after the assault, and (3) sentencing him to life imprisonment after the legislature amended the sentencing statute within the indictment date range. We affirm in part but vacate his life sentence and remand for resentencing on Heath's conviction for first-degree CSC with a minor.

6-23-2021 - Opinions

5826 - Charleston Development Company, LLC v. Alami

This appeal arises from multiple lawsuits against property owners in Charleston alleging the owners' illegal short-term rental businesses damaged the legal short-term rental businesses of Charleston Development Company, LLC, Charleston Housing Company, LLC, and NotSo Hostel, LLC, (collectively, Appellants). Appellants appeal the trial court's grant of summary judgment to all defendants (some of whom are Respondents), arguing the trial court erred in granting summary judgment against their (1) claim under City of Charleston Ordinance ยง 54-905; (2) claim for violation of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act (SCUTPA); and (3) nuisance claim. They also argue they are entitled to the video-taped depositions of Respondents. We affirm.

5827 - Ramirez v. May River Roofing, Inc.

This is an appeal of a decision denying workers' compensation benefits. The claimant argues the commission erred in ruling he elected to be excluded from the policy he purchased for his sole proprietorship. He also appeals the Commission's denial of his alternative claims that he was a direct employee or a statutory employee of a roofing company with which he had a years-long continuous relationship. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

5828 - Johnson v. State

A jury convicted Mickey M. Johnson of pointing and presenting a firearm, unlawfully carrying a pistol, criminal conspiracy, and accessory before the fact of murder. Johnson now appeals, claiming the trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence of his involvement with a gang known as 135 Piru. We affirm.

6-30-2021 - Opinions

5829 - Torrence v. SCDC

In this inmate wage grievance matter, we affirm the orders of the administrative law court (ALC) finding (1) Thomas Torrence timely filed the grievance at issue; (2) the ALC properly calculated the prevailing wage for Torrence's labor; and (3) Torrence has the option to designate persons or entities for immediate distribution of his escrowed wages under section 24-3-40 of the South Carolina Code.