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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - May 2022

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.

5-4-2022 - Opinions

5889 - Matthew J. Hayduk v. Emily Rudisill Hayduk

Matthew Hayduk (Husband) appeals the family court's order dismissing his action for divorce based on his failure to establish residency pursuant to section 20-3-30 of the South Carolina Code and awarding attorney's fees to Emily Hayduk (Wife). We affirm.

5907 - State v. Sherwin Alfonzo Green

Sherwin A. Green appeals his convictions for kidnapping, second degree burglary, and two firearm offenses. Green contends the State violated his right to a speedy trial under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 14 of the South Carolina Constitution. We affirm, finding Green waived his speedy trial claim when he pled guilty.

5908 - State v. Gabrielle Oliva Lashane Davis Kocsis

Gabrielle Olivia Lashane Davis-Kocsis (Kocsis) appeals her convictions for murder, first degree burglary, criminal conspiracy, and two counts of kidnapping and aggregate fifty-year sentence. On appeal, Kocsis argues the trial court erred in (1) failing to charge the current law of burglary, (2) failing to direct verdicts on the burglary and kidnapping charges, (3) sentencing her for kidnapping in light of her murder sentence, and (4) admitting a 911 call. We affirm.

5-25-2022 - Opinions

5909 - James Millholland v SCDC

James Millholland appeals an order from the Administrative Law Court (ALC) arguing the ALC erred in dismissing his appeal from the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC). Millholland argues SCDC violated his right to due process when it automatically charged him a $250 processing fee for the collection of his DNA pursuant to the South Carolina DNA Identification Record Database Act (the DNA Act) when he had already submitted a DNA sample following a previous conviction. We reverse the ALC's dismissal of Millholland's appeal and remand for a hearing on the merits.

5910 - Rubiela Williams v. Ennis Williams

In this divorce action, Ennis Williams appeals the family court's determination it had jurisdiction over him to divide his military retirement benefits. We reverse.

5911 - Charles S. Blackmon v. SCDHEC

In this contested case, Charles S. Blackmon and South Carolinians for Responsible Agricultural Practices appeal the order of the Administrative Law Court (the ALC) affirming the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's issuance of agricultural permits to David Coggins Broilers, Heath Coggins Broilers, and Jim Young Broilers (collectively, Broilers). Appellants argue the ALC erred in (1) deferring to the Department's interpretation of regulations 61-9.122 and 61-43 Part 200 of the South Carolina Code and concluding that, as a matter of law, Broilers were not required to apply for a separate National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit or obtain an exemption from the Department; (2) deferring to the Department's interpretation of regulation 61-43 that allowed it to avoid mandated aspects of permit evaluation and precluded a meaningful review of the permit application; and (3) requiring Appellants to establish actual discharges of pollutants by existing permittees. We reverse and remand to the Department.

5912 - State v. Lance Antonio Brewton

Lance Antonio Brewton appeals his convictions for murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. Brewton contends the trial court erred by (1) failing to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of involuntary manslaughter and the defense of accident; (2) prohibiting his testimony regarding witchcraft and hearing voices in his head; and (3) allowing the State to impeach him with his 1999 robbery conviction. We affirm.

5913 - Joshua Hawkins v. Secretary of State Mark Hammond

Joshua Hawkins and Floyd S. Mills, III (Appellants) filed this action against Secretary of State Mark Hammond, the South Carolina Secretary of State's Office, the Honorable Thomas Alexander, in his official capacity as President of the South Carolina Senate, and the Honorable Murrell Smith, in his official capacity as the Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives (collectively, Respondents), seeking to invalidate two tort reform laws as unconstitutional. Appellants appeal the circuit court's dismissal of the action, arguing (1) their claims are not barred by res judicata; (2) they have standing to challenge the tort reform laws; (3) the Secretary of State failed to comply with constitutional prerequisites to validity; and (4) their claims were timely. We affirm.

5914 - State v. Tammy Dianne Brown

Tammy Dianne Brown appeals her convictions and sentences for felony driving under the influence (DUI) resulting in death and felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury. On appeal, Brown argues the trial court erred in (1) refusing to quash or dismiss the indictments against her because they did not allege the particular traffic violation the State sought to prove as an essential element of each offense; (2) admitting into evidence the blood sample taken from her at the hospital because she was not provided an independent sample and law enforcement did not offer her affirmative assistance; and (3) allowing testimony regarding her blood alcohol level from a sample obtained by law enforcement at the hospital when the collection of the sample was not recorded by video. We affirm.