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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.
8-3-2022 - Opinions
In this domestic matter, Alicia Cohen appeals the family court's divorce decree, arguing the court erred in denying her request for alimony and attorney's fees. We reverse.
In his appeal from a voluntary manslaughter conviction, Appellant James R. Rosenbaum argues the circuit court erred by (1) denying Appellant immunity from prosecution pursuant to the Protection of Persons and Property Act (the Act); (2) allowing the State to introduce evidence of Appellant's prior victimhood of sexual assault as well as his jailhouse statements as probative evidence of a racial motive for the alleged crime; and (3) improperly instructing the jury regarding evidence of his codefendant's guilt. We affirm.
Robert Horne, as Personal Representative for the Estate of Gus A. King, Laura King, and Gus A. King (collectively, Appellants) appeal an order of the Workers' Compensation Commission (the Commission). Appellants argue the Commission erred in finding the agreement the parties signed at mediation was not enforceable. We reverse and remand.
In this criminal appeal, Kyle Maurice Robinson argues the trial court erred in failing to grant his motion for a directed verdict. Specifically, Robinson argues that under subsection 16 3 600(C)(1)(a)(i) of the South Carolina Code (2015), the State failed to produce any evidence proving he injured a minor and therefore failed to prove an essential element of assault and battery in the first degree. We affirm.
In this mesothelioma case, Scapa Waycross, Inc. (Scapa) appeals the trial court's (1) denial of its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV); (2) granting a new trial nisi additur for Stephen Redfern Stewart's estate, represented by his son Stephen R. Edwards, regarding survival damages; (3) denial to reallocate Stewart's pretrial settlement proceeds; and (4) refusal to admit certain bankruptcy claim forms Stewart filed against other manufacturers of asbestos containing products. Principally, Scapa contends Stewart failed to provide legally sufficient evidence to prove Stewart's workplace exposure to its products was a substantial factor that caused his mesothelioma. We affirm.
This case comes back to our court following remand to the circuit court for a determination of whether the plaintiffs could prove their claims for equitable estoppel and promissory estoppel. The circuit court found in favor of the City of Columbia (the City), concluding the plaintiffs could not establish the necessary damages to prevail on their claim. We disagree with the circuit court's reasoning as to damages, but affirm its finding in favor of the City on additional sustaining grounds.
8-10-2022 - Opinions
Michael Cliff Eubanks appeals his convictions for first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) with a minor. Eubanks raises several evidentiary errors; he further argues the circuit court erred in denying him a continuance, failing to discharge a juror, and declining to charge second-degree assault and battery as a lesser included offense of CSC with a minor. Finally, Eubanks asserts he is entitled to a new trial due to highly prejudicial statements in the State's closing argument and under the cumulative error doctrine. We affirm.
This appeal of an order denying a motion to compel arbitration turns on whether Nicole Lampo agreed to arbitrate disputes arising out of her employment with Amedisys Holding, LLC (Amedisys). The key question is whether, under the specific circumstances of this case, Lampo accepted the arbitration agreement by acknowledging receipt of the agreement and continuing to work at Amedisys. We conclude she did because she had actual notice of Amedisys' offer to modify her employment agreement to include the arbitration provision. Accordingly, we reverse the denial of Amedisys' motion to compel arbitration.
The Gulfstream Café, Inc. (Gulfstream) appeals the circuit court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Palmetto Industrial Development, LLC (Palmetto) on Gulfstream's request for attorneys' fees based on a warranty provision in its easements. On appeal, Gulfstream argues the circuit court erred in denying it attorneys' fees. We affirm.
Palmetto Industrial Development, LLC (Palmetto) and J. Mark Lawhon (Mark; collectively, Appellants) appeal the circuit court's order finding them in criminal contempt for parking a golf cart in front of The Gulfstream Café, Inc.'s (Gulfstream's) delivery gate, which violated a permanent injunction and impacted Gulfstream's use of a joint, non exclusive easement. On appeal, Appellants argue the circuit court erred because (1) parking the golf cart in a parking spot did not violate the injunction; (2) Appellants presented evidence that undermined Gulfstream's claimed use of the delivery gate and the circuit court's finding of a willful violation; (3) the circuit court should not have denied Appellants' Rule 59(e), SCRCP, motion based on Rule 59(g), SCRCP; and (4) the circuit court's order was insufficient. We affirm.
Reggie K. Wells sued Respondents for unjust enrichment and violation of the South Carolina Wage Payment Act, S.C. Code Ann. §§ 41–10–10 to –110 (2021) (the Act). His claims included a request for treble damages and attorney's fees under the Act, as well as costs. A month after answering Wells' complaint, Respondents filed a Rule 68, SCRCP offer of judgment, offering for Wells to "take judgment for all claims alleged" in the "total amount" of $5,968.89. Wells accepted the offer and, on the same day, filed a motion seeking an award of treble damages, attorney's fees, and costs under the Act and Rule 54, SCRCP. After a hearing that consisted only of oral argument and submission of exhibits, the trial court denied Wells' motion, ruling in a Form 4 order that "there was no record from which to determine whether attorney's fees and treble damages were appropriate" under the Act. Wells now appeals. Finding no error, we affirm
In an appeal from the family court following a contempt proceeding, Appellant Timothy Register ("Register") asks this court through its de novo review authority to find that Respondent Angel Dixon ("Angel") did not meet her burden of proof regarding child support payments. Further, Register argues that Angel should be required to reimburse him for all his attorney's fees and costs in connection with the contempt proceedings. We reverse and remand for further contempt proceedings consistent with this opinion.
8-17-2022 - Opinions
In this criminal case, Rakeem White appeals his convictions for murder and armed robbery. White asserts the trial court erred in admitting a recorded telephone conversation between he and his girlfriend because the conversation was not relevant and any probative value of the conversation was substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice pursuant to Rule 403, SCRE.
8-24-2022 - Opinions
In this appeal from family court, Renee Dolin argues the family court erred in: (1) finding a common law marriage; (2) declaring Dolin's recently sold real property was marital; (3) reducing Zane Powell's child support despite his failure to document his income; and (4) declining to award her requested attorney's fees and costs. We reverse and remand.
Katrina Brown, a tenant of the City of Charleston Housing Authority (CHA), appeals the circuit court's order affirming her and her minor children's eviction from their home. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
8-31-2022 - Opinions
Joseph "Joe Joe" Lamar Brown, Jr. appeals his convictions for murder, first degree burglary, attempted armed robbery, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, arguing the circuit court erred in (1) failing to find the retrial of his armed robbery charge violated the bar of double jeopardy, (2) prohibiting evidence of third party guilt, and (3) declining to suppress evidence secured by a problematic search warrant. We affirm.
Nicholas Benjamin Chhith-Berry appeals his convictions for murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Chhith-Berry contends the trial court erred by (1) denying him immunity from prosecution pursuant to the Protection of Persons and Property Act; (2) prohibiting a witness from testifying about the details of the deceased shooting two people four months prior to his death; (3) refusing to give an imperfect defense jury instruction; and (4) failing to grant his motion for a mistrial due to premature jury deliberations. We affirm.