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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - August 2023

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.

8-2-2023 - Opinions

6006 - Trisha Gibbons v. Aerotek, Inc.

In this appeal from an order denying a motion for attorneys' fees and costs, Aerotek argues the trial court erred by holding (1) Aerotek had an obligation to plead its entitlement to attorneys' fees and that it did not sufficiently do so in its answer and (2) Aerotek did not authenticate an employment agreement. We affirm based on preservation and the two-issue rule.

6007 - Dominic A. Leggette v. State

In this action for post conviction relief (PCR), Petitioner asserts the PCR court erred in finding trial counsel provided effective assistance of counsel. Petitioner contends trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the trial court's instruction on voluntary manslaughter as a lesser included offense of murder because the evidence presented at trial did not support a voluntary manslaughter charge. We affirm.

6008 - Tekayah Hamilton v. Regional Medical Center

In this medical negligence action, Regional Medical Center appeals the trial court's (1) determinations of issues concerning expert witnesses, (2) admission of photographs, (3) publishing requests to admit to the jury, and (4) denial of its motions for a directed verdict and for a new trial absolute or new trial nisi remittitur. We affirm.

6009 - John Doe v. Bishop of Charleston

John Doe (Appellant) filed this action against the Diocese of Charleston and the Bishop of the Diocese of Charleston (collectively, Respondents) alleging that as a child in 1970, he was sexually molested by two teachers at Sacred Heart Catholic School, a parochial school operated by the Respondents. Appellant argues the circuit court erred in granting summary judgment based on the doctrine of charitable immunity. We affirm.

6010 - Anaptyx, LLC v. Golf Colony Resort II

In these four consolidated appeals, Appellant Anaptyx, LLC (Anaptyx) seeks review of the circuit court's respective orders granting summary judgment to Respondents, Golf Colony Resort II at Deer Track Homeowners' Association, Inc., Golf Colony Resort IV at Deer Track Homeowners' Association, Inc., Deerfield Plantation Community Services Association, Inc., and Tradewinds Homeowners' Association, Inc. (collectively, the HOAs). Anaptyx argues the circuit court erred by dismissing its respective breach of contract actions against the HOAs because there was no evidence to support the finding that the contracts to provide internet access service, via Wi-Fi, to the HOAs were contracts "for services to or for real property" for purposes of New York General Obligations Law ยง 5-903. We affirm.

8-9-2023 - Opinions

6011 - James E. Carroll, Jr. v. Isle of Palms Pest Control, Inc.

In this civil action, James E. Carroll, Jr., appeals the circuit court's order granting partial summary judgment in favor of Isle of Palms Pest Control Inc. (IOP) and SPM Management Co. (SPM) (collectively, Respondents). Carroll argues the circuit court erred in granting partial summary judgment in favor of Respondents as to his negligence claims when (1) the circuit court incorrectly held the economic loss rule applied; (2) Respondents owed Carroll duties created by the South Carolina Department of Pesticide Regulations (SCDPR) and industry standards that were separate and distinct from the contract; (3) the circuit court incorrectly limited Carroll's contractual remedy to $250,000; (4) by limiting Carroll's claims to breach of contract, the circuit court nullified the regulatory mandate requiring that pest control applicators carry insurance for the protection of homeowners because breach of contract claims are excluded from coverage; and (5) the circuit court's findings of fact and conclusions of law in its order denying his motion to reconsider were false and pretextual. We affirm.

6012 - Kevin Cox v. SCELC

Kevin Cox, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, appeals the circuit court's orders granting the South Carolina Education Lottery Commission's (SCELC's) and Intralot, Inc.'s (Intralot's; collectively, Respondents') motions to dismiss for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. We affirm.

6013 - Jamaine Holman v. SCELC

Appellants, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, appeal the circuit court's orders granting the South Carolina Education Lottery Commission's (SCELC's) and Intralot, Inc.'s (Intralot's; collectively, Respondents') motions to alter or amend and motions to dismiss for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. We affirm.

6014 - Jefferson Davis, Jr. v. SC Educational Credit

In this Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation, Appellant Jefferson Davis, Jr. (Davis) appeals the circuit court's order granting summary judgment to Respondent South Carolina Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children Fund (the Fund). Davis contends the circuit court erred in (1) finding that the Fund is not covered by state law defining a "public body"; (2) finding that the Fund was not supported by public funds; (3) finding that reporting requirements for the Department of Revenue could replace any FOIA obligations the Fund might have; (4) finding that reporting requirements in a 2016-2017 budget proviso were sufficient to replace any FOIA obligations the Fund might have; (5) finding that reporting requirements in a 2017-2018 budget proviso were sufficient to replace any FOIA obligations the Fund might have; (6) taking into account later legislation when considering the intent behind the budget provisos governing the Fund; and (7) misconstruing legislation that made the Fund permanent. We affirm.

8-16-2023 - Opinions

6015 - State v. Johnathan L. Hillary

Johnathan Lamar Hillary (Hillary) challenges his convictions for murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He argues that (1) a statement he gave to law enforcement, admitted into evidence at trial, was not voluntary; (2) evidence concerning a separate robbery allegedly committed by Hillary should not have been admitted at trial; and (3) the sentence for kidnapping was improper given that Hillary was also convicted and sentenced for murder. We affirm in part and vacate in part.

6016 - Vista Del Mar v. Vista Del Mar, LLC

Vista Del Mar Condominium Association (the Association) and the individual unit owners (Unit Owners) of the Vista Del Mar Horizontal Property Regime (the Regime) (collectively, Appellants) appeal the circuit court's order granting summary judgment to Atlantic Development Company and Atlantic Coast Funding, LLC (collectively, Respondents), quieting title in favor of Respondents to a 2.58 acre tract (the Property), which had been a part of the Regime, and declaring Respondents had a valid easement (Access Easement) that ran with the title to the Property. On appeal, Appellants argue the circuit court erred in upholding the removal of the Property from the Regime because (1) the removal of the Property, which was a common area, was a violation of the Horizontal Property Act (the Act); and (2) the developer, Vista Del Mar, LLC (Developer), no longer had authority to take any action concerning the Regime at the time of the removal. In addition, Appellants argue Developer did not have authority to grant an express easement over Regime property that benefitted the Property. We affirm.

8-23-2023 - Opinions

6017 - Noel Owens v. Mountain Air Heating & Cooling

Noel Owens appeals the circuit court's ordering granting summary judgment to Demetra Caldera and South Market Real Estate. On appeal, Owens argues the grant of summary judgment was improper because (1) the release signed on April 3, 2015, could not have released a claim that did not arise until April 13, 2015; (2) her claim is beyond the scope of the release; (3) there was evidence in the record from which a factfinder could reasonably conclude Caldera was an agent of South Market; and (4) regardless of the outcome of this appeal, she is entitled to a jury trial on the liability issues. We affirm.

6018 - Carolina Moore v. Darren Smith

Caroline Rebecca Moore (Wife) appeals the family court's order denying her contempt action against Darren Scott Smith (Husband). Wife argues the family court erred in (1) finding a rule to show cause was not the proper avenue to seek redress for Husband's alleged contempt and (2) excluding evidence establishing the factual basis for Husband's alleged contempt. In addition, Wife asks this court to award her attorney's fees and costs. We reverse and remand.

6019 - Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC v. Jennifer Campney

Jennifer Campney appeals an order from the trial court granting judgment in favor of Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC and Cooling & Winter, LLC. On appeal, Campney argues the trial court erred by (1) ruling that she was liable to PRA in the amount of $4,236.78, plus costs, under an account stated cause of action; (2) ruling that PRA and was not liable to her on her counterclaims; and (3) denying her motion pursuant to Rules 52 and 59(e), SCRCP. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

8-30-2023 - Opinions

6020 - Joseph Kelsey v. SCDPPPS

Joseph G. Kelsey appeals the order of the Administrative Law Court (ALC), which affirmed the denial of parole by the Parole Board of the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services (the Board), arguing, inter alia, the Board is required to give putative parolees access to their files. We reverse and remand.

6022 - J&H Grading & Paving v. Clayton Construction

Clayton Construction Company, Inc. (Clayton) appeals the circuit court's ruling that Clayton was liable to J&H Grading & Paving, Inc. (J&H) for attorney's fees pursuant to section 27-1-15 of the South Carolina Code (2007). Clayton argues the circuit court erred by finding (1) Clayton failed to make a reasonable and fair investigation into the merits of J&H's claim under section 27-1-15, (2) the "pay when paid" provision in the parties' subcontract created a condition precedent to payment, (3) the "pay when paid" provision was unenforceable under the South Carolina Subcontractors' and Suppliers' Payment Protection Act (the Act) , and (4) any delay in payment beyond ninety days was unreasonable. We affirm.

6023 - Ingrid Brantley v. Dennis Brantley, Sr.

In this domestic matter, Dennis E. Brantley, Sr. (Father) argues the family court erred by (1) overstating Father's income when calculating child support, retroactive child support, and unreimbursed medical expenses; (2) holding Father responsible for 85% of the two younger children's extracurricular activity expenses; (3) finding Father in contempt for failing to inform Ingrid G. Brantley (Mother) of his new address before moving and enrolling their eldest son at a new high school; and (4) requiring Father to pay $75,000 in attorney's fees and costs. We affirm as modified in part and reverse in part.