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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - July 2024

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.

7-3-2024 - Opinions

6068 - East Cherry Grove Co., LLC v. State of South Carolina

The State of South Carolina appeals the circuit court's order finding East Cherry Grove Co., LLC and Ray & Nixon, LLC (collectively, Respondents) owned two respective parcels of real property consisting of tidelands in North Myrtle Beach. The trial of this case involved two parcels of real property: one identified as Tax Map Number 145-00-01-001, in the name of East Cherry Grove (the East Cherry Grove Tract), and the other identified as Tax Map Number 145-02-25-004, in the name of Ray & Nixon (the Ray & Nixon Tract). On appeal, the State argues the circuit court erred by (1) misapplying the law of the case doctrine by applying a decision from an entirely different suit that did not decide the issues presented in this case; (2) applying the standard of proof of preponderance of the evidence instead of clear and convincing evidence; (3) determining Respondents own the entirety of the East Cherry Grove Tract when they presented no evidence they own the portions of the tract referred to as "the pig's ears" and "dome of the pig's head"; (4) determining Respondents own the entirety of the East Cherry Grove Tract when the maps relied upon failed to meet standards for the specificity of tidelands conveyances; (5) failing to use and apply the plat of Russell Courtney (the Courtney plat) instead of the overlays Respondents' expert prepared when the Courtney plat was much more consistent with the specificity and evidence required to establish tidelands conveyances; (6) improperly relying on the testimony of the title opinion expert about the general area included on the tax map of the East Cherry Grove Tract when he was not a surveyor and could not override the testimony of the two surveyors; and (7) failing to clarify that only the State controls navigable waterways. We affirm as modified in part and reverse in part.

6069 - John Deere Construction & Forestry Company v. North Edisto Logging, Inc.

John Deere Construction & Forestry Company (John Deere) filed a breach of contract action arising out of the sale and financing of logging equipment to North Edisto Logging, Inc. and Paul Gunter (collectively, Appellants). Appellants appeal the circuit court's order addressing John Deere's motion for summary judgment. Appellants contend the circuit court's order did not have the effect of granting summary judgment to John Deere on the causes of action it raised in its complaint and therefore, the circuit court did not award a $946,378.65 judgment. Alternatively, Appellants assert that if the circuit court did grant summary judgment on those causes of action and award a judgment, it was erroneous. Appellants further maintain the circuit court erred in granting John Deere summary judgment on Appellants' counterclaims. We affirm in part and remand.

7-10-2024 - Opinions

6070 - Spring Valley Interests, LLC v. The Best for Last, LLC

Spring Valley Interests, LLC (Spring Valley) appeals the circuit court's order finding void a contractual purchase option for a portion of property owned by The Best for Last, LLC. The circuit court found the purchase option was void pursuant to the common law Rule Against Perpetuities (CLRAP). Spring Valley argues this was error because the CLRAP has been preempted by the South Carolina Uniform Rule Against Perpetuities, which would provide protection to Spring Valley under the facts of this case. We affirm.

7-17-2024 - Opinions

6071 - City of Hardeeville v. Jasper County

This appeal arises out of a dispute related to levying taxes on a multi county business park (MCBP) and the distribution of revenue pursuant to an MCBP agreement between Beaufort and Jasper counties. The City of Hardeeville appeals the circuit court's grant of partial summary judgment in favor of Jasper County, the Jasper County Auditor, and the Jasper County Treasurer (collectively, Jasper County Entities). The City of Hardeeville argues the circuit court erred in finding that: (1) the MCBP agreement between Beaufort and Jasper counties was valid and in compliance with constitutional and statutory law; (2) additional discovery was not necessary; (3) Hardeeville's consent to the agreement was not required; and (4) all property in the MCBP, including the annexed property, is exempt from all ad valorem taxation. We affirm.

6072 - Colonial Pipeline Co. v. SCDOR

The South Carolina Department of Revenue and Aiken, Laurens, Abbeville, Anderson, Greenville, and York Counties appeal the order of the Administrative Law Court (ALC) granting a pollution control property tax exemption to Respondent Colonial Pipeline Company (Colonial), arguing the ALC erred in (1) granting the exemption to a transportation company that is not a production plant; (2) not appropriately discounting the exemption based on the dual purpose provision; (3) limiting the scope of the contested case hearing; and (4) finding Colonial entitled to the exemption despite the failure of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to determine the issue. We reverse.