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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Supreme Court Published Opinions - April 2003

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.

4-7-2003 - Opinions

25572 - State v. Benjamin

Life without the possibility of parole sentence affirmed for defendant who had prior conviction for a most serious offense.

25615 - Hendrix v. Taylor

Appellant, who was convicted of a sex offense in Colorado, appeals from the trial judge’s refusal to grant injunctive relief to prevent him from being listed in the South Carolina Sex Offender Registry.

25616 - State v. Dunlap

The Court held that petitioner's counsel's opening statement 'opened the door' to the admission of petitioner's prior drug record, and therefore affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals as modified.

25617 - Farmer v. Monsanto

This case involves application of the door-closing statute to a class action against a foreign corporation.

25618 - State v. Tench

Sole issue in this capital case is whether the affidavit in support of search of defendant's automobile established probable cause to search.

25619 - Thomas v. Thomas

The issue in this divorce case involves the equitable division of lottery winnings.

25620 - State v. Zulfer

This case involves the issue of whether out of state convictions may be used to prove an element of first degree burglary.

25621 - In the Matter of Johnson

This opinion imposes a six month suspension on Horry County Magistrate Charles B. Johnson for discussing a case, in which Judge Johnson was a witness, with another witness in the case despite the presiding judge's instructions not to do so. The suspension is retroactive to July 11, 2002, the date he was placed on interim suspension.

25622 - State v. Lacoste

This case involved review of the Court of Appeals' case and is dismissed as improvidently granted.

25623 - Doe v. Ward Law Firm

Addresses whether adoptive parents have shown "good cause" to obtain the adoption records of their child.

25624 - Dawkins v. Fields

This corporate oppression case involves issues on summary judgment related to the expert affidavit and whether a verified complaint can be submitted as an affidavit.

25625 - Bailey v. Segars

The Supreme Court dismissed certiorari as improvidently granted in the case.

4-7-2003 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Wade H. Jones, III
This order places Wade H. Jones, III, on interim suspension.
4-14-2003 - Opinions

25626 - Hinkle v. National Casualty

Jury verdict for respondents on their negligent nonrenewal of a homeowner's policy reversed where no negligent breach of duty shown.

25627 - Chewning v. Ford Motor Company

This opinion addresses whether the subornation of perjury and concealing of documents by an attorney during the course of litigation may constitute fraud upon the court.

25628 - Wigfall v. Tideland Utilities

Whether an employee's scheduled injury plus his lack of education may be considered totally disabled

25629 - State v. Humphries

This case addresses whether the Court of Appeals erred by affirming the trial judge's refusal to order the State to disclose the identity of the confidential informant and whether the Court of Appeals erred by holding improperly admitted bad act evidence was harmless error.

25630 - Scott v. Scott

In this appeal from a divorce decree, the main issue is whether the family court properly awarded joint custody of the couple's daughter.

4-28-2003 - Opinions

25631 - Harrison v. Bevilacqua

This is a professional negligence action where the main issue is whether to adopt the continuous treatment rule.

25632 - Olson v. Faculty House of Carolina, Inc.

Issue is whether the Handicapped Accessibility Act creates any different duties than common law negligence where the plaintiff slips in a foreign substance on the defendant’s floor.

25633 - Bensch v. Davidson

This breach of contract case involves the issues of whether the trial court erred by (1) charging the wrong measure of damages for prevention of contractual performance, (2) failing to require jury re-deliberation to correct the verdict, (3) eliminating from the jury's consideration the issue whether appellants had breached the contract, and (4) excluding expert testimony.

25634 - Gantt v. State

This PCR case discusses a Doyle violation in the context of counsel's failure to object to the prosecution's comment on the defendant's refusal to comply with an invalid search warrant.

25635 - Campbell v. Hilton Head

This is a direct civil appeal where the main issue is whether the trial court erred in finding that taxation without representation violates the Republican Guarantee Clause of the United States Constitution.

25636 - In the Matter of John H. Parker

In this opinion, the Court publicly reprimanded John H. Parker for misconduct involving an irrevocable family trust agreement he established for a client and for which he was publicly censured by the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

25638 - Edisto v. Gregory

This contract case involves the validity of a notice of termination.

25639 - In the Matter of Judge Barry Koon

This opinion publicly reprimands Newberry Municipal Court Judge Barry S. Koon for lending the prestige of his judicial office, by way of a recorded telephone message, to advance the interests of a political candidate.

25640 - In the Matter of McCullough

This opinion suspends York County Magistrate Deborah McCullough for six months for misplacing and failing to properly transmit bond money.

25641 - Whetstone v. Catoe

Whether a former judge may be called to testify regarding a case in which he presided.

25642 - McQueen v. South Carolina Coastal Council

This case, on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, determines whether compensation is due to a coastal landowner who was denied permits to backfill and build bulkheads on his lots.

25643 - Christy v. Christy

The Court of Appeals' decision vacating the family court orders and remanding this case for a new trial is affirmed as modified.

25644 - Cutner v. State

Appellant appeals his conviction for possession with intent to distribute marijuana within the proximity of a school, claiming the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the charge because the indictment did not identify a specific school.

25645 - In the Matter of W. Smith Strickland, Jr.

In this attorney disciplinary matter, the Court held that disbarment was the appropriate sanction and disbarred the respondent, retroactive to the date he was placed on interim suspension.

4-28-2003 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of George Eugene Lafaye, IV
This order reinstates George Eugene Lafaye, IV, to the practice of law subject to certain conditions.
ORDER - SC Department of Social Services v. Ihnatiuk
This order provides that the rights afforded an indigent parent in Ex parte Cauthen, 291 S.C. 465, 354 S.E.2d 381 (1987) apply only to the first appeal of right and not to subsequent discretionary review by this Court.
ORDER - In the Matter of Henry H. Cabaniss
This order reinstates Henry H. Cabaniss to the practice of law subject to certain conditions.