Supreme Court Published Opinions - February 2010
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.
2-1-2010 - Opinions
In this case, the Court found that the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control properly exercised its authority under the Coastal Zone Management Act in denying a stormwater/land disturbance permit, and reversed the decision of the Administrative Law Court to the contrary.2-8-2010 - Opinions
The Court affirmed the circuit judge's ruling that the State had presented sufficient evidence of the chain of custody.
26766 - In the Matter of Former Lee County Magistrate Alston W. Woodham
This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court publicly reprimands a magistrate and bars the magistrate from future judicial service.
26767 - In the Matter of Greenville County Magistrate James E. Hudson
This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court definitely suspends a magistrate.
26768 - Partain v. Upstate Automotive Group
In this case, the Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals finding that a tort claim premised on an alleged "bait and switch" is subject to an arbitration clause.
We granted a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals decision in Corbett v. Weaver, 380 S.C. 288, 669 S.E.2d 615 (Ct. App. 2008). After a thorough review of the Appendix, record, and briefs, the writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted.
In this capital murder case, Charles Christopher Williams (Appellant) appeals his sentence of death. Appellant argues (1) that once the jury disclosed its numerical division it was incumbent upon the trial judge to declare a mistrial; (2) that S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-20 required the trial court to sentence Appellant to a life sentence because the jury could not agree on a sentence after “reasonable deliberation;” (3) the trial judge committed error by issuing a coercive Allen charge; and (4) the trial judge erred in refusing to declare a mistrial when a forensic psychiatrist’s testimony impermissibly bolstered and vouched for the solicitor’s decision to seek the death penalty.2-8-2010 - Orders
ORDER - In the Matter of Brian D. Coker, Respondent.
ORDER - In the Matter of Michael James Sarratt, Respondent
2-16-2010 - Opinions
We affirm the PCR judge's grant of a new trial following Respondent's plea of guilty to trafficking in cocaine.
We granted a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals decision in State v. Mitchell, 378 S.C. 305, 662 S.E.2d 493 (Ct. App. 2008). After a thorough review of the Appendix, record, and briefs, the writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted.
In this PCR case, Petitioner claims trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. The PCR court denied relief. We reverse and grant Petitioner a new trial.
26774 - In the Matter of Charles E. Johnson
In this disciplinary matter, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) brought formal charges against Respondent Charles E. Johnson. The Court ordered a definite suspension.
In this family court case the Court held that when neither party is prejudiced and the court is able to deal fairly with a motion for reconsideration, applying an overly technical reading of the rules does not serve the purpose of Rule 7(b)(1), SCRCP.
We reinstate Frazier's conviction and sentence for armed robbery. Affirmed in part and reversed in part.
26777 - Frantz Pierre v. Seaside Farms, Inc.
Frantz Pierre appeals from an order denying his claim for workers' compensation benefits, arguing his injury at the employer's labor camp arose out of and in the course of his employment and was therefore compensable.