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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Supreme Court Published Opinions - April 2011

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.

4-4-2011 - Opinions

26954 - State v. Singley

Petitioner was charged with, among other things, first degree burglary of a home he owned jointly with his mother. A jury convicted him, and the court of appeals affirmed his convcition in State v. Singley, 383 S.C. 441, 679 S.E.2d 538 (Ct. App. 2009). We granted certiorari, and now affirm. We hold that a defendant's ownership interest in a dwelling does not preclude a conviction of burglary as a matter of law. Instead, the jury is to consider whether under the totality of the circumstances, a burglary defendant had custody and control of, and the right and expectation to be safe and secure in, the dwelling burglarized.

26955 - Berberich v. Jack

In this case of first impression, we hold that, under our comparative negligence system, all forms of conduct amounting to negligence in any form, including, but not limited to, ordinary negligence, gross negligence, and reckless, willful, or wanton conduct, may be compared to and offset by any conduct that falls short of conduct intended to cause injury or damage. Additionally, a trial court should instruct the jury on the definitions of these various terms, in addition to ordinary negligence, when so requested by a party.

26956 - Foster v. Foster

The Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals.

26957 - State v. Corley

The court of appeals' opinion upholding the denial of a motion to suppress is affirmed as modified.

26958 - Paschal v. Price

In this workers' compensation case, the Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari to review a decision of the court of appeals.

26959 - Miller v. FerrellGas

The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the court of appeals reversing the trial court’s grant of a directed verdict.

4-11-2011 - Opinions

26924 - In the Matter of J. Cameron Halford

This is an opinion in which the Court publicly reprimanded a lawyer.

26960 - Bartley v. Allendale County School District

In this workers' compensation case, Sandra Bartley contends her work injury combined with her pre-existing impairments and resulted in a substantially greater disability that is compensable pursuant to Ellison v. Frigidaire Home Products, 371 S.C. 159, 638 S.E.2d 664 (2006). We reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals and remand this matter to the Workers' Compensation Commission for further proceedings in light of Ellison.

26961 - State v. Bostick

Following the grant of federal habeas relief, we consider Bostick's challenge to the circuit court's denial of a directed verdict in this belated direct appeal. We hold that the State did not adduce sufficient circumstantial evidence to warrant submission of the case to the jury and reverse.

4-11-2011 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of Joseph W. Ginn, III,, Petitioner.
On August 9, 2010, petitioner was suspended from the practice of law for nine months, retroactive to the date of his interim suspension with certain conditions.
4-21-2011 - Orders

ORDER - Maria A. Hollins, v. Wal-mart
This Court granted petitioner's request for a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision in Hollins v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 381 S.C. 245, 672 S.E.2d 805 (Ct. App. 2008). After briefing and oral argument, the Court dismissed the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted
4-25-2011 - Opinions

26962 - MRI at Belfair v. SCDHEC

In this appeal from a determination that the State Certification of Need and Health Facility Licensure Act did not apply to a particular project, the Court reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings.

26963 - In the Matter of J.M. Long, III

This is an opinion publicly reprimanding a lawyer.

26964 - In the Matter of Anonymous Member of the South Carolina Bar

26965 - Estate of Patricia S. Tenney v. SCDHEC

In this case, the Supreme Court of South Carolina declined to extend the public trust doctrine to marsh islands, thereby quieting title to a marsh island in favor of the record title holder. The Court overturned the specific holding of Coburg I and Coburg II that title to marsh islands follows title to the surrounding marsh. Coburg Dairy, Inc. v. Lesser, 318 S.C. 510, 513, 458 S.E.2d 547, 548 (1995) (Coburg II); Coburg, Inc. v. Lesser, 309 S.C. 252, 253, 422 S.E.2d 96, 97 (1992) (Coburg I).

4-25-2011 - Orders

ORDER - In the Matter of George E. Lafaye, III, Respondent.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel has filed a petition asking this Court to place respondent on interim suspension pursuant to Rule 17(b), RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR, and seeking the appointment of an attorney to protect respondent’s clients’ interests pursuant to Rule 31, RLDE, Rule 413, SCACR.