Supreme Court Published Opinions - March 2013
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.
3-6-2013 - Opinions
In this workers' compensation appeal, the Court reverses the court of appeals and remands this case to the Workers' Compensation Commission for a determination of maximum medical improvement, permanency, and whether Petitioner's injury constitutes "physical brain damage" as contemplated by section 42-9-10(C) of the South Carolina Code, which would entitle him to benefits for life.3-8-2013 - Opinions
After the Department of Social Services removed a child from her parents, the child was provided foster care by a family, and later placed for adoption with another family. The child's former foster parents petitioned to adopt her, and the adoptive parents selected by DSS moved to dismiss on the ground the foster parents lacked standing. The family court found the foster parents had standing and granted their petition to adopt, and the court of appeals affirmed. We hold the foster parents possess neither statutory nor constitutional standing, and reverse.3-13-2013 - Opinions
Appellant asserts that the State failed to establish that the value of either vehicle exceeded $1,000 as required by section 16-13-30 at the time of trial. Following Appellant's commission of the crime, but prior to his indictment and trial, the General Assembly amended section 16-13-30. The revised statute requires the value of stolen property to exceed $2,000, yet the trial court instructed the jury only as to the $1,000 threshold. Thus, Appellant alleges the trial court's jury instruction constitutes reversible error. The Supreme Court, Toal, C.J., found that amendments to section 16-13-30 did not apply retroactively to Appellant's case, and that the testimony of the property owner's was sufficient to sustain Appellant's conviction. Affirmed.3-20-2013 - Opinions
The Court agreed with petitioner that the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial court's decision not to grant a mistrial after the jury twice returned deadlocked. The Court found that requiring the dealocked jury to continue to deliberate violated S.C. Code Ann. § 14-7-1330(1976).
The Supreme Court held that the family court properly terminated the biological mother's parental rights pursuant to section 63-7-2570(8) of the South Carolina Code.3-27-2013 - Opinions
27236 - Gladden v. Palmetto Home Inspections
The Court held that contractual limitation of a home inspector's liability does not violate South Carolina public policy as expressed by the General Assembly and, as a matter of law, is not so oppressive that no reasonable person would make it and no fair and honest person would accept it.
The Court affirms the circuit court's order dismissing the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.