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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Supreme Court Published Opinions - July 2015

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.

7-1-2015 - Opinions

27537 - State v. Jenkins

The Court reverses the court of appeals' decision remanding Respondent's case for an additional evidentiary hearing, finding instead that the circuit court's error in admitting DNA evidence against Respondent was harmless.

27538 - State v. Barnes

The Court rejected the State's contention that respondent's request for the appointment of counsel in his second capital proceeding was a concession that his first conviction was constitutionally obtained despite the fact that his request to proceed pro se at that trial was erroneously denied.

27539 - State v. Scott

The Court dismisses the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted.

27540 - Horton v. City of Columbia

The Court dismissed the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted and depublished the court of appeals' opinion in Horton v. City of Columbia, 408 S.C. 27, 757 S.E.2d 537 (2014).

27541 - State v. Henkel

The Court reverses the court of appeals' opinion and reinstates respondent's conviction, finding the videotape of Respondent's arrest satisfied the DUI recording statute.

27542 - Rivera v. Newton

The Court dismissed the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted and ordered the court of appeals to depublish its opinion in Rivera v. Newton, 401 S.C. 402, 737 S.E.2d 193 (Ct. App. 2012).

27543 - In the Matter of the Care and Treatment of Christopher Taft

The Court reverses the court of appeals' opinion in In re Taft, Op. No. 2013-UP-334 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Aug. 7, 2013), and holds the State failed to present sufficient evidence Taft had a present risk of reoffending and therefore did not prove he was a sexually violent predator under the Sexually Violent Predator Act.

7-8-2015 - Opinions

27502 - State v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals

In this direct appeal, the Court affirms in part, reverses in part, and remands.

27544 - In the Matter of James R. Jones, II

This is a disciplinary opinion in which the Court disbars a lawyer.

27546 - State v. Counts

Petitioner contends the circuit court judge erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence that was found at his residence after he opened his door in response to police officers knocking on the door. Petitioner claimed the use of the "knock and talk" investigative technique at his home violated his rights under the constitutions of the United States and South Carolina as this procedure constituted an unreasonable search and seizure and violated his state right to privacy. The Court of Appeals affirmed. State v. Counts, Op. No. 2012-UP-585 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Oct. 31, 2012). This Court granted Petitioner's request for a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals. We affirm as modified.

7-15-2015 - Opinions

27547 - Skipper v, ACE Property

The Court holds that the assignment of a legal malpractice claim between adversaries in litigation in which the alleged malpractice arose is prohibited.

7-22-2015 - Opinions

27548 - Jayroe v. Newberry County

The Court held the defendants do not have the authority to abolish part-time magistrate positions in Newberry County. Further, the Court found that no magisterial position had been abolished, and that none of the additional arguments raised by the plaintiff had sufficient merit warranting further comment.

7-23-2015 - Opinions

27549 - In the Matter of Fred W. Auman, III

27550 - In the Matter of Sara Jayne Rogers

7-29-2015 - Opinions

27545 - State v. Broadnax

The Court reversed in part, affirmed in part the decision of the court of appeals, finding that armed robbery is not a "crime of dishonesty or false statement" pursuant to Rule 609(a)(2), SCRE, but any error in admitting the prior convictions for armed robbery was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

27551 - Smith v. State

In this post-conviction relief (PCR) action, Smith alleges his attorney was deficient for failing to object to the State's recommendation of the maximum punishment after the State promised to remain silent during sentencing. The PCR court denied Smith's application and the court of appeals reversed. Smith v. State, 407 S.C. 270, 754 S.E.2d 900 (Ct. App. 2014). We clarify the appropriate remedy under these circumstances is a new trial, but hold the court of appeals' unappealed mandate for resentencing is the law of the case. Accordingly, we affirm.

27552 - State v. Palmer

On certiorari, the Court upheld the Court of Appeals' decision to reverse the convictions of both Palmer and Gorman for aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse, and upheld that court's decision to affirm Gorman's other convictions for homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct towards a child. The Court reversed the Court of Appeals to the extent it had upheld the denial of Palmer's directed verdict motions on the charges of homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct towards a child.

27553 - Johnson v. Alexander

The Court reverses the court of appeals opinion in Johnson v. Alexander, 408 S.C. 58, 757 S.E.2d 553 (Ct. App. 2014), reinstates the grant of summary judgment as to liability, and remands for a hearing on damages.