Supreme Court Published Opinions - June 2018
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.
6-6-2018 - Opinions
We granted cross-petitions for a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' unpublished decision in State v. Perez, Op. No. 2015-UP-217 (S.C. Ct. App. filed May 8, 2015), wherein the court determined, among other things, the trial court's refusal to admit testimony of a witness' U-visa application was harmless error. Because we find the error was not harmless, we reverse and remand for a new trial.
Timothy Pulley appeals his conviction for trafficking cocaine. He argues the trial court erred in failing to suppress the cocaine due to an insufficient chain of custody. We find the trial court erred, and reverse.6-13-2018 - Opinions
27812 - In the Matter of David R. DuBose
In this reciprocal disciplinary matter, the Court suspends a lawyer for fifteen days after his license to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia was suspended for fifteen days.
27813 - In the Matter of Samuel R. Drose
In this judicial disciplinary matter, the Court reprimands a former magistrate after he was arrested for taking possession of a substance which he believed was oxycodone.
In this appeal we address whether the digital information stored on a cell phone may be abandoned such that its privacy is no longer protected by the Fourth Amendment. The trial court determined the information on the cell phone in this case had been abandoned, and admitted it into evidence. A divided panel of the court of appeals affirmed. State v. Brown, 414 S.C. 14, 776 S.E.2d 917 (Ct. App. 2015). We affirm the court of appeals.
The Court finds electronic monitoring of sex offenders pursuant to subsection 23-3-540(E) of the South Carolina Code requires an individualized analysis of the totality of circumstances in each case to satisfy the reasonableness requirement for a search under the Fourth Amendment.6-20-2018 - Opinions
James Clyde Dill Jr. was convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine, and the trial court sentenced him to ten years' imprisonment. The court of appeals affirmed. Because we hold the search warrant was invalid, we reverse the court of appeals and reverse Dill's conviction.6-27-2018 - Opinions
The court of appeals dismissed the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles' appeal on the ground the order on appeal was not a final decision of the administrative law court (ALC). We affirm.
The Court answers the certified question from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina by holding that a genetic testing laboratory is acting as a "licensed health care provider" as defined by S.C. Code Ann. § 38-79-410 when, at the request of a patient's treating physician, the laboratory performs genetic testing to detect an existing disease or disorder.
The Court reverses the court of appeals' decision and remands this matter for a new trial.
27820 - In the Matter of John B. Kern
The Court finds Respondent John B. Kern committed misconduct and suspends Respondent from the practice of law.