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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Supreme Court Published Opinions - August 2021

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.

8-4-2021 - Opinions

28045 - Ray v. City of Rock Hill

In this inverse condemnation action, Lucille Ray contends the City of Rock Hill committed an affirmative, positive, aggressive act by directing storm water under her home. The circuit court granted summary judgment to the City, and the court of appeals reversed. Ray v. City of Rock Hill, 428 S.C. 358, 834 S.E.2d 464 (Ct. App. 2019). We affirm the court of appeals as modified and remand this matter to the circuit court, holding a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the City committed an affirmative, positive, aggressive act sufficient to support Ray's claim.

8-11-2021 - Opinions

28046 - In the Matter of Rosalind L. Sellers

In this attorney disciplinary matter, the Court disbars Respondent.

28047 - In the Matter of Kenneth William Ebener

In this attorney disciplinary matter, the Court publicly reprimands Respondent.

28049 - In the Matter of Magistrate Jerry Fletcher Rivers

In this judicial disciplinary matter, the Court imposes a definite suspension of six months with conditions.

28050 - United Services Automobile Association v. Pickens

After sustaining injuries in a car accident while a passenger in one of her vehicles, which was being driven by her son, Kevin Simms--an excluded driver under the policy--Petitioner Belinda Pickens sought uninsured motorist (UM) coverage under her insurance policy through Respondent United Services Automobile Association (USAA). Based on the named driver exclusion, USAA denied Pickens's claim. In a subsequent declaratory judgment action, the circuit court granted USAA's summary judgment motion, holding that Section 38-77-340 of the South Carolina Code, which authorizes named driver exclusions in automobile insurance policies, applied to all forms of coverage, including UM. Pickens appealed to the court of appeals, but this Court ultimately certified the case for its review pursuant to Rule 204(b), SCACR. We affirm.

28051 - State v. Lewis

William Lewis, the former Sheriff of Greenville County, asks us to hold the 1829 statute under which he was convicted for misconduct in office relating to a sexual affair with an employee, void for vagueness. Specifically, he asserts that Section 8-1-80 of the South Carolina Code (2019), is unconstitutional because it proscribes "official misconduct, corruption, fraud, or oppression" without defining those terms, and he also claims he was entitled to a directed verdict. We affirm.

28052 - Keene v, CNA Holdings, LLC

For eighty-two years, this Court struggled to correctly apply the "statutory employee doctrine." Today, following our more recent decisions on the statutory employee doctrine, we apply the doctrine in light of the General Assembly's original purpose for enacting it. We find the circuit court and the court of appeals correctly determined the injured worker was not the statutory employee of the defendant.

8-17-2021 - Opinions

28053 - Creswick v. University of South Carolina

In this declaratory judgment action, Dr. Richard Creswick seeks a declaration that Proviso 117.190 of the 2021-2022 Appropriations Act does not prohibit a universal mask mandate at the University of South Carolina. Following the announcement by Interim University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides that face coverings would be required for all students, faculty, and staff at all times inside all University buildings except a student's own dorm room, a private office, and when eating inside campus dining facilities, Attorney General Alan Wilson issued a letter opining the mask mandate likely violated the legislative intent of Proviso 117.190 to prohibit mask mandates like the one issued by Dr. Pastides. In response, Dr. Pastides rescinded the mask mandate. We find Proviso 117.190 does not prohibit a universal mask mandate.

8-18-2021 - Opinions

28030 - Paradis v. Charleston County School District

In this appeal, we granted a petition for a writ of certiorari to consider whether to abolish the Todd rule, which requires the pleading of special damages to support a claim of civil conspiracy. We overrule precedent that requires the pleading of special damages and return to the traditional definition of civil conspiracy in this state.

8-25-2021 - Opinions

28054 - In the Matter of Daniel Crawford Patterson

In this attorney disciplinary matter, the Court imposes an eighteen-month definite suspension.