THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals
Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., a Corporation, Appellant,
IN RE: Condemnation of a 75 Foot wide right-of-way 760 feet long across lands in Kershaw County belonging to Candace McKey, Respondent.
Appeal From Kershaw County
L. Casey Manning, Circuit Court Judge
Unpublished Opinion No. 2003-UP-670
Heard September 8, 2003 – Filed November 17, 2003
James Randall Davis and Lisa Lee Smith, both of Lexington, for Appellant.
Keith M. Babcock, of Columbia, for Respondent.
PER CURIAM: Central Electric Power Cooperative (Central Electric) brought this condemnation action to acquire an easement across land owned by Candace McKey (McKey) in Kershaw County. Central Electric appeals from a jury award of $48,500 in favor of McKey. We affirm.
1. We find the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting portions of a videotape taken and narrated by McKey’s father, Jack Ketter, that contained selected views of McKey’s property as well as footage of the immediately surrounding area developed for residential use. Ketter testified the highest and best use of the subject property was residential, an issue to which the videotape related. The highest and best use of the subject property was a matter for the jury to consider in determining damages. See 26 Am. Jur. 2nd Eminent Domain § 371, at 779 (1996) (“Diminished value is measured by the property’s highest and best use, notwithstanding its use at the time of the taking.”). As to Central Electric’s argument that the danger of unfair prejudice outweighed the probative value of this evidence, Central Electric did not make this specific argument at trial; therefore, we cannot address it. See Mizell v. Glover, 351 S.C. 392, 399, 570 S.E.2d 176, 180 (2002) (“In order to preserve an issue for appellate review, the issue must have been raised to and ruled upon by the trial court.”).
2. We find no error in the trial court’s admission of a photograph showing two sets of transmission lines on property on which Central Electric held an easement in Calhoun County. See State v. Rosemond, 335 S.C. 593, 596, 518 S.E.2d 588, 589-90 (1999) (“The relevance, materiality and admissibility of photographs are matters within the sound discretion of the trial court and a ruling will be disturbed only upon a showing of an abuse of discretion.”); id. at 597, 518 S.E.2d at 590 (“If the photograph serves to corroborate testimony, it is not an abuse of discretion to admit it.”). The photograph corroborated testimony offered at trial and was relevant on the issue of the scope and extent of Central Electric’s easement.
3. The trial court did not err in admitting testimony concerning the location of Central Electric’s transmission line across McKey’s property. The location of the line was a factor directly related to the value of the remainder of the property and the resulting damages. See generally 26 Am. Jur. 2nd Eminent Domain § 368, at 777 (1996) (“[A] wide range of factors is relevant in severance determinations and . . . they are essentially ad hoc factual inquiries”); 29A C.J.S. Eminent Domain § 127(b), at 328-29 (1992) (“It is proper to consider . . . the character and quality of the tract of which a part is taken, the situation of the part taken with reference to the residue, and the effect of the improvement and the severance of the tract generally.”).
4. We find no merit in Central Electric’s contention, made for the first time on appeal, that the trial court erred in allowing the jury a choice of whether to view the subject property. The issue is not preserved as the parties expressly agreed to the procedure of having the trial court charge the jury that it could view the property if it so desired. See Mizell, 351 S.C. at 399, 570 S.E.2d at 180 (“In order to preserve an issue for appellate review, the issue must have been raised to and ruled upon by the trial court.”); Hillman v. Pinion, 347 S.C. 253, 554 S.E.2d 427 (Ct. App. 2001) (holding a party may not complain for the first time on appeal of an alleged error that the party’s own conduct induced).
5. We find no merit in Central Electric’s argument that the trial court erred in failing to reduce the amount awarded to McKey for attorney’s fees and costs, the sum of $30,929.54. Under S.C. Code Ann. § 28-2-510(B)(1) (1991), a prevailing landowner in a condemnation action is allowed to recover “reasonable litigation expenses.” This statute gives the trial court the discretion to determine reasonable attorney’s fees. City of N. Charleston v. Claxton, 315 S.C. 56, 431 S.E.2d 610 (Ct. App. 1993). In its order awarding attorney fees, the trial court specifically discussed the relevant factors and particularly noted that McKey’s attorney and his law firm had spent more than four years representing her as the landowner in this case. Based on the court’s proper consideration of all of the appropriate factors, we conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion in this instance. See Glasscock v. Glasscock, 304 S.C. 158, 161, 403 S.E.2d 313, 315 (1991) (stating a trial court should consider the following factors in determining an award of attorney’s fees: “(1) the nature, extent, and difficulty of the case; (2) the time necessarily devoted to the case; (3) professional standing of counsel; (4) contingency of compensation; (5) beneficial results obtained; (6) customary legal fees for similar services”).
GOOLSBY, HOWARD, and BEATTY, JJ., concur.