In The Court of Appeals

Paul James Quinton, Jr., Myrna Quinton and Paul Jefferson Quinton,        Appellants,


Joe Adair Foundation and Laurens County Soil and Water Conservation District,        Respondents.

Appeal From Laurens County
James W. Johnson, Jr., Circuit Court Judge

Unpublished Opinion No. 2003-UP-695
Submitted September 17, 2003 – Filed December 2, 2003


James Emerson Smith, Jr., of Columbia, for Appellants.

J. Michael Turner, of Laurens, for Respondents.

PER CURIAM:  Paul James Quinton, Jr., Myrna Quinton, and Paul Jefferson Quinton appeal the circuit court’s denial of their motion for a temporary injunction against Joe R. Adair Foundation.  We affirm. [1]


The Quintons sought a temporary injunction to enjoin any further construction at the Joe R. Adair Outdoor Education Center and to enjoin the construction of a footbridge spanning the creek running between the center’s property and the property of Laurens County School District 55.  The bridge, as proposed, would be wide enough to permit a golf cart equipped with seat belts to carry handicapped students from the school to the education center. 

The entire complex includes an arboretum, an education center including nature trails, a 4,200 square foot classroom building, a butterfly garden, a Native American village, a picnic shelter, a waterfall and a log cabin.  This construction had been in place for approximately six years and was managed by Laurens County School District 55.

The Quintons live across the street from the center, and have known of the existence and operation of the center for some years.  In fact, they signed a waiver of any violation of the restrictive covenants in 1995, around the time of the initial construction.  They brought this action for injunctive relief, claiming the addition of an outhouse, wagon, shelter and possibly a bridge violates the restrictive covenants. 

The court denied the motion for a temporary injunction, finding the Quintons would suffer no irreparable harm.  After the Quintons filed a motion to reconsider, the court amended its order to enjoin only the use of the proposed bridge.


“The granting of temporary injunctive relief is within the sound discretion of the trial court and will not be overturned absent an abuse of that discretion.”  City of Columbia v. Pic-A-Flick Video, Inc., 340 S.C. 278, 282, 531 S.E.2d 518, 520-21 (2000).  “An abuse of discretion occurs when a trial court’s decision is unsupported by the evidence or controlled by an error of law.”  County of Richland v. Simpkins, 348 S.C. 664, 668, 560 S.E.2d 902, 904 (Ct. App. 2002).

To warrant a temporary injunction the complaint must allege facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action for injunction and the information offered for both sides must demonstrate the injunction to be reasonably necessary to protect the legal rights of the plaintiff pending in the litigation.  Transcon. Gas Pipe Line Corp. v. Porter, 252 S.C. 478, 480-81, 167 S.E.2d 313, 315 (1969).  Generally, to obtain an injunction, a party must demonstrate irreparable harm, a likelihood of success on the merits, an inadequate remedy at law.  Roach v. Combined Util. Comm’n., 290 S.C. 437, 442, 351 S.E.2d 168, 170 (Ct. App. 1986).  “[T]he sole purpose of a temporary injunction is to preserve the status quo . . .”  Powell v. Immanuel Baptist Church, 261 S.C. 219, 221, 199 S.E.2d 60, 61 (1973). 

The Quintons’ reliance is placed upon the restrictive covenants applicable to the lots in the subdivision to assert their right to a temporary injunction.  As an initial matter, they signed a waiver of any violation of restrictions on March 20, 1995.  That waiver states, “We are in sympathy with the objects of the center and support it.  We waive any possible conflicts with existing residential restrictions over our properties.”  More importantly, a majority of the structures have been in place since approximately 1995, and the most recent additions have been located there for approximately two years.  There is nothing in the record to suggest the Quintons have suffered or will suffer irreparable harm from this construction. 

The respondents raise several issues on appeal, including standing, laches, and the possibility the bridge may be required under federal regulatory law, that raise doubts about the likelihood of the Quintons’ success on the merits.  The center is long established and well known to the Quintons and other residents of the neighborhood.  Both the 1995 construction and the recent additions are consistent with the original purpose and design of the nature area.  In sum, we cannot say the court abused its discretion by refusing to enjoin such established construction. 


HUFF, STILWELL, and BEATTY, JJ., concur.

[1]        We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.