South Carolina Supreme Court Decisions 2020

Eleazer v. Hughey
Date: December 30, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-017
SCDSS v. Black
Date: December 29, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-UP-342
South Carolina v. Reyes  
Date: December 16, 2020
Docket Number: 28004

Justia Opinion Summary: Jose Reyes Reyes was convicted by a jury of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The court of appeals affirmed the conviction. The South Carolina Supreme Court granted Reyes's petition for a writ of…

Martinez v. Spartanburg County
Date: December 9, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-016
Loflin v. BMP Development
Date: December 9, 2020
Docket Number: 28002
Wickersham v. Ford Motor Company  
Date: December 9, 2020
Docket Number: 28003

Justia Opinion Summary: The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit certified a question of law to the South Carolina Supreme Court. John Harley Wickersham Jr. was seriously injured in an automobile accident. After months of…

Carter vs. Roe
Date: December 7, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-015
City of Myrtle Beach v. Horry County
Date: December 2, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-014
Simmons v. State
Date: November 12, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-013
South Carolina v. Green
Date: November 12, 2020
Docket Number: 28001
Wiler v. Charleston County Board of Voter Registration & Elections
Date: November 2, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-012
Mosley v. Alston
Date: October 21, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-010
Ex parte Hartford Fire v. Centex Homes
Date: October 21, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-011
In the Matter of Richard G. Wern
Date: October 7, 2020
Docket Number: 27998
In the Matter of Kimberly L. Smith
Date: October 7, 2020
Docket Number: 27999
Adams v. McMaster  
Date: October 7, 2020
Docket Number: 28000

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented in this declaratory action before the South Carolina Supreme Court in its original jurisdiction was a challenge to the constitutionality of Governor Henry McMaster's allocation of $32 million in…

Halsey v. Simmons  
Date: September 30, 2020
Docket Number: 27997

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners' real property was sold at a delinquent tax sale. They filed an action in circuit court to challenge the sale, and all parties consented to have the case referred to a special referee for trial. Petitioners…

State v. Morales
Date: September 23, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-009
Duggins v. Lucas
Date: September 23, 2020
Docket Number: 27996
Grays Hill Baptist Church v. Beaufort County  
Date: September 16, 2020
Docket Number: 27995

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal arose from Beaufort County, South Carolina's refusal to issue Grays Hill Baptist Church a construction permit to build a fellowship hall adjacent to its existing sanctuary. The court of appeals reversed the…

Rivero v. Loftis
Date: September 9, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-008
Crenshaw v. Erskine College  
Date: September 9, 2020
Docket Number: 27993

Justia Opinion Summary: William Crenshaw, a tenured professor of English at Erskine College, filed suit claiming he was wrongfully fired. A jury found in favor of Dr. Crenshaw and awarded him $600,000. However, after review of the College's…

SC Coastal Conservation League v. Dominion Energy  
Date: September 9, 2020
Docket Number: 27994

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was a Public Service Commission order setting rates an electric utility had to pay to solar and other qualifying renewable energy producers for electricity the utility will then sell to its…

Sanders v. So. Carolina Dept. Motor Veh.  
Date: September 2, 2020
Docket Number: 27990

Justia Opinion Summary: The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspended Bradley Sanders' driver's license pursuant to South Carolina's implied consent statute after he refused to take a blood-alcohol test following his arrest…

Weaver v. Recreation District  
Date: September 2, 2020
Docket Number: 27991

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Don Weaver brought a declaratory judgment action to challenge the constitutionality of S.C. Code Ann. section 6-11-271 (2004), which addressed the millage levied in certain special purpose districts. Appellant…

South Carolina v. Washington  
Date: September 2, 2020
Docket Number: 27992

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Sha'quille Washington was indicted for the murder of Herman Manigault and was convicted of the lesser included offense of voluntary manslaughter. The court of appeals affirmed Petitioner's conviction. The…

Walsh v. Ridgeland Recreational Vehicles, Inc.
Date: August 26, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-007
In the Matter of Jacob Leon Parrott
Date: August 12, 2020
Docket Number: 27989
So. Car. Human Affairs Commission v. Yang  
Date: July 22, 2020
Docket Number: 27988

Justia Opinion Summary: The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (the Commission) brought this action against respondents Zeyi Chen and Zhirong Yang, alleging they violated the South Carolina Fair Housing Law by discriminating against a…

In the Matter of Harold Ray Crews
Date: July 15, 2020
Docket Number: 27987
South Carolina v. Herndon  
Date: July 1, 2020
Docket Number: 27986

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Robin Herndon was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for shooting and killing her live-in boyfriend, Christopher Rowley, allegedly, in self defense. Petitioner was tried for murder; the case against…

In the Matter of Margaret Lanier Brooks
Date: June 24, 2020
Docket Number: 27983
In the Matter of David A. Collins
Date: June 24, 2020
Docket Number: 27984
State v. Taylor
Date: June 24, 2020
Docket Number: 27985
Brown v. Sojourner  
Date: June 17, 2020
Docket Number: 27982

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Tommie Rae Brown sought to establish she was the survivor of the late entertainer James Brown, who died in 2006. An issue arose in the context of Respondent's claims for an elective or omitted spouse's share…

South Carolina v. Massey  
Date: June 10, 2020
Docket Number: 27981

Justia Opinion Summary: John Massey, Jr. was indicted for first-degree burglary, grand larceny, and criminal conspiracy. The circuit court granted a defense motion to quash the indictment for first-degree burglary on the basis the premises…

Georgetown County v. Davis & Floyd
Date: June 3, 2020
Docket Number: 27976
State v. Kotowski
Date: June 3, 2020
Docket Number: 27977
South Carolina v. Phillips  
Date: June 3, 2020
Docket Number: 27978

Justia Opinion Summary: Billy Phillips was convicted of murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. At trial, a DNA analyst testified Phillips could not be excluded as a contributor to a mixture of DNA recovered…

In the Matter of Dannitte Mays Dickey
Date: June 3, 2020
Docket Number: 27979
Wilson v. Gandis  
Date: June 3, 2020
Docket Number: 27980

Justia Opinion Summary: The South Carolina Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in Wilson v. Gandis, Op. No. 2018-UP-078 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Feb. 7, 2018). David Wilson, John Gandis, and Andrea…

Thomerson v. DeVito  
Date: May 27, 2020
Docket Number: 27972

Justia Opinion Summary: The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina certified a question of law to the South Carolina Supreme Court. Plaintiff Johnny Thomerson alleged Defendants, the former owners of Lenco Marine (a…

Bailey v. SC State Election  
Date: May 27, 2020
Docket Number: 27975

Justia Opinion Summary: "The right to vote is a cornerstone of our constitutional republic." The voting laws implicated in this case were South Carolina statutes governing absentee voting. Pursuant to subsection 7-15-320(A) of the South…

Williams v. State
Date: May 13, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-005
South Carolina v. Williams  
Date: May 13, 2020
Docket Number: 27967

Justia Opinion Summary: Terry Williams shot and killed Larry Moore (victim) and shot and wounded Reva McFadden. Williams was indicted for murder, assault and batter of a high and aggravated nature, and possession of a weapon during the…

Landry v. Landry  
Date: May 13, 2020
Docket Number: 27968

Justia Opinion Summary: The South Carolina Supreme Court granted Michael Landry's petition for a writ of certiorari to determine whether the court of appeals erred in affirming the family court's denial of his motion under Rule 60(a), SCRCP, to…

Clark v. Clark  
Date: May 13, 2020
Docket Number: 27969

Justia Opinion Summary: George and Patricia Clark married in 1987 and filed for divorce twenty-five years later in 2012 after Husband discovered Wife had a multi-year affair with one of Husband's employees. In this cross-appeal concerning the…

Builders Mutual Insurance Company  
Date: May 13, 2020
Docket Number: 27970

Justia Opinion Summary: Several insurance companies (the Insurers) appealed the denial of their motions to intervene in a construction defect action between a property owners' association (the Association) and a number of construction…

South Carolina v. Key  
Date: May 13, 2020
Docket Number: 27971

Justia Opinion Summary: Kathryn Key was convicted in summary court of driving under the influence (DUI). Her conviction was based upon the testing of her blood, which was drawn without a warrant while she was unconscious. The circuit court…

South Carolina v. Perry  
Date: May 6, 2020
Docket Number: 27963

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Wallace Perry was convicted on two counts of criminal sexual conduct (CSC) with a minor in the first degree and two counts of CSC with a minor in the second degree for sexually assaulting two of his biological…

South Carolina v. Durant  
Date: May 6, 2020
Docket Number: 27964

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Larry Durant was convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) for sexually abusing a teenage girl in his church office where he served as the pastor. Durant contended the trial court improperly…

State v. Cotton
Date: May 6, 2020
Docket Number: 27965
South Carolina v. Quinn  
Date: May 6, 2020
Docket Number: 27966

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Rick Quinn, Jr. was a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing constituents in Richland and Lexington counties from 1989-2004 and 2010-2017 and serving as House Majority…

In the Matter of William Thomas Moody
Date: April 8, 2020
Docket Number: 27960
In the Matter of William Thomas Moody
Date: April 8, 2020
Docket Number: 27961
In the Matter of John Brandon Walker
Date: April 8, 2020
Docket Number: 27962
South Carolina v. Simmons  
Date: March 25, 2020
Docket Number: 27959

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Michael Simmons was convicted of six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in the second degree pursuant to section 16-15-405 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. Simmons contended this provision was…

State v. Kinard
Date: March 18, 2020
Docket Number: 27955
In the Matter of Samuel Drose
Date: March 18, 2020
Docket Number: 27956
Westbrook v. Murkin Group  
Date: March 18, 2020
Docket Number: 27957

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the South Carolina Supreme Court's review centered on whether Respondent, the Murkin Group, LLC (Murkin), engaged in the unauthorized practice of law (UPL). In April 2017, the Wando…

South Carolina v. Smith  
Date: March 18, 2020
Docket Number: 27958

Justia Opinion Summary: In October 2013, a young woman (the victim) was shot by Petitioner Michael Smith in the Five Points area of Columbia, South Carolina. It was undisputed Smith did not intend to harm her. Rather, Smith claimed he was…

Crane v. Raber's Discount Tire Rack  
Date: March 11, 2020
Docket Number: 27951

Justia Opinion Summary: Danny Crane sought workers' compensation benefits for hearing loss and brain injuries he alleged he suffered in a work-related accident. The workers' compensation commission denied most of Crane's claims, finding he was…

State v. Field
Date: March 11, 2020
Docket Number: 27952
Ethier v. Fairfield Memorial  
Date: March 11, 2020
Docket Number: 27953

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners Phillip and Jeanne Ethier appealed a verdict in favor of Respondent Dr. Guy Bibeau, who misdiagnosed a popliteal aneurysm as a probable spider bite. During voir dire, the court asked prospective jurors…

South Carolina v. Prather  
Date: March 11, 2020
Docket Number: 27954

Justia Opinion Summary: Robert Prather was convicted of murder and strong arm robbery. The trial court sentenced Prather to concurrent prison terms of thirty years for murder and ten years for strong arm robbery. Prather appealed, and a divided…

York v. Longlands Plantation  
Date: March 4, 2020
Docket Number: 27950

Justia Opinion Summary: In August 2013, Timothy York drowned when his boat capsized on a pond at Longlands Plantation in Greeleyville, South Carolina. The deceased's brother and personal representative of the estate filed a claim for death…

Faltas v. State
Date: February 19, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-004
State v. Hardin
Date: February 19, 2020
Docket Number: 27938
Rent-A-Center v. SCDOR
Date: February 19, 2020
Docket Number: 27946
Bluestein v. Town of Sullivans Island  
Date: February 19, 2020
Docket Number: 27947

Justia Opinion Summary: This case concerned accreting land along the South Carolina coast that owned by the Town of Sullivan. Petitioners Nathan and Ettaleah Bluestein and Theodore and Karen Albenesius (collectively, Petitioners) bought…

South Carolina v. Moore  
Date: February 19, 2020
Docket Number: 27948

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Robert Moore was convicted by jury and sentenced to thirty years’ imprisonment for the attempted murder of Travis Hall. Hall was shot in the head and left for dead in a vehicle in a Taco Bell parking lot…

Preservation Society v. SCDHEC  
Date: February 19, 2020
Docket Number: 27949

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners, consisting of several citizens groups and neighborhood associations, sought a contested case hearing in the administrative law court (ALC) to challenge the propriety of state environmental authorizations…

Aiken v. So. Carolina Dept. of Rev.  
Date: February 12, 2020
Docket Number: 27944

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondents, individually and as members of a putative class, brought a declaratory judgment action against the South Carolina Department of Revenue seeking refunds of amounts garnished from their wages by the Department…

South Carolina v. Spears  
Date: February 12, 2020
Docket Number: 27945

Justia Opinion Summary: Eric Spears was indicted for trafficking crack cocaine between ten and twenty-eight grams. Spears moved to suppress the evidence of the drugs seized from his person on the ground he was seized in violation of the Fourth…

South Carolina v. Young  
Date: February 5, 2020
Docket Number: 27942

Justia Opinion Summary: In the course of a gun battle between mutual combatants, a bullet fired at Petitioner Aaron Young Jr. (Young Jr.) missed its intended mark and killed an unintended victim. Young Jr. and his father Aaron Young Sr. (Young…

South Carolina v. McCall  
Date: February 5, 2020
Docket Number: 27943

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Terry McCall was convicted of felony DUI. On appeal, he argued the warrantless collection of his blood and urine at the direction of law enforcement pursuant to Section 56-5-2946 of the South Carolina Code…

Century Capitol v. Midtown
Date: January 29, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-003
State v. Hardin
Date: January 29, 2020
Docket Number: 27938
South Carolina v. Dial  
Date: January 29, 2020
Docket Number: 27939

Justia Opinion Summary: John Henry Dial Jr. was charged in magistrates court with three counts of assault and battery in the third degree arising from an incident in which two adults and one minor were sprayed with pepper spray. Dial appeared…

Rose v. SC Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services  
Date: January 29, 2020
Docket Number: 27940

Justia Opinion Summary: For years, the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services (DPPPS) improperly denied inmates parole based on an incorrect interpretation of the statute setting forth the number of votes required…

Hensley v. SCDSS  
Date: January 29, 2020
Docket Number: 27941

Justia Opinion Summary: Kenneth and Angela Hensley filed suit against the South Carolina Department of Social Services on behalf of their adopted minor child BLH and a class of approximately 4000 similarly situated adopted children. The central…

State v. Odom
Date: January 22, 2020
Docket Number: 2020-MO-001
Skydive Myrtle Beach v. Horry Cty.  
Date: January 22, 2020
Docket Number: 27930

Justia Opinion Summary: Horry County, South Carolina filed an action in magistrates court to eject Skydive Myrtle Beach, Inc., from a hangar at the Grand Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach. The magistrates court found Skydive did not have any…

In the Matter of Gregory Sloan
Date: January 22, 2020
Docket Number: 27936
State v. Simpson
Date: January 22, 2020
Docket Number: 27937
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