South Carolina Supreme Court Opinions

125px-SCSupreme_CourtSeal

On Wednesday, the South Carolina Supreme Court published four opinions: Hartzell v. Palmetto Collison, Brock v. Town of Mount Pleasant, Teamer v. State, and State v. Beekman.

In Hartzell v. Palmetto Collision , Hartzell filed a worker’s compensation claim alleging a partial permanent injury to his back while moving an auto frame machine. Palmetto Collission (“Employer”) denied Hartzell’s claim, inter alia, that he failed to provide notice of his injury as required by SC Code Section 42-15-20.  At the Commission hearing, the single commissioner issued an order finding that Hartzell timely reported the injury and was therefore Hartzell’s employer was subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act. The full Commission affirmed the Single Commissioner’s order and the Employer appealed to the court of appeals. The appellate court reversed the award of benefits to Hartzell finding that the Commission’s determination that Hartzell provided Employer adequate notice was not supported by substantial evidence in the record.

This Court granted Hartzell’s petition for writ of certiorari to review the appellate court’s decision. This Court  reversed the appellate court’s decision finding that the Commission’s findings were supported by substantial evidence.

In Brock v. Town of Mount Pleasant, the Court issued a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals’ decision in Brock v. Town of Pleasant, 411 S.C. 106 (Ct. App. 2014), that the Town of Mount Pleasant (“the Town”) did not violate the Freedom Information Act (“FOIA”) by taking unnoticed action following executive sessions at special meetings. The Court reviewed the record and found that the Town technically violated FOIA and that the court of appeals erred in relying on the discussion of regular meetings in  Lambries v. Saluda County Council, 409 S.C. 1 (2014), in resolving the underlying challenge concerning special meetings. The Court modified the appellate court’s decision holding that the FOIA violation should be included in the appellate court’s existing remand to the trial court as an additional matter for a redetermination of attorney’s fees.

In Teamer v. State, the Court granted the State’s petition for a writ of certiorari to review the post-conviction relief’s  (“PCR”) court decision. Teamer was convicted of first-degree burglary, felony driving under the influence (DUI) resulting in great bodily injury, and failure to stop for a blue life resulting in great bodily injury, and sentence to an aggregate term of thirty years in prison. The appellate court dismissed Respondent Teamer’s direct appeal and the Respondent filed a PCR application. The PCR Court granted relief on four grounds. This Court reversed the PCR Court’s decision finding inter alia, that trial’s counsel’s performance was not deficient and reinstated Respondent’s convictions and sentences.

State v. Beekman, Beekman was convicted of committing  first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor on his stepson and a lewd act upon a child on his stepdaughter. This Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the appellate court’s decision affirming the trial court’s denial of Beekman’s motion to server the chargers. This Court affirmed the appellate court’s decision finding no abuse of discretion in the joinder of charge, for the charges arose out of a single course of conduct, were the same general nature, and were proved by the same evidence. Further, joinder did not prejudice any of Beekman’s substantial rights.

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, the Court published seven opinions: State v. Phillips, In the Matter of Gene Stockholm, In the Matter of Robert Breckenridge, In the Matter of Timothy Moses, CareAlliance Health Services v. SCDOR, State v. Legg, and Traynum v. Scavens.

In State v. Phillips, the Court affirmed as modified the appellate court’s decision in State v. Phillips, 411 S.C. 124 (Ct. App. 2014.)

In the Matter of Gene Stockholm and In the Matter of Timothy Moses, the Court disbars an attorney from the practice of law.

In the Matter of Robert Breckenridge, the Court publicly reprimands a lawyer.

In CareAlliance Health Services v. SCDOR, the Court reversed the administrative law court, which granted summary judgment in favor of CareAlliance Health Services.

In State v. Legg, Legg was convicted of lewd act on a minor and sentenced to twelve years imprisonment, orderd to be placed on the sex offender registry and subjected to GPS monitoring. Legg appealed arguing that allowing a videotaped forensic interview of an alleged child abuse victim to be played before a jury arbitraily allowed an alleged victim to tesitfy twice therefore violating his Due Process right to a fair trial under the Fourteenth Amendment. This Court rejected  appellant Legg’s Due Process challenge finding that the applicable statute, SC Code Section 17-23-175, is not facially unconstitutional on procedural Due Process grounds. Accordingly, the Court affirmed  appellant’s conviction and sentence.

Traynum v. Scavens, the Court affirmed the trial court’s awared of summary jdugment to Respondent

 

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s