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Petitioner Nila Collean Carter sought to revoke her consent to the adoption of her two biological children. Throughout the proceedings, Petitioner was never provided an opportunity to be heard on the merits of her claim before the adoption was finalized. The South Carolina Supreme Court issued a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' unpublished decision affirming the family court's denial of Petitioner's motion to set aside the final adoption decree pursuant to Rule 60(b), SCRCP. Because Petitioner's Rule 60(b) motion was timely filed and sufficiently alleged extrinsic fraud, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded this matter to the family court for further proceedings. View "Ex Parte: Carter" on Justia Law

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Respondent Otis Nero filed a workers' compensation claim alleging he sustained injuries to his back and shoulder while on the job. The single commissioner found respondent suffered an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of respondent's employment, and awarded benefits. The appellate panel reversed the decision of the single commissioner, finding respondent failed to provide timely notice of the injury. On appeal from the commission's decision, the court of appeals employed the de novo standard of review applicable to jurisdictional questions, and reversed the commission. In finding the question of timely notice was a jurisdictional question subject to de novo review, the court of appeals relied on Shatto v. McLeod Regional Medical Center, 753 S.E.2d 416 (2013) and Mintz v. Fiske-Carter Construction Co., 63 S.E.2d 50 (1951). The South Carolina Supreme Court found neither Shatto nor Mintz supported the court of appeals' use of the de novo standard. Until this case, the court of appeals consistently applied the substantial evidence standard when reviewing decisions of the commission on the question of timely notice. The Supreme Court found that under well-settled law, the commission's determination of whether a claimant gave timely notice under section 42-15-20 was not a jurisdictional determination, and had to be reviewed on appeal under the substantial evidence standard. Accordingly, the Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals and remanded for a decision under the proper standard of review. View "Nero v. SCDOT" on Justia Law

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Petitioner Nila Carter sought to revoke her consent to the adoption of her two biological children. Petitioner was never provided an opportunity to be heard on the merits of her claim before the adoption was finalized. The South Carolina Supreme Court issued a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' unpublished decision affirming the family court's denial of Petitioner's motion to set aside the final adoption decree pursuant to Rule 60(b), SCRCP. Because Petitioner's Rule 60(b) motion was timely filed and sufficiently alleged extrinsic fraud, the South Carolina Supreme Court reversed and remanded this matter to the family court for further proceedings. View "Ex Parte: Carter" on Justia Law

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In 2008, Petitioner Yancey Thompson was convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) with a minor, second degree CSC with a minor, and disseminating obscene material to a minor. He was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of twenty-five years, twenty years, and ten years, respectively. Petitioner appealed and the South Carolina Supreme Court affirmed his convictions. Petitioner then sought post-conviction relief (PCR). The PCR court concluded Petitioner had established his trial counsel was deficient in certain respects but denied relief on the basis that Petitioner had not proven he was prejudiced by these deficiencies. The Supreme Court concluded Petitioner's jury trial was infected by “improper corroborating evidence,” and that there was no probative evidence in the record to support the PCR court's findings that Petitioner was not prejudiced by these deficiencies. Therefore, the Court reversed the PCR court's denial of post-conviction relief and remanded to the court of general sessions for a new trial. View "Thompson v. South Carolina" on Justia Law

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Respondent Michael Milledge was arrested and convicted of multiple drug-related offenses in Greenville County following a traffic stop. Milledge applied for post-conviction relief (PCR), arguing his defense counsel was deficient for failing to object at trial to the introduction of contraband found pursuant to an illegal search. The PCR court agreed and granted Milledge a new trial. After review, the South Carolina Supreme Court held the PCR court erred in finding Milledge met his burden of proof to establish prejudice. “The motivation of the deputies in this case is highly probative. While the protections of the Fourth Amendment may have been triggered had the deputies prolonged the detention and engaged in a search of Milledge and his vehicle for the purpose of finding evidence, the limited pat down performed by Deputy Lanning was solely for officer safety. To reach a different conclusion would prevent officers operating in similar high-crime areas from conducting a protective frisk when their specialized training indicates the person may be armed and would subject officers to the ‘unnecessary risks’ in performing their duties the Terry court warned against.” View "Milledge v. South Carolina" on Justia Law

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Respondent Michael Milledge was arrested and convicted of multiple drug-related offenses in Greenville County following a traffic stop. Milledge applied for post-conviction relief (PCR), arguing his defense counsel was deficient for failing to object at trial to the introduction of contraband found pursuant to an illegal search. The PCR court agreed and granted Milledge a new trial. After review, the South Carolina Supreme Court held the PCR court erred in finding Milledge met his burden of proof to establish prejudice. “The motivation of the deputies in this case is highly probative. While the protections of the Fourth Amendment may have been triggered had the deputies prolonged the detention and engaged in a search of Milledge and his vehicle for the purpose of finding evidence, the limited pat down performed by Deputy Lanning was solely for officer safety. To reach a different conclusion would prevent officers operating in similar high-crime areas from conducting a protective frisk when their specialized training indicates the person may be armed and would subject officers to the ‘unnecessary risks’ in performing their duties the Terry court warned against.” View "Milledge v. South Carolina" on Justia Law

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This appeal presents the South Carolina Supreme Court with the opportunity to revisit Roddey v. Wal-Mart Stores E., LP, 784 S.E.2d 670 (2016), wherein the Court reversed and remanded for a new trial after determining the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the circuit court's decision granting Wal-Mart's motion for a directed verdict on the appellant's negligence action. On remand, the circuit court, believing the new trial to be limited to the negligence action, issued an order striking the negligent hiring, training, supervision, and entrustment action and barring any evidence in support of the action on the basis of res judicata. Travis Roddey, individually and as the personal representative of Alice Hancock's estate, ("Appellant") appealed the order and the Supreme Court certified the appeal pursuant to Rule 204(b), SCACR. Wal-Mart suspected Alice Hancock's sister, Donna Beckham, of shoplifting. As Beckham was exiting the store and heading for Hancock's car, Wal-Mart's employees told Derrick Jones, an on-duty Wal-Mart security guard employed with U.S. Security Associates, Inc. ("USSA"), to delay Beckham from leaving its premises. Beckham, however, got into Hancock's car and Hancock exited the parking lot and entered the highway. Jones pursued Hancock onto the highway in contravention of Wal-Mart's policies after Wal-Mart's employees repeatedly asked him to obtain Hancock's license tag. Hancock died in a single-car accident shortly thereafter. Appellant filed suit against Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, USSA, and Jones (collectively "Respondents"), alleging negligence and negligent hiring, training, supervision, and entrustment. At the conclusion of Appellant's case, Wal-Mart moved for a directed verdict on both causes of action. The circuit court granted Wal-Mart's motion and dismissed it from the case, concluding "there is insufficient evidence that Wal-Mart was negligent, or even if they were there is [a] lack of proximate cause that the events were not foreseeable." USSA subsequently moved for a directed verdict on the negligent hiring cause of action, arguing Jones had a suspended driver's license and a criminal record did not make it foreseeable that "Jones would engage in a high speed pursuit down the highway off [Wal-Mart's] premises." The court denied the motion and both the negligence action and the negligent hiring action were sent to the jury. The Supreme Court found no reversible error in the circuit court’s judgment, and affirmed it. View "Roddey v. Wal-Mart" on Justia Law

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This appeal presents the South Carolina Supreme Court with the opportunity to revisit Roddey v. Wal-Mart Stores E., LP, 784 S.E.2d 670 (2016), wherein the Court reversed and remanded for a new trial after determining the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the circuit court's decision granting Wal-Mart's motion for a directed verdict on the appellant's negligence action. On remand, the circuit court, believing the new trial to be limited to the negligence action, issued an order striking the negligent hiring, training, supervision, and entrustment action and barring any evidence in support of the action on the basis of res judicata. Travis Roddey, individually and as the personal representative of Alice Hancock's estate, ("Appellant") appealed the order and the Supreme Court certified the appeal pursuant to Rule 204(b), SCACR. Wal-Mart suspected Alice Hancock's sister, Donna Beckham, of shoplifting. As Beckham was exiting the store and heading for Hancock's car, Wal-Mart's employees told Derrick Jones, an on-duty Wal-Mart security guard employed with U.S. Security Associates, Inc. ("USSA"), to delay Beckham from leaving its premises. Beckham, however, got into Hancock's car and Hancock exited the parking lot and entered the highway. Jones pursued Hancock onto the highway in contravention of Wal-Mart's policies after Wal-Mart's employees repeatedly asked him to obtain Hancock's license tag. Hancock died in a single-car accident shortly thereafter. Appellant filed suit against Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, USSA, and Jones (collectively "Respondents"), alleging negligence and negligent hiring, training, supervision, and entrustment. At the conclusion of Appellant's case, Wal-Mart moved for a directed verdict on both causes of action. The circuit court granted Wal-Mart's motion and dismissed it from the case, concluding "there is insufficient evidence that Wal-Mart was negligent, or even if they were there is [a] lack of proximate cause that the events were not foreseeable." USSA subsequently moved for a directed verdict on the negligent hiring cause of action, arguing Jones had a suspended driver's license and a criminal record did not make it foreseeable that "Jones would engage in a high speed pursuit down the highway off [Wal-Mart's] premises." The court denied the motion and both the negligence action and the negligent hiring action were sent to the jury. The Supreme Court found no reversible error in the circuit court’s judgment, and affirmed it. View "Roddey v. Wal-Mart" on Justia Law

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The issue this case presented for the South Carolina Supreme Court’s review centered on whether Petitioner David Gooldy was entitled to an implied easement where his deed incorporated by reference a plat that indicated a road, marked "50' Road," bordered the adjoining property owned by Respondent Storage Center-Platt Springs, LLC (Storage Center). The master-inequity held Gooldy was entitled to the presumption of an implied easement, which the Storage Center failed to rebut, but the court of appeals reversed, holding the presumption did not apply and that no evidence supported the master's order. The Supreme Court concluded the appellate court erred in its conclusion that the master’s decision was not supported by evidence in the record. The Court determined parties to the 1986 conveyance intended to create an easement. The implied easement encumbered the Storage Center's property as the Loflin Plat was duly recorded in its chain of title. The master’s order was reinstated. View "Gooldy v. The Storage Center" on Justia Law

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The issue this case presented for the South Carolina Supreme Court’s review centered on whether Petitioner David Gooldy was entitled to an implied easement where his deed incorporated by reference a plat that indicated a road, marked "50' Road," bordered the adjoining property owned by Respondent Storage Center-Platt Springs, LLC (Storage Center). The master-inequity held Gooldy was entitled to the presumption of an implied easement, which the Storage Center failed to rebut, but the court of appeals reversed, holding the presumption did not apply and that no evidence supported the master's order. The Supreme Court concluded the appellate court erred in its conclusion that the master’s decision was not supported by evidence in the record. The Court determined parties to the 1986 conveyance intended to create an easement. The implied easement encumbered the Storage Center's property as the Loflin Plat was duly recorded in its chain of title. The master’s order was reinstated. View "Gooldy v. The Storage Center" on Justia Law