Supreme Court of South Carolina


Live event will begin  Tuesday, March 05, 2019 at 9:30 AM

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The summary below each case is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what issues are included in a case which will be argued. The summary is not a limit on what issues a party to a case may present at oral argument.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

09:30 a.m. 2016-001710   Andrew P. Neumayer, Respondent, v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, Primary Colors Child Care Center, Jocelyn Knox DeMartelare, and Asia N. Partman, Defendants, Of Whom Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company is the Appellant.

Phillip E. Reeves, of Gallivan, White & Boyd, PA, of Greenville, Curtis W. Dowling and Matthew G. Gerrald, both of Barnes Alford Stork & Johnson, LLP, of Columbia, for Appellant. Gerald Eugene Reardon, of Law Office of Jerry Reardon, of Columbia and Blake A. Hewitt of Bluestein Thompson Sullivan LLC, of Columbia, for Respondent.

In this insurance dispute, we address whether the circuit court erred in holding the policy's notice provision void under South Carolina law, and in doing so, finding coverage available despite the insured's failure to notify the insurer.

10:00 a.m. 2018-000621   Vivian B. Cromwell, Susan Prioleau Simmons, Ruth Nelson Gadsden, Robert Blake Brisbane and Mildred Chapman, Plaintiffs, v. Alberta Brisbane, Jeanie Geathers, LeRoy Brisbane, Francena B. Lawton, James B. Watson, Helen Davis, Rosalee Simmons, LaVerne Hamilton, Minerva Gadsden, Daniel Simmons, Jr., Mary Mosely, Horace Robinson, Jr., James Robinson, Henry Robinson, Avis D. Robinson a/k/a Avis Robertson, Dora Robinson, Jamie Williams, Desiree Williams, Mark Williams, Grace Ettison, Dannion Jordan, Ronald Williams, William Drayton, Keith Drayton, Jerome Hopkins, Joseph Hopkins, Jr., Tracy Hopkins, Alethia Gillian, Samuel Brown, Jeannette Brown, Arthur Brown, Antonio Brown, Dwayne Brown, Polly Brown, Keith Brown, Kenny Brown, Dexter Brown, Marie Brown, Starcia Stewart, James L. Brown, Jr., Glen Brown, Ernestine Brown, Veronica Brown, Calvin Brown, Jr., Harold Brown, Jr., Mary Anne Brisbane, Harvey Brisbane, Jr., Danny Bolds, Raymond Bolds, Michael Bolds, David Bolds, Carolyn Logan, Mary Jane Brown, Miriam Grant a/k/a Muriel Grant, Edward Grant, Jr., Gilbert Grante, Perry Grant, Junata O'Kieffe, Martha Lions, Margie Marine, Gurtha Forrest, Gloria Gibbs, Christopher Gathers, John D. Heyward, Allen Mitchell, Jr., Tiffany N. Daley, Michael S. Mitchell, Allen Mitchell, III, Frederica Coleman, Dorothy Boykin, Lavinia Brisbane, Clarence Brisbane, Jr., Betty Brisbane, Fred Brisbane, Evelyn Palmer, Mary Brisbane, Carl Brisbane, Carlotta Bickham, George Brisbane, Elias Brisbane, Maxine Brisbane, Evan Brisbane, Jesse Simmons, Jr., Odell White, Christina Hartfield, Sarah Mitchell, Arthur Albert Mitchell, Suzanne Mitchell, Olethia Gadsen, Wand Mitchell Harley, Arthur Mitchell, Jr., Benjamin Mitchell, Barbara Johnson, Diane B. Samuel, Kathy L. Nelson, Thelma E. Nelson, Carolyn Singleton, LaMotta Nelson, Rodney Nelson, Jerome Hopkins, Joseph Hopkins, Jr., Tracy Hopkins, Lottie Brown, Sylvia Johnson, Raymon Brown, Ronald Brown, Bernard Frasier, Barry Frasier, Kelvin Frasier, Marie Richardson, Delores Richardson, William Richardson, Robert Heyward, Katina Heyward, Valorie Heyward, Karvin Dotson, Youlonda Brisbane, Kermit Brisbane, Meka Brisbane, Jermaine Brisbane, Peggy Nelson, Joseph Elliott, Cynthia Elliott, Jackie Elliott, Net Elliott, Stephanie Elliott, Rodney Elliott, Nancy Brisbane, William Albert Brisbane, Jr., Bernard Brisbane, Gary Brisbane, Bonnie Brisbane, Jametta Brisbane Hamilton, Elizabeth Hamilton, and Rosetta B. Brown, John Doe, adults, and Richard Roe, infants, insane persons, incompetents, and persons in the military service of the United States of America, being fictitious names designating as a class any unknown person or persons who may be an heir, distributee, devisee, legatee, widower, widow, assign, administrator, executor, creditor, successor, personal representative, issue, or alienee of James Brisbane, James Brisbane, Jr., James Brisbane, III, Jimmy Brisbane, Emily Brown, Harvey Brisbane, Rosa Robinson, Henrietta Brisbane Geathers, Laura Geathers, Geneva Grant, Viola Heyward, Henrietta Bolds, Estelle Nelson, Swackie Brisbane, Wilhemenia Young, Roxanna Pinckney, Daniel Simmons, Horace Robinson, Elizabeth Williams, Mabel Robinson, Julian Robinson, Patricia Williams, Albertha Graham, Joseph E. Hopkins, Emily Brown, Steve Brown, Steve Brown, Jr., Roger Brown, James LeRoy Brown, Harold Brown, Theodore Heyward, Theodore Heyward, Jr., Mary E. Mitchell, James Heyward, Clarence Brisbane, Swackie Brisbane, Jr., Susan Richardson, Janie Simmons a/k/a Janie Richardson Brisbane, Ruby Mitchell, Jesse Simmons, William Nelson, Ruth Hopkins, Thomas Brown, Wilhemenia Frasier, Helen Brown Allen, Albertha Lee Richardson, Louise Heyward, Herbert Lee Heyward, Loretta Brisbane, Gail Davis, William Nelson, Jr., Edward Grant, Sr., Eartha Lee Elliott, William Albert Brisbane, Betty Manigault, Steven Christopher Brown, and Rosetta Brisbane all of whom are deceased, and any or all other persons or legal entities, known and unknown, claiming any right, title, interest or estate in or lien upon the parcel of real estate described in the Lis Pendens and Complaint herein filed, Defendants, And Associated Developers, Inc. and Nordic Group, LLC, Intervenors, Of which Associated Developers, Inc. is the Respondent, And of which Nordic Group, LLC, is the Petitioner.

James Atkinson Bruorton IV, and Timothy J.W. Muller, both of Rosen Rosen & Hagood, LLC, of Charleston; and Wallace K. Lightsey, of Wyche Law Firm, of Greenville, all for Petitioner. Michael A. Timbes, and Thomas J. Rode, both of Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, PA, of Charleston, for Respondent.

The Court granted certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' decision in Cromwell v. Brisbane, Op. No. 2018-UP-062 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Feb. 7, 2018). Petitioner asserts the Court of Appeals erred in (1) finding Petitioner did not preserve the Master-in-Equity's errors for appellate review; and (2) affirming the Master's ruling that an oral bid by the bidder's attorney in a partition sale is legally insufficient unless a written contract sufficient to satisfy the statute of frauds is put in evidence at or prior to the sale.

10:30 a.m. 2018-000753   The State, Petitioner, v. Robert Jared Prather, Respondent.

Elizabeth Anne Franklin-Best, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson, Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Melody J. Brown, Assistant Attorney General J. Anthony Mabry, Assistant Attorney General Susannah R. Cole, all of Columbia and Solicitor S. R. Hubbard, III, of Lexington, for Respondent.

Robert Jared Prather was convicted of murder and armed robbery. The court of appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial. State v. Prather, 422 S.C. 96, 810 S.E.2d 419 (Ct. App. 2017). The Court granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting improper reply testimony and that the admission of such testimony was not harmless.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

09:30 a.m. 2017-001965   The State, Respondent, v. Wallace Steve Perry, Petitioner.

Kerri A. Rupert, of Murphy & Grantland, PA and Chief Appellate Defender Robert M. Dudek, both of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan M. Wilson, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General J. Benjamin Aplin and Assistant Attorney General Vann Henry Gunter, Jr., all of Columbia and Solicitor William W. Wilkins, III, of Greenville, for Respondent.

Wallace Steve Perry was convicted of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) and two counts of second-degree CSC. The court of appeals affirmed his convictions and sentences. State v. Perry, 420 S.C. 643, 803 S.E.2d 899 (2017). We granted Perry's petition for a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision. On appeal, Perry argues the trial court erred in (1) finding his stepdaughter's testimony was admissible as evidence of a common scheme or plan, and (2) allowing a doctor to improperly comment on the veracity of his daughter's testimony.

10:00 a.m.  2018-001153   The State, Petitioner, v. Frederick Scott Pfeiffer, Respondent.

Attorney General Alan Wilson, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General S. Creighton Waters and Senior Assistant Attorney General Brian T. Petrano, all of Columbia, for Petitioner. Ralph Gleaton, of Gleaton Law Firm, PC and William G. Yarborough, III, both of Greenville, for Respondent.

The Court granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in State v. Pfeiffer, Op. No. 2018-UP-130 (S.C. Ct. App. filed March 28, 2018).

10:30 a.m.  2018-000029   The State, Respondent, v. Sean Robert Kelly, Petitioner.

Heath P. Taylor, of Taylor Law Firm LLC, of West Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson and Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., both of Columbia and Solicitor Kevin S. Brackett, of York, for Respondent.

Petitioner was arrested for driving under the influence. Following the presentation of the State's case and a motion for a directed verdict by petitioner, the magistrate dismissed the case for failure to comply with S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-2953 (2018). The circuit court affirmed the magistrate's dismissal, but the court of appeals reversed and remanded the case to the magistrate for a new trial. This Court granted certiorari to review whether the court of appeals erred by failing to hold that the decisions of the lower courts were not appealable on Double Jeopardy grounds.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

09:30 a.m. 2018-000076   Johnny Tucker, Employee, Respondent, v. SC Department of Transportation, Employer, and State Accident Fund, Carrier, Petitioners.

David H. Keller and Evelyn A. Norton, both of Turner Padget Graham & Laney, P.A., of Greenville, for Petitioners. Preston F. McDaniel, of McDaniel Law Firm, of Columbia and Gerald Malloy of Malloy Law Firm, of Hartsville, for Respondent.

We granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' opinion. Tucker v. SC Dep't of Transportation, Op. No. 2017-UP-379 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Oct. 18, 2017)

10:00 a.m. 2017-002206   The State, Respondent, v. Mario Valerio Gonzalez Hernandez, Petitioner.

Graham R. Billings, of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, of Columbia, and Chief Appellate Defender Robert Michael Dudek, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General Mark R. Farthing, both of Columbia; and Solicitor David Matthew Stumbo, of Greenwood, for Respondent.

Mario Valerio Gonzalez Hernandez was convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The court of appeals affirmed. State v. Hernandez, Op. No. 2017-UP-324 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Aug. 2, 2017). The Court granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision. Hernandez argues the court of appeals erred in affirming the trial court's decision to admit: (1) expert testimony regarding DNA evidence and (2) an investigator's testimony regarding what an interpreter said Hernandez told him in Spanish.

10:30 a.m.  2018-000994   The State, Respondent, v. Gerald Rudell Williams, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender David Alexander, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson and Assistant Attorney General William F. Schumacher, IV, both of Columbia and Solicitor S. R. Hubbard, III, of Lexington, for Respondent.

The Court issued a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in State v. Williams, 422 S.C. 525, 812 S.E.2d 917 (2018).

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

09:30 a.m.  2018-000981   The State, Respondent, v. Denzel Marquise Heyward, Petitioner.

Donald Michael Mathison and Chief Appellate Defender Robert Michael Dudek, both of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General James Clayton Mitchell III, both of Columbia; and Solicitor Scarlett Anne Wilson, of Charleston, all for Respondent.

Petitioner was found guilty of attempted murder, armed robbery, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. He was sentenced to a total of 65 years' imprisonment. The court of appeals affirmed his convictions. This Court granted certiorari to review whether the court of appeals erred in affirming 1.) the admission of photo lineup identification evidence; and 2.) that Petitioner's counsel opened the door to the introduction of testimony regarding domestic violence between Petitioner and his co-defendant.

10:00 a.m.  2017-002133   Rivergate Homeowners' Association, Petitioner, v. WW & LB Development Company, LLC, RWG, Inc., Aiello Associates, Daniels Engineering, Inc., Rivergate Homeowners' Association, Rivergate Homeowners' Association Board of Directors, Wayne Winderman, individually, Salvatrice Foran, individually, Gerald Foran, individually, Marcos Soares Construction, William C. DeSouza, individually, James Eason individually and d/b/a James Eason & Company, D&D Cleaning and Construction, Inc., Joel's Framing, Joe Freza, Aroldo Garcia, Joaquin Geraldo Zeferino, individually and d/b/a Zeferino Framing, Leo Trombley, Judy Schultz, J&D Interior Design, Jose Dasmerces d/b/a J.P. Construction, Scott Chandler d/b/a Coastal Custom Windows & Doors, R&D Construction, Nicasio Ramirez Zunigo, Walchir Morais, Marco Trebbi, Blankenship Roofing, Inc., DLJ Construction, LLC, Dewayne Bates, The Bates Group, LLC, Bridges Construction Co., Brewer Construction, Inc., Speedy Concrete, REB-FEL, Inc., Mark Mychajluk, Eric Jazwinski, Southern Framing Corporation, AB Consulting Engineers, Inc., WWI Development Company, LLC, Michael Dawson Construction, Inc., Asphalt Paving & Maintenance Co., Inc., Chuck's Construction Co., Inc., Right Way Group, Inc., Stevens Construction Co., Inc., Geometrics, Inc., Eric Yazwinski, Law Engineering, Inc., D & M Builders, Inc., Hill Construction Company, Bonnie Stone a/k/a Bonny Stone, DJL Construction Company, L.L.P., Adrian Mondragon, individually and d/b/a Mondragon Construction, Inc., and Glen Causey, Defendants, Of Whom Speedy Concrete, Inc., AB Consulting Engineers, Inc. and Chuck's Construction, Inc. are the Respondents. and Chuck's Construction Co., Inc., Third-Party Plaintiff, v. Vereen Concrete Co., Inc. and Asphalt Pavement Maintenance of Myrtle Beach, Inc., Third-Party Defendants.

Blake A. Hewitt, of Bluestein Thompson Sullivan, LLC, of Columbia, Stacy L. Stanley and V. Denise Hamilton, both of Stanley Law Firm, of Little River, for Petitioner. Stephanie H. Burton, of Gibbes Burton, LLC, of Spartanburg, Christina A. Bisset and J. Christopher Clark, both of McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC, of Myrtle Beach and G. Michael Smith, Sr., of Thompson & Henry, PA, of Conway, for Respondents.

The Court granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in Rivergate Homeowners' Ass'n v. WW & LB Dev. Co., LLC, Op. No. 2017-UP-296 (S.C. Ct. App. filed July 19, 2017). In this construction case, Rivergate Homeowners' Association appeals the circuit court's order granting summary judgment to Speedee Concrete, Inc., Chuck's Construction, Inc., and AB Consulting Engineers, Inc.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

09:30 a.m.  2017-001992   The State, Respondent, v. Demario Monte Thompson, Petitioner.

Appellate Defender LaNelle Cantey DuRant, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson and Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Deborah R.J. Shupe, both of Columbia, and Solicitor Douglas A. Barfield, Jr., of Kershaw, for Respondent.

Thompson appeals his convictions for first degree burglary and third degree assault and battery, arguing the trial court erred by admitting a trespass notice into evidence and admitting the entire recording of a 911 call into evidence. The Court of Appeals affirmed. State v. Thompson, 420 S.C. 386, 803 S.E.2d 44 (Ct. App. 2017). This Court granted Thompson's petition for a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals.

10:00 a.m. 2018-000784   Angela Cartmel, Respondent, v. Edward Brice Taylor, Petitioner.

Robert Bratton Varnado and Alexis Mills Wimberly, both of Brown & Varnado, LLC, of Mt. Pleasant, for Petitioner. Bradford M. Owensby, of Brad Owensby Law Firm, LLC, of Aiken, for Respondent.

The Court granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in Cartmel v. Taylor, Op. No. 2018-UP-046 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Jan. 31, 2018).

10:30 a.m. 2017-002043   Robert Lester, Jr., Respondent, v. Marco and Timea Sanchez and Eva Sanchez, Defendants, Of whom Marco and Timea Sanchez are the Petitioners. In the interest of a minor under the age of eighteen.

Thomas F. McDow and Erin K. Urquhart, both of McDow & Urquhart, LLC, of Rock Hill, for Petitioners. Joshua B. Mitchell, of Rock Hill, for Respondent. James W. Tucker, Jr., of Rock Hill, Guardian ad Litem.

We granted certiorari to determine whether the court of appeals erred in affirming the family court's award of guardian ad litem fees.