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Court of Appeals Published Opinions - February 2016

Note: Beginning in June 2012, opinions will be posted as Adobe PDFs. You can download a free copy of Adobe Reader here.

The summary following each opinion is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what a particular opinion decides. The summary is not necessarily a full description of the issues discussed in an opinion.

2-10-2016 - Opinions

5378 - Smalls v. State

In this post-conviction relief (PCR) action, Stephen Smalls (Petitioner) argues the PCR court erred in finding trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to (1) object and request a mistrial when an investigator testified Petitioner burglarized someone's house and stole the gun used in the robbery, (2) object when the State erroneously told the jury during its opening statement that police saw Petitioner leaving the scene of the robbery, and (3) preserve an issue concerning the trial court's refusal to allow witness Eugene Green to be cross-examined about his dismissed carjacking charge. We affirm.

5379 - Ackerman v. South Carolina Department of Corrections

Appellants (Inmates), 196 current or former inmates participating in a Prison Industries service project operated by Respondent South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC), challenge an order of the South Carolina Administrative Law Court upholding SCDC's denial of Inmates' grievances. Inmates argue their grievances invoking the Prevailing Wage Statute were not subject to SCDC's fifteen-day filing deadline because these grievances concerned SCDC policy rather than an "incident." We reverse and remand for consideration of Inmates' grievances on the merits.

5380 - Hill v. State

Jomer Hill (Petitioner) appeals the denial of post-conviction relief (PCR), arguing the PCR court erred in declining to find appellate counsel ineffective for failing to raise a directed verdict issue on appeal. We affirm.

2-24-2016 - Opinions

5361 - Bolin v. SCDC

Appellant Michael Bolin (Inmate) challenges a decision of the South Carolina Administrative Law Court upholding a determination of the South Carolina Department of Corrections that Inmate must serve eighty-five percent of his sentence before he is eligible for early release, discharge, or community supervision. Inmate argues that the eighty-five-percent requirement of section 24-13-150 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2014) does not apply to any of the offenses to which he pled guilty because they are not considered "no-parole offenses." We reverse.

5382 - State v. Palmer

Marc Palmer appeals his convictions for murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He argues the trial court erred in: (1) granting the State's Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), motion; (2) denying his motion for a mistrial and a motion for a new trial; (3) denying his motion for a speedy trial; (4) admitting his statement to law enforcement after he invoked his right to counsel; and (5) sentencing him on a possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime conviction after sentencing him to life imprisonment without parole for murder. We affirm and vacate in part.

5383 - Protection and Advocacy v. SCDDSN

Protection and Advocacy for the People with Disabilities, Inc. (P&A), et al. (collectively, Appellants), appeal the circuit court's grant of summary judgment for the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN), et al. (collectively, Respondents), arguing the court erred in (1) finding Appellants did not have standing; (2) failing to consider the fundamental purpose of the Declaratory Judgment Act; (3) ruling on the issue of binding norms; and (4) finding DDSN is not required to promulgate regulations. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.