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South Carolina
Judicial Branch
Court of Appeals - Roster of Cases for Hearing

   

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.

Monday, December 9, 2019
Court Room I
 10:40 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2016-001725    The State, Respondent, v. Edward Primo Bonilla, Appellant.

Chief Appellate Defender Robert Michael Dudek, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Melody Jane Brown, and Assistant Attorney General Susannah Rawl Cole, all of Columbia, for Respondent. Solicitor David Michael Pascoe, Jr., of Orangeburg, for Respondent.

Edward P. Bonilla appeals his murder conviction, arguing the trial court erred by ruling he gave counsel his informed consent to reveal the location of the victim's body to law enforcement. He also contends the search warrants for two vehicles were defective and thus, the evidence obtained from them should have been suppressed. He further asserts the trial court erred in denying his request for an in camera hearing on the qualifications of a witness.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Court Room I
 10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2016-001684    Mykel Johnson, Petitioner, v. State of South Carolina, Respondent.

Appellate Defender Susan Barber Hackett, of Columbia, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Hunter Limbaugh, both of Columbia, for Respondent.

In this action for post-conviction relief (PCR), Mykel Johnson asserts the PCR court erred in procedurally barring his petition based on a finding the issue of counsel's ineffectiveness and any resulting prejudice had necessarily been determined in a prior appeal.

 10:40 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2017-001954    Beneficial Financial I Inc., successor by merger to Beneficial Mortgage Co. of South Carolina, Appellant, v. Jon Windham, a/k/a Jon D. Windham; Frances Windham, a/k/a Frances C. Windham; and Jerry Coker, a/k/a Jerry L. Coker; Carolina Bank a/k/a Carolina Bank & Trust Co., The United States of America, by and through its agency, the Internal Revenue Service; and The Citizens Bank, Defendants, Of whom Jon Windham a/k/a Jon D. Windham is the Respondent.

Rebecca Kinlein Lindahl of Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP, of Charlotte, North t Carolina, for Appellant. Penny Hays Cauley of Hays Cauley, PC, of Florence, for Respondent.

Beneficial Financial, lender, brought a foreclosure action against Jon Windham, alleging he failed to pay principal and interest on his home loan. Windham responded with multiple counterclaims including violation of the SC Unfair Trade Practices Act, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation. The parties entered into a consent order requiring Beneficial to produce its corporate witness for deposition or face sanctions. The witness failed to appear. On Windham's motion, the circuit court granted summary judgment to Windham on all his claims. Beneficial appeals the summary judgment award.

 11:20 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2016-002366    Emory J. Infinger and Associates Construction Company, Inc., Respondent, v. North Charleston Community Interfaith Shelter, Inc., Bobby Knight, in his official capacity as Chairman and President of Board for The Good Neighbor Center, The Good Neighbor Center, Bank of America, N.A., S.C. State Housing Finance and Development Authority, Atlantic Construction Services, Inc., L&W Supply Corporation dba CK Supply, Now Mechanical, Inc., Wilson & Associates Electrical Contractors, Inc., Defendants, Of which North Charleston Community Interfaith Shelter, Inc. is the Appellant.

Jackson Seth Whipper of Whipper Law Firm, North Charleston, for Appellant. William Koatesworth Swope of The Swope Law Firm, PA, of Charleston, for Appellant. Theodore Luke Manos of Robertson Hollingsworth Manos & Rahn, LLC, of Charleston, for Respondent.

The North Charleston Community Interfaith Shelter, Inc. (the "Shelter") appeals a Master's order foreclosing Emory J. Infinger and Associates Construction Company, Inc.'s ("Infinger") mechanic's lien against the Shelter and finding the Shelter breached the parties' contract. The Shelter alleges (1) Infinger's mechanic's lien was barred because it was not filed within the ninety day period found in section 29-5-90 of the South Carolina Code (2007), (2) Infinger breached the parties' agreement (the "Agreement") by not following the Agreement's dispute resolution regime, and (3) the Master's damage award failed to specify the elements of damages pursuant to the Agreement.

 12:00 p.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2017-001522    The Kitchen Planners, LLC, Appellant, v. Samuel E. Friedman and Jane Breyer Friedman and Branch Banking and Trust, Respondents.

Jean Perrin Derrick, of Lexington, for Appellant. Charles A. Krawczyk of Finkel Law Firm LLC, of Columbia, for Respondents.

In this civil case, The Kitchen Planners, LLC, appeals the circuit court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Samuel and Jane Friedman, arguing the court erred by (1) granting summary judgment in favor of the Friedmans, (2) denying a motion to strike, and (3) awarding attorney's fees to the Friedmans.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Court Room I
 10:00 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2017-000240    Timothy Young, Respondent, v. State of South Carolina, Petitioner.

Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Megan Harrigan Jameson, and Assistant Attorney General Johnny Ellis James, Jr., all of Columbia, for Petitioner. David B. Tarr of Law Office of David B. Tarr, LLC, of Columbia, for Respondent.

In this post-conviction relief (PCR) action, the State appeals the PCR court's grant of a new trial to Timothy Young on the basis that trial counsel was ineffective for not objecting to the qualification of two witnesses at trial as experts because the State did not demonstrate their reliability.

 10:40 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2017-001313    The State, Respondent, v. Justin Jamal Warner, Appellant.

Chief Appellate Defender Robert Michael Dudek, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Melody Jane Brown, Senior Assistant Attorney General W. Edgar Salter, III, all of Columbia, for Respondent. Assistant Attorney General Samuel Marion Bailey, of Charlottesville, Virginia, for Respondent. Solicitor David Rhys Wagner, Jr. of Anderson SC for Respondent State of South Carolina

Justin Jamal Warner appeals his convictions for murder, attempted armed robbery, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and sentence of life in prison. Warner argues the trial court erred in (1) failing to find the search warrant for Warner's cell phone records was invalid because the magistrate lacked jurisdiction to issue the warrant and there was no probable cause to support it; (2) failing to exclude testimony regarding historic cell site location information (CSLI) associated with Warner's cell phone on the basis that it was unreliable and speculative; (3) allowing the jury to have access to written CSLI evidence in the jury room, instead of admitting the evidence for demonstrative purposes only; and (4) failing to grant a Neil v. Biggers hearing on the unduly suggestive nature of the identification by Warner's probation agent, who was shown a surveillance video of the suspect in which the suspect wore sunglasses and a hat.

 11:20 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2017-001506    Cynthia Marie Sanders, Appellant, v. William S. Smith, Jr., Respondent.

Herbert E. Buhl, III, of Columbia, for Appellant. Bonnie P. Horn of Horn Law Firm, of Columbia, for Respondent.

Cynthia Sanders appeals the family court's order denying her motion to vacate a 2010 divorce decree, arguing the family court (1) erred by denying her motion to vacate the divorce decree based on the respondent's, William Smith's fraud upon the court, (2) erred by finding Sanders failed to file her motion to vacate within a reasonable time, and (3) abused its discretion by denying the motion to vacate.

 12:00 p.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2017-000963    Ralph C. Williams, Sr. and Linda Williams, Appellants, v. Patricia A. Johnson, Josette Peppers, and UniHealth Post-Acute Care - Orangeburg, LLC, Respondents.

Robert Paul Foster, of Foster Law Firm, LLC, of Greenville, for Appellants. Java O. Warren, pro hac vice, of Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellants. Jason Edward Bring of Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP, of Atlanta, Georgia, for Respondents Tyler Lawrence Arnold, of Norcross, Georgia, for Respondents.

This appeal stems from a jury trial on Ralph C. Williams, Sr., and Linda Williams' (collectively Appellants') claims for defamation and loss of consortium against Patricia A. Johnson, Josette Peppers, and UniHealth Post Acute Care Orangeburg, LLC (collectively, Respondents). At trial, the jury (1) found Johnson and Peppers did not act in good faith in reporting their suspicions about Ralph Williams, Sr.'s, (Ralph's) alleged sexual abuse of a nursing home patient on June 21, 2010; (2) found Johnson and Peppers were not acting in the scope of their employment when they reported the alleged sexual abuse; and (3) awarded Ralph $102,500 in actual damages and $897,000 in punitive damages. The circuit court granted Respondents a new trial based on the thirteenth juror doctrine. On appeal, Appellants argue the circuit court (1) abused its discretion in granting Respondents a new trial under the thirteenth juror doctrine, (2) erred in overruling Appellants' objection to the verdict form and in denying their motions for a directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) on the issue of whether Johnson and Peppers were acting in the scope of their employment when they reported the alleged sexual abuse, and (3) erred in permitting Respondents to present a joint defense when UniHealth tried to remove its liability by stating only Johnson and Peppers were at fault because they acted outside of the scope of their employment when they reported Ralph.

Thursday, December 12, 2019
Court Room I
 10:40 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2017-001291    The State, Respondent, v. John Christopher Hart, Appellant.

Appellate Defender Joanna Katherine Delany, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Melody Jane Brown, and Assistant Attorney General Caroline M. Scrantom. all of Columbia, for Respondent.

John Christopher Hart appeals his murder conviction arguing the circuit court erred in (1) allowing the State to make arguments in closing that aroused the passions and prejudices of the jury; (2) admitting into evidence incriminating statements made by Hart in response to questioning where Hart was in custody but had not yet been administered the required warnings under Miranda; and (3) denying Hart's motion for a continuance.

 12:00 p.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2017-000872    The State, Respondent, v. Jaycoby Terreak Williams, Appellant.

Appellate Defender David Alexander, of Columbia, for Appellant. Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General W. Jeffrey Young, Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Melody Jane Brown, Assistant Attorney General William Joseph Maye, and Assistant Attorney General Michael Douglas Ross, all of Columbia, for Respondent. Assistant Attorney General Samuel Marion Bailey, of Charlottesville, Virginia, for Respondent. Solicitor Isaac McDuffie Stone, III, of Bluffton, for Respondent.

Jaycoby Terreak Williams appeals his murder conviction arguing the circuit court erred in refusing to allow him to cross-examine Rhame Devo, one of the State's key witnesses, about the potential sentences Devo faces on pending armed robbery and drug charges.