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South Carolina
Judicial Branch
Supreme Court - 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.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Supreme Court Courtroom
 09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)  
2019-001382   Raquel Martinez, Employee, Respondent, v. Spartanburg County, Employer, and South Carolina Association of Counties Self-Insurance Fund, Carrier, Appellants.

L. Brenn Watson and Zachary M. Smith, both of Willson Jones Carter & Baxley, PA, of Greenville, for Appellants. J. Kevin Holmes and David T. Pearlman, both of The Steinberg Law Firm, LLP, of Charleston and Chadwick T. Pye, of Spartanburg, for Respondent.

This case concerns an appeal from the circuit court reversing the Appellate Panel of the Workers' Compensation Commission. Specifically, the Appellate Panel found Raquel Martinez did not suffer a compensable injury because she failed to demonstrate her mental injuries were proximately caused by an unusual or extraordinary condition of her employment. The circuit court reversed, and after several cycles of remands, this matter is now before the Court.

 10:30 a.m.
2018-001393   Greenville Bistro, LLC, a South Carolina Limited Liability Company, d/b/a Buck's Racks & Ribs, and Frontage Road Associates, Inc., a South Carolina Corporation, Respondents, v. Greenville County, a Political Subdivision of the State of South Carolina, and Will Lewis, in his Official Capacity as Sheriff of Greenville County, Appellants.

John Robert Devlin, Jr., of Devlin & Parkinson, PA, of Greenville and Scott D. Bergthold, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellants. Oscar W. Bannister and Luke Anthony Burke, both of Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, LLC, of Greenville and Luke Lirot, of Clearwater, Florida, for Respondents.

In this direct appeal, Greenville County argues the circuit court erred in denying its motion for temporary injunctive relief.

 10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 20-20-5)  
2017-001747   Greenville Bistro, LLC, a South Carolina Limited Liability Company, d/b/a Buck's Racks & Ribs, and Frontage Road Associates, Inc., a South Carolina Corporation, Respondents, v. Greenville County, a Political Subdivision of the State of South Carolina, and Will Lewis, in his Official Capacity as Sheriff of Greenville County, Appellants.

John Robert Devlin, Jr., of Devlin & Parkinson, PA, of Greenville and Scott D. Bergthold, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellants. Oscar W. Bannister and Luke Anthony Burke, both of Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, LLC, of Greenville and Luke Lirot, of Clearwater, Florida, for Respondents.

In this direct appeal, Greenville County argues the circuit court erred in granting Greenville Bistro's motion for temporary injunctive relief.

 11:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)  
2019-001601   The State, Respondent, v. Ahshaad Mykiel Owens, Petitioner.

Chief Appellate Defender Robert M. Dudek, 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 Susannah R. Cole, all of Columbia and Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson, of Charleston, for Respondent.

Ahshaad Mykiel Owens was convicted of murder, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and armed robbery. Owens challenges the trial court's refusal to amend its jury charge on the defense of accident. The Court granted a writ of certiorari on this issue to review the court of appeals decision affirming Owens' convictions. State v. Owens, 427 S.C. 325, 831 S.E.2d 126 (2019).

Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Supreme Court Courtroom
 09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)  
2019-001584   The State, Respondent, v. Terrance Edward Stewart, Petitioner.

C. Rauch Wise, of Greenwood, for Petitioner. Attorney General Alan Wilson, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., both of Columbia and Solicitor David M. Stumbo, of Greenwood, for Respondent.

Terrance Edward Stewart was convicted of distribution of heroin, trafficking heroin, and possession of oxycodone. The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision affirming Stewart's convictions. State v. Stewart, No. 2019-UP-209 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 5, 2019). The Court will review the trial court's jury instructions regarding the inference of knowledge and possession and the definition of constructive possession.

 10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)  
2019-001768   William Loflin and Leslie Loflin, Respondents, v. BMP Development, LP, Balsam Mountain Group, LLC, Coward, Hicks & Siler, P.A., J.K. Coward, Jr., Chicago Title Insurance Company, and Counsellor Title Agency, Inc., Defendants, Of which Chicago Title Insurance Company is Petitioner.

Demetri K. Koutrakos and Louis H. Lang, both of Callison, Tighe & Robinson, LLC of Columbia, for Petitioner. Daniel A. Speights and A.G. Solomons, III, Speights & Runyan, of Hampton and Ranee Saunders, of McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC of Mount Pleasant, for Respondents.

The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in Loflin v. BMP Development, L.P., 427 S.C. 580, 832 S.E.2d 294 (Ct. App. 2019).

 11:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)  
2019-001756   Ashley Reeves, as Personal Representative for the Estate of Albert Carl "Bert" Reeves, Petitioner, v. South Carolina Municipal Insurance and Risk Financing Fund [SCMIRF], Respondent.

W. Mullins McLeod, Jr. and Colin V. Ram, both of McLeod Law Group, LLC, of Charleston, for Petitioner. C. Mitchell Brown and Brian P. Crotty, both of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, of Columbia, for Respondent.

The Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in Reeves v. South Carolina Municipal Insurance and Risk Financing Fund, 427 S.C. 613, 832 S.E.2d 312 (Ct. App. 2019). The Court will determine: (1) whether the hiring, supervision, or retention of a police officer and the shooting death of Bert Reeves are one or more than one occurrence under the Town of Cottageville's insurance policy, and (2) whether the South Carolina Municipal Insurance and Risk Financing Fund is a "political subdivision" as defined by the South Carolina Tort Claims Act.

 12:30 p.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)  
2018-001408   Ex Parte: Nila Collean Carter, Appellant, In Re: John Roe and Mary Roe, Respondents, v. L.C. and X.C., minors under the age of seven years, Defendants.

Melinda Inman Butler, of The Butler Law Firm, of Union and William H. Nixon, Jr., of Charleston, for Appellant. Larry Dale Dove, of Dove Law Group, LLC, of Rock Hill, for Respondents. Katherine Woodward Simons, of Clawson and Staubes, of Mt. Pleasant, Guardian ad Litem.

The issues before the Court concern whether the family court erred in failing to address the issue of extrinsic fraud, in concluding the failure to provide copies of the adoption consents was not material, in requiring Carter to pay approximately $15,000 in guardian ad litem (GAL) fees to the court-appointed guardian, and by declining to address the best interests of the children.

Thursday, November 19, 2020
Supreme Court Courtroom
 09:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 10-10-5)  
2019-001596   Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Respondent, v. Sharmin Christine Walls, Randi Harper, Wendy Timms in her capacity as Personal Representative of The Estate of Christopher Adam Timms, Deborah Timms, Defendants, Of whom Sharmin Christine Walls and Randi Harper are the Petitioners.

Michael F. Mullinax, of Mullinax Law Firm, P.A, of Anderson and J. Kirkman Moorhead, of Moorhead and LeFevre, of Anderson, for Petitioners. J. R. Murphy and Wesley B. Sawyer, both of Murphy & Grantland, P. A., of Columbia, for Respondent. Roy T. Willey, IV and Eric M. Poulin, both of Anastopoulo Law Firm LLC, of Charleston, for Amicus Curiae United Policyholders. Frank L. Eppes, of Eppes & Plumblee, PA of Greenville, Bert G. Utsey, III, of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, P.A., of Charleston and Joe Brewer, of The Law Office of D. Josey Brewer, of Greenville, for Amicus Curiae The South Carolina Association for Justice.

This case concerns whether an automobile insurer may reduce coverage to the minimum limits based on an insurance policy exclusion when its insured is involved in a felony or fleeing law enforcement. Police attempted to initiate a traffic stop, and a high speed chase ensued. At some point, police called off the chase, but the vehicle crashed a short time later, killing one of the passengers and severely injuring the others. Nationwide filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that it only owed the mandatory minimum limit of $50,000 per occurrence based on an unambiguous policy exclusion. The circuit court found in favor of Walls, but the court of appeals reversed.

 10:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)  
2019-001767   Thayer W. Arredondo, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Hubert Whaley, deceased, Petitioner, v. SNH SE Ashley River Tenant, LLC; FVE Managers, Inc.; Five Star Quality Care, Inc.; SNH SE Tenant TRS, Inc.; Senior Housing Properties Trust; SNH TRS, Inc.; Candy D. Cure; John Doe; Jane Doe; Richard Roe Corporation; and Mary Doe Corporation, Defendants, Of which SNE SE Ashley River Tenant, LLC; FVE Managers, Inc.; Five Star Quality Care, Inc.; SNH SE Tenant TRS, Inc.; Senior Housing Properties Trust; SNH TRS, Inc.; and Candy D. Cure are the Respondents.

C. Caleb Connor and Kenneth L. Connor, of Connor & Connor, LLC of Aiken, for Petitioner. G. Mark Phillips and Robert W. Whelan, of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP of Charleston, for Respondents.

This appeal concerns an arbitration agreement Petitioner executed on her father's behalf upon admitting him to Respondents' assisted living facility. Following her father's death, Petitioner filed suit against Respondents, and Respondents moved to compel arbitration. The trial court denied Respondents' motion, concluding Petitioner lacked authority to bind her father to arbitration and the arbitration agreement was unconscionable. The court of appeals reversed, holding Petitioner had authority to enter the arbitration agreement on her father's behalf and the agreement was not unconscionable. Arredondo v. SNH SE Ashley River Tenant, LLC, Op. No. 2019-UP-293 (S.C. Ct. App. filed Aug. 14, 2019). This Court granted Petitioner a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision.

 11:30 a.m. (Time Limits: 15-15-5)  
2019-001063   Dennis J. Powell, Jr., Respondent, v. Mark Keel, Chief, State Law Enforcement Division, and The State of South Carolina, Appellants.

Attorney General Alan M. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General Harley L. Kirkland, both of Columbia, General Counsel Adam L. Whitsett and Litigation Counsel Paul T. Ahearn, III, both of South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, of Columbia, for Appellants. Jon E. Ozmint, of The Ozmint Firm, of Columbia and Elise F. Crosby, of Crosby Law Firm, of Georgetown, for Respondent. Blake T. Williams, Amber M. Hendrick and Daniel J. Westbrook, all of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, of Columbia, for Amicus Curiae South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense.

Mark Keel, Chief of the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), appeals the circuit court's order granting Dennis Powell Jr.'s motion for summary judgment on his claims challenging the online publication and lifetime duration of his mandated registration as a sex offender under the South Carolina Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA), S.C. Code Ann. ยงยง 23-3-400 to -555 (2007 & Supp. 2019).

 

Cases to be Submitted Without Oral Argument

Thomas J. Torrence, Respondent, v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, Petitioner.

Lake Eric Summers, of Malone Thompson Summers & Ott, LLC of Columbia, for Petitioner. Thomas J. Torrence, of Pelzer, pro se Respondent.