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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.
3-3-2003 - Opinions
Raquib Al-Amin was convicted of murder. Al-Amin appeals, alleging the circuit court erred in allowing admission of his prior armed robbery conviction and excluding Al-Amin's testimony implicating a third party. Additionally, Al-Amin asserted the circuit court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict. The court of appeals ruled that the State presented substantial circumstantial evidence pointing to Al-Amin's guilt. On an issue of novel impression, the court of appeals decided that armed robbery is a crime of dishonesty and admissible under Rule 609(a)(2) without the court engaging in a probative value/prejudicial effect analysis.
John Foley Kennedy appeals the circuit court's determination that he is a sexually violent predator.
Nickie White appeals his conviction for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and kidnapping, arguing the circuit court erred (1) in refusing to charge assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and simple assualt and battery as lesser-included offenses of criminal sexual conduct, and (2) in admitting the testimony of the State's expert on post-traumatic stress disorder and sexual abuse.
This case involves the issue of whether the family court erred in refusing to terminate his child support obligation for his minor daughter where the father asserted the daughter was emancipated.
3-10-2003 - Opinions
Patsy Jordan (Mother) appeals from a family court order terminating her parental rights to minor child, Baby Boy Roe, and granting his adoption to Roe's foster mother, Jane Doe. Mother argues that no ground existed to terminate her parental rights and that termination of her rights was not in Roe's best interests.
Conviction for breach of trust reversed due to absence of evidence of a trust or fiduciary relationship.
In this criminal appeal, the court ruled that the court had jurisdiction based on an analysis of S.C. Code Ann. section 17-13-40 (Supp. 2001). Additionally, the court concluded that there was reasonable suspicion to warrant a traffic pursuit.
In this criminal appeal, the court ruled that Cuccia's double jeopardy rights were not violated when his license was suspended under S.C. Code Ann. section 56-1-286(A) (Supp. 1998) and he was subsequently tried under S.C. Code Ann. section 56-5-2930 (Supp. 1999) for D.U.I.
In this case, Husband appeals several aspects of a divorce decree, including the award of the marital home to Wife,the identification of certain credit card charges incurred after the parties' separation as marital debt, the amount awarded to Wife as permanent alimony, and the award of attorneys' fees.
3-17-2003 - Opinions
Paris appeals his conviction for criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the first degree. The issue on appeal is whether the trial court erred in refusing his plea of nolo contendere. We find no abuse of discretion and affirm.
The issue on appeal is whether the trial judge erred in not recusing himself because he was the deputy solicitor both when the crimes were committed and when Jackson was arrested. We find no error and affirm.
Mooregard Exterminating Services, Inc. appeals the circuit court's grant of a new trial to the McEntires based on the thirteenth juror doctrine.
Jack Hurd initiated this action under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act against Williamsburg County and Williamsburg County Transit Authority. In a jury trial, Hurd was awarded $675,000 in damages. The verdict was reduced under the mandatory cap to $250,000. The court found the governmental entities breached a duty of safety they owed to Hurd. Additionally, the court ruled Hurd presented evidence to support a holding of proximate cause. Finally, the issue of comparative neglience is discussed with specificity.
East was convicted of armed robbery and seven counts of kidnapping. He appelas his convictions for kidnapping, arguing the trial judge erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict because the alleged kidnapping was not a separate and distinct offense from the armed robbery. East also contends the trial judge erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict on one if the kidnapping charges because that particular victim did not testify at trial.
The court held that under Rule 36, SCRCP, an admission may alter factual issues plead by the parties at the outset of the litigation.
Bobby Watson appeals his convictions for first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and committing a lewd act upon a child under the age of sixteen years, arguing the trial court erred in not allowing him to present surrebuttal testimony in response to the State’s reply evidence.
This case addresses whether a former spouse must continue paying alimony when the recipient is missing and her whereabouts are unknown.
3-31-2003 - Opinions
This case involves the issue of whether the trial court erred in failing to consider the cost to the State of Henry Zbigniew Bartinicki's failure to appear in court in ordering the estreatment of his bond.
The court ruled that physician salaries, compensation and the prices paid for practices are not "trade secrets" exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. Further, the court held that this type of information disclosed pursuant to an FOIA action is not subject to a protective order.