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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - January 2021

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.


1-13-2021 - Opinions

5787 - Ballard v. Newberry County

This case is about whether there is a private right of action when public records have been inadvertently destroyed. We find there is no civil cause of action for violating the Public Records Act, but we find the circuit court erred when it held a public body violates FOIA if it fails to retain public records.

5788 - State v. Johnson

Russell Levon Johnson was charged with kidnapping and first-degree domestic violence. Johnson was convicted of the domestic violence charge but acquitted of the kidnapping charge. He appeals his conviction, arguing the circuit court erred in admitting evidence of conduct in other jurisdictions without instructing the jury that the domestic violence charge had to be supported by evidence within the jurisdiction. We reverse and remand.

5790 - Provins v. Spirit Construction Services, Inc.

Debra Provins, widow of James Provins, appeals the decision of the Appellate Panel of the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission (the Commission) that denied her claim for death benefits finding death was not causally related to the accident on the job. She also asserts the Appellate Panel erred in (1) failing to find Spirit Construction Services, Inc., employer, and Insurance Company of the State of PA, carrier, acted in bad faith in delaying medical authorization, which was also against public policy; (2) giving greater weight to one medical opinion over others; and (3) failing to find permanent impairment. We affirm.

5791 - State v. Williams

Jaycoby Terreak Williams appeals his murder conviction, arguing the circuit court erred in refusing to allow him to cross-examine one of the State's key witnesses about the potential sentences the witness faced on his pending charges for drug possession and armed robbery. We affirm, as the circuit court's error in denying this line of questioning was harmless in this case.

5792 - Berry v. Spang

In this appeal from the circuit court's denial of their motion to compel arbitration, Appellants Scott A. Spang, Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, f/k/a Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Wachovia Securities Financial Holdings, LLC, Wells Fargo & Company, and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (collectively, Appellants) argue the circuit court erred by refusing to compel arbitration of Robert F. Berry's claims when (1) evidence showed Berry agreed to resolve his claims through mandatory FINRA arbitration and (2) the FINRA rules required Berry to arbitrate his claims. We affirm.

1-27-2021 - Opinions

5793 - ABB, Inc. v. Integrated Recycling Group of SC, LLC

Appellants Integrated Recycling Group of SC, LLC (IRG), John Murphy Armstrong, and Michael T. Armstrong appeal the circuit court's order granting summary judgment in favor of ABB, Inc. and BFP, LP. We affirm.

5794 - Sea Island Food Group, LLC v. Yaschik Development Company, Inc.

This case arose out of a building owner's decision to terminate the building's master lease after a fire. It comes to us presenting two issues. The first is whether a subtenant may sue the owner for intentionally interfering with a sublease by wrongfully declaring the building "totally destroyed." The second is a multi pronged challenge to the jury's award of punitive damages. We affirm.

5795 - State v. Young

Aneisha Shaire Young appeals her convictions for murder, attempted murder, and possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Young argues a former cellmate's testimony should not have been admitted because the State did not disclose the testimony's contents before trial. She also argues text messages should have been excluded and that the trial court erred in qualifying a SLED Agent as an expert in cell phone location analysis. We respectfully disagree with each of these arguments. Thus, we affirm.

5796 - State v. Tucker

In this bond estreatment case, Bail Out Bonding (Surety) appeals the decision of the circuit court ordering a partial estreatment of Ronnie Carrol Tucker's bond. Surety contends Tucker's entry into pretrial intervention program (PTI) was a "deferred disposition" pursuant to section 17-15-20(B) of the South Carolina Code (2014), thereby releasing it from liability. Tucker failed to complete PTI and failed to appear for trial. The circuit court partially estreated the bond. We affirm.