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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.
5-5-2021 - Opinions
This appeal arises from Opternative, Inc.'s (Opternative) action challenging the constitutionality of sections 40-24-10 and 40-24-20 of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2020). The trial court found Opternative lacked standing to challenge the statutes and granted summary judgment to the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners, and the South Carolina Optometric Physicians Association. We reverse and remand.
5-12-2021 - Opinions
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.
Appellant Horry County Zoning Board of Appeals ("the Board") challenges the circuit court's order in consolidated appeals from two Board decisions. The circuit court reversed both decisions, which (1) prohibited a client of Respondent Venture Engineering ("Venture") from receiving construction and demolition debris from outside sources for recycling and (2) denied Venture's request for three variances from the zoning ordinances governing concrete recycling businesses. The Board argues that the circuit court erred by failing to properly apply the appropriate standard of review to each appeal. We reverse the circuit court's order allowing Venture's client to receive demolition debris from outside sources as well as its order granting costs to Venture.
Eric Morgan was sentenced to death for a murder he committed roughly two weeks before he turned eighteen. He was resentenced and given life without parole (LWOP) after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional for juvenile offenders. The circuit court dismissed Morgan's request for an Aiken v. Byars resentencing on the grounds the mitigating features of Morgan's youth had already been explored in Morgan's death penalty trial and in the resentencing when Morgan received LWOP; years before Aiken was decided. We reverse because Morgan falls within the class entitled to relief under Aiken.
5-19-2021 - Opinions
This is an appeal from a defense verdict in a case about whether police officers violated the civil rights of "Jane Doe," a vulnerable adult. The first issue is whether the trial court erred in directing a verdict on Jane Doe's claim that the officers created the risk Jane Doe would be harmed when they arrested Jane Doe's adult daughter and left Jane Doe unattended in her home. The other issue is whether the trial court abused its discretion in handling the jury's second question about the charges for liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2018). We affirm.