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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - Week of 07/15/2019
7-17-2019 - Opinions

5664 - Hagood v. Hagood
In this appeal from a divorce action, Melissa Hagood (Wife) argues the family court erred in (1) characterizing the majority of the estate as the nonmarital property of James Hagood (Husband), (2) equitably apportioning the majority of the marital property to Husband, and (3) refusing to award her alimony. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
5665 - State v. Finley
In this criminal appeal, Michael Jay Finley appeals the circuit court's denial of his pro se motion to reconsider his sentence pursuant to Aiken v. Byars, 410 S.C. 534, 765 S.E.2d 572 (2014). Finley argues his mandatory sentence of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole upon the service of thirty years' imprisonment is functionally equivalent to a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole (LWOP), which violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments. We affirm.
5666 - Ex parte: The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company
This appeal follows the trial of a wrongful death and survival action. Sixteen-year-old John Corey Stringfellow (Corey) died from injuries sustained as a passenger in a family car being driven by his older brother, Cameron. The jury found Corey 51% negligent, barring his Estate from any recovery. Immediately after the verdict was published--and while the jury was still in the jury box--the trial court asked for any post-trial motions. The Estate moved for, among other things, a new trial under the thirteenth juror doctrine. After a hearing several weeks later on the Estate's motion, the trial court invoked the thirteenth juror doctrine and granted the motion for a new trial on the wrongful death portion of the Estate's claim. Travelers appeals, arguing the Estate's motion for a new trial was untimely under Rule 59(b), SCRE, and that the trial court erred in invoking the thirteenth juror doctrine. We affirm.