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Civil Practice

Nov 13, 2023

Civil Practice – Defamation – Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress – Rule 60(b), SCRCP Motion

Circuit court properly dismissed appellant’s claims for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. We affirm. Appellant James Earl Tegeler claimed Northgate Baptist Church improperly terminated his employment as music director due to the allegedly defamatory reports of respondents Hannah Collier (Daughter), Charlotte Collier (Mother), and Linda Smith (Grandmother). He contended[...]

Sep 25, 2023

Civil Practice – Motion to Intervene – Motion to Set Aside Default Judgment – Service of Process

This cross-appeal arose out of the circuit court’s grant of Trustgard Insurance Company’s motion to intervene and denial of Trustgard’s motion to set aside default judgment. Trustgard appealed the denial of its motion to set aside the default judgment, and Terence Graham appealed the grant of the motion to intervene. We affirm. On January 29, […]

Sep 25, 2023

Civil Practice – Damages – Personal Injury – Jury Instructions – Insurance

At plaintiff’s personal injury trial, there was a single brief mention of insurance, unrelated to the issue of damages. Both at the charge conference and after the deliberating jury sent a note saying it “needed to know what insurance has paid for/from both parties,” plaintiff unsuccessfully asked the court to charge the jury that it […]

Aug 16, 2023

Civil Practice – Compulsory Counterclaim – Real Property – Mortgages

We agree with our Court of Appeals that a mortgage foreclosure was not a compulsory counterclaim in the petitioner-property owners’ prior action against the respondent-bank for conversion, violation of the attorney preference statute, and violations of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act. Nevertheless, we abolish the “logical relationship” test on which the Court of […]

Aug 16, 2023

Civil Practice – Attorney’s Fee Request – Unauthenticated Contract – Law of the Case

After winning a defense verdict, defendant requested attorney’s fees pursuant to a contract that it had did not introduced at trial, the authenticity of which plaintiff challenged. One of the grounds on which the trial court denied defendant’s request was the disputed authenticity of the contract. If it had filed a motion under Rule 59(e), […]

Jul 13, 2023

Civil Practice – Mootness – COVID Relief Funds – Reallocated & Dispersed

When South Carolina’s governor attempted to distribute COVID relief funds to religious and other private schools, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that this would be unconstitutional under S.C. Const. art. XI, § 4 (“§ 4”), which prohibits the use of public funds “for the direct benefit of any religious or other private educational institution.” […]

Jul 12, 2023

Civil Practice – Judgments – Setoff – Pre- & Post-Trial Settlements – Construction Defects

In this construction-defect case, the defendant-general contractor settled with plaintiffs after the jury returned a verdict against defendants but before judgment was entered. Since the issues presented to the jury included HVAC access and fire separation penetrations, the post-trial settlement amount allocated to the issues of HVAC access and fire separation penetration should have been [&hellip[...]

May 15, 2023

Civil Practice – Appeals – Service of Notice – Opposing Counsel – Wrong Addresses

Before the deadline for serving notice of appeal on respondent, appellant’s counsel (1) electronically filed its notice of appeal with the circuit court and received an automated reply which acknowledged the filing and said that respondent’s attorneys had been “served electronically,” (2) emailed a .pdf copy of the notice of appeal to one of respondent’s […]

May 8, 2023

Civil Practice – Contempt – Trusts & Estates – Production of Estate Property

Where the circuit court’s contempt order awarded plaintiff, as personal representative of an estate, $70,000 in fees and costs as compensatory contempt, the award of compensatory contempt was intended to indemnify the estate, not as a punishment. As a sanction for failure to pay the compensatory contempt, defendants would be held in custody until they […]

May 3, 2023

Civil Practice – Discovery Abuses – Sanctions – Pleadings Struck – Financial Records

In this discovery dispute that began in 2012, in finding that the defendant-Appellants “engaged in a deliberate pattern of discovery abuse,” the circuit court described the many times Appellants missed discovery response deadlines; failed to fully comply with motions to compel; represented to the court they would cooperate in discovery, but then failed to follow […]

Apr 13, 2023

Civil Practice – Personal Jurisdiction – Georgia Bank – Relocated Plaintiff – Discovery

Since plaintiff did not move to South Carolina until after his dealings with defendant – a Georgia bank – the bank’s dealings with plaintiff do not give South Carolina’s courts personal jurisdiction over the bank. The bank’s responses to plaintiff’s discovery requests do not change this outcome. We affirm the circuit court’s grant of the […]

Mar 13, 2023

Civil Practice – Rule 60(b) Motion – Untimely – Real Property – Partition by Sale

In December 2011, appellant’s sisters filed an action to partition real property they owned with appellant; the partition order was filed on July 19, 2013; this court remitted appellant’s appeal from the partition case on March 10, 2014; respondent Hammel purchased the property on June 23, 2015, and sold the property on May 22, 2018; […]

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