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Opinion Digests

Aug 16, 2023

Arbitration – Assigned Contractor – Original Party – Arbitrability – Question for Arbitrator

Plaintiff bought a car from defendants and entered into a retail installment sales contract (RISC), which contained an arbitration clause. Even though defendants assigned the RISC to a third party, an arbitrator – and not the circuit court – must decide the question of whether plaintiff’s misrepresentation claims against defendants are subject to arbitration. We […]

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

Criminal Practice – Sex Offender Registry – Relocation to Georgia – Certified Question

S.C. Code Ann. §§ 23-3-462 and 23-3-430(E), (F) and (G) set forth provisions for removing a sex offender’s name and identifying information from South Carolina’s sex offender registry. Moving to another state is not among them. The Sex Offender Registry Act exists to protect the public from sex offenders who may re-offend and to aid […]

Aug 16, 2023

Tort/Negligence – Wrongful Intrusion into Private Affairs – Lack of Injury – High School Locker Room Recording

Through a locker room window, an employee of a Catholic high school covertly filmed students disrobing. The plaintiff-students brought this putative class action for wrongful intrusion into private affairs. However, the students’ vague allegations of anxiety are insufficient to satisfy the injury element of their claim. We affirm the district court’s denial of class certification […]

Aug 16, 2023

Labor & Employment – Class Action – Restaurant Franchises – Tip Policy

The plaintiff-server filed this purported class action, alleging that Ladles Soups restaurants had a policy of withholding their servers’ credit card tips. The Ladles Soups restaurant for which plaintiff worked is not a party to this appeal. Since plaintiff had no employment relationship with appellants (other Ladles Soups restaurants and franchisors), he lacks standing to […]

Aug 16, 2023

Tort/Negligence – Landlord/Tenant – Roof Damage – Repair Process – Direct vs. Vicarious Liability

After a hurricane damaged the roof of a rental house, the defendant-landlord hired a contractor to repair the roof. The contractor moved decorative railroad ties to improve access, and the plaintiff-tenant’s late wife tripped over one of the moved ties and suffered injuries from her fall (she later died of unrelated causes). Where plaintiff stipulated […]

Aug 16, 2023

Real Property – Public Trust – Beach Avulsion – Ownership – Standing

Plaintiffs – property owners, organizations of which they are members, and the City of Folly Beach – sufficiently alleged a claim that portions of beachfront lots in Folly Beach, which were replenished in 2018, are public trust property. We reverse the master-in-equity’s decision in favor of the defendant-owners/developers of the renourished “super-beachfront” lots. The law […]

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), […]

Aug 16, 2023

Criminal Practice – PCR – Ineffective Assistance Claim – Lesser-Included Offense – Voluntary Manslaughter

Given the background of violence between petitioner and the victim, the victim’s companion’s reputation for carrying a gun, and petitioner’s fear when the victim and his companion started following petitioner, defendant’s trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance of counsel when he failed to object to the trial court’s jury instruction on the lesser-included offense […]

Aug 16, 2023

Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Discovery – Requests for Admission – Publication to Jury – First Impression

Although it is usually the party who made the request to admit that seeks to publish a request to admit to the jury, our Rules of Civil Procedure allow the publication to the jury of requests to admit. Accordingly, plaintiff was properly allowed to publish to the jury defendant’s requests that plaintiff admit the amount […]

Aug 16, 2023

Tort/Negligence – Charitable Immunity – Abuse of a Student – Pre-Jeffcoat

When plaintiff was allegedly abused by teachers at a Catholic school in 1970, South Carolina law provided “full immunity” from tort liability. Although Jeffcoat v. Caine, 261 S.C. 75, 198 S.E.2d 258 (1973), said that the doctrine of charitable immunity had never extended beyond tort claims based on “mere negligence,” charities, like defendant here, were […]

Aug 16, 2023

Contract – New York Law – Service to Real Property – Wi-Fi & Internet – Required Renewal Notice

The parties’ contract for wi-fi and internet services was governed by New York law. Because the contract required plaintiff to deliver the services “to the property” of the defendant-homeowners’ associations, the contract was one “for services to or for real property.” As such, New York General Obligations Law § 5-903 required plaintiff to serve defendants, […]

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