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Real Property

Sep 28, 2023

Real Property – Tort Claims Act – Inverse Condemnation – Stormwater Act – Discretionary Immunity

The SCDOT is not liable for damages that occurred during or before the construction process and SCDOT and its employees’ actions are protected by discretionary immunity, but an issue of fact exists as to whether SCDOT’s conduct amounts to an affirmative, positive, aggressive act for the purposes of inverse condemnation. Finally, the Stormwater Management and […]

Aug 31, 2023

Real Property – Condominium Development – Common Area Removal

During a condominium development’s transition period, the developer retained the authority to remove unimproved common-area property from the property regime. None of the events triggering the end of the transition period had yet occurred when – six years into the development – the developer removed from the regime a 2.58-acre tract that had been designated, […]

Aug 31, 2023

Real Property – Mortgages – Foreclosure – Former FDIC Asset – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – FIRREA

The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) limits judicial review so as to enable the Federal Deposit Insurance Co. to act expeditiously to resolve and liquidate failed financial institutions. Even though the jurisdictional bar in 12 U.S.C. § 1821(d)(13)(D) is not limited to creditors, we believe it is limited to claims […]

Aug 16, 2023

Real Property – Slander of Title – Taxation – Tax Sale Irregularities – ‘Malice’

In failing to give notice of a tax sale to the record owner – even when his wife appeared in person and asked about any outstanding taxes – the defendant-county acted at least recklessly. However, the master-in-equity applied the wrong standard for “malice” in a slander-of-title case. The master found that malice requires an intent […]

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 […]

Jul 24, 2023

Real Property – Easements – Abandoned Railroad – Reversion – Laches

After a railway was abandoned in 1980, the adjacent property owners waited 30 years to assert that the railroad’s easement reverted to them. Although the railroad had purported to transfer the easement land to defendants’ predecessors, and although defendants had made some improvements towards converting the land into a walking trail, since defendants failed to […]

Jul 24, 2023

Real Property – Easements – Scope of Permission – Adverse Possession

Plaintiff’s land lies next to that of a church, and the church granted him permission to use the church’s land to get from his house on the front part of his lot to his landscaping workshop on the rear of his lot. While plaintiff contends that his use of the church’s land exceeded the permission […]

May 15, 2023

Real Property – Mortgages – Foreclosure Sale – Law of the Case – Equities

In this mortgage foreclosure sale case, because the special referee determined there were alleged irregularities in the events preceding the sale, yet the respondent-Mortgagors did not present any evidence of irregularities with the sale proceeding itself, the special referee abused its discretion. We reverse the special referee’s order vacating the judicial sale. Mortgagors claim the […]

Feb 22, 2023

Real Property – Easements – Insufficient Evidence – Prescription, Deed or Dedication

Plaintiff’s use of a road across defendant’s property became adverse in 2009; before that, the evidence shows plaintiff’s use was permissive. And plaintiff’s evidence fails to show any mention of an easement in defendant’s chain of title or any public dedication by defendant or her predecessors in title. We reverse the master-in-equity’s finding of easements […]

Feb 10, 2023

Real Property – Municipal Annexation – Standing – Deed Description Overlap

Although there is a four-inch overlap in the deed descriptions of (1) a 26.6-acre tract that lies within the City of Charleston and (2) a one-acre tract owned and annexed by the City of North Charleston, since North Charleston annexed its one-acre tract pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 5-3-100, which allows annexations of property […]

Feb 10, 2023

Real Property – Dueling Municipal Annexations – Standing – Property Description – Technical Deficiency – Prior Jurisdiction Doctrine

Although the City of North Charleston’s description of the property it was annexing inadvertently included property that had already been annexed by the City of Charleston (which prior annexation was not reflected in county records), this was a technical deficiency that North Charleston could correct retroactively after Charleston tried to annex the same property. We […]

Jan 25, 2023

Real Property – Mortgages – Lien Priority – Refinance & Intervening Line of Credit – Replacement Mortgage Doctrine

Where Quicken Loans refinanced its own first-priority mortgage without discovering an intervening recorded line of credit, the line of credit has priority over the Quicken refinanced mortgage. We leave it to the General Assembly to decide whether to adopt the replacement mortgage doctrine. We affirm the Court of Appeals’ decision. The borrowers defaulted on their […]

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