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Civil Practice

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 […]

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 24, 2023

Civil Practice – Appeals – Discovery Sanctions – Deposition Misconduct

The defendant-law firm may not immediately appeal a discovery sanctions order, either the monetary sanction portion or the portion ordering that the parties reconvene the depositions of a firm employee and a former firm employee (deponents) and that deponents answer questions concerning matters they discussed off the record with defense counsel and with a firm […]

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; […]

Feb 22, 2023

Civil Practice – Stored Communications Act – Personal Email – Work Computer

There is conflicting evidence as to whether a defendant-employer’s acquisition of an independent contractor’s personal emails occurred unintentionally or intentionally. Consequently, defendants are not entitled to summary judgment under the Stored Communications Act. We vacate the district court’s grant of summary judgment for defendants. Facts Plaintiff worked as an independent contractor f[...]

Feb 10, 2023

Civil Practice – Settlement – Motion to Set Aside – Untimely

After the parties settled their case in mediation, the district court gave them 60 days within which to “reopen this action and restore it to the calendar” under Rule 60(b), FRCP. Even if plaintiff did not have enough time to review defendant’s last-minute discovery responses before agreeing to the settlement, he does not explain why […]

Jan 25, 2023

Civil Practice – Party Substitution – Trusts & Estates – Defendant’s Death – ‘Reasonable Time’ – First Impression

In this action arising from a motor vehicle accident, once defense counsel (hired by the insurance company of the owner of the car which had been driven by the defendant named in plaintiff’s complaint) notified plaintiff that the named defendant had died, plaintiff’s counsel diligently pursued obtaining the paperwork she needed to have an estate […]

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