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Tag Archives: Civil Practice

Landlord/Tenant – Commercial Lease — Civil Practice – Statute of Limitations – Contract – Real Property (access required)

Palmetto Co. v. McMahon Even though the plaintiff-landlord titled its action as one for distraint, its claim for rent arose out of a commercial lease with the defendant-tenant, not out of its title to real property. Because a lease is a contract, the three-year statute of limitations applies.

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Tort/Negligence – Auto Accident – Loss of Use – Civil Practice – Appeals – Unpreserved Issue – Jury Instruction (access required)

Beverly S. v. Kayla R. Plaintiff contends the trial court erred when it denied her request for a jury instruction that the loss of use of a vehicle is an element of recoverable property damages even when the vehicle is a total loss. However, where plaintiff failed to include either her request to charge or the entire jury charge in the record on appeal, she failed to adequately present this issue for appellate review. Because plaintiff failed to provide an adequate record for appellate review, the jury verdict is affirmed.

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Insurance – Civil Practice – Service of Process – Department of Insurance – Default (access required)

White Oak Manor, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Co. S.C. Code Ann. § 15-9-270 requires that an action against an insurance company be served upon the Director of the Department of Insurance. As there are purposes behind this requirement aside from notice to the insurer that a lawsuit has been filed against it, the defendant-insurer could not waive such service via the “service of suit” clause in the parties’ insurance policy.

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Civil Practice – Vexatious Removal – Sanctions – Rule 11 – Abuse of Discretion (access required)

Wieters v. Bon Secours-St. Francis Xavier Hospital, Inc. (Ex parte Bon Secours-St. Francis Xavier Hospital, Inc.) 1. Vexatious removal is sanctionable conduct, and parties will be held accountable for the unnecessary expense and delay caused by abuses of the right to removal. 2. The trial judge abused his discretion in going beyond the conventional awards of costs and fees when he required the defendants to reimburse the Judicial Department for the cost of the court’s salary and benefits for the week it was unable to proceed with the scheduled trial, to reimburse the clerk of court for the expense it incurred in summoning and administering the jury panel, to pay $5,000 to the Access to Justice Commission and to write a letter of apology to its director, and to pay $50 to each juror with a letter of apology to each. We reverse those sanctions.

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Criminal Practice – Forgery – Civil Practice – Evidence – Attorneys – Tort/Negligence – Legal Malpractice – Contempt – Constitutional – Double Jeopardy – Value — Sentencing  (access required)

State v. Brandt The offense of criminal contempt has an element that the offense of forgery does not have, and vice versa. Therefore, defendant’s prosecution for forgery - after his criminal contempt conviction — does not violate the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. We affirm defendant’s conviction of forgery but remand so that he may be sentenced for a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

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Civil Practice – Motion for Relief — Email Hacking — Administrative (access required)

Aikens v. Ingram A former army colonel who accused his former military colleagues of hacking into his e-mails while he was deployed in Kuwait, to support allegations about the colonel’s “hostile command climate and inappropriate relations with women,” cannot persuade the en banc 4th Circuit that the federal district court should hear his case; on rehearing, the 4th Circuit upholds the second dismissal of plaintiff’s case after he lost his administrative claim, because plaintiff could not show “extraordinary circumstances” under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6).

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Civil Practice – Frivolous Civil Proceedings Sanctions Act – Former Version – Rule 11 – Contract – Statute of Frauds – No Frivolity (access required)

Southeastern Site Prep, LLC v. Atlantic Coast Builders & Contractors, LLC In a complicated case arising from what was first described as a “merger” but which turned out to be, at bottom, agreements for leasing real property and selling equipment, plaintiffs survived two summary judgment motions, with one judge finding “a pretty good question of fact [as to] partial performance ... to take it out of the statute of frauds....” Since plaintiffs filed suit in October 2003, the former version of the Frivolous Civil Proceedings Sanctions Act applies. Defendants failed to show that plaintiffs acted frivolously.

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Civil Practice – Subpoena – Foreign Company – Motion to Quash (access required)

In re: Grand Jury Subpoena In this case under seal, a foreign company cannot quash the government’s grand-jury subpoenas served on another company, the under-seal intervenor, to obtain documents the foreign company delivered to the intervenor during discovery in parallel civil litigation between the two companies over trade secrets; the 4th Circuit affirms the district court’s denial of the foreign company’s motion to quash the government subpoenas.

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Civil Practice – Rule 68 – Attorney’s Fees — Award (access required)

Bosley v. Mineral County Comm’n A woman who sued defendant deputy after her suicidal husband shot himself when the deputy was trying to take him into custody for a psychiatric examination can collect $66,464 in attorney’s fees and costs, in addition to $30,000 under defendants‘ Rule 68 offer of judgment; although defendants’ Rule 68 offer of judgment for $30,000 made no mention of attorney’s fees or costs, the 4th Circuit upholds the fee award under 42 U.S.C. § 1988.

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Civil Practice – Attorneys – Withdrawal — Default Judgment – Motion to Set Aside (access required)

ITC Commercial Funding, LLC v. Crerar In two letters to appellant, Georgia attorney John West explained that he was not authorized to practice law in South Carolina and that appellant needed to find new counsel. Even if West did not comply with Rule 1.2(c) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the trial court was not required to consider the RPC in determining whether West acted with reasonable care. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining that West’s letter sufficiently limited his representation of appellant. We affirm the trial court’s refusal to set aside a default judgment against appellant.

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