Week 3, 2021

Advance Sheet No. 3,  Jan. 27, 2021

S.C. Court of Appeals Published Decisions

ABB, Inc. v. Integrated Recycling Grp. of SC, LLC, Op. No. 5793

Chief Judge Lockemy: Jan. 27, 2021

In this case, the debtor-appellants appealed a circuit court’s order granting summary judgment. The debtor-appellants argued the circuit court erred by finding that the equipment at issue was personal property rather than a fixture. The South Carolina Court of Appeals held there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether the collateral was personal property because there was no evidence indicating the debtors intended that the equipment to become a fixture. Therefore, the court affirmed the circuit court’s ruling that the creditors held a duly perfected security interest in the collateral and were therefore entitled to its possession. 

Sea Island Food Grp. v. Yaschik Dev. Co., Op. No. 5794

Judge Hewitt: Jan. 27, 2021

The South Carolina Court of Appeals held that the subtenant could sue the building owner for intentionally interfering with a sublease by wrongfully declaring the building “totally destroyed.” The court reasoned that because the evidence supported conflicting inferences as to the owner declaring the building totally destroyed, the trial court properly denied the owner’s motion for directed verdict and JNOV. The court also held that the jury’s punitive damages award did not violate the owner’s due process rights because the subtenant presented evidence that the owner was aware of the subtenant’s lease, yet still conducted private negotiations to sell the property and terminate the master lease, thereby terminating the subtenant’s lease. The court held that this evidence was sufficient for a jury to infer the owner acted with willful, wanton, or reckless disregard for the subtenant’s rights under the sublease. 

State v. Young, Op. No. 5795

Judge Hewitt: Jan. 27, 2021 

The South Carolina Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in allowing testimony by the appellant’s former cellmate, finding that appellant failed to object at the time the evidence was offered, thus constituting a waiver of her right to object. The court also held that the trial court did not err in admitting multiple text messages into evidence because the State was able to show that the text messages were sent by the appellant and, additionally, were not unduly prejudicial. Lastly, the court held that the trial court properly qualified a SLED agent as an expert witness, finding the agent possessed the requisite knowledge, skill, experience, and training. Thus, the court affirmed the appellant’s convictions. 

State v. Tucker, Op. No. 5796

Judge Konduros: Jan. 27, 2021

The South Carolina Court of Appeals held that a defendant’s entry into a pretrial intervention (PTI) program was not a “deferred disposition” pursuant to § 17-15-20(B) of the S.C. Code of Laws. The court reasoned that because the PTI statute clearly establishes that criminal charges remain pending during the intervention program, and the offender will be prosecuted if he does not successfully complete PTI, entry into the PTI program does not qualify as a deferred disposition. Accordingly, the court affirmed the circuit court’s decision. 

John Bozeman