Archive for the ‘South Carolina Appellate Decisions’ Category

Court of Appeals highly critical of Charleston County’s Abuse and Neglect proceedings’ procedures

The September 3, 2014 Court of Appeals decision in SCDSS v. Massey is highly critical of the method our county uses to handle abuse and neglect proceedings. It reversed the family court’s determinations that it no longer had jurisdiction to order return of the parents’ children or over their Son. In Massey the parents’ two […]

Court of Appeals affirms strict compliance with adoption consent requirements

The August 4, 2014 Court of Appeal opinion in Brown v. Baby Girl Harper affirmed a family court’s decision not to terminate a birth mother’s parental rights because the executed consents to the adoption were not properly witnessed. The attorney-witness was not in the room when the birth mother signed the consent document, and neither […]

Court of Appeals reconsiders its decision and reinstates no fault divorce

When I blogged on the May 14, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in the case of Mick-Skaggs v. Skaggs, I noted the curious decision to change the ground for divorce from no-fault to mutual fault. First, neither party contested the fact of one year’s continuous separation and typically the appellate courts will not change the […]

Previously unpublished opinion answers question of where to enforce foreign equitable distribution orders

On July 30, 2014 the South Carolina Court of Appeals published the previously unpublished opinion in the case of Katzburg v. Katzburg. This opinion answers the frequently recurring question of where to enforce foreign state’s equitable distribution orders. The answer: circuit court. A more detailed analysis of the opinion can be found in the blog […]

Family court attorney gets public reprimand for inaccurate client affidavit

In what should put chills in my fellow family law attorneys’ spines, on July 2, 2014, a South Carolina family law attorney was publicly reprimanded by the South Carolina Supreme Court in the case of In Re. Massey, 408 S.C. 483, 759 S.E.2d 433 (2014), for submitting an inaccurate affidavit of his client at a temporary hearing. This […]

Supreme Court completely reverses Court of Appeals and reinstates family court’s alimony, property division and attorney fee award

The July 2, 2014 Supreme Court opinion in Crossland v. Crossland, 408 S.C. 443, 759 S.E.2d 419 (2014), completely reverses the prior Court of Appeals opinion and reinstates family court’s alimony, property division and attorney fee award. The family court had awarded Wife permanent periodic alimony. The Court of Appeals remanded the alimony award back to the […]

Unpublished Court of Appeals opinion undefinitively answers one of my family court questions

The June 25, 2014 unpublished Court of Appeals opinion in Katzburg v. Katzburg undefinitively answers one of my long-standing family court questions. I was retained by Mr. Katzburg after he was incarcerated by the family court for failing to comply with a New Jersey divorce decree that had been turned into a money judgment and […]

Court of Appeals rules prevailing party shouldn’t have to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees

The June 4, 2014 Court of Appeals opinion in Brown v. Brown, 408 S.C. 582, 758 S.E.2d 922 (Ct. App. 2014), reversed a $5,000 attorney fee award the family court made to Mother despite Father prevailing on the contested issue of which child support worksheet to use. The primary issues at trial were the number of overnights Father […]