Archive for the ‘South Carolina Appellate Decisions’ Category

Two recent interesting unpublished family law opinions

I rarely blog about unpublished opinions because even when they are interesting, and even when they should have been published, they rarely do anything other than restate legal principals that have been established in published opinions. However two recent unpublished family court opinions make new law–or would make law if they were published and therefore […]

Court of Appeals (surprisingly) authorizes reversal of determination of paternity based on father’s fraud claim

Ever since DNA testing became sufficiently accurate to conclusively exclude paternity, there’s been a tension between the goals of establishing paternity with finality and with accuracy.  Previous South Carolina case law has indicated a possibility of overturning prior but inaccurate determinations of paternity.  The August 2, 2017 Court of Appeals opinion in Ashburn v. Rogers […]

Equal protection challenge to domestic abuse statute leaves law in chaos

The July 26, 2017 Supreme Court opinion in Doe v. State has left South Carolina’s Protection from Domestic Abuse [a civil, family court, statute] and Criminal Domestic Violence [a criminal statute] laws in chaos. Doe stems from an equal protection challenge brought a lesbian who sought protection from domestic abuse against her ex-fiancé. That statute, […]

Help T. Ryan Phillips get Baker v. Hardwick published

I would love to see the May 24, 2017 Court of Appeals opinion in Baker v. Hardwick get published. Not just because T. Ryan Phillips and I share office space; not just because I referred him the appeal that he turned into a victory reversal. Baker establishes an important legal principle: the outer limits of […]

South Carolina Court of Appeals opinion highlights the importance of accurate financial declarations

My clients get sick of me harping on refining and corroborating their financial declarations before we file them. In the future I will direct them to the April 5, 2017 Court of Appeals opinion in Sweeney v. Sweeney and remind them how both parties were harmed by financial declarations that were inaccurate or uncorroborated. Husband […]

Substituted, published Court of Appeals opinion clarifies terminating parental rights of incarcerated parents

On March 3, 2017, with no announcement I can locate, the South Carolina Court of Appeals substituted and published its March 1, 2017 opinion in SCDSS v. Myers. This opinion reverses a termination of an incarcerated Father’s parental rights and the granting of an adoption to the child’s Foster Parents. It remands the matter back […]

Patterns in 2016 Published South Carolina Family Court opinions

For the past six years I’ve done an annual recap of the prior year’s South Carolina published family court appeals. It’s an opportunity for me to observe patterns that I may not have observed in reviewing each published opinion discretely and shortly after its release. After a slow start (two published opinions in the first […]

Insufficient guardian investigation causes Court of Appeals to reverse termination of parental rights

The December 30, 2016 Court of Appeals opinion in SCDSS v. Nelson reversed the termination of Mother’s parental rights primarily because the guardian ad litem had conducted an insufficient investigation. In Nelson, DSS removed Mother’s three children in September 2013 because she was living with her sister in a roach-infested home without running water, lights, […]

 

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