Elkachbendi v. Elkachbendi is an unpublished September 2014 opinion from the South Carolina Supreme Court. It reversed a previous unpublished 2012 opinion from the South Carolina Court of Appeals and the finding of the family court that Mr. Elkachbendi’s motion to reconsider the family court’s determination on attorney’s fees was untimely.

Mr. Elkachbendi retained me on May 19, 2010 to seek reconsideration of a May 6, 2010 family court order requiring him to contribute $100,000 to his wife’s attorney’s fees. Under Rule 59, SCRCP, one only has “10 days after the receipt of written notice of the entry of judgment” to file a motion to reconsider. Believing that Mr. Elkachbendi’s trial counsel had received the written notice of the entry of the order on May 10, 2010, we filed and served his motion to reconsider on May 20, 2010. However Ms. Elkachbendi’s trial counsel argued that Mr. Elkachbendi’s trial counsel had received the order on May 7, 2010, which would make his motion untimely. The family court found the motion to be untimely but denied Ms. Elkachbendi her fees for defending the motion.

The Court of Appeals found the motion to reconsider was untimely, which made Mr. Elkachbendi’s appeal untimely. It therefore dismissed his appeal. It further reversed the family court and awarded Ms. Elkachbendi her attorney’s fees for defending the motion to reconsider. We petitioned the Supreme Court of a writ of certiorari pursuant to SCACR 242.

The Supreme Court granted the writ and found Mr. Elkachbendi’s motion to reconsider was timely. It therefore reversed the Court of Appeals’ decision, and remanded the case to the family court to rule on Mr. Elkachbendi’s motion for reconsideration. By arguing–ultimately unsuccessfully–that Mr. Elkachbendi’s motion for reconsideration was untimely, Ms. Elkachbendi delayed resolution of his motion to reconsider for 4 ½ years. Meanwhile the appeal stayed the award of attorney’s fees.

Put Mr. Forman’s experience, knowledge, and dedication to your service for any of your South Carolina family law needs.

Recent Blog Posts

The domestic attorney’s obligations when the client wants to repudiate a not-yet-court-approved agreement that attorney helped negotiate

The vast majority of family court cases resolve by agreement. Typically those agreements are made outside of court. Such agreements must be reviewed

[ + ] Read More

Even in a pandemic year, South Carolina appellate courts render some interesting published family law opinions

2020 was an interesting year to be a family law attorney. With the courts mostly closed in early spring, I mainly stayed busy

[ + ] Read More

The human condition is hard and domestic litigation makes it harder: see a mental health counselor

Coming of age as a Jew in the “I’m Okay; You’re Okay” culture of 1970’s Southern California, I’ve never understood the stigma over

[ + ] Read More