Statutory Interpretation

August - October 2014

Base Load Review Act

S.C. Code Section 58-33-270 is the proper mechanism to make changes to an initial base load review order under the Base Load Review Act. S.C. Code Section 58-33-275(E) applies only after a utility has already deviated from an existing base load review order and attempts to recoup costs from the deviation.
SC Energy Users Committee v. SCE&G, Op. No. 27456 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed October 22, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 42 at 32).

May - July 2014

S.C. Competitive Cable Services Act
The S.C. Competitive Cable Services Act does create a private cause of action.
Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc. v. City of Georgetown
, Op. No. 27394 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed June 4, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 22 at 36).

Freedom of Information Act
The S.C. Freedom of Information Act’s notice statute, S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 30-4-80, does not prohibit the practice of amending an agenda during regularly scheduled meetings.
Lambries v. Saluda County Council, Op. No. 27400 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed June 18, 2014) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 24 at 19).

July - Oct. 2012

Federal Arbitration Act
To bring an agreement under the Federal Arbitration Act, the transaction must involve interstate commerce.
Bradley v. Brentwood Homes, No. 27143 (S.C. Sup. Ct., July 11, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 23)

Election law
Part-time prosecutors are not exempt from following the filing requirements under S.C. Code Ann. Section 8-13-1356(B).
Temple v. S.C. State Election Commission, No. 27172 (S.C. Sup. Ct., Sept. 26, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 34)

Stored Communications Act
Retaining a single copy of an opened e-mail does not constitute as storing the e-mail for backup protection under the federal Stored Communications Act.
Jennings v. Jennings, No. 27177 (S.C. Sup. Ct., Oct. 10, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 36)

Wiretap Act
The S.C. Legislature intended the consent provision in the Wiretap Act to encompass the vicarious consent of a parent on behalf of a minor child.
State v. Whitner, No. 27142 (S.C. Sup. Ct., July 11, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 23)

May - June 2012

Election law
S.C. Code Sections 8-13-1356(B) and (E) require an individual to file a Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) at the same time and with the same official with whom a Statement of Intention of Candidacy (SIC) is filed, and prohibit political party officials from accepting an SIC which is not accompanied by an SEI.
Anderson v. South Carolina Election Commission, No. 27120 (S.C. Sup. Ct., May 2, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 15)

Election law
S.C. Code Ann. Section 8-13-1356(A) does not exempt candidates from the filing requirements of Section 8-13-1356(B). Construing the statute in such a way would render it meaningless.
Florence Cnty. Democratic Party v. Florence Cnty. Republican Party, No. 27128 (S.C. Sup. Ct. June 5, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 19)

Freedom of Information Act
Amendment of a county council’s agenda during regularly scheduled meetings violates the Freedom of Information Act.
Lambries v. Saluda Cnty. Council, No. 4989 (S.C. Ct. App. June 13, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 20)

Feb. - May 2012

Bona fide guest
The term “bona fide guest” in S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 7-401.4 shall be interpreted based upon the plain meaning of the Regulation to mean someone who is “either personally accompanied onto the premises by a member or a member has made a prior arrangement with management for him.” No other requirements to be a bona fide guest within the Regulation exist.
SCDOR v. Blue Moon, No. 27106 (S.C. Sup. Ct., Apr. 4, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 12)

Workers’ compensation
S.C. Statute Section 38-73-910(A) requires publication of an increase in workers’ compensation loss cost rates, regardless of whether there is an overall increase in rates or if only specific rates have increased.
Consumer Advocate v. Department of Insurance, No. 4944 (S.C. Ct. App., Feb. 22, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 7)

Jan. - March 2012

Affidavit of a medical expert
An affidavit of an expert witness must be filed at the same time as a Notice of Intent to File Suit, per S.C. Code Section 15-79-125. If not, the case may be dismissed.

Ranucci v. Cain, No. 4935 (S.C. Ct. App., Jan. 25, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 3)

Jury selection
The legislature has set forth no specified number of jurors required to be present and available in the jury pool before jury selection can proceed.
State v. Johnson, No. 4927 (S.C. Ct. App., Jan. 4, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 1)

Retirement Act
A grievance between an employee and employer over the employer’s retirement system does not require resolution by the administrative process outlined in the Retirement Act, as that act is only meant to apply to grievances between the retirement systems and their respective members.
Grimsley v. SLED, No. 27085 (S.C. Sup. Ct., Jan. 3, 2012) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 1)

Oct. 2011 - Jan. 2012

The General Assembly, through passage of Provisos 79.6 and 79.12 for fiscal year 2011-2012, intended to suspend the temporal limitation in S.C. Code Ann. Section 17-11-20(B)(2) (Supp. 2010) and to authorize the State Election Commission and the County Election Commissions to conduct Presidential Preference Primaries in 2012.
Beaufort Cnty. v. S.C. Election Comm’n, No. 27069 (S.C. Sup. Ct., Nov. 22, 2011) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 42).

Tax deductions 
S.C. Code Ann. Section 12-6-2220 does not discriminate against interstate commerce and thus does not violate the Commerce Clause. Further, Section 12-6-2220(2) dictates that certain expense deductions must be allocated to a company’s principal place of business. 
Emerson Elec. v. S.C. Dep’t of Revenue, No. 27073 (S.C. Sup. Ct., Dec. 12, 2011) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 44).

Zoning ordinance 
The City of Columbia Zoning Ordinance, which limits the number of unrelated persons who may reside together as a single housekeeping unit to three, does not violate the Due Process Clause of the S.C. Constitution as it is rationally related to a legitimate governmental purpose.

McMaster v. Columbia Bd. of Zoning, No. 27075 (S.C. Sup. Ct., Dec. 12, 2011) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 44