South Carolina Supreme Court affirms summary judgment in property case

South Carolina Supreme Court has affirmed summary judgment grant for the defendant in Sara Mae Robinson, et al. v. The Estate of Elouis Pinckney Harris, et al.,Op. No. 26865 (filed August 16, 2010).

In an heirs property case concerning property in Charleston County, the South Carolina Supreme Court recently affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant property owner.

The case presented a South Carolina state constitutional issue as well as a common-law question concerning the application of the doctrine of laches, i.e., whether an unreasonable and/or unexplained delay in bringing a claim to court precludes relief. While the court ruled generally in favor of the plaintiffs on the constitutional issue, holding that South Carolina courts have the inherent authority to consider challenges to prior court rulings based on extrinsic fraud regardless of the running of a limitations period, the court held that the doctrine of laches as applied in this case to a delay of some thirty-nine years required that relief be denied the plaintiffs.

The property owner was represented by Callison Tighe & Robinson, LLC. Handling the case for the firm was Louis H. Lang.