Shots Fired at Myrtle Beach Nightclub

According to the Myrtle Beach police, two groups of people were arguing inside Kono Lounge, and security escorted the groups outside. However, they continued to argue in the parking lot and witnesses reported hearing shots fired in the parking lot. No one was hurt and no one saw the shooter, however, shell casing were found in the parking lot.

Altercations often occur at nightclubs, and may result in injury. In this case, if the shooter had injured someone, he could have been charged with attempted murder, assault and battery with intent to kill, possession of a firearm, and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. Even though nobody was hurt in this case, the shooter could also have been charged with pointing and presenting a firearm, discharging a firearm in public and disorderly conduct. It would be important to contact a criminal lawyer in Myrtle Beach, as these charges are serious.

The shooter may also be sued in a civil action as well for battery, assault or intentional infliction of emotional distress. The bar may also be liable for negligent security. The bar may also incur liability of it can be proven by a personal injury lawyer in Myrtle Beach that the bar was aware the shooter was drunk an continued to serve him alcohol.

In order to prove battery, a personal injury attorney in Myrtle Beach would have to prove that a harmful or offensive touching occurred. Unlike assault, actual contact must be shown to prove battery. Assault is the causing of reasonable apprehension of an immediate harm or offense contact to the person of another. For assault, a person needs to show intent and the resulting apprehension.

Under these facts, a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer in South Carolina may prove negligent security by showing that the owner of the premises (the bar) could foresee the possibility of an attack occurring on the property. Negligent security can also be shown by showing that there was a failure to properly protect guests on the property, and is a common action against hotels, apartments, condos and amusement parks.

If you have questions about assault, battery or negligent security, contact the the Mace Firm, we have attorneys in Myrtle Beach who practice criminal law and personal injury.

Child Support Laws in South Carolina

In all cases in which child support is an issue, the family court considers the child support guidelines in South Carolina. As a result, t is important to hire a divorce attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC who is knowledgeable about child support guidelines. The guidelines are based on the idea that a child should receive the same financial support that they would have received if the parents were still living together. According to the court case of Mitchell v. Mitchell, the family court should consider the following factors when establishing child support: both parent’s income, the ability to pay child support, education, expenses, and assets and the facts and circumstances of each case.  Also, whether or not the medical insurance or childcare is an expense will also come into play when calculating child support. The children should have the same standard of living they would have had if the parties were still together.

When parents combined incomes are high and the guidelines do not cover the amount, the court considers the child support amount on a case by cases basis. Therefore, if you are seeking child support in Horry County, it is important to speak with a family law attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC to explain your rights. South Carolina case law states that, “a child is entitled to live and be supported in a life style commensurate with the current income of his parents.” see Mallett v. Mallet 323 S.C. 141, 149, 423 S.Ed.2d 804, 809 (Ct. app. 1996).

Another issue that must be addressed is whether a child has an extraordinary medical expense. The child support guidelines assume that the parent managing custody of the minor child will be responsible for up to $250.00 per year in uninsured medical expenses. Extraordinary medical expenses are those reasonable and necessary uninsured medical expenses in excess of $250.00 per child each year.

If you have questions about child support in South Carolina, contact the Mace Firm, we have attorneys in Myrtle Beach who practice family law who can assist you.

Couple Charged with Selling Neighbor’s Dog on Craigslist

A couple in Leechburg, Pennsylvania is facing criminal charges after allegedly selling a Rottweiler puppy belonging to their neighbor on Craigslist. The puppy wandered into their yard along with another dog, a golden retriever mix. The couple returned the retriever mix but allegedly told police that the Rottweiler puppy had run away.

The puppy’s owner believed that his dog was inside his neighbor’s home and contacted police. When the police showed up at the couple’s home, their five year old son explained that his mother had given the puppy “to a woman from the Internet.” The Rottweiler has been returned to his owner and the couple have been charged with false reporting, two counts of conspiracy and for failing to make a reasonable effort to return lost property.

Most criminal defense lawyers in South Carolina are aware that South Carolina has a specific dog stealing crime statute, which states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to steal a dog in which any other person has a right of property.” see Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976 section 16-13-60. Dog stealing is a common crime, and is a problem in the Myrtle Beach area.

A pet owner may also take action to recover damages from the finder of a lost pet through the traditional tort actions of conversion and trespass. A personal injury attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC would file a civil action in Conway, SC seeking monetary damages. In order to prove trespass in a civil action, a personal injury attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC would allege that there was an intent to cause unlawful or unauthorized entry on land of another. To prove the intentional tort of conversion, a myrtle beach personal injury lawyer must prove purposeful or knowing dominion or control over another person’s property.

The original owner of a lost dog may wish to recover actual possession of the dog in addition to monetary damages if it is still alive. Generally, in South Carolina you need to be able to prove ownership of the lost dog and the wrongful detention by another person. This is called a replevin action, which was a common law remedy created to restore possession of property to the party who is entitled to have possession of it.

Two-Car Crash in Myrtle Beach Area

Another deadly car accident occurred in Myrtle Beach, SC over the weekend. One man was killed and another is charged with felony DUI. The accident occurred near the Pirateland Campground on U.S. 17 Business in Myrtle Beach. The crash happened when a Jeep Grand Cherokee crossed the grass median from the northbound lane and collided head-on with a van in the southbound lane. The van had five passengers according to reports, and one of those passengers was killed.

This is a tragic accident and it appears that underage drinking played a key role. The driver of the Jeep Cherokee was underage and was allegedly intoxicated at the time of the accident. He is in a great deal of trouble and will need an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Myrtle Beach to defend him. However, he will likely go to jail for quite some time since another person was killed in the accident.

The victim’s families may also sue the driver civilly and will need to hire a wrongful death attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC to assist them. Another legal action is known as Dram Shop Liability, which basically states that those individuals who make a profit from the sale of alcohol are accountable for the injuries and death resulting from the irresponsible selling of alcoholic beverages. It is unknown at this time at what location the driver of the vehicle purchased alcohol or where he consumed alcoholic beverages, which will be important information that must be discovered by the victim’s family’s wrongful death attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC in they wish to pursue a claim under Dram Shop Liability.

The other passengers in the van that were injured will also likely hire accident attorneys located in Myrtle Beach, SC to assist them with recovering monetary damages for their pain and suffering.

Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury Cases

Pain and suffering has long been recognized by South Carolina courts to be a compensable element of damages. Damages for pain and suffering are unliquidated and indeterminate in character and the assessment of unliquidated damages must rest in the sound discretion of the jury, controlled by the discretionary power of the trial judge. Pain and suffering have no market price. They are not capable of being exactly and accurately determined, and there is no fixed rule or standard whereby damages for them can be measured. Hence, the amount of damages to be awarded for pain and suffering must be left to the judgment of the jury, subject only to correction by the courts for abuse.

Damages for pain and suffering, which are the proximate cause of the defendant’s conduct, are awarded to a plaintiff as an element of actual damages and are compensatory in nature as opposed to exemplary or punitive. They are meant to compensate the plaintiff for physical discomfort and emotional response to the sensation of pain caused by the injury itself. A pain and suffering award may only be made for conscious pain and suffering. The plaintiff bears the burden of establishing he or she was conscious during the pain and suffering.

In deciding an award of damages for pain and suffering, the jury may include such damage for pain and suffering as it is reasonably certain will of necessity result in the future from the injury. There is no definite standard by which the jury must determine the amount of an award for pain and suffering. Drawing a comparison to prior awards for pain and suffering offers little guidance as any two cases are seldom, if ever alike. Thus, the jury has authority to award any amount it finds just and reasonable in light of the testimony and the evidence. The South Carolina Supreme Court has disallowed any jury instruction that suggests future pain and suffering does not have to be reasonably certain to occur. However, a liberal damages award will stand unless one can show it was out of caprice, passion, or prejudice.

The plaintiff’s attorney may use a per diem formula for illustrative purposes only to assist the jury in determining an award of pain and suffering. However, the personal injury attorney must be explicit in pointing out that only the jury can determine a monetary value for pain and suffering, and the attorney cannot merely state his or her opinion as to the proper amount of an award. Further, there must be some foundation in evidence to support the attorney’s per diem formula.

Federal courts dealing with the issue of whether pain and suffering awards should be discounted to present value have determined they should not be. While South Carolina courts have not discussed this issue, the district court in Rhodan v. United States predicted South Carolina courts would not discount future pain and suffering awards. Since that case was decided, state courts in South Carolina, without discussion, have routinely not discounted future pain and suffering awards to present value.

If you or someone you know has been injured and would like to know if you have a case for pain and suffering, please contact The Mace Firm to schedule a free consultation with one of our Myrtle Beach personal injury attorney. Our Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyers have experience with these types of cases; call today for a free consultation.

Myrtle Beach Woman Killed in Accident on 17 Bypass

It has been reported that a Myrtle Beach woman driving a dodge van was killed in a two-car accident on Monday on the 17 bypass when attempting to cross the highway. Her vehicle collided with a jeep. Police have determined that the driver of the Dodge was at fault and both drivers were wearing their seat belts. South Carolina Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident.

This is a horrible and tragic event; South Carolina highways once again prove to be very dangerous. Auto accidents are common in Myrtle Beach, especially in the summer months and can be unavoidable. However, there are many potential causes of an auto accident, including driver inattention, speeding, drinking, drug use, improper vehicle maintenance, defective products, and tires. Auto accident litigation is based on negligence.

Negligence is the failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in similar circumstances. It is harm caused by carelessness and does not involve intentional harm. In order to make an allegation of negligence, a personal injury lawyer in Myrtle Beach must show there was a duty owed to the injured party, that this duty was breached, causation, meaning the act or failure to act was the proximate cause and that the injured party has damages.

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident, contact an injury lawyer in Myrtle Beach. Auto accident attorneys help victims and their families recover compensation for their injuries, including the payment on medical bills and compensation for pain and suffering.

It is important to contact an experienced Myrtle Beach accident attorney to ensure that you receive the full amount that you are owed to make a complete recovery. Without the help of a well-qualified accident attorney, you may be fighting with an insurance company and may not receive the compensation that you are owed.

Divorce laws in South Carolina

It has been confirmed that Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were married at Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, just outside of Charleston. This is the second marriage for Reynolds, who married Scarlett Johansson in 2008 and divorced two years later citing irreconcilable differences.

South Carolina does not recognize irreconcilable differences as a ground for divorce, instead South Carolina’s no fault ground for divorce is one year’s continuous separation. The parties must be separated for a year or more in order to obtain a divorce based on this ground.

South Carolina also has four fault grounds for divorce: adultery, physical cruelty, habitual intoxication, and desertion. In order to obtain a divorce in South Carolina, a party must be a South Carolina resident for a year prior to the action being filed. If both parties reside in South Carolina, the residency requirement is three months.

In order to be granted a divorce based on adultery, the party must show that their spouse had the opportunity to commit adultery, and is inclined to do so. Opportunity can be proven by offering evidence that a spouse was alone in a private location with a member of the opposite sex and inclination can be shown through evidence of affection, for example, pictures of the couple embracing, kissing or holding hands.

In order to be granted a divorce based on physical cruelty, there must be evidence of violence that causes unsafe cohabitation. Slapping, hitting is generally not enough evidence, however, a serious violent act may be enough for a party seeking a divorce in South Carolina based on physical cruelty. It is important to note that mental or emotional cruelty is not a recognized ground for divorce in South Carolina.

In order to obtain a divorce based on habitual drunkenness or drug use, a spouse must prove that the drunkenness or drug use contributed to the break down of the marriage. A spouse must also prove that the dry or alcohol abuse is frequent or a fixed habit.

It is important to discuss these grounds with a Myrtle Beach divorce lawyer if you are thinking about getting a divorce in South Carolina.

Contact a divorce attorney today in Myrtle Beach South Carolina if you have questions relating to divorce, child support, child custody, visitation rights, alimony and property division.

The Mace Firm and the Myrtle Beach divorce lawyer handles Family law cases in the Myrtle Beach area, including divorces, child custody and visitation cases.

Drew Peterson Will Appeal his Conviction Based on Hearsay Evidence

Drew Peterson was convicted of first degree murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. It was the first case in Illinois to allow the use of hearsay evidence based on a state law passed in 2008 that was specifically tailored to his case. Hearsay is defined as “an out of court statement offered in evidence to prove the truth of the mater asserted.”

The jurors admitted that remarks made by Stacy Peterson, Peterson’s fourth wife, made before her disappearance in 2007 played a key role in his conviction. Prosecutors explained that this hearsay testimony would enable Savio and Stacy Peterson, who is presumed dead, “to speak from their graves” through family members and friends. There was a lack of physical evidence tying Peterson to Savio’s death, which was previously ruled an accident in 2004.
Neighbors found Savio’s body in the bathtub of her home with a gash on the back of her head. Investigators initially thought she drowned after slipping in the tub, but reopened the case after Stacy Peterson disappeared.

Drew Peterson’s criminal defense lawyers have asserted that the hearsay evidence impinged on Peterson’s Constitutional rights because he could not directly confront his accusers, his third and fourth wives.
The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the right, in criminal proceedings, to have a face to face confrontation with a witness who is testifying against an individual in the form of cross examination during a trial.

Peterson’s criminal appellate attorney will focus on this hearsay issue, as it was central to Peterson’s conviction. His appellate lawyer will argue in his initial brief that Peterson was denied the opportunity to cross examine his third and fourth wives, which violated his constitutional rights and denied him his right to a fair trial. The fact that the jurors admitted this evidence was central to his conviction will strengthen this issue as well because the prosecution will not be able to argue that any hearsay error was harmless. This issue involves a question of law, so the standard of review is de novo, meaning the appellate court considers the question for the first time.

If Peterson was convicted in South Carolina, he would hire an appellate lawyer in South Carolina and his case would be heard by the South Carolina Court of Appeals which is located in Columbia, South Carolina. He would also have the opportunity to appeal his case to the Supreme Court of South Carolina if he lost his direct appeal in the Court of Appeals. If he lost his appeal in state court, he would have the opportunity to file a federal appeal in Federal court known as a habeas petition and could also file a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.