488 S.E.2d 335 (S.C. 1997), 24646, Pittman Mortg. Co., Inc. v. Edwards

Docket Nº:24646.
Citation:488 S.E.2d 335, 327 S.C. 72
Opinion Judge:BURNETT, Justice:
Party Name:PITTMAN MORTGAGE COMPANY, INC. and Cleonard G. Pittman, Jr., Appellants, v. Susan H. EDWARDS, Respondent.
Attorney:Richard E. Miley, North Augusta, for appellants. John W. Harte, Aiken, for respondent.
Case Date:July 21, 1997
Court:Supreme Court of South Carolina
 
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Page 335

488 S.E.2d 335 (S.C. 1997)

327 S.C. 72

PITTMAN MORTGAGE COMPANY, INC. and Cleonard G. Pittman, Jr.,

Appellants,

v.

Susan H. EDWARDS, Respondent.

No. 24646.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

July 21, 1997

Heard Feb. 19, 1997.

Page 336

[327 S.C. 74] Richard E. Miley, North Augusta, for appellants.

John W. Harte, Aiken, for respondent.

BURNETT, Justice:

Appellants appeal the circuit court's denial of their motion to vacate an arbitration award. We affirm in part and vacate in part.

FACTS

Appellants (Pittman and Mortgage Co.) commenced this action in circuit court seeking a declaratory judgment 1 to determine whether respondent was entitled to shares of the Mortgage Co. 2 and asserting a claim for conversion by respondent of certain equipment

Page 337

owned by Mortgage Co. Respondent answered and asserted counterclaims alleging, seriatim: (1) respondent was entitled to a fifty percent ownership in Mortgage Co. and damages caused by her wrongful exclusion from the corporation and her share of the profits earned by the business prior to her termination; (2) unfair trade practices; and (3) violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Following discovery, the parties consented to binding arbitration and all issues embraced within the pleadings were submitted to arbitration. 3 The parties agreed that Georgia law governed the substantive rights of the parties in this proceeding. Although the parties did not expressly agree prior to arbitration that the terms of the Uniform Arbitration Act, S.C.Code Ann. §§ 15-48-10 to -240 (Supp.1996) (the Act), [327 S.C. 75] governed the proceedings, the award concludes the Act governs and neither party has contested this finding.

After a hearing in accordance with the Act, the arbitrators served and filed the Award of Arbitrators. The arbitration panel found Pittman and respondent entered into an agreement to start a realty company. The parties agreed to share the profits on a fifty-fifty basis. The agreement contemplated that each party would have an ownership interest in the company; however, no percentage was agreed upon. The parties made contributions to the business. The Mortgage Co. in June 1994 represented to the State of Georgia that Pittman owned 60% of the stock and respondent owned 40% of the stock. The arbitrators found this agreement to evidence a stock distribution. On June 18, 1994, respondent's employment with Mortgage Co. was terminated. Although respondent was paid the salary due to her, she was not fully paid her share of the earned profits, as agreed.

The panel determined respondent was entitled to a 40% interest in the Mortgage Co. and awarded respondent a judgment against both Pittman and Mortgage Co. in the amount of $40,963.00, representing the value of her stock at the time she was terminated. The panel also awarded respondent $2,726.00 in earned but unpaid income against both appellants. Appellants filed a motion to...

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