Bultman v. Barber, No. 21555

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtHARWELL; LEWIS
Citation281 S.E.2d 791,277 S.C. 5
PartiesW. F. BULTMAN, Jr., individually and as Executor of the Estate of W. F. Bultman, and Anna Birnie McDonald, Respondents, v. Arthur L. BARBER, R. W. Hills, Jr., Robert H. O'Donnell, Anne L. Schneider asExecutrix of the Estate of Cecil W. Schneider, and James A. Wilder, Appellants.
Decision Date31 August 1981
Docket NumberNo. 21555

Page 791

281 S.E.2d 791
277 S.C. 5
W. F. BULTMAN, Jr., individually and as Executor of the
Estate of W. F. Bultman, and Anna Birnie McDonald,
Respondents,
v.
Arthur L. BARBER, R. W. Hills, Jr., Robert H. O'Donnell,
Anne L. Schneider asExecutrix of the Estate of
Cecil W. Schneider, and James A. Wilder,
Appellants.
No. 21555.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Aug. 31, 1981.

Page 792

[277 S.C. 6] Fred G. Scott, Jr., North Charleston, for appellants.

Blinzy L. Gore, Orangeburg, and Robinson, McFadden, Moore & Pope, Columbia, for respondents.

HARWELL, Justice:

This action involves a dispute over ownership of property located at Magnolia Beach, a tract of land opposite Pawleys Island. In their amended complaint, the plaintiffs-respondents alleged that the defendants-appellants are trespassers on a portion of their beach. They sought to bar any claims the defendants might assert to the land, confirm their own title, have the defendants enjoined from possessing the land and recover damages for the rental value of the land occupied by the defendants. The defendants in turn sought to have their title to the disputed parcel confirmed and to have the plaintiffs enjoined from interfering with their possession.

At the conclusion of all evidence at the trial, counsel for the plaintiffs moved for a directed verdict on the basis that: (1) the defendants were barred from asserting title since their predecessors in title had allegedly lost any interest in the land by virtue of a prior decree of partition and sale of the property; (2) notwithstanding the applicability of res judicata, the defendants had failed to produce evidence sufficient to support a reasonable claim of paramount title.

The trial judge granted the motion, sustaining both grounds. The defendants-appellants contend that the trial judge improperly weighed the evidence and also erred by finding that the prior partition suit operated to bar their adverse claim. While we agree that a duly instituted partition action (see Sections 15-61-10, et seq., Code of Laws of South Carolina (1976)) cannot be bootstrapped into an adverse claims action (see Sections 15-67-10, et seq., of the Code) absent compliance with all the statutory provisions applicable to the latter, we nonetheless must affirm the trial [277 S.C. 7] judge since the defendants have proven no basis to claim a paramount interest in the parcel of land at issue.

In reviewing a directed verdict, we will view the evidence and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the party opposing the granted motion. Collins Cadillac, Inc. v. Bigelow-Sanford, Inc., 279 S.E.2d 611 (S.C.1981). However, this does not give the Court license to ignore facts unfavorable to that party. In essence, we must determine whether a verdict for a party opposing the motion would be reasonably possible under the facts as liberally construed in his favor. Having done this, we find that the defendants have established no reasonable basis to claim an interest in Magnolia Beach.

In the last quarter of the nineteenth century a James Smalls owned some 1,183 acres of land which in part abutted the Atlantic Ocean. He apparently conveyed out at least 700 acres in 24 recorded deeds. These small...

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27 practice notes
  • Erickson v. Jones Street Publishers, No. 26133.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • April 10, 2006
    ...for a party opposing the motion would be reasonably possible under the facts as liberally construed in his favor. Bultman v. Barber, 277 S.C. 5, 7, 281 S.E.2d 791, 792 (1981). If the evidence is susceptible to more than one reasonable inference, the case should be submitted to the jury. Que......
  • Hurd v. Williamsburg County, No. 3614.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 17, 2003
    ...possible under the facts as liberally construed in his favor. Hanahan v. Simpson, 326 S.C. 140, 485 S.E.2d 903 (1997); Bultman v. Barber, 277 S.C. 5, 281 S.E.2d 791 353 S.C. 609 When the evidence yields only one inference, a directed verdict in favor of the moving party is proper. Sims v. G......
  • Jones v. General Elec. Co., No. 2839.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 4, 1998
    ...a verdict for the opposing party would be reasonably possible under the facts as liberally construed in his favor. Bultman v. Barber, 277 S.C. 5, 281 S.E.2d 791 (1981). See also Hanahan v. Simpson, 331 S.C. 357 326 S.C. 140, 485 S.E.2d 903 (1997) (in reviewing a directed verdict, the appell......
  • Goodwin v. Kennedy, No. 3379.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 6, 2001
    ...for a party opposing the motion would be reasonably possible under the facts as liberally construed in his favor." Bultman v. Barber, 277 S.C. 5, 7, 281 S.E.2d 791, 792 We find the trial judge did not err in ruling that whether the statements were defamatory is a question for the jury as th......
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27 cases
  • Erickson v. Jones Street Publishers, No. 26133.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • April 10, 2006
    ...for a party opposing the motion would be reasonably possible under the facts as liberally construed in his favor. Bultman v. Barber, 277 S.C. 5, 7, 281 S.E.2d 791, 792 (1981). If the evidence is susceptible to more than one reasonable inference, the case should be submitted to the jury. Que......
  • Hurd v. Williamsburg County, No. 3614.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 17, 2003
    ...possible under the facts as liberally construed in his favor. Hanahan v. Simpson, 326 S.C. 140, 485 S.E.2d 903 (1997); Bultman v. Barber, 277 S.C. 5, 281 S.E.2d 791 353 S.C. 609 When the evidence yields only one inference, a directed verdict in favor of the moving party is proper. Sims v. G......
  • Jones v. General Elec. Co., No. 2839.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 4, 1998
    ...a verdict for the opposing party would be reasonably possible under the facts as liberally construed in his favor. Bultman v. Barber, 277 S.C. 5, 281 S.E.2d 791 (1981). See also Hanahan v. Simpson, 331 S.C. 357 326 S.C. 140, 485 S.E.2d 903 (1997) (in reviewing a directed verdict, the appell......
  • Goodwin v. Kennedy, No. 3379.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 6, 2001
    ...for a party opposing the motion would be reasonably possible under the facts as liberally construed in his favor." Bultman v. Barber, 277 S.C. 5, 7, 281 S.E.2d 791, 792 We find the trial judge did not err in ruling that whether the statements were defamatory is a question for the jury as th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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