Conits v. Conits, Appellate Case No. 2016-001961

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation807 S.E.2d 695,421 S.C. 391
Decision Date15 November 2017
Docket NumberAppellate Case No. 2016-001961,Opinion No. 27749
Parties Peggy D. CONITS, Respondent, v. Spiro E. CONITS, Petitioner.

421 S.C. 391
807 S.E.2d 695

Peggy D. CONITS, Respondent,
Spiro E. CONITS, Petitioner.

Appellate Case No. 2016-001961
Opinion No. 27749

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Submitted October 24, 2017
Filed November 15, 2017
Rehearing Denied January 17, 2018


Spiro E. Conits filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the court of appeals in Conits v. Conits, 417 S.C. 127, 789 S.E.2d 51 (Ct. App. 2016). We grant the petition, dispense with further briefing, reverse the decision, and remand to the court of appeals.

Peggy D. Conits and her husband Spiro litigated many issues in their divorce action in family court, but we address only one — the size and value of a farm Spiro owns in Greece. Spiro appealed the family court's ruling on this issue, but the court of appeals found the issue was not preserved for appellate review. The court of appeals understood Spiro to argue on appeal the farm "does not exist," but that at trial he "made no arguments as to the existence of the ... farm." 417 S.C. at 137, 789 S.E.2d at 56. We find Spiro made the same argument on appeal he made at trial. The issue is preserved.

The facts of this case are set forth in detail in the court of appeals' opinion. 417 S.C. at 133-36, 789 S.E.2d at 54-56. At trial, the parties presented conflicting evidence about the size and value of the farm in Greece. Spiro admitted he owns a one-half interest in a three-acre farm with a fair market value of $43,750. Peggy claimed the farm is thirty acres with a fair market value of $1,420,200. As the court of appeals observed, "the parties argued about its value and whether the property was three or thirty acres." 417 S.C. at 137, 789 S.E.2d at 56

421 S.C. 393

The family court found the farm is thirty acres and assigned it a value of $1,420,000. Spiro filed a motion to alter or amend the judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. He argued — among other things — Peggy "completely misrepresented or misunderstood [Spiro's] ownership interests in real estate in Greece and the court erred in adopting such misrepresentation as fact without evidentiary support." Spiro specifically argued he "does not own a thirty-acre farm in Greece" and "[his] interest in [the three-acre ... farm] is worth between $20,000 and $21,875." The family court denied the motion.

On appeal to the court of appeals, Spiro admitted he owns a three-acre farm in Greece and claimed he does not own a thirty-acre...

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