Davis v. Parkview Apartments, Carolina Ltd., No. 27429.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtJustice PLEICONES.
Citation762 S.E.2d 535,409 S.C. 266
PartiesLaurance H. DAVIS, Jr., Mary Jane R. Pike, Eva Marie Reynolds, and Rhoda G. Rentz, individually and in their capacities as the Limited Partners of Parkview Apartments, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Appellants, v. PARKVIEW APARTMENTS, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Apartment Investment and Management Company a/k/a AIMCO, Insignia Financial Group, Incorporated, AmReal Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a USS Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a U.S. Shelter Corporation, ISTC Corporation, N. Barton Tuck, Jr., and John Doe, a generic designation for a party or parties whose true identity is unknown, Respondents. Appellate Case No. 2010–180666 Laurance H. Davis, Jr., Marvin D. McCarthy, James W. Ivey and Erin E. Ivey, individually and in their capacities as the Limited Partners of Palmetto Apartments, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Appellants, v. Palmetto Apartments, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Apartment Investment and Management Company a/k/a AIMCO, Insignia Financial Group, Incorporated, AmReal Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a USS Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a USS Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a U.S. Shelter Corporation, ISTC Corporation, N. Barton Tuck, Jr., and John Doe, a generic designation for a party or parties whose true identity is unknown, Respondents. Appellate Case No. 2010–180087 Laurance H. Davis, Jr., Rhoda G. Rentz, Mortimer M. Weinberg, Jr., Hodge Land Company, Incorporated, and Anna Trotter, individually and in their capacities as the Limited Partners of Roosevelt Gardens, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Appellants, v. Roosevelt Gardens, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Apartment Investments and Management Company a/k/a AIMCO, Insignia Financial Group, Incorporated, AmReal Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a USS Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a U.S. Shelter Corporation, ISTC Corporation, N. Barton Tuck, Jr., and John Doe, a generic designation for a party or parties whose true identity is unknown, Respondents. Appellate Case No. 2010–180086 Carolina Management Corporation of Beaufort, James B. Jackson, Whaley R. Hinnant, Jr., Mary Gasser Rawl, and Rhoda G. Rentz, individually and in their capacities as the Limited Partners of Pinewood Park Apartments, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Appellants, v. Pinewood Park Apartments, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Apartment Investment and Management Company a/k/a AIMCO, Insignia Financial Group, Incorporated, AmReal Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a USS Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a U.S. Shelter Corporation, ISTC Corporation, N. Barton Tuck, Jr., and John Doe, a generic designation for a party or parties whose true identity is unknown, Respondents. Appellate Case No. 2010–180088 Rhoda G. Rentz, Mary Jane Pike, Eva Marie Reynolds, and Joanne O. Mercy, individually and in their capacities as the Limited Partners of Orleans Gardens, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Appellants, v. Orleans Gardens, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Apartment Investment and Management Company a/k/a AIMCO, Insignia Financial Group, Incorporated, AmReal Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a USS Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a U.S. Shelter Corporation, ISTC Corporation, N. Barton Tuck, Jr., and John Doe, a generic designation for a party or parties whose true identity is unknown, Respondents. Appellate Case No. 2010–176826.
Docket NumberNo. 27429.
Decision Date11 September 2014

409 S.C. 266
762 S.E.2d 535

Laurance H. DAVIS, Jr., Mary Jane R. Pike, Eva Marie Reynolds, and Rhoda G. Rentz, individually and in their capacities as the Limited Partners of Parkview Apartments, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Appellants,
v.
PARKVIEW APARTMENTS, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Apartment Investment and Management Company a/k/a AIMCO, Insignia Financial Group, Incorporated, AmReal Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a USS Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a U.S. Shelter Corporation, ISTC Corporation, N. Barton Tuck, Jr., and John Doe, a generic designation for a party or parties whose true identity is unknown, Respondents.

Appellate Case No. 2010–180666
Laurance H. Davis, Jr., Marvin D. McCarthy, James W. Ivey and Erin E. Ivey, individually and in their capacities as the Limited Partners of Palmetto Apartments, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Appellants,
v.
Palmetto Apartments, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Apartment Investment and Management Company a/k/a AIMCO, Insignia Financial Group, Incorporated, AmReal Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a USS Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a USS Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a U.S. Shelter Corporation, ISTC Corporation, N. Barton Tuck, Jr., and John Doe, a generic designation for a party or parties whose true identity is unknown, Respondents.

Appellate Case No. 2010–180087
Laurance H. Davis, Jr., Rhoda G. Rentz, Mortimer M. Weinberg, Jr., Hodge Land Company, Incorporated, and Anna Trotter, individually and in their capacities as the Limited Partners of Roosevelt Gardens, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Appellants,
v.
Roosevelt Gardens, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Apartment Investments and Management Company a/k/a AIMCO, Insignia Financial Group, Incorporated, AmReal Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a USS Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a U.S. Shelter Corporation, ISTC Corporation, N. Barton Tuck, Jr., and John Doe, a generic designation for a party or parties whose true identity is unknown, Respondents.

Appellate Case No. 2010–180086
Carolina Management Corporation of Beaufort, James B. Jackson, Whaley R. Hinnant, Jr., Mary Gasser Rawl, and Rhoda G. Rentz, individually and in their capacities as the Limited Partners of Pinewood Park Apartments, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Appellants,
v.
Pinewood Park Apartments, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Apartment Investment and Management Company a/k/a AIMCO, Insignia Financial Group, Incorporated, AmReal Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a USS Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a U.S. Shelter Corporation, ISTC Corporation, N. Barton Tuck, Jr., and John Doe, a generic designation for a party or parties whose true identity is unknown, Respondents.

Appellate Case No. 2010–180088
Rhoda G. Rentz, Mary Jane Pike, Eva Marie Reynolds, and Joanne O. Mercy, individually and in their capacities as the Limited Partners of Orleans Gardens, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Appellants,
v.
Orleans Gardens, a South Carolina Limited Partnership, Apartment Investment and Management Company a/k/a AIMCO, Insignia Financial Group, Incorporated, AmReal Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a USS Corporation a/k/a and f/k/a U.S. Shelter Corporation, ISTC Corporation, N. Barton Tuck, Jr., and John Doe, a generic designation for a party or parties whose true identity is unknown, Respondents.

Appellate Case No. 2010–176826.

No. 27429.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Heard Nov. 13, 2012.
Decided Aug. 6, 2014.

Rehearing Denied Sept. 11, 2014.


[762 S.E.2d 537]


Thomas A. Pendarvis, of Pendarvis Law Offices, P.C., of Beaufort, and Joel D. Bailey, of The Bailey Law Firm, P.A., of Beaufort, for Appellants.

Ellis M. Johnston II, of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., of Greenville, and Calvin Theodore Vick, Jr., of Harper Lambert & Brown, P.A., of Greenville, for Respondents.


Chief Justice TOAL.

Appellants appeal the circuit court's decision dismissing these related cases and awarding sanctions against Appellants. We affirm.

Facts/Procedural Background

Appellants are limited partners in five separate limited partnerships and have asserted legal claims in five separate actions against their general partners, Respondents.1 Each of the limited partnerships owned separate apartment complexes in one of the three counties—Beaufort, Orangeburg, and Charleston. On appeal, each of the cases involves a different grouping of limited partners,2 different properties, and different facts.

In essence, the limited partnerships were formed in the 1960s to construct and operate the properties at issue, affordable housing projects for low-income citizens in the three

[762 S.E.2d 538]

counties. Respondents became general partners around 1975, and from that point forward, Appellants took no part in the management or business affairs of the complexes. In 1984, Respondents notified Appellants that they had contracted to sell the properties to Boston Financial Group (BFG). The terms of the sale called for a small amount to be paid upfront but the majority would be paid in 1999 in a “balloon” payment with accruing interest. However, BFG defaulted on the payment, and sold the properties without intervention from the partnerships. All of the claims stem from Respondents' roles in selling the properties and their actions in the aftermath of BFG's default.

On April 22, 2003, certain Appellants filed the complaint in Davis v. Parkview Apartments (the Parkview case). On July 7, 2003, Respondents filed various motions, including a motion to dismiss certain claims against certain Respondents and a motion to strike or make more specific allegations contained in Appellants' complaint. The circuit court denied the motions. Appellants filed an amended complaint on March 23, 2004, alleging causes of action at law for damages, including, inter alia, breach of fiduciary duty and causes of action for equitable relief. On April 9, 2004, Respondents filed an Answer, setting forth a general denial and affirmative defenses, including, inter alia, the statute of limitations. On April 13, 2004, Respondents filed a motion to dismiss and other related motions. By order dated February 11, 2005, the court dismissed one cause of action, styled “bad faith,” but denied the motion to dismiss as to the remaining causes of action.

On October 13, 2005, certain Appellants filed complaints in Davis v. Palmetto Apartments (the Palmetto case) and Carolina Management Corporation of Beaufort v. Pinewood Park Apartments (the Pinewood Park case), and on October 17, 2005, certain Appellants then filed complaints in Rentz v. Orleans Gardens (the Orleans Gardens case) and Laurance Davis v. Roosevelt Gardens (the Roosevelt Gardens case). In each of these cases, the groups of Appellants alleged causes of action at law for damages, including, inter alia, a claim for breach of fiduciary duty, and causes of action for equitable relief. Respondents answered on January 17, 2006, setting forth a general denial and affirmative defenses, including the statute of limitations.

By administrative order dated March 7, 2006, all five of the cases were assigned to Circuit Judge Doyet A. Early III “to hear and decide all pre-trial motions and other matters pertaining to these cases, including the trial and post-trial motions.” The purpose of assigning the cases to a single circuit court judge was to “promote the effective and expeditious disposition of this litigation by uniform rulings and [to] conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.” However, these cases have never been consolidated.

The Record in this case is voluminous, and illustrates the complex and, at times, contentious nature of these proceedings. The circuit judge presided over numerous motion hearings and issued numerous orders over the course of this litigation. However, this appeal concerns a final order, dated April 9, 2010, and entitled “Order Granting Defendants' Two Motions for Sanctions, Finding Plaintiffs in Contempt of Court, and Dismissing the Above–Captioned Actions as Sanctions for Plaintiffs' Contempt” (the Dismissal Order), in which the circuit judge dismissed all of the cases and awarded fees and costs to Respondents as sanctions for Appellants' continued refusal to comply with his previous discovery rulings. In addition, Appellants appeal the judge's failure to disqualify himself at the outset of this litigation and late refusal to recuse himself.

From the outset, the statute of limitations emerged as an important issue in this case. On January 17, 2006, Respondents moved for summary judgment in the Palmetto, Orleans Gardens, and Roosevelt Gardens cases based on the affirmative defense that Appellants' legal claims in these cases were barred by the statute of limitations.3 In support of the

[762 S.E.2d 539]

motion for summary judgment, Respondents served Appellants with Requests for Admission in order to ascertain the point at which Appellants became aware of the alleged injuries that they claimed. On February 13, 2007, the court denied the motion, granting Respondents leave to raise the statute of limitations defense again after the commencement of discovery in the cases.

Respondents again moved for summary judgment with respect to the statute of limitations issue in the Palmetto, Orleans Gardens, and Roosevelt Gardens cases. The judge held a hearing on the motion on November 19, 2007. On June 17, 2008, the circuit court denied Respondents' motion because “a genuine issue exists as to material facts involving the statute of limitations.” 4

On August 28, 2008, Respondents served Appellants with supplemental discovery requests. After granting Appellants additional time to file their responses, on November 6, 2008, Respondents filed a motion to compel Appellants to respond to their discovery requests. Appellants served their initial discovery responses on November 14, 2008, but Respondents chose to proceed with their motion to compel, claiming Appellants failed to answer their discovery requests completely. Respondents specifically sought to compel...

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21 practice notes
  • Wilson v. Willis, Appellate Case No. 2014–000946.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 2, 2016
    ...not unusual.” Whether to impose sanctions is a decision left to the sound discretion of the circuit court. Davis v. Parkview Apartments, 409 S.C. 266, 281, 762 S.E.2d 535, 543 (2014). “Therefore, an appellate court will not interfere with ‘a [circuit] court's exercise of its discretionary p......
  • In re Mt. Hawley Insurance Company, Appellate Case No. 2018-001170
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • June 12, 2019
    ...Carolina criticized the Hearn decision in a separate opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. See Davis v. Parkview Apartments , 409 S.C. 266, 291–96, 762 S.E.2d 535, 549–51 (2014) (Pleicones, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). The district court found "that the numer......
  • State v. Elephant, Inc., Appellate Case No. 2016-001695
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 14, 2019
    ...and impartiality is not preserved for our review as they never requested the trial court recuse itself. See Davis v. Parkview Apartments, 409 S.C. 266, 289, 762 S.E.2d 535, 547 (2014) ("Timeliness is essential to any recusal motion. To be timely, a recusal motion must be made at counsel's f......
  • State on relation of William Walter Wilkins v. Elephant, Inc., 2019-UP-290
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 14, 2019
    ...and impartiality is not preserved for our review as they never requested the trial court recuse itself. See Davis v. Parkview Apartments, 409 S.C. 266, 289, 762 S.E.2d 535, 547 (2014) ("Timeliness is essential to any recusal motion. To be timely, a recusal motion must be made at counsel's f......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
21 cases
  • Wilson v. Willis, Appellate Case No. 2014–000946.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 2, 2016
    ...not unusual.” Whether to impose sanctions is a decision left to the sound discretion of the circuit court. Davis v. Parkview Apartments, 409 S.C. 266, 281, 762 S.E.2d 535, 543 (2014). “Therefore, an appellate court will not interfere with ‘a [circuit] court's exercise of its discretionary p......
  • In re Mt. Hawley Insurance Company, Appellate Case No. 2018-001170
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • June 12, 2019
    ...Carolina criticized the Hearn decision in a separate opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. See Davis v. Parkview Apartments , 409 S.C. 266, 291–96, 762 S.E.2d 535, 549–51 (2014) (Pleicones, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). The district court found "that the numer......
  • State v. Elephant, Inc., Appellate Case No. 2016-001695
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 14, 2019
    ...and impartiality is not preserved for our review as they never requested the trial court recuse itself. See Davis v. Parkview Apartments, 409 S.C. 266, 289, 762 S.E.2d 535, 547 (2014) ("Timeliness is essential to any recusal motion. To be timely, a recusal motion must be made at counsel's f......
  • State on relation of William Walter Wilkins v. Elephant, Inc., 2019-UP-290
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 14, 2019
    ...and impartiality is not preserved for our review as they never requested the trial court recuse itself. See Davis v. Parkview Apartments, 409 S.C. 266, 289, 762 S.E.2d 535, 547 (2014) ("Timeliness is essential to any recusal motion. To be timely, a recusal motion must be made at counsel's f......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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