Gaar v. North Myrtle Beach Realty Co., Inc., No. 0622

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtBELL
Citation339 S.E.2d 887,287 S.C. 525
PartiesJohn E. GAAR and Karen B. Gaar, Appellants, v. NORTH MYRTLE BEACH REALTY CO., INC., Dewey Max Glasco, Joel Lee Glasco, John R. Clarke and Steven H. John, Defendants, of whom John R. Clarke and Steven H. John are Respondents. . Heard
Decision Date24 September 1985
Docket NumberNo. 0622

Page 887

339 S.E.2d 887
287 S.C. 525
John E. GAAR and Karen B. Gaar, Appellants,
v.
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH REALTY CO., INC., Dewey Max Glasco, Joel
Lee Glasco, John R. Clarke and Steven H. John, Defendants,
of whom John R. Clarke and Steven H. John are Respondents.
No. 0622.
Court of Appeals of South Carolina.
Heard Sept. 24, 1985.
Decided Jan. 28, 1986.

Page 888

[287 S.C. 526] Hammond A. Beale, Columbia, for appellants.

William C. Helms, III, Charleston, for respondents.

BELL, Judge.

[287 S.C. 527] John E. Gaar and Karen B. Gaar commenced this action for malicious prosecution against attorneys John R. Clarke and Steven H. John. This suit followed the granting of an involuntary nonsuit in a prior action filed by the attorneys for their client, North Myrtle Beach Realty Company, against the Gaars for breach of real estate contracts. The circuit judge granted the attorneys' motion for summary judgment in the malicious prosecution suit. The Gaars appeal. We affirm.

The prior breach of contract action was instituted by officers of the Realty Company in April 1981. The Gaars had signed three six-month exclusive listing agreements with the Realty Company, one in December 1980 and two in January 1981. The contracts covered three condominium units. The Realty Company advertised the units and began showing them to prospective buyers. In January 1981 the Gaars, without consulting the Realty Company, gave a one year lease on one of the units. In March 1981 they changed the locks on all three units and advised the Realty Company to return the keys and to begin showing the units by appointment only. The Gaars claim they desired to protect their property upon learning from a Realty Company employee that the keys to their units could not be located. The Realty Company, however, contends the Gaars' actual purpose was to deprive them of the opportunity to sell the units during the exclusive listing period.

The Realty Company returned the keys to the Gaars' employee at their place of business. Two weeks later the Realty Company's president asked the employee for a key to show the units. Upon consulting with the Gaars, the employee informed the Realty Company they could not have a key, and that the Gaars were considering allowing another company to handle the properties.

The Realty Company's president then contacted his attorney, John R. Clarke. He showed Clarke the six month listing agreements and reported the difficulties with the Gaars. The exact content of his conference with Clarke is disputed. It is undisputed, however, that the Realty Company's officers communicated only with the Gaars' employee during these events, not with the Gaars.

Following his consultation with the Realty Company's president, Clarke filed three breach of contract actions [287 S.C. 528] against the Gaars. Clarke's associate, Steven H. John, later amended the complaints into one action for damages in quantum meruit. John represented the Realty Company at trial on April 16, 1982, since Clarke was in court elsewhere when the case was called. Following testimony, the trial judge granted the Gaars' motion for an involuntary nonsuit, stating the Realty Company has no cause of action against the Gaars. The Gaars then brought this suit for malicious prosecution.

Page 889

Our Supreme Court has recognized that an action will lie for the malicious prosecution of any ordinary civil action. Cisson v. Pickens Savings and Loan Assoc., 258 S.C....

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36 practice notes
  • Moore v. Weinberg, No. 4209.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 20 February 2007
    ...behalf of and with the knowledge of his client." Pye, 369 S.C. at 564, 633 S.E.2d at 509 (quoting Gaar v. N. Myrtle Beach Realty Co., 287 S.C. 525, 528, 339 S.E.2d 887, 889 (Ct.App.1986)). However, the South Carolina Supreme Court cautions that "an attorney may be held liable for ......
  • Kozel v. Kozel, Civil Action No.: 7:16–cv–01672–JMC
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 8 March 2018
    ...acting on behalf of a client, and (3) with the knowledge of his client.10 299 F.Supp.3d 752 Gaar v. North Myrtle Beach Realty Co., Inc. , 287 S.C. 525, 339 S.E.2d 887, 889 (S.C. Ct. App. 1986).Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Spears is the Kozel Defendants' lawyer, either individually or co......
  • Pye v. Estate of Fox, No. 26193.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 24 July 2006
    ...activities as an attorney on behalf of and with the knowledge of his client." Gaar v. North Myrtle Beach Realty Co., Inc., 287 S.C. 525, 528, 339 S.E.2d 887, 889 (Ct.App.1986). In Stiles v. Onorato, 318 S.C. 297, 300, Page 510 S.E.2d 601, 602 (1995), this Court held "an attorney m......
  • Fort v. Kibbey (In re Oaktree Med. Ctr.), C. A. 19-05155-HB
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Fourth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of South Carolina
    • 19 April 2022
    ...of his professional activities as an attorney on behalf of and with the knowledge of his client." Gaar v. N. Myrtle Beach Realty Co., 287 S.C. 525, 339 S.E.2d 887, 889 (Ct. App. 1986). An attorney owes no duty to a non-client unless the attorney "breaches some independent duty to ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
38 cases
  • Moore v. Weinberg, No. 4209.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 20 February 2007
    ...on behalf of and with the knowledge of his client." Pye, 369 S.C. at 564, 633 S.E.2d at 509 (quoting Gaar v. N. Myrtle Beach Realty Co., 287 S.C. 525, 528, 339 S.E.2d 887, 889 (Ct.App.1986)). However, the South Carolina Supreme Court cautions that "an attorney may be held liable for conspir......
  • Kozel v. Kozel, Civil Action No.: 7:16–cv–01672–JMC
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 8 March 2018
    ...acting on behalf of a client, and (3) with the knowledge of his client.10 299 F.Supp.3d 752 Gaar v. North Myrtle Beach Realty Co., Inc. , 287 S.C. 525, 339 S.E.2d 887, 889 (S.C. Ct. App. 1986).Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Spears is the Kozel Defendants' lawyer, either individually or co......
  • Pye v. Estate of Fox, No. 26193.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 24 July 2006
    ...professional activities as an attorney on behalf of and with the knowledge of his client." Gaar v. North Myrtle Beach Realty Co., Inc., 287 S.C. 525, 528, 339 S.E.2d 887, 889 (Ct.App.1986). In Stiles v. Onorato, 318 S.C. 297, 300, Page 510 S.E.2d 601, 602 (1995), this Court held "an attorne......
  • Fort v. Kibbey (In re Oaktree Med. Ctr.), C. A. 19-05155-HB
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Fourth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of South Carolina
    • 19 April 2022
    ...of his professional activities as an attorney on behalf of and with the knowledge of his client." Gaar v. N. Myrtle Beach Realty Co., 287 S.C. 525, 339 S.E.2d 887, 889 (Ct. App. 1986). An attorney owes no duty to a non-client unless the attorney "breaches some independent duty to a third pe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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