Jarmuth v. International Club Homeowners Association, Inc., 2015-UP-111

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Decision Date04 March 2015
Docket Number2015-UP-111
PartiesRonald Jarmuth, Appellant, v. The International Club Homeowners Association, Inc., Rosemary Toth, and K.A. Diehl & Associates, Inc., Respondents. Appellate Case No. 2013-000714

Ronald Jarmuth, Appellant,
v.

The International Club Homeowners Association, Inc., Rosemary Toth, and K.A. Diehl & Associates, Inc., Respondents.

Appellate Case No. 2013-000714

No. 2015-UP-111

Court of Appeals of South Carolina

March 4, 2015


UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Submitted January 1, 2015

Appeal From Horry County Ralph P. Stroman, Special Referee Steven H. John, Circuit Court Judge

Ronald Jarmuth, of Murrells Inlet, pro se.

Henrietta U. Golding and Alicia E. Thompson, both of McNair Law Firm, PA, of Myrtle Beach, for Respondents.

PER CURIAM

Ronald Jarmuth appeals the special referee's order dismissing his claims, awarding judgment against him, and granting injunctive relief. On appeal, Jarmuth argues: (1) the special referee denied him a fair trial; (2) the special referee did not address all of his issues; (3) the International Club Homeowners Association, Inc. (the Association) did not have any rights under the declaration of covenants and restrictions; (4) the South Carolina Nonprofit Corporation Act[1]preempted the declaration of covenants and restrictions; (5) K.A. Diehl & Associates, Inc. (K.A. Diehl) and the Association were liable to him for defamation and invasion of privacy; (6) Rosemary Toth and K.A. Diehl were liable to the Association for mishandling Association funds; (7) certain covenant obligations under the declaration of covenants and restrictions were voidable personal service contracts; (8) he was entitled to the approval of various modifications to his unit; (9) Pebble Creek and the Villas were not subject to the declaration of covenants and restrictions; (10) certain waivers of covenants contained within the first amendment to the declaration of covenants and restrictions were general waivers; (11) Horry County owned certain roads within the International Club community free of covenant restrictions; (12) the Association illegally withheld the voter list from him; and (13) the Association was not entitled to attorney's fees. We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authorities:

As to Issue 1: Wilder Corp. v. Wilke, 330 S.C. 71, 76, 497 S.E.2d 731, 733 (1998) ("It is axiomatic that an issue cannot be raised for the first time on appeal, but must have been raised to and ruled upon by the trial [court] to be preserved for appellate review."); Erickson v. Jones St. Publishers, L.L.C., 368 S.C. 444, 476, 629 S.E.2d 653, 670 (2006) ("[A] party may not complain on appeal of error or object to a trial procedure which his own conduct has induced."); Ellie, Inc. v. Miccichi, 358 S.C. 78, 99, 594 S.E.2d 485, 496 (Ct. App. 2004) ("[W]here an issue is not argued within the body of the brief but is only a short conclusory statement, it is abandoned on appeal."); Rule 220(b)(2), SCACR ("The Court of Appeals need not address a point which is manifestly without merit.").

As to Issue 2: Ellie, Inc., 358 S.C. at 99, 594 S.E.2d at 496 ("[W]here an issue is not argued within the body of the brief but is only a short conclusory statement, it is abandoned on appeal."); State v. Colf, 332 S.C. 313, 322, 504 S.E.2d 360, 364 (Ct. App. 1998) (finding a conclusory, two-paragraph argument that cited no authority other than an evidentiary rule was abandoned), aff'd as modified, 337 S.C. 622, 525 S.E.2d 246 (2000); Rule 220(b)(2), SCACR ("The Court of Appeals need not address a point which is manifestly without merit.").

As to Issue 3: O'Shea v. Lesser, 308 S.C. 10, 14, 416 S.E.2d 629, 631 (1992) (explaining when the relief sought in an action for breach of restrictive covenants is monetary in nature, a claim for breach of the covenants is legal); id. (stating "in an action at law, tried without a jury, . . . we will not disturb findings of fact of the [trial court] unless there is no evidence reasonably supporting the [trial court's] findings"); McCall v. IKON, 363 S.C. 646, 652, 611 S.E.2d 315, 318 (Ct. App. 2005) ("[A] corporation may be known by several names in the transaction of its general business.").

As to Issue 4: Seabrook Island Prop. Owners Ass'n v. Marshland Trust, Inc., 358 S.C. 655, 661, 596 S.E.2d 380, 382-83 (Ct. App. 2004) (explaining the determination of the scope of restrictive covenants is an action in equity and will be reviewed de novo); S.C. Code Ann. § 33-31-620(a) (2006) ("A member may resign at any time.").

As to Issue 5: Mellen v. Lane, 377 S.C. 261, 275, 659 S.E.2d 236, 244 (Ct. App. 2008) (explaining an action in tort for damages is an action at law, and in an action at law decided by a special referee, this court will correct any error of law); id. (stating in reviewing an action at law, this court "must affirm the [referee's] factual findings unless there is no evidence reasonably supporting them"); Murray v. Holnam, Inc., 344 S.C. 129, 140-41, 542 S.E.2d 743, 749 (Ct. App. 2001) ("A communication made in good faith on any subject matter in which the person communicating has an interest or duty is qualifiedly privileged if made to a person with a corresponding...

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