Mears v. Mears, No. 23639

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation308 S.C. 196,417 S.E.2d 574
PartiesJohn Harry MEARS, Petitioner, v. Mary B. Felkel MEARS, Respondent. . Heard
Docket NumberNo. 23639
Decision Date23 March 1992

Page 574

417 S.E.2d 574
308 S.C. 196
John Harry MEARS, Petitioner,
v.
Mary B. Felkel MEARS, Respondent.
No. 23639.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard March 23, 1992.
Decided April 27, 1992.

Page 575

[308 S.C. 197] C. Bradley Hutto of Williams & Williams, Orangeburg, for petitioner.

Thomas B. Bryant, III, Orangeburg, for respondent.

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI

PER CURIAM:

We granted certiorari to review the Court of Appeals' opinion reported at 305 S.C. 150, 406 S.E.2d 376 (1991). Reference is had to that opinion for a full statement of the facts.

We affirm, but comment further upon the following language from the Court of Appeals opinion:

an unliquidated employment claim which accrues before and represents compensation for injuries suffered or property lost prior to commencement of marital litigation is marital property even though received after valuation date.... We therefore hold that in the absence of fraud, deception or an effort by one spouse to secrete or hide an unliquidated employment claim, the other spouse's right to share in such a claim asserted for the first time after a court ordered distribution of property will not be recognized.

305 S.C. at 156-57, 406 S.E.2d at 380.

At oral argument before this Court, counsel for Mr. Mears contended that the Court of Appeals' decision changes the date for defining "marital property", from the date of "commencement of marital ligitation", to the date of a court ordered equitable distribution, in contravention of S.C.Code Ann. § 20-7-473 (1991 Cum.Supp.). We disagree.

The Court of Appeals opinion retains "the filing or commencement of litigation" as the determinative date of whether an asset or right of action constitutes marital property. However, it is at the equitable distribution hearing that the Family Court will ascertain whether such a right [308 S.C. 198] of action existed or had accrued at the time of commencement of litigation.1

Moreover, the opinion makes clear that no claim, absent a showing of fraud, deception or the like, may be asserted after equitable distribution, even if the asset had accrued at the time of commencement of litigation. 2

AFFIRMED.

---------------

1 For example, had Mr. Mears instituted divorce proceedings in December, 1988, and been wrongfully discharged in January, 1989, his action would not have accrued prior to commencement of litigation. Accordingly, Family Court, at the equitable distribution hearing, would hold the cause of action was not...

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4 practice notes
  • State v. Jenkins, No. 4958.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 20, 2012
    ...unreasonable bodily intrusions, searches, and seizures.’ ” Baccus, 367 S.C. at 54, 625 S.E.2d at 223 (quoting Snyder, 308 S.C. at 195, 417 S.E.2d at 574). We find the affidavit, which was the only information presented to the magistrate in support of the warrant application, [398 S.C. 222]d......
  • Marsh v. Marsh, No. 23915
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • May 19, 1993
    ...court, finding the claim was acquired during the marriage and thus marital property. Id. We affirmed in Mears v. Mears, --- S.C. ----, 417 S.E.2d 574 (1992). The Court of Appeals, however, remanded the case back to the family court instructing it to determine what portion of the settlement ......
  • State v. Jenkins, Opinion No. 4958
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 28, 2012
    ...bodily intrusions, searches, and seizures.'" Baccus, 367 S.C. at 54, 625 S.E.2d at 223 (quoting Snyder, 308 S.C. at 195, 417 S.E.2d at 574). We find the affidavit, which was the only information presented to the magistrate in support of the warrant application, does not meet the requir......
  • Lundquist v. Lundquist, No. S-6761
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • August 16, 1996
    ...of punitive damages without actually deciding the question. See Mears v. Mears, 305 S.C. 150, 406 S.E.2d 376, 380 (App.1991), aff'd, 308 S.C. 196, 417 S.E.2d 574 (1992), overruled by Marsh v. Marsh, 313 S.C. 42, 437 S.E.2d 34 (1993) and Amie v. Amie, 106 Nev. 541, 796 P.2d 233, 234 (1990). ......
4 cases
  • State v. Jenkins, No. 4958.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 20, 2012
    ...unreasonable bodily intrusions, searches, and seizures.’ ” Baccus, 367 S.C. at 54, 625 S.E.2d at 223 (quoting Snyder, 308 S.C. at 195, 417 S.E.2d at 574). We find the affidavit, which was the only information presented to the magistrate in support of the warrant application, [398 S.C. 222]d......
  • Marsh v. Marsh, No. 23915
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • May 19, 1993
    ...court, finding the claim was acquired during the marriage and thus marital property. Id. We affirmed in Mears v. Mears, --- S.C. ----, 417 S.E.2d 574 (1992). The Court of Appeals, however, remanded the case back to the family court instructing it to determine what portion of the settlement ......
  • State v. Jenkins, Opinion No. 4958
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 28, 2012
    ...bodily intrusions, searches, and seizures.'" Baccus, 367 S.C. at 54, 625 S.E.2d at 223 (quoting Snyder, 308 S.C. at 195, 417 S.E.2d at 574). We find the affidavit, which was the only information presented to the magistrate in support of the warrant application, does not meet the requir......
  • Lundquist v. Lundquist, No. S-6761
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • August 16, 1996
    ...of punitive damages without actually deciding the question. See Mears v. Mears, 305 S.C. 150, 406 S.E.2d 376, 380 (App.1991), aff'd, 308 S.C. 196, 417 S.E.2d 574 (1992), overruled by Marsh v. Marsh, 313 S.C. 42, 437 S.E.2d 34 (1993) and Amie v. Amie, 106 Nev. 541, 796 P.2d 233, 234 (1990). ......

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