Moore v. Crowley & Associates, Inc., 19048

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Citation254 S.C. 170,174 S.E.2d 340
Decision Date05 May 1970
Docket NumberNo. 19048,19048
PartiesRuth K. MOORE, as Administratrix of the Estate of John M. Moore, Jr., Appellant, v. CROWLEY AND ASSOCIATES, INC., Respondent.

E. Windell McCrackin, Myrtle Beach, for appellant.

John W. Jenrette, Jr., of Jenrette & Wheless, Ocean Drive Beach, for respondent.

MOSS, Chief Justice.

Ruth K. Moore, as administratrix of the estate of Jonn M. Moore, Jr., deceased, the appellant herein, brought this action against Crowley and Associates, Inc., the respondent herein, for recovery of a balance of salary due the intestate, a former employee of the respondent.

It is alleged in the complaint that between December 1, 1959, and November 27, 1963, John M. Moore, Jr. was employed by the respondent as manager of the Sea Ranch and Ocean View Motels, located at Garden City, South Carolina, at a salary of $6,000.00 per year. It is then alleged that there is a balance due of $15,500.00 as salary and it is for this amount that judgment is asked by the appellant. This demand was reduced during the trial, by amendment, to $12,500.00.

The respondent, by answer, admitted that John M. Moore, Jr., was employed as manager of the aforesaid motels at an agreed salary of $5,000.00 per year. It is further alleged that the said John M. Moore, Jr., as treasurer of the respondent, was in complete charge of its finances, receiving and disbursing the income from the operation of said motels. It is further alleged that during the managership of John M. Moore, Jr. that the income from the operation of the said motels exceeded the expenditures by more than $20,000.00, all according to the books and records maintained by him, which said difference remains unaccounted for except as having been paid to him as compensation for his services. The respondent alleged that it was entitled to offset said sum against any amount found to be due to the appellant.

A claim for services rendereed rests on contract and an action for a breach thereof is one at law. The appellant admits this is an action at law.

This action was referred, by consent order, to the Master of Horry County to take the testimony and report his findings of fact and conclusions of law. A reference was convened and the testimony taken, with several exhibits being offered in evidence. The Master found that the decedent was employed by the respondent at a salary of $5,000.00 per year and that he had complete charge of the collection and disbursement of funds belonging to respondent. He further found that the decedent actually withdrew from the funds of the corporation in his possession $20,634.48, and that the amount so withdrawn exceeded the agreed compensation to which he was entitled. He concluded, as a matter of law, that such withdrawal of the respondent's funds constituted payment by the corporation to the decedent for his services rendered, and that, as a consequence thereof, the demand set forth in the complaint was discharged.

The appellant excepted to the Master's report, aserting that he was in error in finding as a fact that the decedent had withdrawn more funds from the respondent than the agreed compensation to which he was entitled, the error being that such finding was against the preponderance of the evidence and without evidentiary support in the record. The exception of the appellant came on to be heard before The Honorable James B. Morrison, Resident Judge of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, who, by a formal order, affirmed the report of the Master. The appeal to this court followed.

The question here for decision is whether the trial judge erred in affirming the finding of the Master that the appellant's decedent had withdrawn more funds from...

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14 cases
  • Parker v. Shecut, 3167.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 22, 2000
    ...her obligations. III. Contract Damages A breach of contract action seeking money damages is an action at law. Moore v. Crowley & Assoc., Inc., 254 S.C. 170, 174 S.E.2d 340 (1970). "In an action at law, on appeal of a case tried without a jury, the findings of fact of the [trial] judge will ......
  • Ward v. West Oil Co., Inc., 4389.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 12, 2008
    ...is an action at law." Sterling Dev. Co. v. Collins, 309 S.C. 237, 240, 421 S.E.2d 402, 404 (1992); Moore v. Crowley & Associates, Inc., 254 S.C. 170, 172, 174 S.E.2d 340, 341 (1970); Ellie, Inc. v. Miccichi, 358 S.C. 78, 89, 594 S.E.2d 485, 491 (Ct.App.2004); R & G Constr., Inc. v. Lowcount......
  • Brown v. Allstate Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • November 1, 1999
    ...(1986) (a cause of action for breach of an insurance contract is an action for damages under the contract); Moore v. Crowley & Assocs., Inc., 254 S.C. 170, 174 S.E.2d 340 (1970) (an action for damages for breach of contract is an action at law); Townes Assocs., Ltd. v. City of Greenville, 2......
  • May v. Hopkinson, 0760
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 24, 1986
    ...or referee's report in a law case [ see Peddler, Inc. v. Rikard, 266 S.C. 28, 221 S.E.2d 115 (1975); Moore v. Crowley and Associates, Inc., 254 S.C. 170, 174 S.E.2d 340 (1970); Sumter Electric Rewinding Co. v. Aiken County S.C. Clays, Inc., 230 S.C. 229, 95 S.E.2d 259 (1956); Gregory v. Coh......
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