S.C. Dep't of Soc. Servs. v. Myers, 2022-UP-200

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
PartiesSouth Carolina Department of Social Services, Respondent, v. Kenneth Myers and Karen Myers, Defendants, Of whom Kenneth Myers is the Appellant. In the interest of a minor under the age of eighteen.
Docket Number2022-UP-200,Appellate Case 2021-000041
Decision Date13 May 2022

South Carolina Department of Social Services, Respondent,
v.

Kenneth Myers and Karen Myers, Defendants,

Of whom Kenneth Myers is the Appellant. In the interest of a minor under the age of eighteen.

No. 2022-UP-200

Appellate Case No. 2021-000041

Court of Appeals of South Carolina

May 13, 2022


THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE. IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

Submitted May 12, 2022

Appeal From Orangeburg County Anne Gue Jones, Family Court Judge

Kimberly Yancey Brooks, of Kimberly Y. Brooks, Attorney at Law, of Greenville, for Appellant.

Patrick A. McWilliams, of South Carolina Department of Social Services, of Orangeburg; and Scarlet Bell Moore, of Greenville, both for Respondent.

1

James B. Jackson, Jr., of Orangeburg, for the Guardian ad Litem.

PER CURIAM

Kenneth Myers (Father) appeals the family court's findings from a merits removal order. On appeal, Father argues the family court erred in (1) finding he physically abused his minor child (Child) and (2) ordering no contact between Father and Child until recommended by a counselor. We affirm.

On appeal from the family court, this court reviews factual and legal issues de novo. Simmons v. Simmons, 392 S.C. 412, 414, 709 S.E.2d 666, 667 (2011); see also Lewis v. Lewis, 392 S.C. 381, 386, 709 S.E.2d 650, 652 (2011). Although this court reviews the family court's findings de novo, we are not required to ignore the fact that the family court, which saw and heard the witnesses, was in a better position to evaluate their credibility and assign comparative weight to their testimony. Lewis, 392 S.C. at 385, 709 S.E.2d at 651-52.

We hold a preponderance of the evidence supports the family court's finding that Father physically abused Child. See S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-20(6)(a)(i) (Supp. 2021) ("'Child abuse or neglect' or 'harm' occurs when: (a) the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's welfare: (i) inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical or mental injury or engages in acts or omissions which present a substantial risk of physical or mental injury to the child . . . ."). At the merits hearing, Father and Karen Myers (Mother) gave differing accounts of how Child sustained injuries to her face, arms, and back. Father testified Child fell and hit her face on the wall after he attempted to "re-direct her" from walking away but could not account for...

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