Stoney v. SR, Appellate Case No. 2016-002076

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM.
Citation813 S.E.2d 486
Parties Lori Dandridge STONEY, Respondent, v. Richard S.W. STONEY Sr., Petitioner, and Theodore D. Stoney Jr., Petitioner.
Decision Date20 December 2017
Docket NumberAppellate Case No. 2016-002076,Opinion No. 27758

422 S.C. 593
813 S.E.2d 486

Lori Dandridge STONEY, Respondent,
v.
Richard S.W. STONEY Sr., Petitioner,
and
Theodore D. Stoney Jr., Petitioner.

Appellate Case No. 2016-002076
Opinion No. 27758

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Submitted November 29, 2017
Filed December 20, 2017
Vacated, Substituted, and Refiled April 18, 2018


Charles H. Williams, of Williams & Williams, of Orangeburg, Donald Bruce Clark, of Charleston, and James B. Richardson Jr., of Columbia, for Petitioners.

J. Michael Taylor, of Taylor/Potterfield, of Columbia, and Peter George Currence, of McDougall, Self, Currence & McLeod, of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:

Petitioners each seek a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the court of appeals in Stoney v. Stoney , 417 S.C. 345, 790 S.E.2d 31 (Ct. App. 2016). In Stoney , the court of appeals directed the family court judge to conduct a new trial after holding the judge abused his discretion or otherwise erred in regards to multiple issues. Finding error in the standard of review applied by the court of appeals on issues III to XI, we grant the petitions, dispense with further briefing, reverse the court of appeals, and remand the case to the court of appeals to decide the appeal applying the appropriate standard of de novo review articulated in Lewis v. Lewis , 392 S.C. 381, 709 S.E.2d 650 (2011).1

In Lewis , this Court extensively analyzed the applicable standard of review in family court matters and reaffirmed that it is de novo.2 We noted that, while the term

813 S.E.2d 487

"abuse of discretion" has often been used in this context, it is a "misnomer" in light of the fact that de novo review is prescribed by article V, § 5 of the South Carolina Constitution. See S.C. Const. art. V, § 5 (stating in equity cases, the Supreme Court "shall review the findings of fact as well as the law, except in cases where the facts are settled by a jury and the verdict not set aside").

We observed that de novo review allows an appellate court to make its own findings of fact; however, this standard does not abrogate two long-standing principles still recognized by our courts during the de novo review process: (1) a trial judge is in a superior position to assess witness credibility, and (2) an appellant has the burden of showing the appellate court that the preponderance of the evidence is against the finding of the trial judge.

In the current appeal, the court of appeals cited Lewis , but it veered from a complete application of this benchmark. The court of appeals repeatedly referenced an "abuse of discretion" standard throughout its...

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154 practice notes
  • Kosciusko v. Parham, Appellate Case No. 2017-000016
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • November 6, 2019
    ...386, 709 S.E.2d 650, 652 (2011). "Our standard of review, therefore, is de novo ." Id . ; see also Stoney v. Stoney , 422 S.C. 593, 596, 813 S.E.2d 486, 487 (2018) ("[W]e reiterate that the proper standard of review in family court matters is de novo, rather than an abuse of discretion ..........
  • Bojilov v. Bojilov, Appellate Case No. 2015-000991
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 19, 2018
    ...followed.STANDARD OF REVIEW The appellate court reviews decisions of the family court de novo. Stoney v. Stoney , 422 S.C. 593, 596, 813 S.E.2d 486, 487 (2018) (per curiam). In a de novo review, the appellate court is free to make its own findings of fact but must remember the family court ......
  • Bauckman v. McLeod, Appellate Case No. 2017-000885
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 31, 2019
    ...386, 709 S.E.2d 650, 652 (2011). "Our standard of review, therefore, is de novo ." Id . ; see also Stoney v. Stoney , 422 S.C. 593, 596, 813 S.E.2d 486, 487 (2018) ("[W]e reiterate that the proper standard of review in family court matters is de novo, rather than an abuse of discretion ..........
  • Daily v. Daily, Appellate Case No. 2017-001199
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • February 10, 2021
    ...On appeal from the family court, the appellate court reviews factual and legal issues de novo. Stoney v. Stoney , 422 S.C. 593, 596, 813 S.E.2d 486, 487 (2018) (per curiam). Thus, the appellate court has the authority to find facts in accordance with its own view of the preponderance of the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
158 cases
  • Kosciusko v. Parham, Appellate Case No. 2017-000016
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • November 6, 2019
    ...386, 709 S.E.2d 650, 652 (2011). "Our standard of review, therefore, is de novo ." Id . ; see also Stoney v. Stoney , 422 S.C. 593, 596, 813 S.E.2d 486, 487 (2018) ("[W]e reiterate that the proper standard of review in family court matters is de novo, rather than an abuse of discretion ..........
  • Bojilov v. Bojilov, Appellate Case No. 2015-000991
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 19, 2018
    ...followed.STANDARD OF REVIEW The appellate court reviews decisions of the family court de novo. Stoney v. Stoney , 422 S.C. 593, 596, 813 S.E.2d 486, 487 (2018) (per curiam). In a de novo review, the appellate court is free to make its own findings of fact but must remember the family court ......
  • Bauckman v. McLeod, Appellate Case No. 2017-000885
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 31, 2019
    ...386, 709 S.E.2d 650, 652 (2011). "Our standard of review, therefore, is de novo ." Id . ; see also Stoney v. Stoney , 422 S.C. 593, 596, 813 S.E.2d 486, 487 (2018) ("[W]e reiterate that the proper standard of review in family court matters is de novo, rather than an abuse of discretion ..........
  • Daily v. Daily, Appellate Case No. 2017-001199
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • February 10, 2021
    ...On appeal from the family court, the appellate court reviews factual and legal issues de novo. Stoney v. Stoney , 422 S.C. 593, 596, 813 S.E.2d 486, 487 (2018) (per curiam). Thus, the appellate court has the authority to find facts in accordance with its own view of the preponderance of the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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