United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Beaufort Division
National Bank of Anguilla (Private Banking and Trust) Ltd., Plaintiff,
Robert Considine and Anne Considine, Defendants.
PATRICK MICHAEL DUFFY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants Robert and Anne
Considine's motion to reconsider the Court's August 1
Order (ECF Nos. 25 & 23). For the reasons set forth
herein, the Considines' motion is denied.
to Rules 59(e) and 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, the Considines dispute the Court's conclusion
that either South Carolina's twenty-year statute of
limitations or Anguilla's twelve-year statute of
limitations applies to this action. According to the Considines,
the Court's order contains a clear error of law and
should be revised because South Carolina's twenty-year
statute of limitations cannot apply to Plaintiff National
Bank's claim. The Considines assert that the appropriate
South Carolina statute of limitations is the three-year
statute of limitations set forth in section 15-3-530(1) of
the South Carolina Code. Accordingly, they argue that because
National Bank's claim would be barred under South
Carolina's three-year statute of limitations, the Court
must actually decide whether South Carolina or Anguilla's
statute of limitations applies. The Court disagrees.
Considines first summarily argue that National Bank never
raised South Carolina's twenty-year statute of
limitations in their briefs, and seem to imply that either
National Bank has waived that argument or that the Court
cannot apply a different statute of limitations than those
the parties have raised. Such an argument holds no weight in
this instance. South Carolina Code section 15-3-530(1), which
the Considines favor, expressly provides that there is a
three-year statute of limitations for actions “upon a
contract, obligation, or liability, express or implied,
excepting those provided for in Section
15-3-520.” S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530(1)
(emphasis added). Section 15-3-520(a), the express exception
to section 15-3-530(1), provides that a twenty-year statute
of limitations applies to “an action upon a bond or
other contract in writing secured by a mortgage of real
property.” The Court cannot simply ignore that the
three-year statute of limitations itself lists the
twenty-year statute of limitations as an exception, and
rejects the Considines' first argument.
the Considines argue that section 15-3-520(a)'s
twenty-year statute of limitations does not apply to a
document that was never recorded in South Carolina, and that
would not meet South Carolina's recording requirements.
The Considines' primary authority for that argument is
Arthur v. Screven, 17 S.E. 640 (1893). To a lesser
extent, the Considines also rely on South Carolina's
mortgage recording statutes. See S.C. Code Ann.
§§ 30-5-30, -7-10. The gist of the Considines'
argument is that in order for the twenty-year statute of
limitations to apply, the mortgage securing the bond or other
contract in writing must be recorded in South Carolina.
Because a mortgage cannot be recorded in South Carolina
without meeting South Carolina's recording requirements,
see S.C. Code Ann. § 30-5-30, the mortgage must
also meet the requirements for recording in South Carolina.
It is undisputed that the mortgage securing the contract here
does not meet the requirements for recording in South
Carolina and was also never recorded in South Carolina.
Court rejects the Considines' argument. Neither the three
nor the twenty-year statute of limitations contains any
language limiting its applicability. Additionally, section
15-3-520(a) does not require that the mortgage securing the
contract in writing must meet South Carolina's recording
requirements. Both of the Considines' arguments in that
regard arise out of the South Carolina Supreme Court's
1893 decision in Arthur. There, the court held that
a document lacked the requisite formalities to create a
mortgage over South Carolina property as a matter of South
Carolina law because it was not “signed, sealed, and
delivered in the presence of two subscribing
witnesses.” Arthur, 17 S.E. at 642.
Arthur is inapposite to the facts of this case. The
mortgage here does not cover South Carolina property, it
covers Anguillan property. Thus, the parties had no reason to
satisfy South Carolina's requirements when they created
it, nor would they have any reason to record it in South
Carolina. The Considines do not challenge Eustella
Fontaine's declaration that the mortgage satisfies
Anguilla's requirements. Based on the foregoing, the
Court again concludes that if a South Carolina statute of
limitations applies, it is section 15-3-520's twenty-year
statute of limitations. Thus, the Court declines to certify
the Considines' proposed questions to the South Carolina
foregoing reasons, the Considines' motion to reconsider
IT IS SO ORDERED.
 Because Plaintiff's claim is
timely under either the twelve or the twenty-year statute of
limitations, the Court refrained from deciding which ...