Mildred Ann Kinghorn, as Trustee for the Mildred Ann Kinghorn Trust, dated 28 April 2004, Respondent,
George Sakakini, Appellant.
November 6, 2018
From Beaufort County Carmen T. Mullen, Circuit Court Judge
Richardson Hyman, Jr., of Law Firm of M. Richardson Hyman,
Jr., of Charleston, for Appellant.
Scott Graber, of Graber Law Firm, of Beaufort, for
Sakakini appeals the circuit court's order granting
Mildred Kinghorn's motion to enforce the parties'
settlement agreement. We affirm.
and Kinghorn are neighbors in the Pickett Fences subdivision
in Beaufort County. Following a dispute over the boundary
between their properties, the parties entered into mediation
and reached a settlement agreement on February 5, 2016. The
settlement agreement provided (1) Kinghorn would convey a
one-foot-wide strip of land to Sakakini and build a fence
along the new property line, and (2) Sakakini would
extinguish his rights to any easements over Kinghorn's
property. The agreement further provided it was
"contingent and subject to approval by the governing
boards of the Picket Fences POA or Board of Review or any
other appropriate authority" that may be required to
approve the terms of the settlement.
February 17, 2016, Sakakini emailed the POA and stated he did
not want the POA to approve the settlement agreement.
Sakakini noted he had consulted with an attorney who told
Sakakini he did not have the legal authority to enter into
any agreement that waives or modifies the POA rules without
the express consent of the POA. In addition, Sakakini stated
he was told he did not have the legal authority to waive or
modify any easements without the express consent of the lien
holder, Bank of America. Sakakini again emailed the POA on
February 23, 2016, asking the POA's lawyers to opine on
the legality of the settlement agreement.
February 22, 2016, Kinghorn filed a motion to enforce the
settlement agreement. In his memorandum in opposition to
Kinghorn's motion and at the motion hearing, Sakakini
argued (1) there was no meeting of the minds on February 5,
2016, (2) Bank of America was a necessary party to the
action, and (3) the matter was not ripe for adjudication due
to various unresolved contingencies.
March 18, 2016, the circuit court granted Kinghorn's
motion in a Form 4 order. Sakakini subsequently filed a Rule
59(e), SCRCP, motion to reconsider, which the circuit court
denied. This appeal followed.
South Carolina jurisprudence, settlement agreements are
viewed as contracts." Pee Dee Stores, Inc. v.
Doyle, 381 S.C. 234, 241, 672 S.E.2d 799, 802 (Ct. App.
2009). "An action to construe a contract is an action at
law." Byrd v. Livingston, 398 S.C. 237, 241,
727 S.E.2d 620, 622 (Ct. App. 2012). "In an action at
law, on appeal of a case tried without a jury, the
judge's findings will not be disturbed unless they are
without evidentiary support." Id.
"However, this court is free to decide questions of law
with no particular deference to the trial court."