SC Appeals Courtroom Holds City Ordinance Didn’t Present Honest Discover of Violation Relating to Building of Dock

This put up was authored by Matthew Loescher, Esq.

Murray was the proprietor of American Dock and Marine Building (ADMC) and a licensed marine contractor. ADMC – which makes a speciality of dock, boatlift, and different building in wetlands areas – was employed by Jason Tomkins to assemble a dock at 1102 Osceola Avenue. In 2014, Murray obtained an adjunct buildings allow from TOSI for the development of the dock. As a part of that allow, TOSI additionally issued ADMC a Certificates of Zoning Compliance, which acknowledged, “Transfer pierhead, floating, and boatlift landward to not exceed adjoining docks.” The allow required Murray to submit an “as-built” survey to TOSI when he accomplished the dock, which he did in 2014. As Murray’s as-built survey confirmed the dock prolonged 9 toes previous the adjoining docks, nonetheless, TOSI arrested Murray and Tomkins and charged them with violation of TOSI’s ordinance sections 21-75 and 5-10. On this case, Murray appealed the circuit courtroom’s order affirming his municipal courtroom conviction for violating the City of Sullivan’s Island’s (TOSI’s) ordinances associated to the development of a dock.

On enchantment, the courtroom held the circuit courtroom erred in affirming Murray’s municipal courtroom conviction as a result of TOSI’s ordinances have been obscure as utilized right here, since they didn’t present Murray with ample truthful discover that violation may lead to felony legal responsibility. Moreover, TOSI did not current proof the docks really interfered with navigation or in any method prolonged into the channel. The document mirrored that constructing inspector Robinson’s testimony was the one proof that Murray’s dock interfered with navigation, and the courtroom discovered that his conclusory statements have been premised on solely the allow notation – fairly than the authorized provisions of any ordinance. For the reason that constructing inspector determined what constituted prohibited conduct with none steerage from the codified language, the courtroom decided that the citizenry was not knowledgeable what acts have been felony. As such, the courtroom reversed the circuit courtroom’s order affirming Murray’s conviction because the TOSI’s ordinances failed to offer Murray with truthful discover that constructing a dock past adjoining docks was a felony violation.

City of Sullivan’s Island v Murray, 2021 WL 3890292 (SC App. 9/2/2021)