The S.C. Supreme Court notified both attorneys in the Skydive Myrtle Beach v. Horry County lawsuit that they have been afforded the opportunity to file supplemental briefs with the Supreme Court addressing the merits of the entire case.
The order, signed by Chief Justice Donald Beatty, was filed two days after a September 24, 2019 hearing of the parties before the Court.
The September 24th hearing was scheduled to address whether a claim by the county that the issue of the county’s eviction of Skydive Myrtle Beach (SDMB) from Grand Strand Airport in October 2015 was in fact “moot” as the county claimed.
Attorney Mike Battle, representing Horry County, told the court during his oral argument that the decision before the Court was of a very limited scope.
Evidently the justices don’t see it that way.
The order from the Chief Justice reads in part, “The briefs filed with this Court only address the issue of mootness. … this Court may wish to address the merits of this case. Therefore, this Court will afford each party the opportunity to serve and file a supplemental brief addressing the merits.”
The order goes on to say any supplemental brief must be filed within 30 days of the date on the order, September 26, 2019, and no briefing in response to any supplemental brief filed will be allowed.
The merits of the case have never been litigated.
The Supreme Court has heard arguments before it on two occasions regarding aspects of the case.
The first hearing, held last spring, dealt with whether the District Court erred in removing individual defendants from the case. The S.C. Court of Appeals upheld that decision but the Supreme Court reversed it and remanded the case to District Court for trial with the individuals included with Horry County, Horry County Department of Airports and Robinson Aviation as defendants.