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713 S.E.2d 278 393 S.C. 332, 713 S.E.2d 278 (Cite as: 393 S.C. 332, 713 S.E.

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Criminal Law 110 Supreme Court of South Carolina. The TOWN OF MT. PLEASANT, Appellant, v. Treva ROBERTS, Respondent. No. 27005. Heard June 7, 2011. Decided July 11, 2011. Background: Defendant was convicted in the Municipal Court, Town of Mount Pleasant, of driving under the influence (DUI). She appealed, and the town moved to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The Circuit Court, Charleston County, J.C. Nicholson Jr., J., denied the motion, reversed the conviction, and dismissed the charge. The town appealed to the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court certified the case. Holdings: The Supreme Court, Beatty, J., held that: (1) the Circuit Court had subject-matter jurisdiction to hear and determine defendant's appeal; (2) the Circuit Court was vested with appellate jurisdiction to determine defendant's appeal; (3) as a matter of first impression, the town's failure to request additional video cameras from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for installation in its patrol vehicles was not a valid reason for a failure to produce a video recording of defendant's conduct during the underlying traffic stop, and thus the town was not excused from noncompliance with mandatory video-recording requirements; and (4) the unexcused failure to video record defendant's conduct warranted dismissal of the case. Affirmed as modified. West Headnotes [1] Criminal Law 110 260.4

260.13

110 Criminal Law 110XIII Nonjury or Bench Trial and Conviction 110k260 Appeal and Trial De Novo 110k260.13 k. Trial de novo. Most Cited Cases In criminal appeals from a municipal court, the circuit court does not conduct a de novo review; rather, it reviews the case for preserved errors raised to it by an appropriate exception. Code 1976, § 14–25–105. [2] Criminal Law 110 1134.27

110 Criminal Law 110XXIV Review 110XXIV(L) Scope of Review in General 110XXIV(L)4 Scope of Inquiry 110k1134.27 k. In general. Most Cited Cases When reviewing a circuit court's decision in a criminal appeal from a municipal court, the Supreme Court's scope of review is limited to correcting the circuit court's order for errors of law. Code 1976, § 14–25–105. [3] Statutes 361 181(1)

361 Statutes 361VI Construction and Operation 361VI(A) General Rules of Construction 361k180 Intention of Legislature 361k181 In General 361k181(1) k. In general. Most Cited Cases Primary rule of statutory construction is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the legislature. [4] Statutes 361 361 Statutes 241(1)

110 Criminal Law 110XIII Nonjury or Bench Trial and Conviction 110k260 Appeal and Trial De Novo 110k260.4 k. Jurisdiction and proceedings for review. Most Cited Cases

© 2012 Thomson Reuters. No Claim to Orig. US Gov. Works.

E. Most Cited Cases Statutes 361 184 361 Statutes 361VI Construction and Operation 361VI(A) General Rules of Construction 361k187 Meaning of Language 361k190 k. Most Cited Cases All rules of statutory construction are subservient to the one that the legislative intent must prevail if it can be reasonably discovered in the language used. Policy and purpose of act. it must be strictly construed against the state and in favor of the defendant. design. In general. [5] Statutes 361 181(1) 361 Statutes 361VI Construction and Operation 361VI(A) General Rules of Construction 361k187 Meaning of Language 361k190 k.C. [9] Statutes 361 181(2) 361 Statutes 361VI Construction and Operation 361VI(A) General Rules of Construction 361k180 Intention of Legislature 361k184 k. . reasonable.E. Policy and purpose of act. Most Cited Cases Where a statute's language is plain. and that language must be construed in light of the intended purpose of the statute. Most Cited Cases When a statute is penal in nature. Existence of ambiguity. 332. 332. In general.E. courts must construe the terms of the statute. Most Cited Cases If a statute is ambiguous. Most Cited Cases A statute as a whole must receive practical. Effect and consequences. Most Cited Cases Statutes 361 184 361 Statutes 361VI Construction and Operation 361VI(A) General Rules of Construction 361k204 Statute as a Whole. Most Cited Cases In ascertaining legislative intent.2d 278 393 S.C. [10] Statutes 361 184 © 2012 Thomson Reuters. 713 S. a court should not focus on any single section or provision but should consider the language of the statute as a whole. In general. and fair interpretation consonant with the purpose. the rules of statutory interpretation are not needed and the court has no right to impose another meaning. [7] Statutes 361 190 361 Statutes 361VI Construction and Operation 361VI(A) General Rules of Construction 361k180 Intention of Legislature 361k184 k. [8] Statutes 361 190 361 Statutes 361VI Construction and Operation 361VI(A) General Rules of Construction 361k180 Intention of Legislature 361k181 In General 361k181(1) k. definite meaning. and conveys a clear.713 S. Existence of ambiguity. and policy of lawmakers.2d 278 (Cite as: 393 S. No Claim to Orig. Works. unambiguous. [6] Statutes 361 205 361 Statutes 361VI Construction and Operation 361VI(A) General Rules of Construction 361k180 Intention of Legislature 361k181 In General 361k181(2) k. and Intrinsic Aids to Construction 361k205 k. US Gov.2d 278) Page 2 361VI Construction and Operation 361VI(B) Particular Classes of Statutes 361k241 Penal Statutes 361k241(1) k. 713 S.

Most Cited Cases In interpreting a statute. Code 1976. even though defendant did not obtain a bond or pay her court-ordered fine before filing her notice of appeal with municipal court. Most Cited Cases Any ambiguity in a statute should be resolved in favor of a just. Code 1976. § 14–5–340. Code 1976. Most Cited Cases Circuit court was vested with appellate jurisdiction to determine an appeal from a conviction in municipal court.E. [14] Municipal Corporations 268 642(1) 361 Statutes 361VI Construction and Operation 361VI(A) General Rules of Construction 361k180 Intention of Legislature 361k182 k. In general.2d 278 (Cite as: 393 S. 332. 713 S. Effect and consequences. Most Cited Cases Courts will reject a statutory interpretation that would lead to a result so plainly absurd that it could not have been intended by the Legislature or would defeat the plain legislative intention.E. [16] Automobiles 48A 349(14. [12] Statutes 361 181(2) 268 Municipal Corporations 268X Police Power and Regulations 268X(B) Violation and Enforcement of Regulations 268k634 Criminal Prosecutions 268k642 Review 268k642(1) k.C.E. there is no temporal restriction in those provisions. § 14–25–95. Works. where defendant timely filed her notice of appeal with municipal court. 332. . In general. which serve the purpose of ensuring that an appellant will appear for the hearing before the circuit court. Policy and purpose of act. In general. Equitable construction. [11] Statutes 361 182 Circuit court had subject-matter jurisdiction to hear and determine an appeal from a conviction in municipal court. Most Cited Cases 48A Automobiles 48AVII Offenses 48AVII(B) Prosecution © 2012 Thomson Reuters.713 S.C. US Gov.1) 268 Municipal Corporations 268X Police Power and Regulations 268X(B) Violation and Enforcement of Regulations 268k634 Criminal Prosecutions 268k642 Review 268k642(1) k. 713 S. the language of the statute must be read in a sense that harmonizes with its subject matter and accords with its general purpose. and beneficial operation of the law. Most Cited Cases Provisions of the statute governing appeals from a conviction in municipal court to a circuit court that require an appellant to obtain a bond or pay the assessed fine do not implicate the circuit court's appellate jurisdiction. § 14–25–95.2d 278) Page 3 361 Statutes 361VI Construction and Operation 361VI(A) General Rules of Construction 361k180 Intention of Legislature 361k184 k. No Claim to Orig. [15] Municipal Corporations 268 642(1) 361 Statutes 361VI Construction and Operation 361VI(A) General Rules of Construction 361k180 Intention of Legislature 361k181 In General 361k181(2) k. equitable.2d 278 393 S. [13] Municipal Corporations 268 642(1) 268 Municipal Corporations 268X Police Power and Regulations 268X(B) Violation and Enforcement of Regulations 268k634 Criminal Prosecutions 268k642 Review 268k642(1) k. the legislature specifically authorized the circuit court to do so.

Code Ann. 713 S. Grossman. No Claim to Orig. We affirm as modified. **279 Charles Mac Gibson.E. at a trial for driving under the influence (DUI). and (2) “narrowly construing” section 56–5–2953 to require the reversal of Roberts's DUI conviction and dismissal of the charge. 332. III. Stop. FN1.2d 278) Page 4 48Ak349 Arrest. Sanctions for failure to disclose. S. (1) The videotaping at the incident site must: (a) begin not later than the activation of the officer's blue lights and conclude after the arrest of the person for a violation of Section 56–5–2930. § 56–5–2930 (2006). the town had a significantly higher number of DUI arrests as compared to smaller municipalities. or a probable cause determination that the person violated Section 56–5–2945. *335 The Town of Mount Pleasant (“Town”) appeals the circuit court's order reversing and dismissing Treva Roberts's municipal court conviction for driving under the influence (“DUI”) FN1 *336 on the ground the arresting officer's vehicle was not equipped with a video camera pursuant to section 56–5–2953 of the South Carolina Code. US Gov.C. von Lehe.713 S. Section 56–5–2953 provides in relevant part: (A) A person who violates Section 56–5–2930. Code 1976. . legislature clearly intended for a dismissal of a DUI case unless the law enforcement agency could justify its failure to produce a video recording of a DUI arrest.C. FN2. Code 1976. or Inquiry 48Ak349(14. or Inquiry. 713 S. of Charleston. given that other statutory exceptions to the requirements did not apply. Most Cited Cases Town's prolonged failure to request additional video cameras from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for installation in its patrol cars was not a valid reason for a failure to produce.1) k. In general.. for Appellant.2d 278 (Cite as: 393 S. Pleasant. for Respondent.E. Justice BEATTY. a video recording of defendant's conduct during the underlying traffic stop. 56–5–2933.2d 278 393 S. Most Cited Cases Criminal Law 110 2000 lation of mandatory video-recording requirements set forth by statute.C. Stop. Bail or Deposit 48Ak349(14) Conduct of Arrest. and (b) include the person being advised of his 110 Criminal Law 110XXXI Counsel 110XXXI(D) Duties and Obligations of Prosecuting Attorneys 110XXXI(D)2 Disclosure of Information 110k1993 Particular Types of Information Subject to Disclosure 110k2000 k. and thus the town was not excused from noncompliance with mandatory video-recording requirements set forth by statute. Jr. which resulted from a town's failure to request additional video cameras from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for installation in its patrol cars and consequent vio- © 2012 Thomson Reuters. 56–5–2933. [17] Criminal Law 110 2008 110 Criminal Law 110XXXI Counsel 110XXXI(D) Duties and Obligations of Prosecuting Attorneys 110XXXI(D)2 Disclosure of Information 110k2008 k. 56–5–2953 (2007). warranted dismissal of the case. of Charleston. 332. and Ira A. and the town could not evade the requirements by continuing to not equip its patrol cars with cameras. or 56–5–2945 must have his conduct at the incident site and the breath test site videotaped.E. Test results. demonstrative and documentary evidence. Diedreich P. of Mt. Most Cited Cases Unexcused failure to video record defendant's conduct in a traffic stop underlying a prosecution for driving under the influence (DUI). Works. 56–5–2953 (2007).FN2 The Town contends **280 the circuit court erred in: (1) ruling on the appeal as it was divested of appellate jurisdiction given Roberts failed to obtain a bond or pay her court-ordered fine prior to initiating her appeal.

1194. *337 In response to Roberts's discovery motions. US Gov. and (C) take effect for each law enforcement vehicle used for traffic enforcement as soon as the law enforcement vehicle used for traffic enforcement is equipped with a videotaping device. .” Subsequently.FN5 the videotaping requirement regarding vehicles is not applicable.C. Officer Burbage conducted three field sobriety tests. 10 L.Ed. Brady v. Maryland.2d 278 (Cite as: 393 S.” FN6 Because Officer Burbage's vehicle was not *338 equipped with a video camera. As a result of his initial observations. 373 U. Officer Bruce Burbage of the Town of Mount Pleasant's Police Department conducted a traffic stop of Roberts after observing her driving erratically. 713 S.FN4 which included a request for production of the incident site videotape. Roberts moved to dismiss the charge based on Officer Burbage's failure to videotape the entire arrest pursuant to section 56–5–2953. thus. we have cited to the 2006 Code as the amended statute is not applicable to the instant case. (B). 2009. Works.E. (B).Ct. the Town in 2007 had a total of seven in-car camera systems.C.2d 278 393 S. Act No. Officer Burbage arrested Roberts for DUI and transported her to the Mount Pleasant Police Department where Roberts was offered.E. On October 30. S. 434.m.FN3 FN3.FN7 FN6. but refused. Act No. § 56–5–2953 (2006). Subsection (G) provides in pertinent part: The provisions contained in Section 56–5–2953(A). at approximately 1:00 a. SCRCrimP. Because Officer Burbage failed to comply with the statutorily-mandated procedure. This section was amended effective February 10. 2009. included a “checked” box that stated: FN4. 2008 S. FN5. 2007. © 2012 Thomson Reuters. a municipal court judge conducted a jury trial on Roberts's DUI charge. or the arrest as neither Officer Burbage's vehicle nor the backup officer's was equipped with a video camera.2d 278) Page 5 Miranda rights before any field sobriety tests are administered. a breathalyzer test. and (C) take effect for each law enforcement vehicle used for traffic enforcement once the law enforcement vehicle is equipped with a videotaping device. Roberts claimed this violation warranted the dismissal of her DUI charge.C. The affidavit. At the time of the Defendant's arrest the vehicle I was operating had not been equipped with a videotaping device and therefore pursuant to Section 18 of Senate Bill 174 of 1998. There was no recording of the initial traffic stop. Prior to trial. I. 201. Acts 1682–85. 83. Factual/Procedural History On November 11. on which he noted Roberts “performed pretty poorly. Roberts asserted that section 56–5–2953 conferred upon her a statutory right to have the roadside arrest videotaped. At the time of Roberts's arrest. field sobriety tests. 332. The Town relied on subsection (G) of the statute for the proposition that the videotaping requirement took effect only “once the law enforcement vehicle is equipped with a videotaping device. Rule 5.E.Code Ann. the Town argued that the videotaping provisions of section 56–5–2953 were inapplicable and. if the tests are administered. a form generated by the Town. No Claim to Orig. 1998 S. the Town's prosecutor forwarded an “Affidavit for Failure to Produce Vid eotape” executed by Officer Burbage on October 16. Section 18 provides in relevant part: The provisions in Section 56–5–2953(A).C. of which one was acquired in 2001 and the remaining six in 2002. the “best case scenario” was that only two of the Town's twelve police department vehicles on patrol that night were camera-equipped.2d 215 (1963). According to the annual inventory records of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. 2009. 713 S.S. The motion to dismiss was denied. 332. Accordingly. the failure to videotape **281 Roberts's arrest did not warrant the dismissal of the DUI charge.. 83 S. Acts 3236.C.713 S.

2d 278 (Cite as: 393 S. which states in relevant part: The Department of Public Safety is responsible for purchasing. maintaining. The Town countered Roberts's arguments by claiming that DPS was solely responsible for providing the video cameras and. Berkeley. for example: (1) the City of Folly Beach made 162 DUI arrests and received 6 cameras.C.E.E. Id. Roberts offered evidence that the Town had recently expended: (1) $65. Roberts also offered evidence that the Town was financially able to purchase additional video cameras. No Claim to Orig.2d 278) Page 6 Id. thus.E. and Dorchester counties in an attempt to establish that the Town had fewer video cameras than other municipalities despite the Town's significantly higher number of DUI arrests. this argument would be valid but for the Town's obvious intentional efforts to avoid complying with section 56–5–2953.K. Tire Store.000. © 2012 Thomson Reuters. arguing the municipal court judge erred in denying her motion to dismiss the charge based upon the Town's failure to comply with the “mandatory” videotaping provisions of section 56–5–2953. The Department of Public Safety also is responsible for monitoring all law enforcement vehicles used for traffic enforcement to ensure proper maintenance of videotaping equipment. the Town made 2. the Town did not have a duty to request or *339 purchase additional cameras in order to comply with the statute. § 56–5–2953(G). 713 S.FN9 FN8. Roberts argued that the Town had willfully avoided complying with the 1998 statute as it had not requested from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS) additional video cameras in response to the increasing number of DUI arrests. and supplying all videotaping equipment for use in all law enforcement vehicles used for traffic enforcement.” which was intended to be developed into a park.” Roberts was convicted and appealed her conviction to the circuit court. § 56–5–2953(D).064.145 for the replacement of a “Town of Mt. 332. Despite these statistics. thus.70 for the renovation of the “Farmer's Market” on Coleman Boulevard. the municipal court judge denied Roberts's motion to dismiss based on a “strict interpretation” of section 56–5–2953.713 S. In support of her motion. the Town referenced subsection (D) of section 56–5–2953. Pleasant” sign at the Long Point Road Exit of I–526 East. As will be discussed.000 for a parcel of property known as the “O.C. several nearby municipalities with fewer DUI arrests had received more video cameras from DPS than the Town. once the vehicle is equipped with a [videotaping] device. According to records produced by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). (2) the Town of Moncks Corner made 198 DUI arrests and received 13 cameras.2d 278 393 S. At the conclusion of the pre-trial hearing.FN10 FN10. (2) $100. 713 S. US Gov. FN9.FN8 Given these statistics. . and (4) $6. In his written return.. 332. (3) $1. the judge concluded that “there is no requirement that the Town of Mount Pleasant obtain any video cameras and that the statute only provides what the Town must do once they get the video cameras on board. and (3) the City of the Isle of Palms made 339 DUI arrests and received 13 cameras. the judge ruled that “Section 56–5–2953(G) indicated that the other provisions of [the statute] take effect .000 for a marketing firm's development of a new Town slogan and logo.328. Works. the Town ranked first out of all municipalities for total DUI arrests. Roberts called several law enforcement officers from Charleston.. law enforcement agencies with the “highest ranking” for DUI arrests received priority in terms of the issuance of additional video cameras. but had chosen not to do so. In support of its claim.796 DUI arrests between 1998 and 2008.” Further. The Department of Public Safety used these statistics to determine the priority for issuing additional video cameras. FN7. Based on these arrest records.

payable to the municipality.” *341 The judge concluded that the Town's failure to comply with the videotaping requirements a decade after the enactment of section 56–5–2953 was “unreasonable” and constituted a violation of the statute that warranted the reversal of Roberts's conviction and the dismissal of the DUI charge. FN12.Code Ann.713 S. our © 2012 Thomson Reuters. see S.. The Town appealed the circuit court's order to the Court of Appeals. or 56–5–2945 if [certain exceptions are met] ).C. § 14–25–95 (Supp. setting forth the grounds for appeal.E. it reviews the case for preserved errors raised to it by an appropriate exception.2d 879 (2007).C. the judge concluded that this provision was “merely to provide a reasonable grace period for law enforcement agencies to equip their vehicles with video recording devices. Discussion A.” City of Cayce v. 399. . The Town contended the circuit court was without jurisdiction to rule on the appeal given Roberts did not comply with the procedural requirements of section 14–25–95 of the South Carolina Code. 395.2d 278 (Cite as: 393 S. § 56–5–2953(B) (“Failure by the arresting officer to produce the videotapes required by this section is not alone a ground for dismissal of any charge made pursuant to Section 56–5–2930. US Gov.”). 374 S. City of Rock Hill v.E. 15. FN11 which governs appeals from municipal court to circuit court. Notice of intention to appeal. the judge found jurisdiction was vested in the circuit court when Roberts timely filed and served her notice of appeal as required by section 14–25–95. Id.C. As to the merits of Roberts's appeal. In so ruling. 8 (2011). Suchenski. 12. The party appealing shall enter into a bond. The judge also ruled that the Town's failure to produce a videotape of Roberts's conduct at the incident site was not “excused” as none of the enumerated exceptions in subsection (B) of section 56–5–2953 FN13 were satisfied.E. § 14–25–105 (Supp. II. 391 S. to appear and defend the appeal at the next term of the Court of Common Pleas or shall pay the fine assessed. Norfolk S. The judge further concluded that Roberts's “non-entry into a bond and non-payment of the fine assessed [did] not deprive [the court] of the subject matter jurisdiction. Suchenski. This Court certified the case from the Court of Appeals pursuant to Rule 204(b).FN12 Interpreting sub- section (G) of the statute. S.E. 713 S.2d 278) Page 7 The Town moved to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction based on Roberts's failure to obtain a bond or pay the court-ordered fine prior to initiating the appeal.” The judge explained that to construe subsection (G) as proposed by the Town would permit law enforcement agencies to “successfully circumvent [the statute's videotaping requirements] ad infinitum ” by not requesting video cameras from DPS. Section 14–25–95 provides: Any party shall have the right to appeal from the sentence or judgment of the municipal court to the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the trial is held.E.C. Co. 713 S.E. 12.2d 6. 880 (2007) (“Section 56–5–2953 commands the arresting officer to videotape the individual during a DUI arrest.Code Ann.”). Ry. The judge initially determined that it had “subject matter jurisdiction” to hear the appeal.2010) (“There shall be no trial de novo on any appeal from a municipal court. or the appeal is considered waived. 56–5–2933.” Additionally. 706 S. Standard of Review [1][2] “In criminal appeals from a municipal court. rather. FN13. **282 *340 The circuit court judge issued a written order in which it reversed Roberts's DUI conviction and dismissed the charge.2d 879.2d 278 393 S. 374 S. the judge specifically found that the videotaping requirements of section 56–5–2953 were mandatory based on this Court's decision in City of Rock Hill v. the judge held that all issues with respect to the non-entry into a bond or non-payment of the fine were moot as Roberts had appeared at the hearing and paid her fine the day of the hearing. No Claim to Orig. SCACR.C. 332. must be given in writing and served on the municipal judge or the clerk of the municipal court within ten days after sentence is passed or judgment rendered. Works. 646 S.C. FN11. the circuit court does not conduct a de novo review. 646 S.C.2010). “Therefore. 332.

2d 273. v. 514 S.” Suchenski.2d 280. Because our analysis of this issue and the Town's second issue is dependent upon our evaluation of the applicable *342 statutes.E.C. the rules of statutory interpretation are not needed and the court has no right to impose another meaning. 455. 752 (1999).C.” Bryant v.2d 690. equitable. 69. 358 S. 313 S. [3][4][5] “The primary rule of statutory construction is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the legislature. of Adjustment.E. Lester v. Inc. 662 (1991). we begin with an overview of this state's well-established rules of statutory construction. 636 S. Comm'n. Appellate Jurisdiction As a threshold matter.C. 382. In interpreting a statute.E. When a statute is penal in nature. Courts will reject a *343 statutory interpretation that would lead to a result so plainly absurd that it could not have been intended by the Legislature or would defeat the plain legislative intention.C. Sweat. 525.2d 418. § 14–5–340 (1977) (“Circuit judges may hear appeals from magistrates' courts and municipal courts © 2012 Thomson Reuters. Leatherman. 713 S.E. 304 S. and fair interpretation consonant with the purpose. 178.” Bennett v.” Sloan v.2d 39 (2004) (recognizing that failure to timely appeal a conviction from magistrate court does not implicate subject matter jurisdiction). 557. 384 S.2d 280. 5 (2000) (“The failure of a party to comply with the procedural requirements for perfecting an appeal may deprive the court of „appellate‟ jurisdiction over the case. 8 n.E.1993). Schmidt.2d 569. No Claim to Orig. [11][12] “Any ambiguity in a statute should be resolved in favor of a just. “[a]ll rules of statutory construction are subservient to the one that the legislative intent must prevail if it can be reasonably discovered in the language used. B. 713 S. 351. Inc.C. 529 S. 596 S. we must address the Town's jurisdictional challenge as any defect in the circuit court's appellate jurisdiction would necessarily affect this Court's jurisdiction to rule on the Town's appeal. “a court should not focus on any single section or provision but should consider the language of the statute as a whole.E. See S. 345. the circuit court had subject matter jurisdiction to hear and determine Roberts's appeal from her municipal court conviction as the Legislature has specifically authorized it to do so. 381 S. S.C. and policy of lawmakers. 339 S. State v. 468. 341. Corp. 386 S.C. v. 1.2d 751. [6][7] In ascertaining legislative intent.C.Code Ann. 79. the language of the statute must be read in a sense that harmonizes with its subject matter and accords with its general purpose. courts must construe the terms of the statute. and conveys a clear.E. Bd. 458. 339.C. it must be strictly construed against the State and in favor of the defendant. Co. “A statute as a whole must receive practical. Workers' Comp. 673 S.E. 282 (2009).2d 278 (Cite as: 393 S.C. Ariail. 334 S. Works. 339 S. 309 S.C. 692 (1996). Brown. 529 S. v.E.E. S.C. As an initial matter.C. 688 S. 5. Blackmon. 420 (2009). Altman. 403 S.App. 368. see also State v. 420 S. 529. Gay v. Unisun Ins. Sullivan's Island Bd. definite meaning. 452. 270. and beneficial operation of the law. the circuit court could only be vested with appellate jurisdiction**283 if one of the above-listed prerequisites was satisfied.E. however. but it does not affect the court's subject matter jurisdiction.”). 83 n. US Gov.E. S.2d 6. at 15. Hitachi Data Sys. . State. 370 S.C. v. [8][9][10] If the statute is ambiguous. 332. 273. Dep't of Revenue. 606–07 (2006). and that language must be construed in light of the intended purpose of the statute.C. 561.2d 660. we agree with the Town's argument that the circuit court judge erred in classifying the jurisdictional challenge as one of subject matter jurisdiction. 2.C. 438 S. unambiguous. 65.2d 278) Page 8 scope of review is limited to correcting the circuit court's order for errors of law.” State v. design. 324 S. 476 S.E.C. 846 (1992). 174. [13] Clearly. The Town avers the circuit court judge did not have appellate jurisdiction to rule on Roberts's appeal given Roberts failed to either pay the court-ordered fine or obtain a bond prior to initiating her appeal to the circuit court.E.” Mid–State Auto Auction of Lexington.713 S.2d 598.2d 843. 274 (Ct. 646 S. However. See Great Games. The Town asserts the circuit court judge erred in characterizing its jurisdictional challenge as one that implicated subject matter jurisdiction rather than appellate jurisdiction.2d at 880. Where the statute's language is plain.E. 283 (2000). 575 (2010) (citation omitted).2d 278 393 S.E.C. 374 S. 362. of Physical Therapy Exam'rs. 332.C. reasonable. 683 S. Under the Town's interpretation of section 14–25–95.

will have no practical legal effect upon the existing controversy. 713 S. we do not believe the circuit court was divested of appellate jurisdiction because Roberts failed to obtain a bond or pay her court-ordered fine prior to filing her notice of appeal with the municipal court. Landis. [14] As for the circuit court's appellate jurisdiction. 606 S. See. 703 S. if rendered. [15] Unlike the Town. we believe there is a more fundamental question to consider in analyzing section 56–5–2953: if the Legislature imposes a statutory obligation on the State to create evidence and provides a sanction for inexcusable noncompliance.713 S.FN14 Furthermore. C. 390 S.C. Works.2d 278 (Cite as: 393 S. 506 (2010) (“A case becomes moot when judgment. US Gov. 362 S. The Town argues the circuit court judge erred in construing section 56–5–2953 to require the dismissal of Roberts's DUI charge on the basis that the arresting officer's vehicle was not equipped with a video camera..2006) (“A party who fails to timely appeal or take any other timely action necessary to correct an error is procedurally barred from contesting the validity of the conviction. FN14. its failure to equip Officer Burbage's vehicle with a camera rendered the mandatory provisions of section 56–5–2953 inapplicable pursuant to subsection (G). State v.C. 224.E. If an appellant fails to comply with these provisions. Applying the rules of statutory construction. In the instant case.2004) (recognizing that law enforcement agency's failure to videotape a DUI arrest was excusable as the arresting officer submitted an affidavit that certified the videotape machine was inoper- © 2012 Thomson Reuters.” Id. See Linda Mc Company. thus. This is true when some event occurs making it impossible for the reviewing Court to grant effectual relief. These two provisions of section 14–25–95 do not implicate jurisdiction as there is no temporal restriction in that sentence of the statute. No Claim to Orig. Godwin. the Town maintains that in promulgating section 56–5–2953 the Legislature clearly provided for instances where an incident site videotape would not be available as demonstrated by certain statutory exceptions. because the Legislature mandated in subsection (D) that DPS would supply the video cameras.2d 503 (Ct. art.E. Instead. any related issue is moot. Town of Hilton Head Island v. Const. the Town failed to create a videotape of Roberts's DUI arrest because the patrol vehicle had never been equipped with a video camera. therefore. .C. Inc.”).E. the Town claims that it was not obligated to purchase or request additional videotape equipment.2d 278 393 S. or the appeal is considered waived.C. e. Reversal of DUI conviction/Dismissal of DUI charge Having found that the circuit court was vested with appellate jurisdiction. the circuit court was vested with appellate jurisdiction to determine *344 Roberts's appeal. does the State's failure to do so necessarily warrant a per se dismissal of the accused's case? Up until this point.E. and shall have such appellate jurisdiction as provided by law. we note that Roberts appeared at the hearing and paid her fine.”). § 14–25–95.App.2d 499. these provisions serve the purpose of insuring that an appellant will appear for the hearing before the circuit court. V. Pursuant to this Code section. upon notice as required by law being given for the hearing of such appeals. 61 (Ct.2d 278) Page 9 to the court of general sessions and the court of common pleas. § 11 (“The Circuit Court shall be a general trial court with original jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases. S. except those cases in which exclusive jurisdiction shall be given to inferior courts. Shore. 634 S. Having met this procedural prerequisite. 332.C.E.App. 543.” (citations omitted)). 713 S. we must next decide whether the Town's violation of the videotaping provisions of section 56–5–2953 warranted the reversal of Roberts's DUI conviction and the dismissal of the charge. our appellate courts have affirmatively answered this question when a law enforcement agency inexcusably*345 failed to videotape a DUI arrest with an existing video camera. Finally. Although this is the specific question presented.”). 221. 332. 370 S.C. There is no dispute that Roberts timely filed her appeal with the municipal court. 557. Cf.2d 59.E. we find that Roberts properly **284 met the prerequisites of section 14–25–95. 97.g. Roberts was required to file her notice of appeal with the municipal court “within ten days after sentence is passed or judgment rendered. the municipality may issue a bench warrant to address any delinquency on the part of the appellant. v.

Murphy v. or (4) for any other valid reason for the failure to produce the videotape based upon the totality of the circumstances. Although the decision in Suchenski indisputably established that the videotaping provisions of section 56–5–2953 are mandatory and not optional. . Accordingly.E. The key case in the analysis of this issue is City of Rock Hill v.E. Our courts.E.App. Noncompliance is excusable: (1) if the arresting officer submits a sworn affidavit certifying the video equipment was inoperable despite efforts to maintain it. Works.2d 278 (Cite as: 393 S. Suchenski. 646 S.2d 879 (2007). The circuit court did not address whether the arresting officer's failure to comply with section 56–5–2953 was excused pursuant to an exception in subsection (B) of the statute. at 14.E. (2) if the arresting officer submits a sworn affidavit that it was impossible to produce the videotape because the defendant either (a) needed emergency medical treatment or (b) exigent circumstances ex- isted. We also rejected the City of Rock Hill's contention that a violation of the videotaping statute should not result in dismissal of a charge if there was no showing of prejudice to the defendant. In so ruling. warranted dismissal. 646 S. defeats the intent of the Legislature and violates the statutorily-created obligation to videotape DUI arrests. [16] Taking into consideration the purpose of section 56–5–2953. however. we find the Town failed to satisfy any of the above-outlined statutory exceptions.713 S. Id. but not limited to.2011) (recognizing the State's noncompliance with section 56–5–2953. at 14. Ct. we hold that the Town's failure to equip its patrol vehicles does not negate the application of the statutory exceptions in subsection (B). *347 Although our appellate courts have acknowledged these statutory “ escape valves. at 16. which is to create direct evidence of a DUI arrest. State.C. Significantly. Under the specific facts of this case. 12. Specifically.” Id.E.2d at 881 (holding that “dismissal of the DUAC charge is an appropriate remedy provided by section 56–5–2953 where a violation of subsection (A) is not mitigated by subsection (B) exceptions”). and citizens' arrests. the defendant was convicted in municipal court for driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration**285 (DUAC). despite its “priority” ranking. we do not believe that the Town should be able to continually evade its duty by relying on subsection (G) of section 56–5–2953. 646 S. we did not address whether the failure to comply with the statute could be excusable if the law enforcement vehicle was never equipped with a camera. On appeal. road blocks. have not analyzed whether these exceptions apply where the law enforcement vehicle has never been equipped with a video camera as in the instant case. This Court affirmed the circuit court's decision. See Suchenski.C.” they have so far considered their application only where a law enforcement agency failed to create a video recording of the DUI arrest because the video camera malfunctioned. which is not mitigated by a statutory exception. at 17. Id. 713 S. 374 S. Our appellate courts have strictly construed section 56–5–2953 and found that a law enforcement agency's failure to comply with these provisions is fatal to the prosecution of a DUI case. 713 S. 332. No Claim to Orig.E.C. 646 S. Thus. 709 S.2d 685 (S.**286 the Town conceded in municipal court and before the circuit court that the initial three exceptions did not apply and could © 2012 Thomson Reuters. 374 S. 332.2d at 880.2d at 881.2d 278 393 S. we find the Town's protracted failure to equip its patrol vehicles with video cameras. 392 S. We found the plain language of the statute provided that the “failure to produce videotapes would be a ground for dismissal if no exceptions apply. we found that any argument concerning the exceptions for noncompliance in section 56–5–2953(B) was not preserved as the circuit court had not ruled on this issue and the City of Rock Hill had not sought a post-judgment ruling regarding *346 this issue. holding that video complied with section 56–5–2953(A) even though it did not capture a continuous full view of the accused at the incident site (citing Suchenski )). the circuit court reversed the conviction based on the City of Rock Hill's failure to videotape the defendant's entire arrest as the arresting officer's camera “ran out of tape.C.2d at 880.E. Subsection (B) of section 56–5–2953 outlines several statutory exceptions that excuse noncompliance with the mandatory videotaping requirements. In Suchenski. US Gov. traffic accidents. at 16.” Id.2d at 879.E. (3) in circumstances including. Id. we were not required to assess the import of subsection (G) with respect to the statutory exceptions of subsection (B). 646 S.E. Id.2d 278) Page 10 able at the time of the arrest).C. 646 S.E.C. 626.

could operate to excuse a law enforcement agency's noncompliance due to the failure to equip a patrol vehicle with a video camera. It is interesting to note that the Town requested fifty additional cameras in May 2009 apparently after recognizing that its failure to videotape DUI arrests may severely impact the prosecution of its pending DUI cases. Despite the potential significance of videotaping oral confessions. it is instructive that the Legislature has not mandated videotaping in any other criminal context. “The Department is glad to announce that the original requests have been fulfilled. 332. As evidenced by this Court's decision in Suchenski. [17] Finding that neither subsection (G) nor the statutory exceptions in subsection (B) excuse the Town's noncompliance with section 56–5–2953. 332.2d 278 393 S. Id. in turn. the Legislature has not required the State to do so.2d 278) Page 11 not justify its failure to videotape Roberts's DUI arrest. As we interpret the circuit court judge's order.713 S.E. Our decision should in no way be construed as eradicating subsection (G) of section 56–5–2953. *348 Consequently. we do not discern a ruling that the Town was obligated to purchase the cameras with its own funds. No Claim to Orig. 2009. applying the rules of statutory construction. dated April 28.C. § 56–5–2953(B). we find the Town's interpretation would defeat the legislative intent of section 56–5–2953 and the overall DUI reform enacted in 1998. we can conceive of a scenario where a © 2012 Thomson Reuters. However. the question becomes whether the failure to videotape a DUI arrest warrants a per se dismissal of the DUI case or whether.” Admittedly. § 56–5–2953(B) (“Failure by the arresting officer to produce the videotapes required by this section is not alone a ground for dismissal of any charge made pursuant to Section 56–5–2930 . We find the Town's explanation is disingenuous given its significantly higher number of DUI arrests as compared to smaller municipalities. 713 S. the accused must establish that he or she was prejudiced. the Legislature specifically provided for the dismissal of a DUI charge unless the law enforcement agency can justify its failure to produce a videotape of a DUI arrest. and we have officially awarded over 3200 camera systems. we hold that dismissal is the appropriate sanction in the instant case as this was clearly intended by the Legislature and previously decided by this Court in Suchenski.C. the Town's interpretation of subsection (G) is nonsensical as the requirements of section 56–5–2953 could be circumvented in perpetuity if a law enforcement agency purposefully does not request additional video cameras. US Gov. FN15. Thus.E. Thus. 713 S.. it argued that Officer Burbage's patrol vehicle was not equipped with a video camera because DPS had not supplied the Town with a sufficient number of cameras and the Town was not obligated to expend funds to purchase the cameras. For example. the Legislature clearly intended strict compliance with the provisions of section 56–5–2953 and. as the Town contends.” Id. the only feasible exception is that there was a “valid reason” for the Town's failure to comply with the mandatory videotaping requirements. the question becomes whether the Town's failure to request additional video cameras constituted a “valid reason for the failure to produce the videotape based upon the totality of the circumstances. Furthermore. that stated in part.. Notably.FN15 Moreover. promulgated a severe sanction for noncompliance. Works. the circuit court judge imposed an obligation on the Town to request additional video cameras given the Town's “high ranking” for DUI arrests as compared to other municipalities. The Town's request was in response to a DPS survey. The term “dismissal” is significant as it explicitly *349 designates a sanction for an agency's failure to adhere to the requirements of section 56–5–2953. the Legislature clearly intended for a per se dismissal in the event a law enforcement agency violates the mandatory provisions of section 56–5–2953.”). . under the appropriate factual circumstances.E. By requiring a law enforcement agency to videotape a DUI arrest.2d 278 (Cite as: 393 S. we emphasize that subsection (G) is still viable and must be read **287 in conjunction with subsection (B) as these exceptions. Instead. if [certain exceptions are met]. Although the Town did not explicitly reference this provision. Instead. the Legislature was silent with respect to a time requirement for when vehicles must be equipped with video cameras.

thus. we affirm as modified the decision of the circuit court judge. US Gov. Because Roberts timely served her notice of appeal on the municipal court. 332. concur. Accordingly. the circuit court judge erred in classifying the Town's jurisdictional challenge as one involving subject matter jurisdiction. we hold the circuit court judge correctly reversed Roberts's DUI conviction and dismissed the charge. . 332. Because the Town failed to establish any statutory exception *350 to excuse its noncompliance.E..C. As to the merits. AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.2d 278 393 S. 713 S.C.E. 713 S. JJ.2011..2d 278) Page 12 law enforcement agency establishes a “valid reason” for failing to create a video of the incident site by offering documentation that..C.E. TOAL. her failure to obtain a bond or pay the court-ordered fine did not divest the circuit court of appellate jurisdiction.E.713 S. 332.2d 278 END OF DOCUMENT KITTREDGE and © 2012 Thomson Reuters. Conclusion In conclusion. Works. HEARN. No Claim to Orig. despite concerted efforts to request video cameras. C.2d 278 (Cite as: 393 S. III. Roberts 393 S. S. she met the procedural requirements of section 14–25–95. it has not been supplied with the cameras from DPS. therefore. the Town should not be able to avoid its statutorily-created obligation to produce a videotape by repeatedly relying on subsection (G) of section 56–5–2953.J. we find the Town's prolonged failure to equip its patrol vehicles with video cameras defeats the intent of the Legislature. PLEICONES. 713 S. Town of Mt.C. Pleasant v.