Divorce Attorney in Summerville SC

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If there were one universal truth it would be that every family is different. We all have our own set of challenges to face and changes to go through. Sometimes those changes are happy like when a new baby is born. Other times these changes involve uncertainty and loss like in the event of a divorce.

If you are having to go through the pain of divorce deal with a complicated custody issue or are handling a different family-related legal matter you might need help. At CHSA Law LLC we understand that family issues are hard. Many of the family law clients that we work for have big questions about the future leaving them over-stressed and full of worry. They are concerned about their children their marriage or both. They are wrestling with uncertainty and anxiety having been served confusing documents that don't make sense. Sound familiar? A family law attorney in Summerville, SC can help whether you need a level-headed moderator or a trusted advocate in the courtroom.

At CHSA Law LLC we have decades of combined experience serving the needs of families from divorce proceedings to family formation issues. Our team is fiercely committed to our clients and with a dedicated focus stays up-to-date on the nuanced world of family law in Summerville. If you're looking for personal attention unbiased representation and a responsive family law attorney look no further than our law firm.

Divorce Attorney Summerville, SC

If you're unsure of whether you need a family law lawyers in Summerville" ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you getting married?
  • Are you thinking about divorce?
  • Has your spouse served you with legal papers?
  • Are your kids not receiving the support that they are entitled to?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above know that we are here to help you figure out your next steps. With CDH Law Firm by your side you can have the confidence to face even the most difficult family law issues. All of our attorneys have years of experience are incredibly responsive and fight for your family's rights. We are happy to take as much time as you need to answer questions and help put your mind at ease for whatever lies ahead.

 Law Firm Summerville, SC

Our firm specializes in a wide range of family law cases including:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Alimony
  • Adoptions
  • Child Support
  • Mediation
  • Property Division
  • More

If you have been left to manage a foreign family law situation it's time to call CHSA Law LLC. We will sit down with you for an hour at absolutely no cost - because we understand what you're going through and know that you need answers not another bill to pay.

To help provide you with a basic understanding of family law keep reading for in-depth explanations on our areas of expertise.

The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

Divorce lawyer in
Summerville SC.

At CHSA Law LLC we know all-too-well that a one size fits all approach isn't going to work very well for your unique situation. That's why we approach each divorce case from a personalized standpoint - something that we feel like each of our clients deserves.

 Attorney Summerville, SC
Our goal is to help solve your family law issues and focus on your needs when your divorce is finalized. We will help develop a strategy for:
  • Meeting your post-divorce needs and objectives
  • Dividing marital property for maximum benefit
  • Maximizing time spent with your child as part of your divorce's parenting plan
  • Strengthen your role as a decision-maker for your child
  • Navigating your divorce proceedings and minimizing financial and emotional costs

By working together our divorce law firm will help you rebuild your life and secure a better future for your family.

Divorces in South Carolina
- Different Than Other States

Unlike divorce law in other states South Carolina divorce law doesn't allow spouses to receive an instant no-fault divorce. One or both spouses in the marriage must establish a legally acceptable reason for a divorce to happen. Grounds for a divorce in Summerville, SC include:

  • Desertion
  • Physical Cruelty
  • Habitual Drunkenness
  • Separation for One Year or More
  • Adultery
 Divorce Lawyer Summerville, SC

If you or your spouse do not have the necessary grounds for divorce in Summerville our family law firm can file a Separate Maintenance and Support action. This step lets the court order child custody alimony and marital bills until you can file for your divorce. During this period CHSA Law LLC gathers pertinent info on your spouse's character and assets that can strengthen your case should it be necessary.

Common Issues Associated
with Divorces in Summerville

A divorce in Summerville means more than the end of a marriage. It involves dividing the parties debts and assets determines child support and custody parameters and can establish alimony. At CHSA Law LLC many of our clients are able to reach agreements with their spouse to resolve these issues. Reaching an agreement lets both parties customize the terms of their divorce to conserve resources avoid trial and meet the family's needs.

Sometimes however two spouses cannot or will not come to terms with an agreement. In these situations a trial is possible and litigation is necessary. Our family law attorneys in Summerville, SC. are highly experienced litigators and are well-equipped to handle any disputes revealed in the conference or courtroom.

Common divorce issues include:

Divorce Attorney Summerville, SC
1.

Child Custody and Visitation

One of the most heart-wrenching difficult decisions for parents going through a divorce is resolving child custody and visitation issues. Child custody refers to how much time each parent will spend with their child and whether they can make decisions for them. According to South Carolina law child custody and visitation time are based on what is best for the child.

 Law Firm Summerville, SC
2.

Child Support

Like other U.S states a formula is used in South Carolina to determine how much child support a person must pay. This formula recommends the amount of child support based on factors like how much income the parents make the cost of childcare and the obligation to support children from other relationships.

 Attorney Summerville, SC
3.

Alimony

In South Carolina there is no formula to determine how much alimony a person must pay. However courts consider several factors when deciding if alimony is needed how much alimony should be paid and how long a spouse must pay it. Those factors include each spouse's ability and need to pay alimony how long the marriage lasted and any marital misconduct that occurred. To make matters more confusing there are different alimony types including lump sum rehabilitative and reimbursement.

 Divorce Lawyer Summerville, SC
4.

Distribution of Property

In South Carolina marital property is the property that each spouse amasses from the date of the wedding to the time a spouse files for divorce. That property can often include marital debt. In a South Carolina divorce the courts will order an equitable division of property meaning fair under all circumstances but not necessarily equal.

Divorce Attorney Summerville, SC

Understanding Child Custody in Summerville, SC.

As mentioned above decisions that involve child custody and visitation can be contentious for parents both emotionally and legally. As experienced empathetic divorce lawyers we understand how difficult this process can be. When we work with clients going through child custody battles we always make it a point to be with them through the ups and downs to help them stay centered. Whether you are the husband or wife in your divorce we share a common goal: finding an effective way to support your children and assure their wellbeing.

In South Carolina child custody is a loaded term. In the most general definition child custody determines when each parent is responsible for the physical care of the child and how much authority each parent has to make decisions in their child's life.

No two child custody cases are the same but a negotiated custody arrangement is usually preferred in the judge's eyes as each parent has input in the process. If the parents cannot come to an amicable resolution their fate is left in the hands of a Family Court Judge in South Carolina. The focus of child custody law is always on what is in the best interests of the child. What the judge determines to be the best interests changes depending on the judge.

There are different variations of custody in South Carolina (or custody arrangements) each with varying degrees of authority. When you consult with our family law attorneys at CHSA Law LLC we will go over the child custody process in detail and touch on each distinction to eliminate any confusion you have.

  • Help develop cooperative solutions to disputes or mediate when needed
  • Create an equitable parenting plan
  • Discuss the implications of the different forms of joint and sole custody
  • Problems related to child support
  • Modify court orders if you or your child's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of visitation and custody agreements
  • Much more
Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry. <

Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry.

 Law Firm Summerville, SC

Understanding Child Support
in Summerville, SC.

When children are involved in divorce cases child support is often ordered. Several factors can impact whether child support is ordered like the income-earning potential of the child's parents any custody arrangements that are created and what needs the child may have.

At CHSA Law LLC we have years of experience with child support issues relating to:

  • Cases where child support is needed for stay-at-home parents
  • Modifications and enforcement of child support mandates
  • Resolving support and custody disputes
  • Mediation arrangements to reach an agreement on child support. Compared to litigation going
  • the mediated route often means less stress and is more cost-effective than trial.

When you trust our family law firm in Summerville for representation we can help calculate an estimate of how much child support you or your spouse may be ordered to pay. We can also perform a needs-based analysis in cases that involve large amounts of income. At the end of the day our goal is to make this frustrating process as stress-free as possible for you so that you can focus on living life and caring for your child.

Understanding Alimony in
Summerville, SC.

Alimony (sometimes called spousal support or maintenance) is ordered by the court or negotiated between parties. This kind of spousal support has many factors like the income of both spouses how long they were married and the age of each spouse. Like child custody and child support trusted legal guidance is strongly recommended if you are facing potential alimony payments. Our family law attorneys will help you reach amicable arrangements for fair and appropriate alimony payments.

At CHSA Law LLC your family law attorney in Summerville, SC will help protect your interests and rights regarding:

 Attorney Summerville, SC
  • Alimony and business assets
  • Permanent or long-term alimony
  • Significant alimony in high-asset divorces
  • Modifications to alimony arrangements when you or your spouse's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of spousal support mandates when needed

Understanding Division of
Property in Summerville, SC.

When there are no children marital property or issues of alimony divorces often proceed smoothly between amicable spouses. However most divorces in South Carolina are much more complex. Typically divorce involves a union between spouses that lasts for years and involves substantial marital property. This property can be personal property real estate family businesses debts out-of-state property debts bank accounts and more.

In these nuanced situations the applicable parties need assistance dividing their property. This help most often comes from seasoned family law attorneys like CHSA Law LLC.

When it comes to distribution of property certain types of properties that are controversial even under the property division rules in South Carolina. South Carolina is an equitable distribution state meaning that marital property is divided equitably but not always equally.

If you are going through a divorce it's important that you are aware of the following assets and the common issues their division presents:

 Divorce Lawyer Summerville, SC
Pensions

Pensions:

Generally pensions are the second-largest asset in a marriage. When there are sufficient alternative income sources to compensate the non-pension holder South Carolina divorce courts may leave the pension rights with the spouse who earned it with future distribution available. Otherwise a divorce court may enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order requiring the pension administrator to pay both the former spouse and worker.

Family Home

Family Home:

The family home or the primary residential property owned by the divorcing couple is usually considered a marriage's biggest asset. Dividing this kind of property can be complex and frustrating especially when there are kids involved.

Many divorcing couples have a hard time reaching an agreement on property division. Because the division of property depends on the complexity of you or your spouse's assets and liabilities it is crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney to provide guidance.

Latest News in Summerville, SC

‘We’re going to break our own record,’ Trump tells SC voters

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Former President Donald Trump took the stage at a campaign event in Summerville Monday predicting a record-breaking win in the South Carolina Primary as he campaigned for a second term as commander-in-chief.Trump is speaking Monday afternoon at Sportsman Boats in his first visit to South Carolina since the Silver Elephant Gala last month.He told the crowd that his last two years in office were the best two years South Carolina boat builders and South Carolina businesses have ever had, saying that boat...

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Former President Donald Trump took the stage at a campaign event in Summerville Monday predicting a record-breaking win in the South Carolina Primary as he campaigned for a second term as commander-in-chief.

Trump is speaking Monday afternoon at Sportsman Boats in his first visit to South Carolina since the Silver Elephant Gala last month.

He told the crowd that his last two years in office were the best two years South Carolina boat builders and South Carolina businesses have ever had, saying that boat builders couldn’t make the boats fast enough.

“When I left the office business was roaring like a 400 horsepower Mercury outboard motor,” Trump said. “But then the economy slammed into a pile of rocks known as crooked Joe Biden.”

He promised to end Biden’s “war on American energy” and reclaim energy independence.

“In other words, we will drill, baby, drill,” he said.

Trump said he won South Carolina twice by record numbers and pledged to do it again.

“We did phenomenally here. We’ve always done well here and we’re going to do it at a level that nobody’s ever seen,” he said. “So we broke the record twice. We’re going to break it a third time. We’re going to break our own record.”

He said he intends to “take back our country and we’re going to make America great again.”

Before Trump’s speech, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster told the crowd he went into the State House about a month after Trump went into the White House.

“And South Carolina has been booming ever since,” he said. “But then in January 2021, everything changed.”

McMaster said his administration has had to fight the Biden Administration “every day.” He cited the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates for military personnel, and accused it of destroying the nation’s borders and the nation’s energy independence.

“From 2016 until now, [the Biden Administration] has been doing anything and everything they could, legal, illegal, ethical, unethical, unheard of, unprecedented, to do one thing: That includes two bogus impeachments and full-of-baloney indictments to do what? To stop one man, to stop our man from being president of the United States,” McMaster said.

Dorchester County deputies said earlier on Monday that Trump’s visit to Summerville would cause delays on Highway 78 from Summerville east of Berlin G. Myers Parkway to Jedburg Road at Mallard Road. Drivers in the area are asked to search for alternate routes if they don’t live or work along Highway 78 and are encouraged to use other entrances to neighborhoods in the area.

Traffic delays are expected to last through about 5 p.m. Monday but the delays could be extended.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Bugs, blood & beatings: Docs reveal claims against Summerville youth facility

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Newly obtained documents show dozens of complaints have been filed in recent years against a Summerville youth treatment facility, alleging there are bugs, abuse, dangerously low staffing levels, violent fights and blood and vomit smeared throughout the building.Mary Wilcox’s grandson spent time in that facility, Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health, earlier this year.“Terror” is how she describes her feelings about the residential facility, which is for children and teens ages 7-1...

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Newly obtained documents show dozens of complaints have been filed in recent years against a Summerville youth treatment facility, alleging there are bugs, abuse, dangerously low staffing levels, violent fights and blood and vomit smeared throughout the building.

Mary Wilcox’s grandson spent time in that facility, Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health, earlier this year.

“Terror” is how she describes her feelings about the residential facility, which is for children and teens ages 7-18 with emotional and behavioral issues.

Her 13-year-old grandson was admitted to the youth residential treatment facility earlier this year.

For weeks, he stayed locked behind the doors of the facility; for weeks he recounted the horror and violence to his grandmother; and for weeks, Wilcox said she fought to get him out.

“[He] was abused in ways that most parents would say would be the worst thing to happen to their child,” Wilcox says.

During phone calls with his grandmother and an in-person visit, he detailed vicious fights, sexual assaults and abuse.

“He was struggling to deal with what was going on, and he attempted to escape,” Wilcox said. “He was handled by a staff member who slammed his head into a chain link fence causing a gash, causing blood to drop down his face.”

Her grandson’s story is not the first troubling one that has been shared. Nearly 200 pages of documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request for complaints against the facility in the past few years detail allegations of what some say erupts in the hallways and common areas and what hides, tucked away in patients’ rooms.

The dozens of complaints filed describe alleged bug infestations, inadequate staffing, filthy conditions, overmedicating and a prison-like environment.

One complaint says a staff member attacked a patient.

“On the video, it was observed that a staff member placing [redacted] into a choke hold and then it is observed on camera that same staff member punching [redacted] six times once [redacted] is taken down to the ground,” the complaint states.

Another states a patient was so heavily medicated they fainted. In a different complaint, an employee is accused of grabbing a patient by the shirt, pulling them down and kneeing them in the face.

“It does not surprise me at all,” Wilcox says. “My grandson communicated similar conditions to me. It is very alarming that this happened to my grandson; it’s alarming that children are in the facility still.”

One complaint alleges the facility frequently only has one nurse on duty with 60 patients and was so short-staffed they couldn’t provide proper treatment.

Another states there have been “numerous human rights violations” and claims patients are refused medical treatment and prescriptions.

“Supervisors explicitly tell staff to ‘treat them like prisoners because they are here for punishment’ rather than treating the patients with compassion as they go through treatment,” the complaint states.

Another complaint describes cockroaches and ants crawling around and blood and vomit smeared inside.

“[Palmetto Summerville] should be investigated,” Wilcox says. “They need to be checked out. They need to be monitored, and they need to be held accountable.”

The State Department of Health and Environmental Control is the agency responsible for investigating complaints against health facilities like Palmetto Summerville. It can also penalize them.

“When there is noncompliance with the licensing standards, the facility must submit an acceptable written plan of correction to DHEC that must be signed by the administrator and returned by the date specified on the report of inspection/investigation,” an email from DHEC states. “When DHEC determines that a facility is in violation of any statutory provision, rule, or regulation relating to the operation or maintenance of such facility, DHEC, upon proper notice to the licensee, may impose a monetary penalty, and deny, suspend, or revoke licenses.”

Last month, DHEC investigated two complaints against Palmetto Summerville, but no violations were cited, according to officials. In August, however, the facility was fined $19,000 for nine violations.

“DHEC executed a consent order with the facility in August after it was determined that it was appropriate to impose a civil monetary penalty for violations of Regulation 61-103,” the email from DHEC states.

Some of those violations, documents show, include failing to have a registered nurse immediately accessible by phone and available within 30 minutes, failing to notify DHEC of a serious accident or incident within 24 hours, failing to make sure residents were free from harm and failing to make sure medications were available for administration.

“[Patients] are further traumatized,” Wilcox says. “They are further placed into a downward spiral by being in these facilities.”

That downward spiral and that trauma, she says, prevent any effective treatment for the children who spend time at Palmetto Summerville and similar facilities.

Some studies show that could be right.

One study shows there’s not enough research to know if the interventions — therapy, activities and treatments — inside these facilities are effective or an effective use of money.

“We also don’t know a lot about what the, what treatments they’re actually getting because we don’t necessarily see the day-to-day life of these kids in these facilities,” Roderick Rose, an associate professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore and researcher in the study, says.

A common trend in the facilities: Medication. One study shows about 90 percent of stays at facilities analyzed included an antipsychotic medication, even though only 3 percent of patients were diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.

“You also see just a lot of medicating children,” Rose says.

For her grandson, Wilcox believes the best treatment has been being back home. He’s in school and playing basketball and is doing better. The trauma from the facility still lingers, however, and Wilcox says she prays other children can get the help they need outside of the gates of Palmetto Summerville.

“I am so very grateful that he is one child that escaped being in the situation he was in long,” she says. “Other children, as well, to be rescued, which is a most appropriate word. They need to be rescued from these facilities.”

Norman Bradley, the director of risk management and performance improvement for Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health released this statement:

Due to HIPAA patient privacy laws, we cannot offer comment on specific patients or their care.

Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health takes all allegations of abuse seriously and completes full investigations as warranted. Any and all allegations required to be reported to the Department of Health and Environmental Control have been done, and necessary action plans have been implemented to address the issues raised. Recent site visits by DHEC have been positive and have resulted in no findings.

Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health is a residential treatment facility for girls and boys ages 7 to 18, in need of a highly structured, therapeutic environment. Our patient satisfaction scores reflect the care that is delivered by our compassionate and dedicated team.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Residents sound alarm about apartment complex condition issues in Summerville

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Former and current residents at a Summerville apartment complex are sharing their stories, alleging bad communication from management and deteriorating conditions, after seeing one woman come forward about a mold problem.In March, Breanna McCalla detailed a mold problem that she says forced her to move her family out of the Latitude at Wescott.Madison Harris...

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Former and current residents at a Summerville apartment complex are sharing their stories, alleging bad communication from management and deteriorating conditions, after seeing one woman come forward about a mold problem.

In March, Breanna McCalla detailed a mold problem that she says forced her to move her family out of the Latitude at Wescott.

Madison Harriss says she experienced something similar when she spotted mold in her unit.

“When I first saw it, I started off by sending emails to the front office just letting them know about it. I also made a couple of trips into the office to talk to someone as well,” Harris says.

Harris feels she did everything right when she first saw mold nearly a year after she moved in. She says it took months of emailing and visiting the office to get someone in her unit to check out the issue.

“And it was frustrating because all they did was paint over it with some KILZ and called it a day. So it didn’t feel like it was resolved because it came back shortly after,” Harris says.

Harris says the mold and mildew-resistant paint job was too little too late, and when her lease was up in 2021, she left but took her story with her and shared her experience with anyone asking about living in the area.

While current resident Casey Hendricks says she hasn’t seen mold, her communication problems started before she even got on the property.

“Within three days of our move-in date, they told me that we could no longer have the three-bedroom apartment on the first floor they instead were moving us to a two-bedroom apartment temporarily on the third floor, which made it really difficult with two little kids and a dog,” Hendricks says.

Despite paying her deposit and hiring movers, Hendricks’ family was in a space too small. When they were finally allowed to relocate to a 3-bedroom months later, further communication issues cost her hundreds of dollars. Her moving company spent hours sitting in the parking lot on the day of the switch, waiting for management to allow them into the unit. When the company ran out of time that day, Hendricks had to pay movers to come back.

Once inside, Hendricks says the conditions were concerning. She pointed out water stains and missing vanity draws and knobs.

“The vanity that was never fixed. It was like this when we moved in. I did do a walk-through with the property manager and she is aware of this as of last November and when I moved in and it still has not been repaired,” Hendricks says.

Now Hendricks is facing mounting water and sewer bills, more than quadruple what she budgeted as average cost, and she wants answers. But with no repairs to her apartment yet, she doesn’t think she’ll ever get the help she’s asking for.

“So many other apartments are filled with mold. It definitely makes you wonder what might be out there in your air ducts and stuff that you’re not seeing,” Hendricks says.

Harris says while she lived there, she faced other maintenance issues besides mold like Hendricks.

“It just felt like they really didn’t care to fix the problem,” Harris says.

Latitude at Wescott management declined to comment when asked to answer questions for this story.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Halter to run for town council

A second candidate has announced his intent to seek the seat representing District 3 on Summerville Town Council.Matt Halter, a local business owner and engineer, said he decided to run for office because he believes his resume qualifies him to tackle many of Summerville’s current problems.“I also believe your representative should be elected by you, not appointed by a select few elitists and those currently in power,” he said. “It’s time we had more than just figureheads in our local government &n...

A second candidate has announced his intent to seek the seat representing District 3 on Summerville Town Council.

Matt Halter, a local business owner and engineer, said he decided to run for office because he believes his resume qualifies him to tackle many of Summerville’s current problems.

“I also believe your representative should be elected by you, not appointed by a select few elitists and those currently in power,” he said. “It’s time we had more than just figureheads in our local government – we need rock-solid leaders fighting for the best interests of our town and its taxpayers.”

Halter said that, over time, Summerville’s leadership “has bloated our government to the point of dysfunction” and has “recklessly allowed developers to overrun our town, bringing with them unmanageable traffic and a maze of red tape.”

“This is not leadership; it is a failure to serve the public interest,” he said. “While I support change and growth, the growth Summerville’s leaders approve needs to be in the best interest of our town. Some development can actually add to the value of our town, while apartment home communities, for example, add major traffic concerns, overrun our schools and produce housing that is not affordable, driving up the cost of rent and home ownership.”

A resume provided to the Journal Scene by Halter shows experience in government, the private sector and as a small business owner.

“I’m not an elitist in a line of politicians – I’m a regular citizen,” he said. “It’s time to bring strength and common sense back to our council. It’s time your family’s needs outweigh the wants of a privileged few. This is not about politics as usual; it’s about restoring a government that works for its people and bridges that gap between government and its citizens so that the government is ‘of the people, by the people and for the people. We need a government that listens, acts and delivers. I’m rock-solid and here to ensure Summerville thrives for all its residents.”

Halter has been married to his wife, Donna, for 32 years. She is an elementary school teacher in Dorchester School District 2 and manages the books for their business, Benchmark LDS.

Their son, Matt Jr., is a civil engineer, and their daughter, Lauren, is a registered nurse. Matt and Donna have two grandchildren.

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Matt is a graduate of Stratford High School and The Citadel. He became a registered professional engineer, land surveyor and licensed general contractor. His career began in Charleston, where, as an engineer and stormwater superintendent, he led projects and managed a team of more than 80 employees.

Matt went to work for the town of Summerville in 1996 as the town engineer and public works director. During this time, he wrote the town’s first development standards and founded the South Carolina Association of Stormwater Managers.

Matt ventured into the private sector in 2004, applying his engineering, land surveying and project management experience as the owner and president of Benchmark LDS.

“One of my more notable contributions was the design and construction of the Summerville Miracle League field on South Laurel Street,” he said. “This project wasn’t just about building a field; it was about creating a space where everyone in the community, regardless of their abilities, could come together and enjoy the spirit of the game.”

As one of the founding board members and president of the Summerville Miracle League, Matt, along with a team of citizens, raised more than $500,000 for the field, which was a joint venture between the town and private entities, which he said showcases his ability to “lead, collaborate and deliver.”

He has served on the Dorchester County Transportation Authority and was a multiple-term member of the town’s Commercial Design Review Board.

“In every role, I have demonstrated a consistent commitment to the betterment of Summerville,” he said. “My actions and achievements speak volumes about my dedication, making me not just a candidate for the town council but a true steward of the community’s well-being and future.”

Summerville family leaves apartment over mold, health concerns

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - A Summerville family says they moved out of their rented apartment at the recommendation of a doctor after months of seeing mold across the unit.Breanna McCalla says her family moved to Summerville in the fall, but when they signed their lease at the Latitude at Wescott, they had no idea they would be moving again in less than six months.“I think, a week after moving in that we noticed the first amount of mold up on the vents, which was the first thing that we noticed,” McCalla says....

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - A Summerville family says they moved out of their rented apartment at the recommendation of a doctor after months of seeing mold across the unit.

Breanna McCalla says her family moved to Summerville in the fall, but when they signed their lease at the Latitude at Wescott, they had no idea they would be moving again in less than six months.

“I think, a week after moving in that we noticed the first amount of mold up on the vents, which was the first thing that we noticed,” McCalla says.

She provided a screenshot of an email sent in October, alerting property managers about the mold, and asking that it be checked out and addressed. But McCalla says not only did nothing seem to get fixed, it instead got worse.

“I also have also lost multiple sentimental things that I can’t get back. I had a bag full of all my kids’ baby blankets that was covered in mold. You know, like baby items and clothing and things that you can’t replace,” McCalla says.

Staff at the Latitude at Wescott did not comment on the situation despite three attempts to ask if they were aware of the issue and, if so, whether any effort was made to address it.

Mary Templeton, a fellow in an Equal Justice Housing Works Program, specializes in renter cases at Charleston Pro Bono. She says tenants do have rights under South Carolina law.

“A lot of people don’t know their rights because South Carolina landlord-tenant law is not necessarily intuitive,” Templeton says. “So a big thing that I think that all tenants should know in South Carolina is just to make sure to document any issues you’re having. The more evidence you have of a problem, the easier it is to get it resolved, even if it does require court action.”

Parts of the South Carolina Residential Landlord and Tenant Act say landlords must “comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety” and “make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.”

“I was constantly stressed about it with the kids, mainly with the mold. I mean, the other things we cleaned, and you know, it’s fine, but the mold, I know how serious mold is,” McCalla says.

She provided emails with management through December and January documenting continued mold appearances on vents and windows. She says the last straw for their family was when her daughter developed a persistent cough and her other two children also seemed to struggle with breathing.

“We’re doing doctors and taking antibiotics. She wasn’t testing for anything and we were starting to put the pieces together,” McCalla says.

On Feb. 10 at a follow-up doctor appointment, the provider made a note on McCalla’s daughter’s visit notes. It states, “Seek care at COEM (Center for Occupation & Environmental Medicine) for mold exposure along with treatment for cough symptoms.”

“The first thing she said was immediately you need to get out the only way you’re going to start feeling better and you know healing from this is removing yourself from the mold,” McCalla says.

Templeton says Charleston Pro Bono gets at least weekly if not daily requests for help with tenant issues. She says there are specific timelines for when certain types of issues should be fixed, and a professional can walk someone through their rights if they have the documentation.

“The more evidence you have of a problem, the easier it is to get it resolved, even if it does require court action,” Templeton says. “You always have to put a repair request for those things in writing. Landlords don’t have a duty to fix things unless they’ve received a written notice about the repairs that need to be made.”

While they are not in the habit of taking on mold cases because of the cost, she says documenting everything does a lot if you want to build a case to break your lease. Templeton says a mold case can be hard to prove but not impossible if people have the proof.

“With mold cases, if someone is looking into some sort of damages where you know, they think they’ve been injured because of the mold, their children are sick things of that nature…It’s very hard for legal aid providers to take on those cases just because we don’t have the sort of capital needed to kind of front the bill for those sorts of lawsuits,” Templeton says. “Typically, in those sorts of lawsuits. It’s my understanding that expert witnesses are needed, you know, who have to be paid. You get the property tested by maybe environmental organizations, things like that to see what the risk level is.”

McCalla, when breaking her lease, checked a box claiming to break through “no fault” not wanting to pay because of the mold maintenance issues. She says they have been in touch with a potential lawyer and are planning to get the family tested for mold levels at COEM.

“I know that I did as much as I could have I also wish I would have done more like I wish I would have been like in their face telling them like this is not okay,” McCalla says.

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