South Dakota Supreme Court Decisions

In addition to reviewing appeals of decisions by lower courts, the South Dakota Supreme Court may advise the Governor of South Dakota on their executive powers. It also manages the South Dakota Unified Judicial System, which involves creating a budget and overseeing state trial courts. The Supreme Court has the responsibility to develop procedures and practices for the legal profession in the state, including rules for the conduct of attorneys and the administration of courts. A Stanford University study in 2012 found that it is the most conservative state supreme court in the U.S.

Five justices serve on the South Dakota Supreme Court. Each justice serves an eight-year term. To serve as a justice, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of South Dakota, as well as a voting resident in the judicial district that they seek to represent on the Court. A candidate also must be licensed to practice law in the state. South Dakota is divided into five appointment districts, each of which is represented by one justice. After the South Dakota Judicial Qualifications Commission develops a list of nominees for a vacancy, the Governor will appoint the new justice. Once a justice has been appointed, they must go through a retention election three years later to serve the rest of their term. The Chief Justice is elected to serve a four-year term by a vote of the other justices.

South Dakota imposes a mandatory retirement age of 70 on its judges. A justice also may be removed from the South Dakota Supreme Court if they are impeached by a majority vote of the South Dakota House of Representatives and convicted by a majority vote of the South Dakota Senate. Alternatively, a justice may be removed or retired by the other justices on the Supreme Court if the Judicial Qualifications Commission recommends taking this step.

Browse Opinions From the South Dakota Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the South Dakota Supreme Court
State V. Foshay  
Date: February 21, 2024
Citation: 2024 S.D. 12
Docket Number: 29952

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court of South Dakota heard the case of Steven Foshay, who was deemed incompetent to stand trial on four criminal charges in 2017. He was committed to a state facility for competency restoration treatment,…

Bialota V. Lakota Lakes  
Date: February 7, 2024
Citation: LLC, 2024 S.D. 7
Docket Number: 29851

Justia Opinion Summary: In South Dakota, Emily Bialota sought to gain title to a property previously owned by Lakota Lakes, LLC, which was sold at a tax sale due to unpaid property taxes. Bialota argued that she had properly served Lakota Lakes…

Bohn V. Bueno  
Date: February 7, 2024
Citation: 2024 S.D. 6
Docket Number: 30008

Justia Opinion Summary: In the case before the Supreme Court of the State of South Dakota, petitioners Tammy Bohn, Justin Bohn, and Brenda Vasknetz (collectively, the Citizens) sought a writ of mandamus against several city officials after the…

Orthopedic Institute v. Sanford Health Plan, Inc.  
Date: February 7, 2024
Citation: ET AL v. SANFORD HEALTH PLAN, INC., 2024 S.D. 9
Docket Number: 30207

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, a group of healthcare providers (Providers) sued the insurer Sanford Health Plan, Inc. (SHP) for excluding them from participating in some of its health benefit plans. The Providers argued that according to…

Uhre Realty V. Tronnes  
Date: February 7, 2024
Citation: 2024 S.D. 10
Docket Number: 30254

Justia Opinion Summary: In South Dakota, realtor Joshua Uhre, who owns Uhre Realty Corporation (URC) and Uhre Property Management Corporation (UPM), had a dispute with Benjamin and Leslie Tronnes over the sale of their property. The Tronneses…

Ellingson Drainage v. Dep’t Of Revenue  
Date: February 7, 2024
Citation: 2024 S.D. 8
Docket Number: 30280

Justia Opinion Summary: In the case before the Supreme Court of the State of South Dakota, a Minnesota-based company, Ellingson Drainage, Inc., was charged a use tax by the South Dakota Department of Revenue (DOR) after an audit revealed…

Redlin Trust V. First Interstate Bank  
Date: January 31, 2024
Citation: 2024 S.D. 5
Docket Number: 30247

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court of South Dakota affirmed the lower court's decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Charles Redlin and First Interstate Bank. The case arose out of a dispute involving the Helene M. Redlin Trust.…

State V. Horse  
Date: January 17, 2024
Citation: 2024 S.D. 4
Docket Number: 29967

Justia Opinion Summary: In the case before the Supreme Court of the State of South Dakota, the defendant, Robert Horse, appealed his conviction of third-degree rape. The defendant raised three main issues: the validity of a search warrant for…

State V. Stevens  
Date: January 17, 2024
Citation: 2024 S.D. 3
Docket Number: 30145

Justia Opinion Summary: In South Dakota, Todd Stevens was convicted on six counts related to drug possession and distribution. The state's key witness was Ashley Burgers, Stevens' former roommate and fellow methamphetamine user, who testified…

Mclane Western, Inc. v. South Dakota Department Of Revenue  
Date: January 10, 2024
Citation: INC. v. S.D. DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, 2024 S.D. 1
Docket Number: 30217

Justia Opinion Summary: In South Dakota, McLane Western, Inc. and McLane Minnesota, Inc., South Dakota-licensed wholesalers of tobacco products, purchased Other Tobacco Products (OTP) from U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Brands, Inc. (UST Sales), who in…

Stockwell V. Mccook County Board Of Commissioners  
Date: January 10, 2024
Citation: 2024 S.D. 2
Docket Number: 30287

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1999, Bernard Stockwell had his agriculturally zoned property in McCook County, South Dakota, replatted into five individual lots. In 2022, he sought an opinion from the McCook County Zoning Administrator on the…

Erickson V. Erickson  
Date: December 28, 2023
Citation: 2023 S.D. 70
Docket Number: 30011

Justia Opinion Summary: In the case before the Supreme Court of the State of South Dakota, the dispute involves a married couple, Michael Erickson and Tara Erickson, who got divorced and had a stipulation and agreement (the Agreement)…

State v. Carter  
Date: December 28, 2023
Citation: 2023 S.D. 67
Docket Number: 30048

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case from the Supreme Court of South Dakota, the defendant, Matthew Allan Carter, was convicted of first-degree rape of a minor. The victim, referred to as E.W., was the five-year-old daughter of Carter's…

State V. Richard  
Date: December 28, 2023
Citation: 2023 S.D. 71
Docket Number: 30191

Justia Opinion Summary: In the case brought before the Supreme Court of the State of South Dakota, Elias Richard was convicted of second-degree murder for the shooting death of Vernall Marshall. Richard appealed the decision, arguing that the…

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.

Some case metadata and case summaries were written with the help of AI, which can produce inaccuracies. You should read the full case before relying on it for legal research purposes.

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