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
Aqreva, LLC v. Eide Bailly, LLP  
Date: October 28, 2020
Citation: LLC v. EIDE BAILLY, LLP, 2020 S.D. 59
Docket Number: 29142

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants with respect all of Plaintiff's claims except for counts four and five, holding that the circuit court did not err in granti...

In re Interpretation Of South Dakota Constitution and State Laws Regarding Eligibility For CRF Grant Programs  
Date: October 22, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 58
Docket Number: 29441

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court issued an advisory opinion requested by the Governor of the State of South Dakota questioning whether the South Dakota Constitution or any state law prohibits a current state legislator from being eligi...

State v. Krueger  
Date: October 21, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 57
Docket Number: 28522

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of first-degree murder and mandatory sentence of life in prison, holding that there as no prejudicial error in the proceedings below. Specifically, the Supreme Court hel...

Heumiller v. Hansen  
Date: October 14, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 56
Docket Number: 29040

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants and dismissing Plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction alleging the existence of an easement allowing...

Slota v. Imhoff  
Date: September 30, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 55
Docket Number: 28496

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court granting Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissing Plaintiff's fraud and deceit claims, holding that the claims were time barred. Plaintiff...

State v. Zephier  
Date: September 23, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 54
Docket Number: 28771

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for first-degree burglary and grand theft, holding that the circuit court did not err when it denied Defendant's motion to suppress and when in denied Defendant's motion...

State v. Jackson  
Date: September 16, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 53
Docket Number: 28800

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of third-degree rape, holding that the State did not violate Defendant's right to due process by failing to interview the victim and that the circuit court did not err in...

Fraternal Order Of Police v. City Of Yankton  
Date: September 16, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 52
Docket Number: 29203

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court reversing the decision of the Department of Labor determining that sergeants in the Yankton Police Department are ineligible for membership in a collective bar...

Field v. Field  
Date: September 9, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 51
Docket Number: 28901

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's property division order in this divorce proceeding, holding that the court abused its discretion in excluding farmland Wife purchased with Husband from the marital estate....

City Of Rapid City v. Schaub  
Date: September 2, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 50
Docket Number: 28932

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court affirming Defendant's magistrate court conviction for operating an onsite wastewater system without a permit, holding that the City's ordinance as applied to D...

State v. Bryant  
Date: August 19, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 49
Docket Number: 28979

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court convicting Defendant of two counts of aggravated assault and three counts of simple assault and ordering him to pay restitution to Medicaid for its coverage of...

State v. Taylor  
Date: August 19, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 48
Docket Number: 29072

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of second-degree rape and sexual contact involving a second victim, holding that Defendant's allegations of error were unavailing. Specifically, the Supreme Court held (...

Farmer v. Farmer  
Date: August 12, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 46
Docket Number: 28721

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court holding James Farmer in contempt for his failure to follow the terms and conditions of the parties' property settlement agreement and finding that James owed Lori...

S.D. Petroleum Release Compensation Fund v. BP plc  
Date: August 12, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 47
Docket Number: 28933

Justia Opinion Summary: The circuit court affirmed the circuit court's grant of summary judgment in favor of BP plc on all claims brought against it by the State and the South Dakota Petroleum Release Compensation Fund, holding that the circuit...

State v. Williams  
Date: July 29, 2020
Citation: 2020 S.D. 44
Docket Number: 28938

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court denying Defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of his encounter with police, holding that the circuit court properly denied the motion to...

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.