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
Mealy v. Prins  
Date: October 9, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 57
Docket Number: 28588

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed in part the circuit court's judgment granting Defendants summary judgment in part and, after a trial, entering a judgment consistent with the jury verdict, holding that a new trial on Plaintiff...

Healy v. Osborne  
Date: September 25, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 56
Docket Number: 28491

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants and dismissing Plaintiff's suit claiming that he was financially damaged by Defendants' fraud and conspiracy and...

State v. Willingham  
Date: September 11, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 55
Docket Number: 28584

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and other offenses, holding that the circuit court did not err by denying Defendant's...

Blanchard v. Mid-Century Insurance Co.  
Date: September 11, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 54
Docket Number: 28652

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of Mid-Century Insurance Company and dismissing Christina Blanchard's bad-faith complaint, holding that the circuit court pr...

Weber v. Rains  
Date: September 4, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 53
Docket Number: 28631

Justia Opinion Summary: In this personal injury action, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court in favor of Plaintiff, holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in denying Defendants' motion to exclude tes...

Dysart v. Dragpipe Saloon, LLC  
Date: September 4, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 52
Docket Number: 28799

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court ordering dissolution and the sale of Dragpipe Saloon, LLC's assets, holding that the drastic remedy of judicial dissolution was not supported by the evidence i...

Asmussen v. Young  
Date: August 21, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 51
Docket Number: 28875

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court denied Defendant's motion for a certificate of probable cause to appeal the denial of habeas corpus relief from his kidnapping convictions, holding that Defendant's habeas claims were "clearly procedura...

Bingham Farms Trust v. City Of Belle Fourche  
Date: August 14, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 50
Docket Number: 28650

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's order dismissing this action brought by Bingham Farms Trust objecting to a special assessment lien levied upon its property by the City of Belle Fourche and affirmed the cou...

State v. Sharpfish  
Date: August 14, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 49
Docket Number: 28705

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the magistrate court that Defendant's motion to suppress should be granted in accordance with an earlier order of the circuit court, holding that Defendant's constitutional rights...

Ridley v. Sioux Empire Pit Bull Rescue, Inc.  
Date: August 7, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 48
Docket Number: 28668

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court granting summary judgment for Sioux Empire Pit Bull Rescue, Inc. (SEPR), Susan Tribble-Zacher and Harry Podhradsky on Darlette Ridley's personal injury complai...

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Miranda  
Date: August 7, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 47
Docket Number: 28695

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's order denying State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Company's motion for a new trial after a jury returned a general verdict in favor of Giyo Miranda and denying State Farm's req...

Zhang v. Rasmus  
Date: July 24, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 46
Docket Number: 28524

Justia Opinion Summary: In this legal malpractice action against Plaintiff's former attorneys the Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court granting one attorney's motion to dismiss based on lack of personal jurisdiction and granted...

State v. Hauge  
Date: July 24, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 45
Docket Number: 28630

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for theft by exploitation in an amount exceeding $5,000, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on any of his allegations of error. Specifically, the Court he...

State v. Podzimek  
Date: July 17, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 43
Docket Number: 28703

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and sentences for grand theft by deception and other offenses stemming from Defendant's excessive billing of Don Martin for mechanic work done to Martin's pickup, holdin...

Lammers v. State, ex rel. Department of Game, Fish & Parks  
Date: July 17, 2019
Citation: 2019 S.D. 44
Docket Number: 28808

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (Department) on Landowner's action seeking a declaratory judgment and permanent injunctio...

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.