South Dakota Court Records Search

What is Included in South Dakota Public Court Records

Criminal Court Cases

Assault & Battery, Domestic Violence, Parole Violation, Probation Violation, Sexual Assault, Robbery, Manslaughter, Murder, Drug Offenses, And More...

Civil Court Cases

Bankruptcies, Legal Judgments, Lawsuits, Tax & Property Liens, Contract Disputes, Probates, Family Law, Small Claims, Evictions, And More...

Traffic Court Cases

Driving Under Influence, Driving While Intoxicated, Speeding Tickets, Traffic Citations, Reckless Driving, Driving Without a License, License Suspensions, Criminal Driving Violations, Accidents, And More...

South Dakota Court Record Lookup

South Dakota SD court records are necessary to get a judge’s orders carried out, whether that’s collecting a small claims award, establishing child custody, claiming an inheritance, or clearing one’s record. These court documents are all public record, meaning anyone can access them by performing South Dakota court record search.

Limited jurisdiction courts

Small claims courts handle only civil suits valued under $12,000.

Drug courts were put in place to keep nonviolent offenders out of the criminal justice system, these South Dakota courthouses connect them with treatment opportunities. Other problem-solving courts include mental health, veterans, and DUI record courts. Anyone can access these South Dakota court records online through South Dakota court case lookup.

Probate, which is usually managed by the judicial system, is instead found under the state attorney general’s office in South Dakota. This office handles wills, estates, and guardianships.

Trial Courts

There are seven circuits of trial courts with general jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases. Case records may be searched online by conducting South Dakota court record lookup.

While court documents are public record, juvenile cases, and others that name victims of certain crimes are restricted from public access due to confidentiality laws.

In recent years the number of cases has increased in most categories: criminal felony cases have gone from 9,000 per year to over 11,500 and civil cases have gone from 74,000 to more than 78,000. The circuit courts received about 226,000 total cases in a recent year.

Appellate court

Parties who disagree with a decision rendered in circuit courts may appeal to the state Supreme Court for redress. This is the court of last resort for the state, which also oversees the state bar and advises the state legislature and governor’s office on the constitutionality of proposed laws.

Federal court

There is a branch of a federal court in each state, otherwise known as U.S District Court. This court has jurisdiction over bankruptcy records, violations of federal laws, and multi-state lawsuits, and its records may be searched online. 

South Dakota Notable Cases

South Dakota has a long history of notable death penalty cases. The state currently allows the death penalty to be imposed. Until 1947, all executions were carried out by hanging. Since 1976, the state has used lethal injection.

Jack McCall was the first person executed by South Dakota in 1987. He was convicted of the murder of Wild Bill Hickok.

Thomas Egan was executed for the murder of his wife in 1882, though the execution took a total of three attempts. First, the rope broke, and then the rope did not break his neck. Several years later, his stepdaughter admitted it was she who actually committed the crime.

Elijah Page and Briley Piper pleaded guilty to the murder of a man in 2001 and sentenced to death. A third defendant, Darrell Hoadley, pleaded innocent but was convicted by a jury. Hoadley received a life imprisonment sentence. Page was executed in 2007. Piper appealed his death sentence which was vacated, leaving him waiting for word from a jury for re-sentencing.

South Dakota Civil Case Statistics

Civil Caseload
Civil Caseload 48,873
Caseloads per 100.000 Population
Caseloads per 100.000 Population 5,647
Small Claims Caseload
Small Claims Caseload 27,701

State Small Claims & Rates Timeline

Year: Small Claims Max. Limit Small Claims Caseload per 100.000 Population Percent of Total Civil Caseload
2014$1200025,8523,03056%
2015$1200028,9033,36758%
2016$1200027,7013,20157%

The caseload for small claims has decreased since 2012, going from 28,417 cases a year to 27,701 of 2016. The maximum limit of small claim charges has stayed the same at $12,000 in 2016 compared to the $12,000 that was registered 5 years ago.

Accordingly the small claims rate has decreased- 3,201 cases per 100 000 population compared to the 3,410 of 2012. The total percentage of civil caseloads accounts 58.5% for the state of South Dakota for 2016.

Domestic Relations Caseloads & Clearance Rates

The state’s domestic relations caseload has counted 16,805 cases which is 1,942 court cases per 100.000 population. It has increased since 2012, the difference in caseloads is 1,020 for the last 5 years, being 15,785 in 2012.

State Court Holidays

Holiday: Date:
New Year's DayMonday, January 1, 2018
Martin Luther King, Jr's BirthdayMonday, January 15, 2018
Presidents' DayMonday, February 19, 2018
Memorial DayMonday, May 28, 2018
Independence DayWednesday, July 4, 2018
Labor DayMonday, September 3, 2018
Native American DayMonday, October 8, 2018
Veterans' Day (Observed)Monday, November 12, 2018
Thanksgiving DayThursday, November 22, 2018
Christmas DayTuesday, December 25, 2018

Supreme Court Caseloads & Clearance Rates