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Judicial Reform States South Dakota

South Dakota Supreme Court

Pro Freedom
Total Judgeships: 

5 (0 vacancies)

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What the Legislature Intended...

Wed, 06/18/2014

Save our Neighborhood v. City of Sioux Falls: When a piece of vacant farm property was annexed to the City in order to become a Walmart, the owners of all of the neighboring property partnered together to issue a petition fighting the annexation. They claimed petition authority under SD Law 9-4-5 which stated that the City needed Commissioner approval for the annexation. The Circuit Court denied the petitions.


The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the lower court. The Court clarified that the legislature did not intend for the rule to apply to annexations that were conducted voluntarily between a property owner and the City. Thus, since the Walmart annex was voluntary, Commissioner approval was not necessary.

Read the full decision here

Volunteer Firefighter Given Summary Judgment

Wed, 05/21/2014

Gabriel v. Bauman: Bauman is a volunteer firefighter who, while responding to an emergency, collided with Gabriel’s vehicle causing injuries. Gabriel filed suit against Bauman for willful and wanton misconduct and also against the fire department for not training Bauman effectively or supplying him with adequate equipment.


The Supreme Court of South Dakota affirmed the decision of the lower courts by granting summary judgment to Bauman who was acting as a volunteer firefighter when the crash took place. The Court did rule, however, that the Chester Fire Department may be negligent in the case and remanded the trial for further proceedings to consider the quality of equipment and training that the volunteers go through.

Read the full decision here

Arrest Warrant Trumps Search Warrant

Wed, 02/12/2014

State v. Quevedo: Quevedo had a warrant out for her arrest. Christopher Yellow Eagle, who was also under warrant for arrest, was at Quevedo’s house when police entered, took both into custody, and convicted them of drug possession. Quevedo appealed stating police violated her 4th Amendment rights by entering her house to arrest a 3rd party without a warrant and that the police did not have a warrant to enter onto her property to arrest her.


The Supreme Court of South Dakota ruled that warrants for an arrest cover the necessary approval to enter onto property to arrest an individual. Thus, the arresting task force of officers had constitutional authority behind their actions.

Read the full decision here