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The Guide to South Dakota Court Records

Overview of South Dakota Courts

The South Dakota trial court system consists of Circuit Courts and Magistrate Courts.
 
Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, and typically handle cases beyond the jurisdiction of Magistrate Courts. Magistrate Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases.

Please select a South Dakota county below to view directory of all courts with links to court record resources for each court.
Find South Dakota court pages by Town or Zip Code.
Select a court record or online resource category below to view all resources at both the statewide and county level.
Go to the court records pages for another state.
South Dakota Circuit Courts
Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, and generally handle cases beyond the jurisdiction of Magistrate Courts.

Criminal cases heard by Circuit Courts include all felonies, some misdemeanors, and some municipal ordinance violations.

Civil cases heard by Circuit Courts include general civil claims for $12,000 or more in damages. Circuit Courts also handle domestic relations, juvenile matters, probate matters, and equity cases, including divorce, annulment, guardianship, conservatorships, domestic violence protection, disputes over the title or boundary to real estate, proceedings in chancery, and proceedings in equity.

A Circuit Court may operate a drug court division for certain types of nonviolent criminal cases.
South Dakota Magistrate Courts
Magistrate Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases.

Criminal cases heard by Magistrate Courts include preliminary hearings for all criminal cases, misdemeanors trials, and most violations of municipal ordinances. Magistrate Courts have some jurisdiction over the acceptance of pleas, forfeiture of bonds, committals, and other types of proceedings related to criminal cases.

Civil cases heard by Magistrate Courts include most general civil cases for a debt, damage, claim, or property valued at less than $12,000. Magistrate Courts each have a Small Claims division for certain civil claims for less than $12,000.

Magistrate Courts also handle requests for temporary abuse protection orders.

Magistrate Courts can handle some mental health cases or sdult drug court cases assigned by Circuit Courts.
South Dakota Tribal Courts
South Dakota also has a separate Tribal Courts system that handles violations of tribal ordinances and civil cases between tribe members.

Where to find court cases in South Dakota
The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of court in South Dakota.
 
Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

Case Type Court Type
Civil Circuit Courts Magistrate Courts
General Civil - Unlimited
Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
General Civil - Limited
Some General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Small Claims
 
Most or all Small Claims cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Civil Equity
Most or all Civil Equity cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Complex Commercial
Most or all Complex Commercial cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Foreclosures and Liens
Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Real Estate Title and Boundary
Most or all Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Landlord / Tenant
Some Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Ordinance Violations
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders
Most or all Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Administrative Agency Appeals
Most or all Administrative Agency Appeals cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Criminal Circuit Courts Magistrate Courts
Felony
Most or all Felony cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Felony Preliminary Hearings
Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Misdemeanors
Some Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Ordinance Violations
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Juvenile
Most or all Juvenile cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Traffic and Infractions
Some Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Most or all Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Domestic Relations Circuit Courts Magistrate Courts
Divorce
Most or all Divorce cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Child Custody and Visitation
Most or all Child Custody and Visitation cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Child Support
Most or all Child Support cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Paternity
Most or all Paternity cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Domestic Violence Protection Order
Most or all Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Juvenile Circuit Courts Magistrate Courts
Adoptions
Most or all Adoptions cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Juvenile Delinquency
Most or all Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Child Abuse and Neglect
Most or all Child Abuse and Neglect cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Termination of Parental Rights
Most or all Termination of Parental Rights cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Children in Need of Supervision
Most or all Children in Need of Supervision cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Mental Health Circuit Courts Magistrate Courts
Involuntary Commitments
Most or all Involuntary Commitments cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Involuntary Commitments cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Other Mental Health Cases
Most or all Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
Probate Circuit Courts Magistrate Courts
Wills & Estates
Most or all Wills & Estates cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Name Changes
Most or all Name Changes cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Trusts
Most or all Trusts cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Guardianships and Conservatorships
Most or all Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 

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