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South Dakota Court Records

South Dakota's Constitution provides for a centralized court structure known as the Unified Judicial System. This system is comprised of a Supreme Court, Circuit courts of general jurisdiction, and Lower courts of limited original jurisdiction. The Supreme Court is the state's highest court. The counties forming the state of South Dakota are divided into seven judicial circuits. There are thirty-eight circuit judges serving in the seven circuits. The circuit courts are the general trial courts of the Unified Judicial System. These courts have original jurisdiction in all civil and criminal cases. They are the only court where a criminal felony case can be tried and determined as well as a civil case involving more than ten thousand dollars in damages. Circuit courts also have jurisdiction over appeals from magistrate court decisions. The third tier of courts in South Dakota's unified system consists of magistrate courts presided over by lay magistrates or magistrate judges. Generally, magistrate courts assist the circuit courts in processing minor criminal cases and less serious civil actions. Whether presided over by a lay magistrate or a magistrate judge, magistrate courts, as well as the circuit courts, perform marriages, receive depositions, issue warrants, conduct certain preliminary hearings, set bail, appoint counsel, accept pleas for class 2 misdemeanors, and hear non-contested civil and small claims actions where the amount of money or damage does not exceed eight thousand dollars.

From here you are able to inquire on South Dakota state case records including docket entries, parties, judgments, and charges in public courts. In common law jurisdictions, a court of record is a court that keeps permanent records of its proceedings. Judgments of a trial court of record are normally subject to appellate review. In many jurisdictions, all courts are courts of record. In many jurisdictions, courts that have the power to fine or imprison must be courts of record. In almost all jurisdictions, a court of record will have a court clerk whose primary duty is to maintain the permanent records. Traditionally, a court of record was required to have its own unique seal, which was used to authenticate its judgments and copies of its records.

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South Dakota Courts - Links to Online Sites

South Dakota Supreme Court
500 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3511

South Dakota Circuit Courts

First Judicial Circuit
Judge Arthur Rusch, Presiding
(605) 677-6757

Second Judicial Circuit
Judge Glen Severson, Presiding
Karl Thoennes, Circuit Administrator
(605) 367-5920

Third Judicial Circuit
Judge David Gienapp, Presiding
Pat Garcia Duggan, Circuit Administrator
(605) 688-4621

Fourth Judicial Circuit
Judge Warren Johnson, Presiding
Bernie Lungren, Circuit Administrator
(605) 578-2044

Fifth Judicial Circuit
Judge Jack R. Von Wald, Presiding
Angie Goetz, Circuit Administrator
(605) 626-2003

Sixth Judicial Circuit
Judge Lori Wilbur, Presiding
Vacant, Circuit Administrator
(605) 773-3711

Seventh Judicial Circuit
Judge Jeff Davis, Presiding
Jeff Krattenmaker, Circuit Administrator
(605) 394-2571

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