South Dakota Court Records Search

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South Dakota State Courts

The judicial system of South Dakota has a federal district court which links to the federal system in the USA. There are a number of different trial courts with a hierarchy, and different jurisdictions and specific purposes. The trial courts of South Dakota feed into a state Supreme Court, which has overall jurisdiction over the state.

The single federal district court for this state is the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota, appeals from here are heard by the 8th circuit.

Situated within the state is also the United States bankruptcy court, District of South Dakota, which deals with issues around bankruptcy laws for South Dakota.

The trial courts are split into Circuit and Magistrate Courts within South Dakota. 

There are 66 counties, and these are divided into 7 circuits linked by judicial powers, there are 41 judges operating within the Circuit Courts, which are the courts with general jurisdiction powers over the state, though there are courts with limited jurisdiction.

The Magistrate Courts only have the remit of handling minor offenses and civil issues that are not quite as serious as those dealt with within the circuit courts, and some of the cases heard here may be referred upward to the Circuit Courts.

Court Name: South Dakota Supreme Court
Address: 500 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Phone: (605) 773-3511
Website URL: https://ujs.sd.gov/Supreme_Court/

Intermediate and Supreme Courts

The Circuit Courts sometimes deal with appeals to come from the lower Magistrate Courts, but they are not specific appellate courts. There is no dedicated court of appeals in South Dakota.


In some cases, the Supreme Court of South Dakota is required. A few hundred cases a year end up being decided by this court, but it is the court of last resort and not a high percentage of cases are heard here. Five Judges sit in this Supreme Court. It also has jurisdiction and administrative power over the other courts within the state, as is commonplace for Supreme Courts.


How to Find South Dakota Court Records Online

How can you find records of South Dakota court cases online? Fortunately, our tool allows you to search through South Dakota’s public records, of which there are many.


The South Dakota Sunshine Law dictates that government records are available to view and copy by the public as long as they haven’t been protected by some other law. If you are a resident, you can look for a number of records such as trial and plea details, bail and parole details and much more. 


Records in South Dakota have been kept since 1900 and not all have been digitized, the current cases and recent historic cases are much more likely to be available to view, though access can be requested for all South Dakota court records if you are a citizen.