South Dakota has general jurisdiction trial courts and a single appeals court – the South Dakota Supreme Court. Circuit Courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction. They handle all civil and criminal cases. The Circuit Courts assign Magistrates to oversee marriages, ordinance violations, misdemeanors, small claims, and preliminary hearings. The state is divided into seven judicial circuits, with a total of 41 Circuit Court judges presiding.
Circuit Court records are not available online. A statewide search of South Dakota Circuit Court civil or criminal records can only be conducted through a Clerk of Court, which you may contact in person, by mail, or by fax. The cost is $15 per search and results are mailed. For instructions, click on “Court Records – Statewide Search” below.
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