by
The Supreme Court dismissed the State’s intermediate appeal challenging the circuit court’s reversal of the magistrate court’s order denying Defendant’s motion to suppress, holding that there was no basis for an appeal to this Court at the present stage of the proceedings. Defendant was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence obtained from the traffic stop, arguing that police officers lacked reasonable suspicion. The magistrate court denied the motion. Defendant was then convicted and sentenced. Defendant appealed, and the circuit court reversed and remanded the judgment. The State petitioned for an intermediate appeal, arguing that the Supreme Court had jurisdiction to hear an appeal under S.D. Codified Laws 23A-32-5. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that no appeal can lie from the circuit court’s remand order. View "State v. Sharpfish" on Justia Law

by
After the United States Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the Supreme Court affirming the circuit court’s summary judgment in favor of Defendants, the Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment and remanded the case for proceedings consistent with the United States Supreme Court’s opinion. In 2017, the Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s summary judgment in favor of Defendants, holding that the statutory scheme requiring internet sellers with no physical presence in South Dakota to collect and remit sales tax violated the Commerce Clause. The United States Supreme Court vacated the judgment and remanded the case. The State subsequently filed a motion requesting the Supreme Court to remand the matter for further proceedings. Defendants filed no response. Accordingly, the Supreme Court dispositively remanded this case for further proceedings not inconsistent with the United States Supreme Court’s opinion. View "State v. Wayfair Inc." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for unauthorized ingestion of a controlled substance and possession of two ounces or less of marijuana but reversed and remanded for a new trial Defendant’s conviction for first-degree manslaughter, holding that the circuit court erred in instructing the jury on first-degree manslaughter. After the State concluded its case-in-chief, Defendant submitted a proposed jury instruction on excusable homicide. The circuit court denied Defendant’s proposed instruction, noting that it was submitted after the State had rested and determining that defendant’s conduct was unlawful. The Supreme Court held that because the evidence presented a theory for the jury’s consideration whether the homicide was accidental and excusable, the circuit court erred in failing to give the excusable homicide instruction, and the error prejudiced Defendant. The Court further held that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion by denying Defendant’s motions for mistrial. View "State v. Randle" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the sentence imposed in connection with Defendant’s conviction for third-degree burglary, holding that the sentencing court had authority to alter its original sentence and that Defendant did not establish that the sentencing court abused its discretion in imposing the sentence. After Defendant pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary as part of a plea agreement, the court sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment with three and one-half years suspended. Before exiting the courtroom in the custody of the sheriff, Defendant “flipped off” the circuit court judge. The court then summoned Defendant back to counsel’s table and resentenced him, imposing the entry five-year term. The court then granted a resentencing hearing and imposed a sixty-month sentence with forty months suspended. The Supreme Court affirmed the sentence, holding (1) under the circumstances, no formal break in the proceedings occurred when Defendant made his obscene gesture, and therefore, the circuit court had the authority to modify Defendant’s sentence; and (2) the court properly relied on S.D. Codified Laws 23A-27-19 to reduce Defendant’s five-year sentence to a sentence of sixty months with forty months suspended. View "State v. Ross" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and in part reversed the judgment of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants, a physical therapy company and a hospital, on Plaintiffs’ negligence claims, holding that the physical therapist failed to demonstrate an absence of any genuine issue of material fact. The plaintiff patient in this case was diagnosed with a fractured femur after a physical therapy session following her hip surgery. Plaintiffs, the patient and her husband, alleged that the physical therapist was negligent during the physical therapy session and that the hospital was negligent in failing timely to diagnose the fractured femur. The circuit court granted Defendants’ motions for summary judgment. The Supreme Court held (1) the circuit court correctly granted the hospital summary judgment because Plaintiffs were required to, but did not, support their claim with proper expert testimony; and (2) there was sufficient evidence in the record to create a material issue of fact concerning whether the physical therapist deviated from the required standard of care. View "Hanson v. Big Stone Therapies, Inc." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit partitioning one of two parcels of land Tom Blue and Jim Blue inherited as tenants in common, awarding Tom owelty, and denying Tom’s claims for improvements and restitution, holding that the circuit court did not err in its judgment. Upon the death of their father, Tom and Jim inherited two interests in real estate as tenants in common. Approximately ten years later, Jim commenced this action to partition one of the parcels. Tom counterclaimed for the value of purported improvements and for restitution for the time he spent caring for both properties. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court, holding that the circuit court (1) did not err in denying Tom’s claims for unjust enrichment and quantum meruit; (2) did not abuse its discretion in controlling the presentation of evidence; and (3) did not clearly err or abuse its discretion in dividing certain land into equal quarter sections and ordering that Jim pay Tom $51,190 in owelty. View "Blue v. Blue" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court granting Plaintiff’s petition for a protection order against Defendant for stalking and remanded the case to permit the court to identify which of Defendant’s acts or conduct constituted stalking. After a hearing, the circuit court granted Plaintiff’s petition for a protection order on the grounds that some of Defendant’s actions and social media posts concerning Plaintiff amounted to stalking. Defendant appealed, arguing, among other things, that the circuit court’s order was not supported by proper findings. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the circuit court’s findings did not clearly identify how the evidence met the statutory elements of stalking, and therefore, the case must be remanded for proper findings. View "Thompson v. Bear Runner" on Justia Law

by
In this action to quiet title to real property owned by Defendants under a claim of adverse possession, the Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court finding that Plaintiff was entitled to the disputed property by adversely possessing it for forty years and dismissing Defendants’ counterclaim to quiet title to an adjacent property under a claim of adverse possession. Defendants opposed Plaintiff’s adverse possession claim on the basis that Plaintiff and his predecessor in interest occupied the disputed property with Defendants’ consent. After filing a counterclaim against Plaintiff, Defendants voluntarily dismissed the counterclaim before trial. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s judgment in this case, holding (1) permissive use does not ripen into a claim of hostility by the mere transfer of the dominant estate; (2) the circuit court erred by quieting title to the disputed property in favor of Plaintiff because his permissive use never ripened into one of hostility necessary to claim title by adverse possession; and (3) the circuit court abused its discretion by dismissing the counterclaim with prejudice, especially in light of the fact that Plaintiff did not oppose Defendants’ voluntary dismissal. View "Gangle v. Spiry" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s conviction and sentence for possessing a controlled substance (methamphetamine), holding that the circuit court erred by denying Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained from an illegal search and seizure. On appeal, Defendant argued that the search of his person violated the United States Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. The State did not obtain a warrant to search Defendant but argued that the search was valid as an investigatory stop under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) because the State failed to identify a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, Defendant’s search and seizure could not be justified under Terry; and (2) the consent exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement did not apply in this case. View "State v. Kaline" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court granted summary judgment for Debtor in this breach of contract case brought by Creditor to recover unpaid installments under a promissory note. In moving for summary judgment, Debtor relied on an acceleration provision in the promissory note, asserting that the statute of limitations had expired on Creditor’s claim six years after Debtor defaulted. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Debtor, holding that a material issue of fact was in dispute whether Debtor’s conduct following default warranted a different limitation period. View "Work v. Allgier" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts