Justia South Dakota Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law
by
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court dismissing as untimely Appellant's appeal of an order of the Board of Pardons and Paroles revoking Appellant's parole, holding that the circuit court did not err. Thirty-four days after the Board entered an amended order revoking Appellant's parole the clerk of court received and filed Appellant's pro se notice of appeal. The Board filed a motion to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, claiming it was untimely. The circuit court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court (1) did not err when it dismissed as untimely Appellant's appeal of the Board's decision revoking Appellant's parole; and (2) did not abuse its discretion by denying Appellant's request for a standby attorney at the hearing on the motion to dismiss his appeal. View "Abdulrazzak v. South Dakota Board of Pardons & Paroles" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Lake County Board of Commissioners, sitting as the Lake County Drainage Board (Board), approving the application for permits filed by Steven Carmody and Edward Becker to install drain tile on their respective properties in Lake County, holding that the circuit court did not err when it affirmed the Board's decision to issue the drainage permits. James Carmody objected to both permits and appealed the Board's approval of the permits to the circuit court. The circuit court applied the abuse of discretion standard of review and affirmed the Board's approval of the drainage permits. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court (1) applied the correct standard of review and burden of proof to Carmody's appeal of the drainage permits; and (2) did not abuse its discretion when it affirmed the Board's decision to issue the drainage permits. View "Carmody v. Lake County Board Of Commissioners" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court affirming the decision of the Department of Labor determining that Appellant's knee surgery and related treatment were not compensable, holding that the Department did not err when it concluded that Appellant's work-related injury, in combination with his preexisting condition, did not remain a major contributing cause of his disability, impairment, or need for treatment. Appellant injured his left knee while working for Appellee. Appellee denied liability for Appellant's total knee replacement surgery and post-operative treatment. The Department found the work-related injury neither contributed independently nor was a major contributing cause of Appellant's need for surgery. The circuit court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to prove causation under either S.D. Codified Laws 62-1-1(7)(b) or S.D. Codified Laws 62-1-1(7)(c). View "Armstrong v. Longview Farms, LLP" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the decision of the circuit court dismissing an application for a writ of prohibition, sua sponte, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding that the circuit court erred by dismissing the alternative application for writ of certiorari. Triple K Land, LLC successfully applied to the Hanson County Board of adjustment for a conditional use permit to construct a pig nursery facility. Loren Huber and Amy Nolan-Huber (the Hubers), adjacent property owners, applied for a writ of prohibition, alternatively designating the application as a verified petition setting forth the illegality of the Board's decision. During a hearing, the circuit court granted Triple K's oral motion to intervene. The court then dismissed the application for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) insofar as the circuit court dismissed the claim for writ of prohibition, it did not err; (2) the Hubers complied with the requirements of S.D. Codified Laws 11-2-61, and the circuit court had subject matter jurisdiction to hear the matter by writ of certiorari; and (3) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in granting Triple K's motion to intervene. View "Huber v. Hanson County Planning Commission" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court granting the State's motion to dismiss Appellant's civil action challenging a Department of Corrections (DOC) administrative policy relating to the method and procedures for carrying out capital sentences, holding that provisions of S.D. Codified Laws chapter 23A-27A, rather than the DOC policy, vest members of the executive branch with the authority to carry out a capital sentence. Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. Appellant later brought his civil action claiming that a written policy issued by the DOC relating to the execution of a condemned inmate was invalid because it was not promulgated within the rule-making requirements of the state's Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The circuit court dismissed the complaint, determining that the Policy was not subject to the APA and that the authority of the DOC to carry out a death sentence was derived from S.D. Codified Laws 23A-27A-32, whose provisions were self-executing. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the DOC policy was not subject to the APA's rule-making requirements. View "Rhines v. S.D. Department Of Corrections" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the circuit court affirming the decision of the South Dakota Board of Pardons and Paroles affirming the South Dakota Department of Correction's (Department) calculations of Appellant's parole eligibility for his two sentences under the parole grid in S.D. Codified Laws 24-15A-32, holding that the Department correctly calculated Appellant's parole eligibility. Appellant was sentenced to penitentiary terms for aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon. Before the Supreme Court, Appellant argued that the Department misapplied the parole grid by using one or more of his prior non-violent felony convictions to increase his time until parole. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Department properly applied the parole grid. View "Reck v. South Dakota Board of Pardons & Paroles" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court granting Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment in this declaratory judgment action challenging the validity of a zoning ordinance amendment passed by the Pennington County Board of Commissioners (Board), holding that legal notice was insufficient as to the Board, and therefore, the ordinance was void. The Board proposed an ordinance amendment as to a Pennington County Zoning Ordinance regulating mining permits. The Pennington County Planning Commission (Commission) ultimately voted to approve the amendment. The Board then voted to adopt it. Plaintiffs, three citizens, filed a complaint for declaratory relief seeking a judgment that the ordinance was void for failure to comply with the statutory notice provisions for the public hearings before the Commission and County pursuant to S.D. Codified Laws 11-2-18 and -19. The circuit court granted summary judgment for Plaintiffs. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiffs had standing to challenge the validity of the ordinance and did not waive their objections to the statutory notice requirements; and (2) legal notice was insufficient as to the Board. View "Abata v. Pennington County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court dismissing Appellants’ appeal of a decision of the Butte County Commission as untimely, holding that Appellants’ appeal was timely. The Commission held a public hearing on a petition to vacate a public roadway and section line in Butte County. After considering the petition, the Commission voted to approve the petition. Appellants appealed the Commission’s decision to vacate the public roadway and section line. The circuit court dismissed the appeal as untimely. On appeal, Appellants argued that the Commission’s decision could not “become effective” for purposes of S.D. Codified Laws 31-3-34 until it became enforceable. The County argued in response that the Commission’s decision became “effective” on the last date of publication under S.D. Codified Laws 31-3-9. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a Commission’s resolution and order vacating a road becomes effective under section 31-3-34 twenty days after completed publication under section 31-3-9. View "Olson v. Butte County Commission" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court affirming the decision of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation awarding partial summary judgment in favor of Claimant for existing medical expenses she incurred after she suffered a workplace injury to her right foot that required surgery. This appeal concerned Claimant’s second motion for partial summary judgment to recover existing medical expenses after the Department first award partial summary judgment for Claimant’s incurred medical expenses. Employer and its insurer paid the outstanding medical expenses and then argued that a decision on the second motion was unnecessary because the issue was moot. The Department granted partial summary judgment in favor of Claimant. The circuit court affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s judgment affirming the Department’s decision and remanded to the circuit court with instructions that the court order the Department to vacate its order and dismiss Claimant’s claim for medical expenses, holding that the claim for medical expenses set forth in Claimant’s motion for partial summary judgment became moot prior to the Department’s final order granting summary judgment and was moot when the circuit court reviewed it on appeal. View "Skjonsberg v. Menard, Inc." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court affirming in part and reversing in part the decision of the South Dakota Department of Revenue issuing Carsforsale.com a certificate of assessment for alleged use tax violations, holding that Carsforsale was not entitled to an advertising exemption or a sale-for-resale exemption. Carsforsale was a web-based business that offered dealers and individuals an online forum to advertise their vehicle for sale and also provided website hosting, social media integration, and other services. The Department found that Carsforsale was not entitled to an advertising exemption on disputed services and dismissed Carsforsale’s argument that the purchases of domain names were exempt under the sale-for-resale exemption. The Supreme Court held (1) Carsforsale was not entitled to the advertising exemption; and (2) Carsforsale was not entitled to the sale-for-resale exemption. View "Carsforsale.com v. South Dakota Department of Revenue" on Justia Law