Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s dismissal of an appeal from the cease and desist license revocation order of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, Division of Banking (Division) directing the immediate revocation of the money lender licenses of Dollar Loan Center of South Dakota, LLC, holding that this Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain Dollar Loan’s appeal of the circuit court’s order of dismissal. In dismissing the appeal, the circuit court concluded that there was no statutory right to appeal the order and that Dollar Loan had failed to exhaust available administrative remedies. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Division’s order was not a final agency decision that was appealable within the meaning of S.D. Codified Laws 1-26-30; and (2) the Division’s order was not an intermediate agency decision that was immediately reviewable under S.D. Codified Laws 1-26-30. View "Dollar Loan v. S.D. Department of Labor & Regulation" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s judgment affirming a hearing examiner’s decision that an exemption from taxation for real property be increased to 100 percent but reversed the award of attorney fees, holding that the circuit court correctly upheld the hearing examiner’s decision but erred in its award of attorney fees. The Pennington County Board of Equalization established an exemption of thirty-two percent for the 2017 tax year for real property owned by American Legion Home Association Post 22. On American Legion’s administrative appeal, the hearing examiner concluded that the real property qualified for a 100 percent exemption under S.D. Codified Laws 10-4-9.2. The Supreme Court held that the circuit court (1) did not err in affirming the hearing examiner’s decision that the property was entitled to a 100 percent exemption under the statute; but (2) awarded attorney fees without sufficient information to determine a reasonable fee. The Court remanded the attorney fee issue. View "American Legion Home Ass’n Post 22 v. Pennington County" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court affirming the decision of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation awarding Tammy Lagler, who suffered a workplace injury, permanent-total-disability (PTD) compensation but reversing the decision to award it as a lump sum. The Department determined that Lagler was entitled to PTD compensation and issued a decision granting Lagler’s request for a lump-sum but denying her request for attorney fees. The circuit court affirmed the Department’s decision regarding Lagler’s entitlement to compensation but reversed the Department’s decision to award compensation as a lump sum. The court also reversed the Department’s denial of attorney’s fees. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err by affirming the Department’s decision to award PTD compensation or by reversing the Department’s decision to deny attorney’s fees. The court also correctly determined that Lagler was not entitled to a lump-sum award. View "Lagler v. Menard, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s decision affirming the determination of the South Dakota Department of Labor’s Division of Human Rights (DHR) that there was not probable cause to believe the allegations of Joyce Riggs that Bennett County Hospital and Nursing Home, her former employer, opposed her claim for unemployment benefits in retaliation for her earlier request for permission to bring a companion dog to work. The Supreme Court neither affirmed nor reversed the decision of DHR, but remanded the case back to DHR for further consideration, holding that DHR’s decision was incomplete and the circuit court’s affirmance was premature. View "Riggs v. Bennett County Hospital & Nursing Home" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s judgment reversing the decision of the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, which revoked Defendant’s gaming support license and banned him from entering any gaming establishment in South Dakota, holding that the sanction imposed by the Commission was within its discretion. The Commission revoked Defendant’s license and imposed a sanction after concluding that Defendant mishandled money while working in a casino and that he was untruthful in the subsequent investigation. The circuit court concluded that several of the Commission’s factual findings were clearly erroneous and that the sanction imposed by the Commission was an abuse of discretion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Commission (1) did not err by concluding that Defendant acted dishonestly or fraudulently; and (2) did not abuse its discretion by revoking Defendant’s license and adding him to the exclusion list. View "South Dakota Commission on Gaming v. Johnson" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the circuit court affirming the decision of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission issuing an order accepting the certification of TransCanada Keystone Pipeline LP that it continued to meet permit conditions, holding that the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to hear Appellants’ appeals. The Commission granted a permit to TransCanada to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline in South Dakota. None of the parties in that proceeding appealed the order issuing a permit. Because TransCanada was unable to commence construction within four years, it certified that it continued to meet the permit conditions, as required by S.D. Codified Laws 49-41B-27. After conducting an evidentiary hearing, the Commission accepted the certification. Appellants - the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Yankton Sioux Tribe, and Dakota Rural Action - each appealed. The circuit court affirmed. The Supreme Court consolidated the appeals, vacated the circuit court’s decision, and dismissed the appeal, holding that the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeals. View "In re Keystone XL Pipeline" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court dismissing Appellant’s appeal from a letter sent by the South Dakota Board of Pardons and Paroles denying Appellant’s request to review her parole date again. Appellant, a prison inmate, did not appeal from the Board’s adjudication of her initial parole-eligibility date. Two years later, Appellant requested the Board to reconsider. The Board declined, and Appellant filed an administrative appeal in circuit court. The circuit court dismissed the appeal with prejudice, concluding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction because (1) the Board’s letter was not an appealable “decision, order, or action” within the meaning of S.D. Codified Laws 1-26-30.2; and (2) it did not have subject matter jurisdiction to review the Board’s final parole determination. In affirming, the Supreme Court held (1) the Board’s letter declining an additional review was not a final decision in a contested case that could be appealed to the circuit court; and (2) because Appellant did not appeal the Board’s final determination within thirty days as required by S.D. Codified Laws 1-26-31, the circuit court correctly concluded that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear Appellant’s appeal. View "Peterson v. South Dakota Board of Pardons & Paroles" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s order affirming the Department of Labor’s grant of summary judgment to Fall River County and against Plaintiff, a former County employee, who alleged that the County committed an unfair labor practice in refusing to hold a hearing on her grievance. In dismissing Plaintiff’s petition, the Department concluded that Plaintiff’s claim did not an allege an unfair labor practice because Plaintiff was not an employee at the time she filed her formal grievance. The circuit court affirmed, concluding that the Department of Labor lacked jurisdiction to hear Plaintiff’s claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the County’s refusal to provide a grievance hearing to a former employee did not constitute an unfair labor practice. View "Winslow v. Fall River County" on Justia Law

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At issue was the Meade County Board of County Commissioners’ order approving incorporation of a proposed municipality of Buffalo Chip City and setting an election for voters to decide whether to assent to incorporation. After denying a request to stay the election, the election was held, and a majority of voters chose to incorporate Buffalo Chip City. The Board then declared Buffalo Chip City formally incorporated. The circuit court heard Appellees’ appeal and issued a judgment declaring that the Board’s order was invalid, that the election was a nullity, and that Buffalo Chip City was void. The Supreme Court reversed and vacated the circuit court’s judgment, holding that S.D. Codified Laws 9-3-20 requires that any action challenging Buffalo Chip City’s incorporation be brought by the State, and because Appellees did not bring their suit on behalf of the State, the circuit court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. View "Lippold v. Meade County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law

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At issue was the Meade County Board of County Commissioners’ order approving incorporation of a proposed municipality of Buffalo Chip City and setting an election for voters to decide whether to assent to incorporation. After denying a request to stay the election, the election was held, and a majority of voters chose to incorporate Buffalo Chip City. The Board then declared Buffalo Chip City formally incorporated. The circuit court heard Appellees’ appeal and issued a judgment declaring that the Board’s order was invalid, that the election was a nullity, and that Buffalo Chip City was void. The Supreme Court reversed and vacated the circuit court’s judgment, holding that S.D. Codified Laws 9-3-20 requires that any action challenging Buffalo Chip City’s incorporation be brought by the State, and because Appellees did not bring their suit on behalf of the State, the circuit court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. View "Lippold v. Meade County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law