South Dakota

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Titlesort descending Summary
Adrian v. Vonk


Ranchers sued State for damage to their property from prairie dogs from public lands. The Supreme Court held that statutes governing State's participation in programs to control prairie dogs did not contain express waivers of sovereign immunity; State's statutorily-mandated actions in controlling prairie dogs were discretionary acts, and ranchers' action was barred by sovereign immunity; and statute did not provide for a nuisance cause of action against the State.

Casillas v. Schubauer


Ramona Casillas and Delora Stickelman brought this negligence action after suffering injuries when Casillas' vehicle collided with an eighteen-hundred pound Black Angus bull owned by Ted Schubauer. The appellate court reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment and remanded the action for trial. The court held that, under these circumstances, a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether Schubauer could have reasonably anticipated the black bull would escape and stray onto Highway 83 where Schubauer knew the black bull escaped from a corral when confined with another bull on a prior occasion. Further, the court found there is a split of authority as to whether and to what extent the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies to cases involving collisions between motorists and domestic animals. Therefore, it is for the circuit court to determine whether Casillas and Stickelman are entitled to an instruction on res ipsa loquitur in light of the substantive law and the evidence at trial.

City of Marion v. Schoenwald


To keep excessive numbers of large dogs from becoming a public nuisance, the City of Marion, South Dakota passed an ordinance that, among other things, limited households to four dogs, only two of which could weigh over 25 pounds.  Schoenwald owned three dogs: one shepherd-collie mix weighing 75 pounds and two golden retrievers, weighing 30 pounds and 20 pounds.  She was then notified that by housing three dogs weighing over 25 pounds she was in violation of the ordinance.  She failed to comply with the City's order to remove one dog and was issued a citation.  The Supreme Court reversed the lower court's ruling in Schoenwald's favor and found that South Dakota law permits municipalities broad power to regulate the keeping of dogs; thus the weight limitation included in the City's comprehensive pet ordinance was within its authority. 

City of Pierre v. Blackwell


In this South Dakota case, the owner of a dog declared by an animal control officer to be "dangerous" pursuant to Pierre City Ordinance § 10-3-111 challenged the conviction on the basis that the ordinances themselves were unconstitutional and that his constitutional right to procedural due process has been violated. The court held that the ordinances themselves were constitutional, noting the broad authority municipalities have to regulate pet ownership as a legitimate exercise of police power.  The court reversed and remanded for determination on the factual issue of the dog's dangerousness.  Specifically, if the City opts for a civil hearing, absent exigent circumstances, the owner of a dog is entitled to a due process hearing on the issue of dangerousness. 

Detailed Discussion of South Dakota Great Ape Laws The following article discusses Great Ape law in South Dakota. Generally, in South Dakota, it is unlawful to possess a great ape in the state of South Dakota under the state’s endangered species law. Violation of that chapter is a misdemeanor.In the event that the endangered species law is bridged, South Dakota requires possessors of “captive nondomestic mammals” to obtain a permit. Additionally, great apes are generally protected from intentional abuse and neglect under the state’s anti-cruelty law. The law excludes properly conducted scientific experiments or investigations performed by personnel following guidelines established by the National Institute of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture
Pray v. Whiteskunk


In this South Dakota case, the plaintiff suffered a broken knee after Defendant's Rottweiler brook loose from its owner and ran toward the street, causing plaintiff to fall. Plaintiff brought an action for damages against both the dog owner and the city, specifically alleging the the city knew the dog was dangerous and failed to enforce its vicious animal ordinance. On appeal of the granting of summary judgment for the city, this court found that plaintiff failed to establish that the action taken by the city caused the harm to Pray or exposed her to greater risks, thereby leaving her in a worse position than she was in before the city took action. While this Court found that the city had actual knowledge of the dog's dangerousness, this alone is insufficient.

SD - Assistance Animal - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws


The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

SD - Bite - Chapter 40-34. Dog Licenses and Regulation (Vicious Dog Provisions)


This South Dakota statute provides that a vicious dog, defined as any dog which,

when unprovoked

, in a vicious manner approaches in apparent attitude of attack, or bites, or otherwise attacks a human being including a mailman, meter reader, serviceman, etc. who is on private property by reason of permission of the owner, is a public nuisance.  However, no dog may be declared vicious if an injury or damage is sustained to any person who was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog, or who was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

SD - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes


These South Dakota statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  "Animal," any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish, except humans.  "Cruelty” means to intentionally, willfully, and maliciously inflict gross physical abuse on an animal that causes prolonged pain, that causes serious physical injury, or that results in the death of the animal. Any person who subjects an animal to cruelty is guilty of a Class 6 felony. “Neglect,” means to fail to provide food, water, protection from the elements, adequate sanitation, adequate facilities, or care generally considered to be standard and accepted for an animal's health and well-being consistent with the species, breed, physical condition, and type of animal. Any person who neglects an animal is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Exemptions include regulated scientific experiments using live animals and the destruction of dangerous animals.

SD - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws


These South Dakota statutes comprise the state's dog laws.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, vicious dog laws, and rabies vaccination provisions.

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