South Dakota Public Records

Gaining access to most public records and a wide range of information in the state of South Dakota is not only legal, but also a right. South Dakotans have the right to obtain and copy many records maintained by both state and local agencies.

South Dakota’s public records law that gives South Dakotans the right to access the state’s public records is known as South Dakota Sunshine Law. The law gives any person the ability to access and copy all records and information that are subject to it. According to the law, all government records and information must be made available to the public unless stated otherwise by the statute or court order.

The purpose of requesting for the records need not to be disclosed, and there is no restriction to what the records and information may be used for once obtained.

South Dakota Criminal Records

Criminal records checks in South Dakota can be done on almost everyone, with simple, detailed background checks that give a wide range of information. Precisely, the background checks provide arrest records, arrest warrants, felonies, misdemeanors, serious traffic violations, sex offender listing, parole information, juvenile criminal records, conviction records, jail and inmate records, and probation records.

Many South Dakota criminal records are maintained in secured online depositories which are made available in the form of Criminal Background Checks to the public.

You can get any information about South Dakota correctional facilities, inmates in the system, and services for victims on the South Dakota Department of Corrections website. You will find an Official Search page on the site that will help you locate an offender. You will be prompted to enter either a Last Name and a First Name or a Doc Id. It will give you the offender’s current location, all charges, and expected release date.

South Dakota Court Records

All the records produced in all courts in the state of South Dakota are generally classified as public records with the exemption of those that have been sealed by the court. To get copies of the court proceedings, simply make your request through the contact desk, or contact the appropriate court office. When requesting for these records, you should provide the case number, when the case was filed, and the particular court where the case was filed.

South Dakota Vital Records

South Dakota’s vital records for birth, marriage, divorce, fatal death and death are maintained by the Office of Vital Records.

  • Birth records: Most birth records in South Dakota prior to 1905 are available at specific counties where the birth or death was recorded. To get a copy of birth record, you need to send a written request to the South Dakota Department of Health. This is the department where all birth records from 1905 to present are maintained. South Dakota started registering births in the early 1900s but statewide registration of births and full compliance began in 1932.
  • Death records: Registration of deaths began officially in the state of South Dakota in 1905, but there was no full compliance until 1932. Most death records in South Dakota prior to 1905 are available at specific counties where the birth or death was recorded. To get a copy of death record, you need to send a written request to the South Dakota Department of Health. This is the department where all birth and death records from 1905 to present are maintained.
  • Marriage records: All marriage records in South Dakota are available from 1905 to present at the State Department of Health. To obtain marriage records prior to 1905, you should send a written request to the county treasurer in that particular county where the marriage took place.
  • Divorce records: All records of divorce proceedings in South Dakota are available from 1905 to present at the State Department of Health. To get copies of divorce records prior to 1905, you should send a written request to the county treasurer in that particular county where the final decree was made.

It is good to know what South Dakota public records law says in regards to gaining access to public records. Such information will be very important for you when conducting private investigation or any form of background check. It will also help you know what records are available for sharing with the public.

South Dakota state court system

Understanding how the system of South Dakota state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.

South Dakota Courts Overview

When you understand the court system of South Dakota State, you will know which court to go to for what court records. To make your work easier, start searching for court records in South Dakota by simply going to courts by county.

The trial court system of South Dakota State consists of Magistrate Courts and Circuit Courts.

Circuit Courts

South Dakota Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction to handle all types of cases, both criminal and civil cases. However, Circuit Courts generally handle only those cases that Magistrate Courts have no jurisdiction over.

Criminal cases generally handled by these courts include certain municipal ordinance violations, some misdemeanors, and felonies.

Civil cases generally handled by South Dakota Magistrate Courts include the general civil claims with up to $12,000 in damages. These courts also handle probate matters, domestic relations, juvenile matters, and equity cases, including annulment, domestic violence protection, conservatorships, annulment, divorce, guardianship, disputes over the boundary or title to real property, proceedings in equity, and proceedings in chancery.

Some Circuit Courts operate drug court divisions for handling some types of nonviolent criminal cases committed by persons with substance abuse problems.

Magistrate Courts

South Dakota Magistrate Courts have exclusive jurisdiction to handle certain types of criminal and civil cases. Criminal cases generally handled by Ministration Courts include many violations of municipal ordinances, misdemeanors trials, and preliminary hearings for all types of criminal cases. Magistrate Courts also have some jurisdiction over committals, forfeiture of bonds, acceptance of pleas, and other types of proceedings connected to criminal cases.

Typical civil cases that Magistrate Courts handle include damage claim, many general civil cases, property prized at less than $12,000, and damage claim. Every Magistrate Court has a Small Claims division that handles certain types of civil claims with less than $12,000.

South Dakota Magistrate Courts also handle requests for short-term abuse protection orders. They can also handle certain mental health cases. Besides, Magistrate Courts also handle cases that are under the jurisdiction limit of drug courts when the cases are assigned to them by the Circuit Courts.

Tribal Courts

Besides Magistrate Courts and Circuit Courts, South Dakota State has Tribal Courts system. These courts are independent and handle civil cases between tribal members. They also handle violations of tribal ordinances.

The Official Website of South Dakota County

Rapid City The City of Rapid City South Dakota
Aberdeen Aberdeen, SD – Official Website
Brookings Brookings, SD – Official Website
Watertown Watertown, SD – Official Website
Mitchell Mitchell, SD | Official Website
Yankton City of Yankton, SD
Pierre Pierre, SD – Official Website
Huron City of Huron, SD
Spearfish Welcome to City of Spearfish, SD
Vermillion Vermillion, SD | Official Website
Box Elder Box Elder, South Dakota | City of Box Elder The City of Box Elder, South Dakota is home of the Ellsworth Air Force base and welcomes you to the Gateway of the Black Hills.
Sturgis Official Website of the City of Sturgis, SD Official Website of the City of Sturgis, SD
Belle Fourche Official Website for the City of Belle Fourche, South Dakota Official Website for the City of Belle Fourche, South Dakota
Tea History – Tea, South Dakota Official Site for the City of Tea, South Dakota
Hot Springs Hot Springs, SD – Soak in Hot Springs Soak in the discovery of a lifetime in Hot Springs, South Dakota with unique attractions for all ages!
Minnehaha County Minnehaha County, South Dakota Official Website
Pennington County Pennington County, South Dakota Official website for Pennington County, South Dakota
Lincoln County Lincoln County South Dakota Official Website Lincoln County Official Website – South Dakota Official Website
Brookings County Brookings County, SD – Official Website
Codington County Codington County – Watertown, Florence, Henry, Kranzburg, South Shore, Wallace, and Waverly
Meade County County of Meade
Lawrence County Lawrence County, SD | Official Website
Yankton County Yankton County
Davison County Davison County
Hughes County Hughes County – South Dakota
Oglala Lakota County Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota
Lake County Lake County
Roberts County Roberts County, South Dakota
Grant County Welcome to GRANT COUNTY, ND
Spink County Spink County Government, Redfield SD 57469
Hamlin County Hamlin County, SD Government Hamlin County, South Dakota official government website with information of services provided by the county offices.
Lyman County Lyman County – Here to Serve You
Clark County Clark County

South Dakota Arrests and Inmate Search

Jail – Bennett County Sheriff’s Office – Martin, South Dakota Bennett County Jail
Brookings County Detention Center | Brookings County, SD – Official Website Brookings County Jail Inmate Search
Brown County Jail | Brown County Brown County Jail
Butte County Sheriffs Office, Belle Fourche South Dakota 57717 Dispatc Butte County Sheriff’s Office
Zuercher Portal Clay County Inmate Roster
Detention Center – Codington County Sheriff’s Office Codington Detention Center
Sheriff’s Office – Custer County, South Dakota Custer County Sheriff’s Office
Hamlin County Sheriff’s Office – Official Site Hamlin County Jail
County Jail | Lawrence County, SD View information about the Lawrence County Jail, including important information for inmates and visitors, and a helpful FAQ.
Sheriff — County of Meade Meade County Sheriff’s Office
Minnehaha County, South Dakota Official Website – Sheriff’s Office Minnehaha County Inmate Listing
Sheriff’s Office Moody County Sheriff’s Department
Current Inmates – Pennington County, South Dakota Official website for Pennington County, South Dakota
Sheriff – Roberts County, South Dakota Roberts County Sheriff
Spink County Sheriff’s Dept, Redfield SD 57469 Spink County Jail Information
Sheriff – Turner County, South Dakota Turner County Jail Info
Jail | Union County Sheriff Union County Jail
Yankton County Sheriff Yankton County Jail
Offender Locator :: SD Dept of Corrections South Dakota Department of Corrections
South Dakota Attorney General South Dakota Background Checks
UJS Home South Dakota Unified Judicial System Case Lookup
South Dakota Sex Offender Registry South Dakota Sex Offender Registry