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What Court Staff Can Do For You

The court staff is here to help you in whatever way they can. Their role is to provide you with information, not legal advice. They have been instructed not to answer questions if they do not know the answer, or if your question requires advice instead of information. They may refer you to other resources to help you more effectively.

WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU

We can give you information on a court case, unless it is unavailable or restricted by law. You may be charged a search fee or copy fee.

We can provide you with general information on court rules, procedures, and practices.

We can give you court-approved forms for Small Claims, Protection Orders, Divorce and Child Visitation cases. Forms are not available for other proceedings at this time.

We can assist you in filling out those forms listed above.

We can give you general information on deadlines.

We can give you general information on scheduled court matters and how to get matters set before a judge.

WHAT WE CANNOT DO

We cannot tell you what to say in court.

We cannot tell you what a judge will or might do.

We cannot provide you with any information that we would not provide to all other parties in a case.

We cannot tell you if you should take any particular action.

We can not allow you to speak directly to a judge. All such communications must be in writing with copies to all parties involved in the action.


ABOUT LEGAL ADVICE Court staff is here to provide you with information, not legal advice. Court staff cannot act as your attorney. If you choose to represent yourself, you will have the same responsibilities as an attorney.

One of your rights is to consult with a lawyer. If you can’t afford an attorney in a criminal matter, you can ask the judge for a court-appointed lawyer. You will have to fill out a financial form (available from the clerk) to make sure you qualify. You will be required to reimburse the county for the costs of a court-appointed attorney.

Whenever a party or an attorney representing a party commences a civil action or files an answer or first responsive pleading in a civil action, the party or attorney representing the party is required to file a completed civil case filing statement containing identifying information available to that party or attorney regarding all parties, including the adverse party, with the clerk of court. The civil case filing form is available in the clerk’s office or on our website.

Resources are also available through the state’s court website: ujs.sd.gov.

ABOUT FEES

Court staff does not determine how much to charge a customer, nor when to collect fees. Those are set out under state law and are ordered by judges. Our typical fee schedule is as follows:

Fees charged under SDCL 16-2-29, 16-2-29.1, 16-2-29.5 and 16-2-45:

Filing fee in most probate cases $120
Filing fee in divorce cases $95
Filing fee in modification(support/visitation) $50
Filing fee in civil cases $70
Transcript of judgment fee $ 5
Execution fee $ 5
Records searches $5-15
Subpoenas $ 2
Certifying a copy $ 2
Appeals – Clerks Fee $50
Supreme Court Appeals $100

Fees and Costs under other statutes:

Federal Judgement $ 5
Law library fees $ 5
Removal from Small Claims $35
Appeal from magistrate court $10
Small Claims variable
Court Automation variable
Marriage fees (not license) $20
”Liquidated costs” $40
Victims compensation $ 2.50
NSF check service charge $30

The clerk will be able to explain these and any other fees to you.

There are other additional fees charged according to South Dakota law: These include:

Appearance by non-resident attorney $200
Appeal Bonds - $500 (SDCL 15-26A-23)

These amounts are effective as of the date of printing. PLEASE ASK THE CLERK what the current fees and costs are for your particular case. The clerk can also explain these fees to you or direct you to the relevant laws that apply.


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