For Immediate Release: Feb. 7, 2024
Contact: Alisa Bousa, Public Information Officer
Alisa.Bousa@ujs.state.sd.us | 605.773.2031
UJS Mourns Passing of Retired Circuit Judge Jeff W. Davis
PIERRE, S.D.— It is with heavy hearts and deep sorrow that the South Dakota Unified Judicial System announces the passing of Retired Judge Jeff W. Davis, who served on the bench for the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Rapid City for 43 years, making him one of the longest serving judges in state history. Judge Davis died on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024.
Davis was born and raised in Rapid City, where he graduated from Rapid City High School. He received a bachelor of science degree and juris doctorate from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Following graduation, Davis served as a law clerk for two judges from 1973 to 1975 and worked in private law practice with Sieler, Sieler & Trimble in Rapid City from 1975 to 1979.
Davis was appointed a magistrate judge for the Seventh Judicial Circuit in 1976 and a circuit court judge in 1979. He served as presiding judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit from 2006 to 2015. During his time on the bench, Judge Davis served on numerous committees and boards including president of the South Dakota Judges Association and on the Judicial Qualifications Commission. He was also instrumental in the Pennington County Courthouse remodel. Judge Davis retired from the bench in 2019.
"In the halls of justice, Judge Davis will forever be remembered as an unwavering defender of the law throughout his entire career. His wisdom, fairness and commitment to justice leave an indelible mark on the legal landscape of our state,” said South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven R. Jensen. “The South Dakota Unified Judicial System extends our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all who were touched by his judicial excellence and dedication.”
About South Dakota Courts: The Unified Judicial System (UJS) consists of the Supreme Court, Circuit Courts and State Court Administrator’s Office. The Supreme Court is the state’s highest court and final decision maker on South Dakota law. The Circuit Courts are the state’s trial courts where criminal proceedings and civil litigation are handled. The State Court Administrator’s Office provides centralized administrative assistance and support services for the South Dakota judiciary. Learn more at https://ujs.sd.gov.