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Know the Laws: South Dakota

UPDATED May 31, 2017

Protection Orders due to Domestic Violence

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A protection order is a civil order that provides protection from harm by a family or household member.

Who can get a protection order

back to topAm I eligible to file for a protection order against domestic abuse?

A protection order against domestic abuse protects you from abuse by any person in one of the following relationships with you:

  • your spouse or ex-spouse
  • anyone with whom you are/were in a "significant romantic relationship" (if the relationship has ended, it must have ended within the last 12 months); 
  • anyone with whom you have had a child or with whom you are expecting a child (even if you were never married);
  • your parent or child (through blood, adoption, guardianship, or marriage); or
  • your sibling or half-sibling (through blood, adoption, or marriage).*

To decide if your relationship is a “significant romantic relationship,” the judge will consider:

  • the length of the relationship;
  • how often you and the other party interact; and
  • the characteristics and type of relationship.**

If someone who is not in one of these relationships with you is hurting you, there are different laws designed to protect you.  You may be eligible for a protection order against stalking, physical injury, or a crime of violence.

The law does not address the process of how a minor (person under 18 years of age) can get a protection order.  If you are a minor, speak to a local domestic violence organization for help on how to get a protection order.

* SDCL § 25-10-3.1
** SDCL § 25-10-3.2

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back to topCan I get a protection order against a same-sex partner?

In South Dakota, you may apply for a protection order against domestic abuse against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Am I eligible to file for a protection order against domestic abuse?  You must also be the victim of an act of domestic abuse, which is explained here What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in South Dakota?

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back to topHow much does it cost to file for a protection order? Do I need a lawyer?

There is no fee to file a final or temporary protection order.

You do not need a lawyer to file for a protection order. However, you may wish to have a lawyer, especially if your abuser has a lawyer.  If you can, contact a lawyer to make sure that your legal rights are protected.

If you cannot afford a lawyer but want one to help you with your case, you can find information on legal assistance on the SD Finding a Lawyer page.  Domestic violence organizations in your area also should be able to help you through the legal process and may have lawyer referrals.  You can find a domestic violence organization in your area by visiting SD State and Local Programs page.

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