Know the Laws: South Dakota
UPDATED November 8, 2016
A protection order is a civil order that provides protection from harm by a family or household member.
There are two types of protection orders against domestic abuse available in South Dakota:
Temporary Orders. A temporary protection order is granted on an emergency basis. You must be able to show the judge that you face immediate injury, loss or damage unless the order is granted. A judge can grant you a temporary ex parte order even if the abuser does not know you are requesting it. An ex parte temporary protection order is effective for a period of thirty days (until the court hearing on your final protection order) unless the judge believes there is "good cause" to grant a continuance for another thirty days. Note: A continuance can be for longer than thirty days if the parties agree or if law enforcement cannot find the respondent to serve him/her with the ex parte protection order. If a continuance is granted, the court must extend the ex parte temporary protection order until the rescheduled hearing date.*
Final Protection Orders. You must attend a court hearing to be awarded a final protection order. The abuser will also be able to attend the hearing. You will both have a chance to tell the judge your side of the story. A final protection order can last for up to five years.**
* SDCL §§ 25-10-6; 25-10-7
** SDCL § 25-10-1
A protection order against domestic abuse protects you from abuse by any person in one of the following relationships with you:
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?
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.