What is the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Registry? Who has access to it?
The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.
Before moving to South Dakota, the state that issued your protection order may already have entered your order into the NCIC. If not, your order will be entered into the NCIC once your order is registered in South Dakota. All law enforcement officials have access to the NCIC database, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.
How do I register my protection order in South Dakota?
You can go to the office of any clerk of a circuit court in South Dakota to file your out-of-state protection order. You can find contact information for courthouses in South Dakota on our SD Courthouse page and on the South Dakota Judiciary website.
You will need to file a certified copy of your order, along with an affidavit (a sworn written statement) stating that to the best of your knowledge, the protection order you are filing is still in effect and has not been changed in anyway.1 You can get a copy of the Affidavit for Filing a Foreign Protection Order at the clerk of court’s office, or online on the South Dakota Judiciary website.
The clerk of a circuit court will then file the order in the law enforcement protection order database, where police officers can look up your protection order and see that it is valid (real).
Safety Note: The abuser may be notified if you register your protection order in South Dakota, and may be sent a copy of your registered order along with the affidavit form that you sign. If you do not want the abuser to find out that you are in South Dakota, you may not want to register your order. Remember, you do not have to register your order to get it enforced in South Dakota.
If you need help registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in South Dakota for assistance. You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our SD Places that Help page.
1 SDCL § 25-10-12.2
Do I have to register my protection order in South Dakota in order to get it enforced?
You do not have to register your out-of-state order to get it enforced in South Dakota.1 South Dakota state law gives full protection to an out-of-state protection order as long as you can show the law enforcement officer a copy of the order and can truthfully tell the officer that you believe the order is still in effect. It does not have to be entered into the state or federal registry in order to be enforced by a South Dakota police officer, but the officer does need to believe that it is a valid (real) order.2
1 SDCL § 25-10-12.2
2 SDCL § 25-10-12.3
Will the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?
Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.1 However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.
However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to. It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living. We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Safety Tips page. You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our SD Advocates and Shelters page.
1 18 USC § 2265(d)
Can the abuser find out that I am in South Dakota if I register my protection order?
Yes. In South Dakota, when a protection order is registered, the respondent (the abuser) may be given a certified copy of your registered order, which means s/he will know that you have registered the order in South Dakota. In addition, your address may be listed on the registered order as a location the abuser is ordered to stay away from. You may want to request that your address not be listed on the order or the affidavit form. However, it will still be clear that you are in South Dakota, even if your address is not listed.
The court should not give out any of your personal information over the phone, so the abuser cannot call the court and get your current address. The abuser may have access to your file, however, so it is important to communicate with the clerk of court to make sure that your address is not listed anywhere in your public file.
Remember: Whether you register your order or not, there is always a possibility that the abuser could find out what state you have moved to. It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where your abuser is living. We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Safety Tips page. You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our SD Places that Help page.
Does it cost anything to register my protection order?
No. There is no fee for registering your protection order in South Dakota.1
1 SDCL § 25-10-12.2
What if I don't register my protection order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?
Maybe. While neither federal law nor state law requires that you register your protection order in order to get it enforced, if your order is not entered into the state registry, it may be more difficult for a South Dakota law enforcement official to determine whether your order is real, which could take longer to get your order enforced.
If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in South Dakota. To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in South Dakota, go to our SD Advocates and Shelters page.