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Legal Information: South Dakota

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of November 28, 2023

Can the abuser have a gun?

Once you get a protection order, there may be laws that prohibit the respondent from having a gun in his/her possession.  There are a few places where you can find this information:

  • first, read the questions on this page to see if judges in South Dakota have to power to remove guns as part of a temporary or final order;
  • second, go to our State Gun Laws section to read about your state’s specific gun-related laws; and
  • third you can read our Federal Gun Laws section to understand the federal laws that apply to all states.

You can read more about keeping an abuser from accessing guns on the National Domestic Violence and Firearms Resource Center’s website

What should I do when I leave the courthouse?

Here are some things you may want to consider doing.  However, you will have to evaluate each one to see if it works for your situation.

  • Review the order before you leave the courthouse.  If something is wrong or missing, ask the clerk to correct the order before you leave.
  • Make several copies of the protection order as soon as possible.
  • Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
  • Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on.
  • Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work.
  • Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
  • If the court has not given you an extra copy for your local police, take one of your extra copies and deliver it to them.
  • You may wish to consider changing your locks (if permitted by law) and your phone number.

One week after court, you may want to call your local law enforcement offices to make sure they have received copies of the protection order from the clerk.

You may also wish to make a safety plan.  People can do a number of things to increase their safety during violent incidents, when preparing to leave an abusive relationship, and when they are at home, work, and school.  Many abusers obey protective orders, but some do not and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe.  Click on the following link for suggestions on Safety Planning

I was not granted a protective order. What are my options?

If you are not granted protection order, there are still some things you can do to stay safe.  It might be a good idea to contact one of the domestic violence resource centers in your area to get help, support, and advice on how to stay safe.  They can help you develop a safety plan and help connect you with the resources you need.  For safety planning help, ideas, and information, go to our Safety Planning page.  You will find a list of South Dakota resources on our SD Places that Help page.

If you were not granted a protection order because your relationship with the abuser does not qualify as a family or household member, you may be able to seek protection through a stalking or physical injury order.  You will find more information about this process in the Stalking or Physical Injury Order section of this page.

You may also be able to reapply for a protection order if a new incident of domestic abuse occurs after you are denied the order.

If you believe the judge made an error of law, you can talk to someone at a domestic violence organization or a lawyer about the possibility of an appeal.  Generally, appeals are complicated and you will most likely need the help of a lawyer.

What can I do if the abuser violates the order?

Through the Police or Sheriff (Criminal). If the abuser violates the protection order, you can call 911 to report it to law enforcement. Tell the officers you have a protection order and the abuser is violating it. The abuser can be arrested and prosecuted. Violation of an order can be a Class 1 misdemeanor or, if the violation involves simple assault, aggravated assault, or stalking, it is a Class 6 felony.1 To see the other reasons that a violation of an order of protection can be a Class 6 felony or higher, read section 25-10-13 on our Selected South Dakota Statutes page.

It is generally a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge number in case you want to follow up on your case. Also make sure that the police write a report on the incident even if the abuser is not arrested. This could be valuable legal documentation if you need to prove a violation of the order in the future. If the police do not arrest the abuser, you may be able to file a criminal complaint yourself. You can call your local police department or district court to obtain a complaint form.

Through the Civil Court System (Civil). You may also file for civil contempt for a violation of the order. The abuser is in “civil contempt” if s/he does anything that your protection order tells him or her not to do. To file for civil contempt, go to the clerk’s office in the court that issued your order and ask for the petition.

For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.

1 SDCL § 25-10-13

How do I change or extend the permanent order?

To modify or extend your order, go back to the court where you got it and file a petition with the clerk. If you are filing to extend your order, you must request this renewal before your original order expires.

You can file a motion to modify at the court. The court will assign you a hearing date. The abuser must be served with this form. You will most likely have another full court hearing.1

1 SDCL § 25-10-10

What happens if I move?

If you move within South Dakota, your order will still be valid and good.  It is a good idea to call the clerk to change your address.

Additionally, the federal law provides what is called “full faith and credit,” which means that once you have a criminal or civil protection order, it follows you wherever you go, including U.S. territories and tribal lands.  Different states have different rules for enforcing out-of-state protection orders.  You can find out about your state’s policies by contacting a domestic violence program, the clerk of courts, or the prosecutor in your area.  If you are moving out of state, you should call a domestic violence program in the state where you are going to find out how that state treats out-of-state orders.  If you are moving to a new state, you may also call the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit (1-800-903-0111, ext. 2) for information on enforcing your order there.

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

If I get a protection order, will it show up in an internet search?

According to federal law, which applies to all states, territories, and tribal lands, the courts are not supposed to make available publicly on the internet any information that would be likely to reveal your identity or location. This applies to all of these documents:

  • the petition you file;
  • the protection order, restraining order, or injunction that was issued by the court; or
  • the registration of an order in a different state.1

1 18 USC § 2265(d)(3)