South Dakota State Court Administrator

Court Records

State office

State Court Administrator

State Capitol Bldg

500 E Capitol Ave Pierre, SD 57501-5059

Records Available:

South Dakota’s judicial system, unified in 1972 to eliminate county and district courts, is comprised of three tiers: the Supreme Court, circuit courts of general jurisdiction, and lower courts of limited jurisdiction, all overseen by the South Dakota State Court Administrator. The Supreme Court’s primary function is as an appeals court. The seven circuit courts have original jurisdiction in all civil and criminal cases, while the magistrate courts handle minor criminal cases and less serious civil actions.

Access to South Dakota Court Records

Retrieving Records

While South Dakota has a statewide criminal record search system with records back to 1989, there is no direct public access to this system; requests must be made by mail, phone, fax or in person to a clerk in any of the courts, not necessarily at the court of record. The only searching available online is for civil money judgments. There are independent companies that offer online South Dakota court record searching, unaffiliated with the judicial office.


Each civil/criminal record search request must be submitted to a clerk of any court; each search costs $15 per name. Online judgment searches also cost $15.

Years Available

Civil case information in the statewide search program is available from 2003-present and criminal information 1989-present. Historical records from 1884 are available at the State Archives.