South Dakota Rules of Civil Procedure

South Dakota Circuit court Rules of Civil Procedure lay down the rules that should be followed by circuit courts of South Dakota.  The rules govern civil actions.  The rules are promulgated for the smooth and efficient functioning of circuit courts. 

A civil action can be classified into various stages that include: pleading stage, discovery stage, trial stage, and judgment stage.  A civil action commences when the summons is served on the defendant or circuit courts of the State of South Dakota.  A party who commences the action is called the plaintiff, and the opposite party is called the defendant.  The plaintiff or his/her attorney should deliver the summons to the defendant(s).

Different types of pleadings in South Dakota courts  include: Complaint, Answer to Complaint, Counter claim, Reply to counterclaim, Cross claim, Reply to cross claim, Third party complaint and Third party answer.  A complaint should be filed by the real party in interest.  If the real party in interest is a minor or incompetent person, the person’s guardian or conservator should file the complaint.  If a minor or incompetent person does not have a guardian or conservator, s/he may sue by a guardian ad litem.  The courts, if found necessary will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the minor or incompetent person.

Discovery is obtained by parties through:

  • oral examination or written questions;
  • written interrogatories;
  • requests for admission;
  • request for production of documents or other information;
  • request for permission to enter into land or other property for inspection or other purpose; and/or
  • physical and mental examinations.

After commencement of action, a party may demand for trial by jury.  A judgment is passed after trial and it determines the rights of the parties.  Generally, cost of litigation is adjudged to the prevailing party.

South Dakota Rule of Civil Procedure


Inside South Dakota Rules of Civil Procedure