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South Dakota

Local Resources

Stalking often occurs along with other crimes, like domestic violence and sexual assault. While there are no state coalitions for victims of stalking, many domestic violence and sexual assault programs are able to provide assistance. Many of the resources can be confusing to navigate, victim advocates are available to talk to you about protection orders, and your states criminal and civil stalking laws. Victim advocates can also assist you with safety planning, keeping a log of stalking incidents, and how to be safe when using technology. Find services and/or an advocate in your county using the following links:

Protection Orders

A protective order is a legal order issued by a state court that requires one person to stop harming and/or contacting another. Each state may have several types of protective orders: civil protective orders, criminal protective orders, or restraining orders, and they may have different names (for example, in Pennsylvania, there are “protection from abuse” orders). Some protective orders are specific to domestic and interfamilial violence, while others are broader, covering stalking, harassment, sexual assault, and other types of misconduct. An individual can get a protection order when the perpetrator is proven to have acted with intent to cause the victim emotional distress or fear for his/her safety, even when the perpetrator has not been charged or convicted. They permit the victim to call the police to have the abuser arrested if the abuser violates any part of the order.

Click here for more information on protection orders in South Dakota.

Criminal Stalking Laws

Criminal stalking laws define when a perpetrator may be charged with the crime of stalking, and what infractions are required to bring such a charge. The laws usually define various misdemeanor and felony offenses that correlate with the severity of the transgression. Based on police investigation, a state prosecutor will determine what charges to bring against an offender, and will then file charges against the perpetrator (formally known as an indictment). A trial typically follows, and the defendant may be offered a plea agreement. The criminal statute will also delineate potential punishments, if the perpetrator is convicted, which may include probation, house arrest, and incarceration, among others. Restitution may be requested and awarded to the victim by court order following a conviction, usually at a sentencing hearing.

Click here for more information on criminal stalking laws in South Dakota.

Civil Stalking Laws

Civil stalking laws allow victims of stalking to initiate a lawsuit to recover compensation from the perpetrator and any third party that may be responsible for the crime. In a civil lawsuit, there is no possibility of a criminal punishment; instead, the victim plaintiff is suing for actual harm (known as actual damages), punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs. Civil statutes also often provide for victims to obtain protective orders against the perpetrator.

Click here for more information on civil stalking laws in South Dakota.

National Resources

  • VictimConnect Resource Center - Confidential information, support and referrals for victims of crime via telephone, chat and text including safety planning and crime reporting.
  • WomensLaw.org - State-specific legal information related regarding protection orders, custody, divorce, state gun laws and more. WomensLaw.org also operates an email hotline where victims, their family/friends and advocates can write to ask legal questions.

Protection Orders

§22-19A-8  Petition for Protection Order -- Procedure 

There exists an action known as a petition for a protection order in cases of stalking, in cases of physical injury as a result of an assault, or in cases of a crime of violence as defined in subdivision 22-1-2(9). Procedures for the action are as follows:

(1) A petition under this section may be made against any person who violates § 22-19A-1 or against any other person against whom stalking or physical injury as a result of an assault or in cases where a crime of violence is alleged;

(2) A petition shall allege the existence of (a) stalking or (b) physical injury as a result of an assault or (c) a crime of violence, and shall be accompanied by an affidavit made under oath stating the specific facts and circumstances of the stalking or the physical injury as a result of an assault or crime of violence;

(3) A petition for relief may be made whether or not there is a pending lawsuit, complaint, petition, or other action between the parties.

The clerk of the circuit court shall make available standard petition forms with instructions for completion to be used by a petitioner. The attorney general shall prepare the standard petition form.

 

§22-19A-9  Filing Petition for Protection -- Venue
A petition for relief under §§ 22-19A-8 to 22-19A-16, inclusive, may be filed in circuit court or in a magistrate court with a magistrate judge presiding. Venue lies where any party to the proceedings resides.

§ 22-19A-10. Hearing on petition for protection—Date—Notice. (2009)

Upon receipt of the petition, if sufficient grounds are alleged for relief, the court shall order a hearing which shall be held not later than thirty days from the date of the order unless for good cause the court grants a continuance. Personal service of the petition, affidavit, and notice for hearing shall be made on the respondent not less than five days prior to the hearing.

§22-19A-11 Petition for Protection Order -- Relief 

Upon notice and a hearing, if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that stalking has taken place, the court may provide relief as follows:

(1) Restrain any party from committing acts of stalking or physical injury as a result of an assault or a crime of violence as defined in subdivision 22-1-2(9);

(2) Order other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of the person seeking the protection order, including orders or directives to law enforcement officials.

Any relief granted by the order for protection shall be for a fixed period and may not exceed five years.

§22-19A-12  Ex Parte Temporary Order Pending Full Hearing on Petition for Protection 

If an affidavit filed with an application under § 22-19A-8 alleges that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage is likely to result before an adverse party or the party's attorney can be heard in opposition, the court may grant an ex parte temporary protection order pending a full hearing and granting relief as the court deems proper, including an order restraining any person from committing acts of stalking or physical injury as a result of an assault or a crime of violence as defined in subdivision 22-1-2(9). An ex parte temporary protection order is effective for a period of thirty days unless for good cause the court grants a continuance. No continuance may exceed thirty days. If a continuance is granted, the court by order shall extend the ex parte temporary protection order until the rescheduled hearing date. The respondent shall be personally served forthwith with a copy of the ex parte order along with a copy of the petition, affidavit, and notice of the date set for the hearing.

§ 22-19A-13.  Petition for order of protection -- Security not required. (1997)

The court may not require an undertaking or other security of any party to a petition for an order of protection other than in exceptional circumstances.

§ 22-19A-14  Order of Protection -- Modification 

Upon application, notice to all parties, and hearing, the court may modify the terms of an existing order for protection.

§ 22-19A-15.  Order of protection -- Delivery to law enforcement 

The petitioner may deliver an order for protection granted pursuant to §§ 22-19A-8 to 22-19A-16, inclusive, within twenty-four hours to the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner. Each appropriate law enforcement agency shall make available to other law enforcement officers information as to the existence and status of any order for protection issued pursuant to §§ 22-19A-8 to 22-19A-16, inclusive.

§ 22-19A-16   Violation of Protection Order -- Penalties 

If a temporary protection order or a protection order is granted pursuant to §§ 22-19A-8 to 22-19A-16, inclusive, and the respondent or person to be restrained knows of the order, violation of the order is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If any violation of this section constitutes an assault pursuant to § 22-18-1.1, the violation is a Class 6 felony. If a respondent or person to be restrained has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty to, two or more violations of this section, the factual basis for which occurred after the date of the second conviction, and occurred within five years of committing the current offense, the respondent or person to be restrained is guilty of a Class 6 felony for any third or subsequent offense. Any proceeding under §§ 22-19A-8 to 22-19A-16, inclusive, is in addition to other civil or criminal remedies.

§ 22-19A-17. Defendant prohibited from contacting victim prior to court appearance (2010)

While in custody after arrest for assault or stalking, no defendant may have or be permitted any contact or communications, either directly or by means of a third party, with the victim or the family or household members of the victim, until the defendant's initial court appearance or until such contact or communication is specifically authorized by the court. Willful violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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Criminal Stalking Laws

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-1.  Elements – Penalty.(2006)
No person may:

(1)  Willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow or harass another person;

(2)  Make a credible threat to another person with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury; or

(3)  Willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly harass another person by means of any verbal, electronic, digital media, mechanical, telegraphic, or written communication.

A violation of this section constitutes the crime of stalking. Stalking is a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, any second or subsequent conviction occurring within ten years of a prior conviction under this section is a Class 6 felony.


S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-2. Violation when restraining or protection order in effect – Penalty. (1994)
Any person who violates § 22-19A-1 when there is a temporary restraining order, or an injunction, or a protection order, in effect prohibiting the behavior described in § 22-19A-1 against the same party, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-3. Subsequent convictions with violence or threat – Penalty. (1993)
A second or subsequent conviction occurring within seven years of a prior conviction under § 22-19A-1, 22-19A-2 or 22-19A-7 against the same victim, and involving an act of violence, or a credible threat of violence, is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-4. "Harasses" defined. (1993)
For the purposes of this chapter, "harasses" means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-5. "Course of conduct" defined. (1992)
For the purposes of this chapter, "course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct."

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-6. "A credible threat" defined. (1993)
For the purposes of this chapter, "a credible threat" means a threat made with the intent and the apparent ability to carry out the threat. A credible threat need not be expressed verbally.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-7. Felonious stalking – Penalty. (2002)
Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses a child twelve years of age or younger or who makes a credible threat to a child twelve years of age or younger with the intent to place that child in reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury or with the intent to cause the child to reasonably fear for the child's safety is guilty of the crime of felony stalking. Felonious stalking is a Class 6 felony.


S.D.Codified Laws § 22-19A-8. Petition for protection order – Procedure. (2007)

There exists an action known as a petition for a protection order in cases of stalking, in cases of physical injury as a result of an assault, or in cases of a crime of violence as defined in subdivision 22-1-2(9). Procedures for the action are as follows:

(1)  A petition under this section may be made against any person who violates § 22-19A-1 or against any other person against whom stalking or physical injury as a result of an assault or in cases where a crime of violence is alleged;

(2)  A petition shall allege the existence of (a) stalking or (b) physical injury as a result of an assault or (c) a crime of violence, and shall be accompanied by an affidavit made under oath stating the specific facts and circumstances of the stalking or the physical injury as a result of an assault or crime of violence;

(3)  A petition for relief may be made whether or not there is a pending lawsuit, complaint, petition, or other action between the parties.

The clerk of the circuit court shall make available standard petition forms with instructions for completion to be used by a petitioner. The attorney general shall prepare the standard petition form.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-9. Filing petition for protection – Venue. (2008)
A petition for relief under §§ 22-19A-8 to 22-19A-16, inclusive, may be filed in circuit court or in a magistrate court with a magistrate judge presiding. Venue lies where any party to the proceedings resides.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-10. Hearing on petition for protection—Date—Notice. (2009)
Upon receipt of the petition, if sufficient grounds are alleged for relief, the court shall order a hearing which shall be held not later than thirty days from the date of the order unless for good cause the court grants a continuance. Personal service of the petition, affidavit, and notice for hearing shall be made on the respondent not less than five days prior to the hearing.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-11. Petition for protection order -- Relief. (2007)
Upon notice and a hearing, if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that stalking has taken place, the court may provide relief as follows:

(1)  Restrain any party from committing acts of stalking or physical injury as a result of an assault or a crime of violence as defined in subdivision 22-1-2(9);

(2)  Order other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of the person seeking the protection order, including orders or directives to law enforcement officials.

Any relief granted by the order for protection shall be for a fixed period and may not exceed five years. 

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-12. Ex parte temporary order pending full hearing on petition for protection (2009)
If an affidavit filed with an application under § 22-19A-8 alleges that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage is likely to result before an adverse party or the party's attorney can be heard in opposition, the court may grant an ex parte temporary protection order pending a full hearing and granting relief as the court deems proper, including an order restraining any person from committing acts of stalking or physical injury as a result of an assault or a crime of violence as defined in subdivision 22-1-2(9). An ex parte temporary protection order is effective for a period of thirty days unless for good cause the court grants a continuance. No continuance may exceed thirty days. If a continuance is granted, the court by order shall extend the ex parte temporary protection order until the rescheduled hearing date. The respondent shall be personally served forthwith with a copy of the ex parte order along with a copy of the petition, affidavit, and notice of the date set for the hearing.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-13.  Petition for order of protection -- Security not required. (1997)
The court may not require an undertaking or other security of any party to a petition for an order of protection other than in exceptional circumstances.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-14. Order of protection – Modification. (1997)
Upon application, notice to all parties, and hearing, the court may modify the terms of an existing order for protection.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-15. Order of protection -- Delivery to law enforcement. (1997)
The petitioner may deliver an order for protection granted pursuant to §§ 22-19A-8 to 22-19A-16, inclusive, within twenty-four hours to the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner. Each appropriate law enforcement agency shall make available to other law enforcement officers information as to the existence and status of any order for protection issued pursuant to §§ 22-19A-8 to 22-19A-16, inclusive.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-16. Violation of protection order – Penalties. (2004)
If a temporary protection order or a protection order is granted pursuant to §§ 22-19A-8 to 22-19A-16, inclusive, and the respondent or person to be restrained knows of the order, violation of the order is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If any violation of this section constitutes an assault pursuant to § 22-18-1.1, the violation is a Class 6 felony. If a respondent or person to be restrained has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty to, two or more violations of this section, the factual basis for which occurred after the date of the second conviction, and occurred within five years of committing the current offense, the respondent or person to be restrained is guilty of a Class 6 felony for any third or subsequent offense. Any proceeding under §§ 22-19A-8 to 22-19A-16, inclusive, is in addition to other civil or criminal remedies.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-17. Defendant prohibited from contacting victim prior to court appearance (2010)
While in custody after arrest for assault or stalking, no defendant may have or be permitted any contact or communications, either directly or by means of a third party, with the victim or the family or household members of the victim, until the defendant's initial court appearance or until such contact or communication is specifically authorized by the court. Willful violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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Civil Stalking Laws

S.D. Codified Laws § 20-9-32. Malicious harassment -- Civil action (2006)
In addition to the criminal penalty provided in § 22-19B-1, there is a civil cause of action for malicious harassment. The victim of malicious harassment may recover both special and general damages, including damages for emotional distress, reasonable attorney fees and costs, and punitive damages. The civil cause of action for malicious harassment is in addition to any other remedies, criminal or civil, otherwise available under law.

S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19B-1. Malicious harassment – Penalty. (2005)
No person may maliciously and with the specific intent to intimidate or harass any person or specific group of persons because of that person's or group of persons' race, ethnicity, religion, ancestry, or national origin:

(1) Cause physical injury to another person; or

(2) Deface any real or personal property of another person; or

(3) Damage or destroy any real or personal property of another person; or

(4) Threaten, by word or act, to do the acts prohibited if there is reasonable cause to believe that any of the acts prohibited in subdivision (1), (2), or (3) of this section will occur.

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