Like many other states, South Dakota has a three-tiered court system. Cases originate in either of the bottom tiers depending on their severity, while the top level is reserved for appeals and administrative issues.
At the bottom level are magistrate courts, which are mainly used for preliminary criminal hearings and civil cases involving amounts under $12,000.
The second-tier courts are the district courts, which handle a wide range of legal matters including large civil cases, criminal cases, domestic relations, juvenile issues, and traffic infractions. The district courts also handle estate and probate cases, as well as appeals from the magistrate courts.
Appeals of decisions made in the district courts go straight to the Supreme Court, which is the court of last resort in the state. This court also handles administrative matters, such as bar admissions and court disciplinary procedures.
When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated South Dakota attorney by location and by practice area.