What is a Small Claims Court?
In South Dakota, small claims court is a division operating in each county court. It provides a quick and inexpensive way of resolving many types of disputes you have with particular individuals or companies. Small claims court can hear only lawsuits in the amount of $12,000 or less. More
Filing a Small Claims Court?
In South Dakota, the first step in filing a small claims lawsuit is obtaining and filling out the necessary forms consisting of a statement of claim and a notice. Once these forms are filed, they must be served in person or by mail to the defendant to provide adequate notice of the lawsuit. More
Small Claims Trials
In South Dakota, a small claims court may schedule a pretrial hearing before your trial. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, they must appear for trial. At trial, both parties have the opportunity to speak to the judge and ask questions of each other and witnesses. More
Witnesses at a Small Claims Trial
Witnesses are people who come to court to tell what they've seen or heard. If you believe someone can provide essential information, but the person is unwilling to appear in court, ask the clerk of court to issue a witness subpoena compelling the person to appear. More
After Small Claims Court
After a judgment in a small claims trial, an unsatisfied party may file a motion for a new trial 10 days from the date of the judgment. However, an appeal of a small claims court judgment isn't allowed in South Dakota. More
Collecting the Judgment
Obtaining a judgment against a party isn't the same thing as collecting that judgment. Post-judgment legal procedures are often required prior to any collection. In South Dakota, you have multiple options to collect the money that's owed to you. More
Alternatives to Small Claims Court
Mediation is an alternative to small claims court. It's an informal process in which the parties work out a solution to their problem with the help of a neutral person called the mediator. The process is designed to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. More