"Statutes of limitations" are laws that set time limits on how long you have to file a "civil" lawsuit, like a personal injury lawsuit, or how long the state has to prosecute someone for committing a crime. These time limits usually depend on the legal claim or crime involved in the case, and they're different from state to state. For example, in some states you may have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit after you were hurt in a car accident, but in other states you may have two years. As general rules:

  • The time period begins to run on the date your claim arises or "accrues," like the day of the car accident, or when a crime is committed, and
  • Once the statute of limitations has expired or "run," you can't file a lawsuit (or be prosecuted for a crime)

Below are the statutes of limitations in South Dakota for various civil claims and crimes. The list doesn't cover everything. Also, the laws may change at any time, so be sure to check the current laws and read them carefully, or talk to an attorney if you have any questions.

Civil

Note: Most of the civil statutes of limitations are in Title 15, Chapter 2 of the South Dakota Codified Laws. You can scroll through the laws in this Chapter to find the statute of limitations for civil claims or "causes of action" not listed below.

Description

Statute

Assault and Battery, 1 year

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-15(1)

Contract (in writing), 6 or 20 years (Depending on if the contract is "under seal")    

S.D. Codified Laws §§ 15-2-13(1) and 15-2-6(2)    

Contract (oral or not in writing), 6 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-13(1)

False Imprisonment, 1 year

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-15(1)

Fraud, 6 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-13(6)

Enforcing Court Judgments, 20 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-6(1)

Legal Malpractice, 3 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-14.2

Libel, 1 year

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-15(1)

Medical Malpractice, 2 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-14.1

Personal Injury, 3 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-14(3)

Product Liability, 3 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-12.2

Property Damage, 6 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-13(4)

Slander, 1 year

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-15(1)

Trespass, 6 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 15-2-13(3)

Wrongful Death, 3 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 21-5-3

Criminal

Note: Most of the criminal statutes of limitations are in Title 23A, Chapter 42 of the Codified Laws. You can scroll through the criminal laws found in Title 22 to find crimes not listed below, and then use Title 23A, Chapter 42 to find the statutes of limitations for those crimes.

Description

Statute

Arson, 7 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-2

Assault and Battery, 7 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-2

Burglary, 7 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-2

Disorderly Conduct, 7 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-2

Kidnapping, No time limit or 7 years (Depending on the facts of the case)

S.D. Codified Laws §§ 23A-42-1 or S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-2

Manslaughter, first degree, No time limit

S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-1

Manslaughter, second degree, 7 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-2

Murder, first degree, No time limit

S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-1

Murder, second degree, No time limit

S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-1

Rape, No time limit or 7 years (Depending on the facts of the case)     

S.D. Codified Laws §§ 23A-42-1 or S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-2  

Receiving Stolen Property, 7 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-2

Robbery, 7 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-2

Theft, 7 years

S.D. Codified Laws § 23A-42-2

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