Case Type Definitions
Civil Case Types
Civil cases are cases in which people or companies sue each other in court. They are not about breaking a criminal law.
They include the following types of cases:
Get more information on case types and party roles
- Small claims cases: informal lawsuits between individuals or companies for $12,000 or less
- General civil cases: things like suing over money disputes and contracts, damage to property, or someone getting hurt.
They may also include things like name changes, elder abuse, and civil harassment.
- Family law cases: divorce, annulment, alimony, child support, child custody, and adoptions
- Landlord-tenant cases: a landlord or tenant brings suit due to eviction or requests for money
- Probate cases: taking care of people and their personal affairs like estates, wills, guardianships, and conservatorships
- Juvenile cases: involving minors for things like delinquency and dependency
- Administrative appeals: involve appealing a decision of an administrative agency of government
- Mental health cases: involuntary commitments for substance abuse or mental illness, and forced medications
Criminal Case Types
Criminal cases are cases brought by the state against a person who has broken a criminal law.
Only the state may bring a criminal case, not an individual person.
Get More information about crimes in South Dakota
- Infractions: minor violations, like speeding tickets, which are typically punished by a fine
- Misdemeanors: more serious crimes, like shoplifting, which are punished by up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine
- Felonies: the most serious crimes, like murder, which can be punished with prison time or even the death penalty.