Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in South Dakota Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the circuit court affirming the decision of the South Dakota Board of Pardons and Paroles affirming the South Dakota Department of Correction's (Department) calculations of Appellant's parole eligibility for his two sentences under the parole grid in S.D. Codified Laws 24-15A-32, holding that the Department correctly calculated Appellant's parole eligibility. Appellant was sentenced to penitentiary terms for aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon. Before the Supreme Court, Appellant argued that the Department misapplied the parole grid by using one or more of his prior non-violent felony convictions to increase his time until parole. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Department properly applied the parole grid. View "Reck v. South Dakota Board of Pardons & Paroles" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court granting Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment in this declaratory judgment action challenging the validity of a zoning ordinance amendment passed by the Pennington County Board of Commissioners (Board), holding that legal notice was insufficient as to the Board, and therefore, the ordinance was void. The Board proposed an ordinance amendment as to a Pennington County Zoning Ordinance regulating mining permits. The Pennington County Planning Commission (Commission) ultimately voted to approve the amendment. The Board then voted to adopt it. Plaintiffs, three citizens, filed a complaint for declaratory relief seeking a judgment that the ordinance was void for failure to comply with the statutory notice provisions for the public hearings before the Commission and County pursuant to S.D. Codified Laws 11-2-18 and -19. The circuit court granted summary judgment for Plaintiffs. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiffs had standing to challenge the validity of the ordinance and did not waive their objections to the statutory notice requirements; and (2) legal notice was insufficient as to the Board. View "Abata v. Pennington County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court dismissing Appellants’ appeal of a decision of the Butte County Commission as untimely, holding that Appellants’ appeal was timely. The Commission held a public hearing on a petition to vacate a public roadway and section line in Butte County. After considering the petition, the Commission voted to approve the petition. Appellants appealed the Commission’s decision to vacate the public roadway and section line. The circuit court dismissed the appeal as untimely. On appeal, Appellants argued that the Commission’s decision could not “become effective” for purposes of S.D. Codified Laws 31-3-34 until it became enforceable. The County argued in response that the Commission’s decision became “effective” on the last date of publication under S.D. Codified Laws 31-3-9. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a Commission’s resolution and order vacating a road becomes effective under section 31-3-34 twenty days after completed publication under section 31-3-9. View "Olson v. Butte County Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court affirming the decision of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation awarding partial summary judgment in favor of Claimant for existing medical expenses she incurred after she suffered a workplace injury to her right foot that required surgery. This appeal concerned Claimant’s second motion for partial summary judgment to recover existing medical expenses after the Department first award partial summary judgment for Claimant’s incurred medical expenses. Employer and its insurer paid the outstanding medical expenses and then argued that a decision on the second motion was unnecessary because the issue was moot. The Department granted partial summary judgment in favor of Claimant. The circuit court affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s judgment affirming the Department’s decision and remanded to the circuit court with instructions that the court order the Department to vacate its order and dismiss Claimant’s claim for medical expenses, holding that the claim for medical expenses set forth in Claimant’s motion for partial summary judgment became moot prior to the Department’s final order granting summary judgment and was moot when the circuit court reviewed it on appeal. View "Skjonsberg v. Menard, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court affirming in part and reversing in part the decision of the South Dakota Department of Revenue issuing Carsforsale.com a certificate of assessment for alleged use tax violations, holding that Carsforsale was not entitled to an advertising exemption or a sale-for-resale exemption. Carsforsale was a web-based business that offered dealers and individuals an online forum to advertise their vehicle for sale and also provided website hosting, social media integration, and other services. The Department found that Carsforsale was not entitled to an advertising exemption on disputed services and dismissed Carsforsale’s argument that the purchases of domain names were exempt under the sale-for-resale exemption. The Supreme Court held (1) Carsforsale was not entitled to the advertising exemption; and (2) Carsforsale was not entitled to the sale-for-resale exemption. View "Carsforsale.com v. South Dakota Department of Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s dismissal of an appeal from the cease and desist license revocation order of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, Division of Banking (Division) directing the immediate revocation of the money lender licenses of Dollar Loan Center of South Dakota, LLC, holding that this Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain Dollar Loan’s appeal of the circuit court’s order of dismissal. In dismissing the appeal, the circuit court concluded that there was no statutory right to appeal the order and that Dollar Loan had failed to exhaust available administrative remedies. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Division’s order was not a final agency decision that was appealable within the meaning of S.D. Codified Laws 1-26-30; and (2) the Division’s order was not an intermediate agency decision that was immediately reviewable under S.D. Codified Laws 1-26-30. View "Dollar Loan v. S.D. Department of Labor & Regulation" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court’s judgment affirming a hearing examiner’s decision that an exemption from taxation for real property be increased to 100 percent but reversed the award of attorney fees, holding that the circuit court correctly upheld the hearing examiner’s decision but erred in its award of attorney fees. The Pennington County Board of Equalization established an exemption of thirty-two percent for the 2017 tax year for real property owned by American Legion Home Association Post 22. On American Legion’s administrative appeal, the hearing examiner concluded that the real property qualified for a 100 percent exemption under S.D. Codified Laws 10-4-9.2. The Supreme Court held that the circuit court (1) did not err in affirming the hearing examiner’s decision that the property was entitled to a 100 percent exemption under the statute; but (2) awarded attorney fees without sufficient information to determine a reasonable fee. The Court remanded the attorney fee issue. View "American Legion Home Ass’n Post 22 v. Pennington County" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court affirming the decision of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation awarding Tammy Lagler, who suffered a workplace injury, permanent-total-disability (PTD) compensation but reversing the decision to award it as a lump sum. The Department determined that Lagler was entitled to PTD compensation and issued a decision granting Lagler’s request for a lump-sum but denying her request for attorney fees. The circuit court affirmed the Department’s decision regarding Lagler’s entitlement to compensation but reversed the Department’s decision to award compensation as a lump sum. The court also reversed the Department’s denial of attorney’s fees. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err by affirming the Department’s decision to award PTD compensation or by reversing the Department’s decision to deny attorney’s fees. The court also correctly determined that Lagler was not entitled to a lump-sum award. View "Lagler v. Menard, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s decision affirming the determination of the South Dakota Department of Labor’s Division of Human Rights (DHR) that there was not probable cause to believe the allegations of Joyce Riggs that Bennett County Hospital and Nursing Home, her former employer, opposed her claim for unemployment benefits in retaliation for her earlier request for permission to bring a companion dog to work. The Supreme Court neither affirmed nor reversed the decision of DHR, but remanded the case back to DHR for further consideration, holding that DHR’s decision was incomplete and the circuit court’s affirmance was premature. View "Riggs v. Bennett County Hospital & Nursing Home" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s judgment reversing the decision of the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, which revoked Defendant’s gaming support license and banned him from entering any gaming establishment in South Dakota, holding that the sanction imposed by the Commission was within its discretion. The Commission revoked Defendant’s license and imposed a sanction after concluding that Defendant mishandled money while working in a casino and that he was untruthful in the subsequent investigation. The circuit court concluded that several of the Commission’s factual findings were clearly erroneous and that the sanction imposed by the Commission was an abuse of discretion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Commission (1) did not err by concluding that Defendant acted dishonestly or fraudulently; and (2) did not abuse its discretion by revoking Defendant’s license and adding him to the exclusion list. View "South Dakota Commission on Gaming v. Johnson" on Justia Law