Get Answers to Your Highest Priority South Dakota Legal Questions

Swier Law Firm FAQ


Have questions? We have answers! Our South Dakota attorneys answer the questions they hear most often from clients just like you.

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  • Can you keep your farming operation after a South Dakota divorce?

    Possibly. Most people going through a divorce do not consider the option of keeping the farming operation intact. Typically, most thoughts go to dividing the farm/ranch assets and inventory. However, there is another option - keeping the business intact. This has several advantages, especially if this is a multi-generational farm family business.

  • Why should you be careful about posting on social media during Coronavirus?

    As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, most people in South Dakota are being encouraged to stay inside and socially isolate themselves from others in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. To find a distraction and some entertainment, this is resulting in more social media postings. Because of this, it is important to realize how these platforms can impact the outcome of divorce and custody proceedings. 

    You must be aware that improper social media posting can have a negative impact on your case. You should never make posts that are negatively directed to your former spouse or soon-to-be former spouse. Also, "debating" with your former spouse on social media can result in negative consequences. Discussing your case or bad-mouthing your partner will likely work against you.  

    Finally, other behavior that could impact the outcome of your divorce can include posting certain pictures. Posting pictures of you drinking or partying could be used against you in terms of child custody. Posting pictures of new purchases and vacations can result in arguments regarding alimony or child support payments. 

    Make sure that you're careful with your social media postings during this unprecedented time!

  • What Will Be The Required Application Documents For The PPP?

    Here is a list of what we believe you'll need for a lender to process your PPP application:

    • Completed Application
    • Completed SBA Paycheck Protection Program Application Form (SBA Form 2483)
    • Articles of Incorporation/Organization of each borrowing entity
    • By Laws/Operating Agreement of each borrowing entity
    • All owners Driver’s Licenses (front and back)
    • Certification Form executed by the recipient
    • Payroll Expense verification documents may include, but not limited to, the following (subject to change once SBA guidelines have been released): 
      • IRS Form 940 and 941
      • Payroll Summary Report with corresponding bank statement
      • If a Payroll Summary Report is not available, Employee Pay Stubs as of February 15, 2020 (or corresponding period) with corresponding bank statement
      • Breakdown of payroll benefits (vacation, allowance for dismissal, group healthcare benefits, retirement benefits, etc.)
      • 1099s (if Independent Contractor)
      • Certification that all employees live within the United States. If any employees do not live in the Unites States, provide a detailed list with corresponding salaries of all employees outside the United States
      • Trailing twelve-month profit and loss statement (as of the date of application) for all applicants.
    • Most recent Mortgage Statement or Rent Statement (Lease)  
    • Most recent Utility Bills (Electric, Gas, Telephone, Internet, Water) 

  • How should teacher non-renewal issues be dealt with in the age of coronavirus?

    Over the past few days, we've had a number of questions regarding South Dakota's teacher non-renewal laws and their applicability in the age of the coronavirus. Here are five fundamentals for teacher non-renewals and our law firm's suggestions as to how to move forward.

    Fundamental #1 - Reasons Needed for Non-Renewal of Tenured Teacher's Contract

    SDCL 13-43-6.1 provides:

    A school district may non-renew a teacher who is in or beyond the fourth consecutive term of employment as a teacher with the school district (i.e., a "tenured" teacher) for just cause, including

    • breach of contract;
    • poor performance;
    • incompetency; 
    • gross immorality;
    • unprofessional conduct;
    • insubordination; 
    • neglect of duty; or
    • the violation of any policy or regulation of the school district.

    Fundamental #2 - Date By Which Recommendation for Non-Renewal of Tenured Teacher's Contract Must Be Given

    SDCL 13-43-6.3 provides:

    After a teacher is in or beyond the fourth consecutive term of employment as a teacher with the school district (i.e., a "tenured" teacher), the superintendent or chief executive officer must notify the teacher and the school board in writing of the recommendation to not renew the teacher's contract on or before April fifteenth.

    Fundamental #3 - Reasons Needed for Non-Renewal of Non-Tenured Teacher's Contract

    SDCL 13-43-6.3 provides:

    Until a teacher is in or beyond the fourth consecutive term of employment as a teacher with the school district, a school board may or may not renew the teacher's contract.

    In other words, an administrator does not have to give any reason for the non-renewal of a non-tenured teacher's contract.

    Fundamental #4 - Date By Which Recommendation for Non-Renewal of Non-Tenured Teacher's Contract Must Be Given

    SDCL 13-43-6.3 provides:

    The superintendent or chief executive officer must give written notice of nonrenewal to a non-tenured teacher by April fifteenth.

    Fundamental #5 - Does the Coronavirus Impact These Non-Renewal Dates?

    Our law firm's recommendation is that school administrators should continue to follow the law which requires notice of non-renewal be given on or before April fifteenth. Although we are all in "unchartered waters" when it comes to the coronavirus' impact on our schools, the most prudent way of moving forward is to continue to follow the law as written.

    If you have any questions regarding these issues, please feel free to contact our office.

  • Does South Dakota recognize a same-sex marriage from another state?

    Yes. South Dakota does recognize a marriage between two persons of the same gender which was contracted from another state.

  • If a South Dakota school district overlaps county boundaries, what county is considered to be the school district’s county of residence?

    A school district which overlaps boundaries of a county is considered to be in the county where the majority of the children belonging to the district reside as determined by the fall submission of student enrollment data. 

  • Where are my marriage license and related records kept in South Dakota?

    The South Dakota Department of Health maintains marriage licenses issued and records of marriages solemnized in our state.

  • Does a minor need the consent of a parent or guardian to marry?

    Yes. If either person is a minor, no marriage license can be granted unless the written consent of the person’s parent or guardian is filed with the county register of deeds.

  • Does a school district have to provide students the opportunity to recite the pledge of allegiance?

    Yes. Under South Dakota law, a school district must provide students the opportunity to salute the United States and the flag each day by reciting the pledge of allegiance.

  • May a school district require the random drug testing of students who participate in extracurricular activities?

    Yes. In Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls, the United States Supreme Court held that mandatory, suspicionless drug testing of public high school students participating in extracurricular activities is a constitutionally reasonable intrusion that furthers a public school’s legitimate interest in deterring drug use among children. 

    The Supreme Court further found that a public school does not need to demonstrate a pervasive drug problem among the population subject to testing to warrant the intrusion. 

    In sum, the Supreme Court determined that the government’s compelling interest in preventing and eradicating drug use among children outweighs the limited privacy expectations held by public middle and high school students. 

    For more information about searches and seizures in our state's public schools, read Chapter 18 of the South Dakota School Law Deskbook™.