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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  • 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™.

  • Can my South Dakota business be sued in another state?

    Under some circumstances, yes.

    When a business is sued, the lawsuit is usually filed in the state where the business is located. But sometimes a South Dakota business can find itself being sued in another state - and it may be in a state where you don’t even do business.

    How is this possible? 

    There are two primary reasons why your South Dakota business could find itself getting sued in another state:

    Reason #1 - You Do Business In Another State

    Even if your business is based in South Dakota, it may be considered to be doing business in other states. For example, if your business supplies products or services to customers or companies in other states, your customer may be able to file a lawsuit against you in the state where they live. Also, if you have an Internet-based business you likely ship products all over the nation. If you have a manufacturing business and sell through distributors based in other states, you may also be vulnerable to out-of-state lawsuits. Finally, if a customer is injured by one of your products, they can sue you if they believe the injury was caused by a design or manufacturing defect or error.

    Reasons #2 - You Agreed To A "Forum Selection Clause"

    Your business signed a contract with another company that allows for a lawsuit to be filed in another state. Many contracts contain a "forum selection clause" that allows a lawsuit to be filed in the home state of the company that created the contract. Out-of-state companies may decide to have claims against them litigated in the state where they are based or where they feel most comfortable litigating. The courts typically enforce forum selection clauses unless there is no substantial or reasonable relationship with the state named in the clause.

    If you receive notice that a lawsuit has been filed against your company in another state, you should contact a business litigation attorney before you do anything else. Your attorney can then decide whether or not it is proper for your business to be sued in that state. If your company does not have a sufficient connection to that state, you may be able to pursue a dismissal of the lawsuit.

    Do You Need To Speak With An Experienced Business Law Attorney?

    If you need to speak with an experienced business law attorney please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 888.864.9981. We will be happy to discuss your legal options!

  • What is the South Dakota School Counseling Association's Mentoring Program?

    The South Dakota School Counseling Association (SDSCA) offers a Mentoring Program to members who are newer to the field of school counseling or are new to South Dakota.

    SDSCA attempts to match members with experienced school counselors in similar grade levels and/or geographic areas. Mentors field questions, provide information for resources, help with networking, and offer support. 

    For more about the SDSCA's Mentoring Program - click here.

  • Which South Dakota school district employees are considered to be “mandatory reporters”?

    In South Dakota, any person who has contact with a child through the performance of services in any public or private school, whether accredited or unaccredited, as a teacher, school nurse, school counselor, school official or administrator, or any person providing services under S.D.C.L. § 13-27-3 (alternative instruction) must notify the school principal or school superintendent or designee of suspected abuse or neglect.

  • Is prayer allowed at public school football or basketball games?

    No. In Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000), the United States Supreme Court held that a policy permitting student-led “invocations” before football games violates the Establishment Clause. The Supreme Court refused to view the expression as “private speech” because the messages were delivered over the school’s public address system by a student body member under the supervision of school faculty and under a school policy that encouraged public prayer. Under these circumstances, the Supreme Court considered the prayer to be “school-sponsored.”

  • When do school officials have disciplinary authority over students off school grounds?

    In South Dakota, any superintendent, principal, supervisor, and teacher has disciplinary authority over all students while the students are participating in or attending school sponsored activities off school grounds.

    For more information about school disciplinary authority, read Chapter 8 of The South Dakota School Law Deskbook.