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 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.

  • In South Dakota, who has disciplinary authority over students on school grounds?

    Any superintendent, principal, supervisor, and teacher has disciplinary authority over all students while the students are in school or participating in or attending school sponsored activities on school grounds.

  • In South Dakota, what is undue influence in estate planning?

    In South Dakota, undue influence consists of someone taking unfair advantage of another, especially when they hold real or apparent authority over them. An example of this is a caregiver for an elderly person who isolates them from their family and convinces them to leave most or all of their assets to the caregiver. Essentially, the person exerting undue influence takes unfair advantage of another person’s frailty of mind or body to get an unfair advantage over them. Undue influence can come from an outsider, such as the caregiver, or could come from a family member.

  • As a new business owner in Sioux Falls, I've been told that I should consider all of my workers to be "independent contractors." Is this true?

    No. Most small business owners worry about initial start-up costs and continuing overhead expenses.

    One popular "myth" that small business owners often hear is that designating your workers as "independent contractors" and not as "employees" is a great money-saving technique.

    However, there are strict legal definitions of employees and independent contractors.  And any business that incorrectly classifies its workers can create significant legal liability relating to taxes, workers’ compensation, wage-and-hour issues, and unemployment insurance.

  • Is a school district required to accept credits from a transfer student?


    Yes. A school district must accept credits for any course completed in any other accredited school district under the open enrollment program. However, the nonresident district must award a diploma to a nonresident student only if the student satisfactorily meets its graduation requirements.

  • My wife and I signed a premarital agreement before our marriage. My wife now wants to change this agreement. How can a premarital agreement be changed in South Dakota?

    In South Dakota, once the parties have been married, a premarital agreement may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by the parties.