Know the Laws: South Dakota
UPDATED November 8, 2016
Protection Orders due to Domestic Violence
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A protection order is a civil order that provides protection from harm by a family or household member.
back to topWhat is a protection order?
A protection order (sometimes called a restraining order) is paper which is signed by a judge and tells your abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. It offers civil legal protection from domestic abuse to both women and men victims. A protection order can protect you for up to five years.*
* SDCL § 25-10-1(3)
back to topWhat is the legal definition of domestic abuse in South Dakota?
This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a protection order against domestic abuse.
Domestic violence in South Dakota is when a "family or household member" does any of the following to you:
- causes physical harm or bodily injury;
- attempts to cause physical harm or bodily injury;
- inflicts fear of imminent physical harm or bodily injury; and/or
As a general rule, the legal definition of domestic abuse does not include verbal and/or emotional abuse unless they cause fear of physical abuse. However, threats of physical harm may be seen as domestic abuse in South Dakota law.
Under South Dakota law, domestic abuse does not include property damage.
To read the exact wording of the law, please see the SD Statutes page
*SDCL § 25-10-1(1)
back to topHow can a protection order protect me?
A protection order can:
- order the abuser to avoid all personal contact with you;
- order the abuser to move out of and/or stay away from your home, business, school or other locations;
- order the abuser to stop all harassing, threatening and violent behavior;
- order temporary custody and/or visitation;
- order temporary child support;
- order the abuser to attend counseling;
- order parenting classes by the Dept. of Social Services;
- order the abuser to surrender all firearms, and bar him from buying or transporting firearms;
- order the abuser to do anything else you ask for and the judge agrees to.*
Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.
* SDCL § 25-10-5
back to topIn which county can I file for a protection order?
You can file a petition in the county where you live, or in the county where the abuser lives.*
* SDCL § 25-10-2
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