En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Know the Laws: South Dakota

UPDATED May 31, 2017

Protection Orders due to Domestic Violence

Print this page
View All

A protection order is a civil order that provides protection from harm by a family or household member.

Basic information

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)

Did you find this information helpful?

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
  • stalks you.*

* SDCL § 25-10-1(1)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWhat types of protection orders against domestic abuse are available? How long do they last?

There are two types of protection orders against domestic abuse available in South Dakota:

Temporary Orders. A temporary protection order is granted on an emergency basis.  You must be able to show the judge that you face immediate injury, loss or damage unless the order is granted.  A judge can grant you a temporary ex parte order even if the abuser does not know you are requesting it.   An ex parte temporary protection order is effective for a period of thirty days (until the court hearing on your final protection order) unless the judge believes there is "good cause" to grant a continuance for another thirty days.  Note: A continuance can be for longer than thirty days if the parties agree or if law enforcement cannot find the respondent to serve him/her with the ex parte protection order.  If a continuance is granted, the court must extend the ex parte temporary protection order until the rescheduled hearing date.*

Final Protection Orders. You must attend a court hearing to be awarded a final protection order.  The abuser will also be able to attend the hearing.  You will both have a chance to tell the judge your side of the story.  A final protection order can last for up to five years.**

* SDCL §§ 25-10-6; 25-10-7
** SDCL § 25-10-1

Did you find this information helpful?

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/her 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

Did you find this information helpful?

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

Did you find this information helpful?

back to top