South Dakota Q&A by Practice Area

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for South Dakota on
Q: I lived with my boyfriend for 10 years. He died in July. Can his father take all his belongings from me?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 9, 2021

Unless your boyfriend had a will leaving his estate to you, it goes to his next of kin. This is why it is SO important for a single person to have an estate plan.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Personal Injury, Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for South Dakota on
Q: We live in a 3 bed 3 bath apartment in vermillion SD. Another roommate and I have ESAS(2catts). No pets allowed complex

Landlords can't charge for ESA. In the contract it states if there's damages at the end of the year we pay for pee test(black light), carpet cleaning, and ventilation system cleaning. It's a really expensive bill. Our landlords are a wife and husband. They're shady and... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 9, 2021

A South Dakota attorney should advise, but your question remains open for four weeks. You could try reposting and adding Landlord-Tenant as a category. There's no guarantee that all questions are ultimately picked up, but you might have better chances of a reply in that category. You could... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for South Dakota on
Q: if the description of mark involves font, the words printed in a different font aren't trademarked correct?
Linda Liang
Linda Liang answered on Sep 8, 2021

You still have the trademark right because, if others use different font but the same words, on a similar product or service, consumers may be led to think that the product or service is from you, hence it will be trademark infringement.

1 Answer | Asked in Products Liability for South Dakota on
Q: My brother (parents are deceased), age 62, has downs downs syndrome and dimentia.

He accidentally, per coroners report, injested part of a Tide Pod. This was the primary cause of death. Is this a case to submit to a Class Action lawsuit and, if so, how does one proceed.


Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 5, 2021

I'm very sorry for the loss of your brother. A South Dakota attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for three weeks. The best way to answer your question could be to reach out to law firms that are affiliated with the lawsuits. I don't know what the current disposition... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for South Dakota on
Q: I have a question about handling small claims lawsuit regarding a medical bill

Over 5 years ago I sent a letter of dispute to a collection agency on the amount owed and showed proof of the amount I owed. The agency did not respond for 3 months. Then I was called about paying it in which I stated they did not contact me in 30 days and that I proved what I owed and was will to... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Mar 28, 2021

A South Dakota attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for two weeks, and time is of the essence in your actions. One possibility is that the first agency contacted your attorney and was not able to come to an agreement, or another possibility is that they did not contact your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for South Dakota on
Q: What is the legal way to replace a trustee of an irrecoverable trust after the former trustee has passed
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 10, 2021

When an initial trustee passes, the successor trustee who is next in line automatically succeeds to the role. If there is no successor trustee, then look to see if the trust has a trust protector who can appoint someone to fill the role. Or sometimes the trust allows the income beneficiaries or... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for South Dakota on
Q: In South Dakota, does the law provide for on option for medical leins to be waived or barred?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jan 24, 2021

A South Dakota attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for two weeks. As a GENERAL matter nationwide, medical liens are not waived by operation of law. They COULD be waived at the discretion of the lienholder. For public agency liens such as Medicaid liens related to treatment in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for South Dakota on
Q: Our Seller died 5 days before closing. No children, no will, only a brother and step brother. How can we Close?

We found out 3 days prior to closing that she passed that last Sunday. What are our next steps to being able to close on our new house? No children on her side and no husband either. Thank you

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 11, 2021

You will need to make a claim against the estate to complete the contract. If nobody opens a probate in a timely fashion, you can hire an attorney to open one yourself. You should talk to a probate attorney right away as this all takes some time and will, unfortunately, delay your closing, so the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Medical Malpractice and Nursing Home Abuse for South Dakota on
Q: Do I have Grounds to sue

So I went to the nursing home where my grandma was staying cause my mom got a call from the hospital saying my grandma was in the hospital and she needed her c-pap machine so I drove to Mitchell SD and got to firesteel and they told me they couldn't find it that her room was empty and that... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Dec 1, 2020

A South Dakota attorney could answer best, but your question remains open for two weeks. Some things aren't fully clear from the description, but the bottom line seems to be that you had a real ordeal and runaround in trying to arrange an oxygen machine for your grandmother, and to compound... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Car Accidents for South Dakota on
Q: Daughter cited for failure to yield. Other driver cited for invalid license for 2nd time. He hit her. Whose at fault

My daughters view was obstructed by vehicles parked illegally at intersection. She slowly proceeded into intersection for a clear view to her right. Didn't see vehicle so continued thru and got t-boned by driver heading west. She was heading north and was nearly thru before getting hit. Both... Read more »

Tyler Young
Tyler Young answered on Jul 31, 2020

Your question is a classic comparative fault question. First, your daughter who was the passenger may have a claim against her sister (collectable from her liability insurance) and the other driver. You should talk with an attorney about her rights.

However, South Dakota has a difficult...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents for South Dakota on
Q: I recently got into an accident with another car trying to switch lanes at an intersection. The cop wrote me citation

For Improper lane change (m2) but with a $0.00 charge but with the fact that I have to show up in court. Do I have to be worried about time in jail or a misdemeanor? I was checking my lanes and didn’t see the other car anywhere before trying to switch lanes.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Apr 2, 2020

A South Dakota attorney would be able to respond in the best manner. As a general matter in virtually all jurisdictions, minor traffic violations are not treated as criminal offenses. If you haven't already by now, see if a South Dakota traffic ticket attorney would offer you a free initial... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for South Dakota on
Q: Can unadopted stepchildren be listed as beneficiaries in a will as "my children"?

I came to the marriage with 2 children. We had 2 more. My husband wants them to be equal beneficiaries, but the online will we used just says "References in the Will to my "children" shall refer to all children of mine whether born or adopted subsequent to the date of this will.... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 24, 2020

Yes, this can be done. An estate planning attorney can help you do this correctly. Online forms are very limited in what they can accomplish.

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents for South Dakota on
Q: The apt complex where I live didn't have the snow plowed & they usually do & my car caught on fire trying to get it out.

Would they be liable for anything?

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 22, 2020

A fire would not be a forseeable event. If you have collision run it through that and let the insurance go after that. However your lease ususally says that ploughing is on them, and if you can make a case that the fire was somehow due to their not ploughing it, make a claim for it..

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law for South Dakota on
Q: If I havent been served papers do I still get my tax return back?
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Feb 9, 2020

This question makes no sense. Try again?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for South Dakota on
Q: I’m on felony probation an this last year my dad committed sucide an I lost it my mind didn’t show up for po meeting an

She put warrants out for my original charges if I explain to judge what happen is it possible not to go to prison on a motion to revoke

Mark Ryan Thiessen
Mark Ryan Thiessen answered on Jan 6, 2020

You can't get the warrant withdrawn all by yourself. Call you attorney and approach in court with him to explain yourself. Expect to be drug and alcohol tested, so be clean. Also bring a death certificate and maybe the funeral information for the Judge. Sorry for your loss.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for South Dakota on
Q: where was the court cases (17-1717) held? What were the names on the Jury that voted 7-2 decision?

I am writing a research paper on this case.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Dec 12, 2019

It looks like it might be a Supreme Court case. Look it up and you should see the names of the justices (don't call them jurors in the paper you submit to your professor - you mention a jury that voted in a 7-2 decision; those are justices, not jurors. Court decisions don't list jurors).... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for South Dakota on
Q: Are there separate probates for dual citizens?

My father was born in Norway. He later moved to the South Dakota and acquired dual citizenship. He died in South Dakota in 2012. His probate has been finalized since then. Not sure how or if that correlates with Norway? We have a mess to deal with as he still has we found out he still has real... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 11, 2019

A probate needs to be opened in every jurisdiction in which the decedent owned property. The jurisdiction where the decedent lived just before he passed away is the main probate and the others are called ancillary probate. That is one reason why trust based estate planning is superior to Will based... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for South Dakota on
Q: My fiance father died without a will a spouse we can't contact and a pending lawsuit

He is his only surviving son and has been cooperating with the attorneys whom contacted him about the lawsuit and has done everything the attorneys has asked him to do the lawyers need medical records what can my husband do to get control of his father's estate we live in new Mexico

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 13, 2019

Hire a probate attorney where his father lived.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for South Dakota on
Q: HOA past and present board members and their families and friends, can they do these things to their neighbors?

Can a HOA board member put dog poop on your door step? Can a HOA board member have get togethers next door and allow their children and friends in your yard, driveway and behind your garage whenever you are gone? Can a HOA board members husband dig underground dog fence and its dug on your property... Read more »

Gary Kollin
Gary Kollin answered on Sep 4, 2019

People CAN do lots of things. It does not mean it that it is right, permissible or legal

There may be law violations like trespassing. You may be able to seek injunctive relief.

There may be other causes of actions.

Consult an attorney directly

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy for South Dakota on
Q: Can a bankruptcy trustee force me to sell or refinance my house in order to satisfy my separated wife’s creditors?

Spouse and I are physically separated but legally married. We share custody of two minor children. She lives in a rented apartment and I remain in the house we purchased jointly - the house where my children spend the majority of their days and nights. She just informed me of her intent to file for... Read more »

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on Aug 4, 2019

Depends on the equity in the house and how much you can protect with your exemption(s). Many more facts are needed to properly answer this question, but above us the short answer.

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