South Dakota
Eviction Process

The CDC issued a halt on evictions until Dec. 31 for qualifying renters. Click here

Timeline. Evicting a tenant in South Dakota can take around 5 weeks to 3 months, depending on the reason for the eviction. If tenants request a jury trial, the process can take longer (read more).

Questions? To chat with a South Dakota eviction lawyer online now, Click here

Below are the individual steps of the eviction process in South Dakota.

Step 1: Notice is Posted

Landlords in South Dakota can begin the eviction process for several reasons, including:

  1. Nonpayment of Rent – Once rent is past due, notice must be served before the landlord can proceed with the eviction process.
  2. Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement – If a tenant violates a provision of a written lease/rental agreement, the landlord is not required to give tenants the opportunity to correct the issue before moving forward with the eviction process.
  3. No Lease / End of Lease Term (Tenant at Will) – If there is no lease or the term of the lease has ended, the landlord does not need any additional reason to end the tenancy as long as proper notice is given.
  4. Sale of Rental Unit – If the rental unit is sold, tenants may be evicted as long as prior written notice is given.
  5. Falsely Claiming to Need Service Animal – If a tenant claims to need a service animal when they do not, the landlord may evict the tenant.
NOTES
  • Retaliatory Evictions. It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for complaining to the landlord or to the appropriate local or government agency regarding the property. It is also illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for joining, supporting, or organizing a tenant organization or union.
  • Evicting a Squatter. If the individual occupying the property didn’t have the landlord’s permission when moving in, doesn’t have a lease/verbal agreement, and has no history of paying rent, then a landlord/tenant relationship may not be established. As a result, the normal eviction process may not be applicable (read more).

Each possible ground for eviction has its own rules for how the process starts.

Eviction Process for Nonpayment of Rent

A landlord is allowed to evict a tenant for failing to pay rent on time.

According to South Dakota law, rent is considered late is if it not paid for 3 days after it’s due.

Once rent is past due, the landlord must provide tenants with a 3-Day Notice to Quit if the landlord wants to file an eviction action with the court. This notice gives the tenant 3 days to move out of the rental unit in order to avoid eviction.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

Eviction Process for Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement

A tenant can be evicted in South Dakota if they do not uphold their responsibilities under the terms of a written lease/rental agreement.

South Dakota landlords are not required to allow tenants to correct a lease violation in these instances, and the amount of notice required, if any, is not specified at the state level.

Typical lease violations under this category could include things like damaging the rental property, having too many people residing in the rental unit, and having a pet when there’s a no-pet policy.

Note that illegal activity may be included in this category.

Eviction Process for No Lease / End of Lease

In the state of South Dakota, if tenants “hold over,” or stay in the rental unit after the rental term has expired, then the landlord must give tenants notice before evicting them. This can include tenants without a written lease and week-to-week and month-to-month tenants.

Often this type of eviction applies to tenants who are at the end of their lease and the landlord doesn’t want to renew.

The amount of time required in the notice depends on the length of the tenancy, and must be at least the amount of time given to pay rent (such as one week for week-to-week tenants), or 30 days , whichever is less.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

Eviction Process for Sale of Rental Unit

In the state of South Dakota, if the rental property is being sold, and the tenancy will not continue under the new owner(s), landlords must provide their tenants with 3 days’ written notice prior to beginning the eviction process.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may continue with the eviction process.

Eviction Process for Falsely Claiming to Need a Service Animal

Tenants who falsely claim that they have a disability which requires the use of a service animal may be evicted by their landlords.

It is unclear under South Dakota state law how much prior written notice, if any, is required before landlords can begin the eviction process in this instance.

Questions? To chat with a South Dakota eviction lawyer online now, Click here

Step 2: Complaint is Filed and Served

As the next step in the eviction process, South Dakota landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate circuit or magistrate court. In the state of South Dakota, this costs $70 in filing fees.

The summons and complaint may be served on the tenant by a sheriff, constable, or anyone authorized by South Dakota law, and at least two service attempts must be made (one week apart) within 30 days of the date the summons was issued by the court.

Service can be made through one of the following methods :

  1. Giving a copy to the tenant in person
  2. Leaving a copy with someone at the rental unit (2nd service attempt)
  3. Posting a copy in a conspicuous place on the rental unit AND mailing a copy (2nd service attempt)
  4. Publishing a copy in a local paper (can be done with 1st service attempt)

30 days. The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant within 30 days of the date the summons is issued by the court.

Step 3: Answer is Filed

South Dakota tenants are required to file a written answer with the court if they want to contest, or object to, the eviction hearing.

The answer must be filed within 4 days of the date the summons was served on the tenant, or if the summons was served by publication, within 30 days of the date the summons was published in the local paper.

Tenants may request a 14-day continuance if they cannot file a written answer within the 4- or 30-day deadline.

If tenants fail to file a written answer with the court, the judicial officer may issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord, meaning the tenant would have to move out of the rental unit without being able to attend an eviction hearing.

4-30 days, depending on how the summons was served on the tenant. If tenants request a continuance, this could add another 14 days to the process.

Step 4: Court Hearing and Judgment

The eviction hearing may be scheduled as soon as 2 days after the tenant’s answer is filed with the court.

If the tenant fails to appear for the hearing, the judicial officer may issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord, meaning the tenant will have to move out.

Either the landlord or tenant can request a jury trial, but this will add more time to the process.

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, an Execution for Possession will be issued and the eviction process will continue.

~2 days. The eviction hearing may be held 2 days after the tenant’s answer is filed with the court.

Step 5: Execution for Possession is Issued

The Execution for Possession is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit, and gives them the opportunity to remove their belongings before the sheriff returns to the property to forcibly remove the tenant.

If the court has ruled in the landlord’s favor, the court will issue an Execution for Possession. South Dakota state law doesn’t specify how quickly the Execution for Possession will be issued after the ruling in favor of the landlord.

A few hours to a few days. South Dakota state law doesn’t indicate when courts must issue the Execution for Possession.

Step 6: Possession of Property is Returned

South Dakota state law doesn’t specify how quickly the Execution for Possession must be enforce once it is received by law enforcement officials; however, the writ can only be served during the daytime .

Tenants should be prepared to move out of the rental unit immediately, just in case.

A few hours to a few days. South Dakota state law doesn’t specify how quickly tenants must move out once the Execution for Possession is issued.

Questions? To chat with a South Dakota eviction lawyer online now, Click here

South Dakota Eviction Process Timeline

Below is a summary of the aspects outside of the landlord’s control that dictate the amount of time it takes to evict a tenant in South Dakota. With that being said, these estimates can vary greatly, and some time periods may not include weekends or legal holidays.

  1. Initial Notice Period – between 3 and 30 days, depending on the notice type and reason for eviction.
  2. Issuance/Service of Summons and Complaint – 30 days.
  3. Answer is Filed – 4-30 days, depending on how the summons was served on the defendant. If a continuance is requested, this could add another 14 days to the process.
  4. Court Hearing and Ruling on the Eviction – 2 days after the answer is filed with the court; longer if a jury trial is requested.
  5. Issuance of Execution for Possession – a few hours to a few days.
  6. Return of Possession – a few hours to a few days.

Flowchart of South Dakota Eviction Process

For additional questions about the eviction process in South Dakota, please refer to the official legislation, South Dakota Codified Laws §21-16 and §43-32, for more information.