Category Archives: South Dakota

South Dakota

How Many Courts?

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Here at CourtReference, we’ve quite familiar with the court systems in every state. Unless you have business with courts in many different states, you may not be aware of how different court systems can be from state to state.

The basic structure is not so different; each state usually has a trial court in which the parties argue both the facts and the law in front of a judge or jury. The judge decides how to apply the law, and the judge or jury decides which facts are true and which are not – in other words, which party … Read More

Legal Help for Seniors

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Many businesses and government agencies give special treatment to people over a certain age. That age limit is usually around 60, 65, or somewhere in between. If you’re a “senior”, an “elder”, or otherwise in that category, you can usually get discounts from private enterprise on things like meals, hotels, and movie tickets. From the government, you can get a lifetime pass to National Parks for only $10.

When it comes to the justice system, seniors don’t get any breaks. If you’re accused of a crime, or sued for damages, the law only cares about your age if you’re a … Read More

Court Appearances by Television

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This blog has been following the expansion of the use of technology in the justice system. See our posts about electronic filing (2010), court appearances by telephone (2011), and fighting tickets online (2012).

Video technology is also being embraced by the courts. One well-established use of video is the recording of depositions. A deposition is the sworn oral testimony of a party or witness that takes place prior to trial. Depositions are a form of evidence, and they are normally taken in court reporters’ or lawyers’ offices. Video is simply used to record the testimony, and replaces … Read More

Non-Lawyer Judges: Justices and Magistrates

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“Justice of the Peace” is an imposing title. Almost like Justice of the Supreme Court? Not quite; A Justice of the Peace presides over a court of limited territorial and subject-matter jurisdiction, and is addressed as “Judge” more often than “Justice”. Justices of the Peace were originally English quasi-judicial officers who volunteered to preserve the “king’s peace” in their local county or borough. Important qualifications for the position were land ownership and connections with the monarchy (and later, with the Lord Chancellor and Parliament).

American colonists brought the Justice of the Peace system with them, and it persisted throughout the … Read More

Online Crime Data and Reporting

Law enforcement agencies are in the business of tracking crime, but did you also know that they want to provide the public with the opportunity to do so as well? Police department’s and law enforcement agencies across the country are publishing their crime data online, allowing citizens to see what crimes are occurring in their area, research calls for service history, or even submit a crime report online.

For example, the Antioch Police Department in California provides online public access to crime maps, crime statistics, and calls for service reports. You can view crime maps and statistics that include … Read More

New Database Makes Car Fraud Data Accessable to Public

In the market for a used car? In addition to checking out all those little mechanical issues like brakes, the engine, etc., you may also consider checking on the history of the car. A history check can include not only prior owners, but whether or not you are about to purchase a stolen vehicle. As a result of a recently concluded lawsuit, it is now easier for everyday people to check the fraud status of a vehicle.

A database called the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) finally became available for public access on January 30, 2009. Apparently Congress … Read More