South Dakota

(information last updated January 2019)

Ongoing Projects:

State Project(s):

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (“DENR”) partners with the East Dakota Water Development District and the South Dakota Discovery Center to support volunteer water quality sampling efforts. See Watershed Protection - Volunteer Watershed Activities, S.D. Dep’t of Environment & Nat. Resources, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks manages volunteer surveys for Osprey and Peregrine falcons. See Conservation Matters, S.D. Game, Fish & Parks, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


Collection of Information:

Ag-Gag Law:

“No person, without consent, may:

(1) Intentionally damage or destroy an animal facility, an animal, or property in or on the animal facility, or obstruct any enterprise conducted at the animal facility; . . .

(3) Enter an animal facility, not then open to the public, with intent to commit any act prohibited by this section;

(4) Enter an animal facility and remain concealed, with intent to commit any act prohibited by this section;

(5) Enter an animal facility and commit or attempt to commit any act prohibited by this section.” S.D. Codified Laws § 40-38-2.


“No person may, without consent, and with the intent to obstruct the enterprise conducted at the animal facility, enter or remain on an animal facility, if the person had notice that the entry was forbidden or received notice to depart but failed to do so.”  Id. § 40-38-3 (emphasis added).


Private parties can recover treble damages in a civil suit.  Id. § 40-38-5.


Scientific Collection Permit:

“A person or institution must apply for a scientific collector’s license on forms provided by the [Department of Game, Fish and Parks]. The form must contain complete information on the species and numbers of nests, eggs, and wild animals, including any part thereof, requested to be collected, the method of collection, the locations of collection, the collection period, what the purpose or use of the collected specimens will be, the institution for which collections are being made, and final disposition of the specimens collected.” S.D. Admin. R. 41:09:16:02.




Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  In order for entry upon property to constitute criminal trespass, “notice against trespass [must be] given by: [a]ctual communication . . . [p]osting . . . or . . . fencing.”  S.D. Codified Laws § 22-35-6.

Other Provisions:

See supra “Ag-Gag Law.”

Drone Laws:

Surveillance Law:

Any person who “intentionally uses a drone to photograph, record, or otherwise observe another person in a private place. . . or lands a drone on the lands or waters of another resident . . . without the owner’s consent…is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.” S.D. Codified Laws § 22-21-1.


The above section does not apply to “law enforcement officers, or to those acting under the direction of a law enforcement officer, while engaged in the performance of the officer’s lawful duties… [,] a drone operator operating a drone for commercial or agricultural purposes pursuant to or in compliance with federal aviation administration regulations, authorizations, … [or] an emergency management worker operating a drone within the scope of the worker’s duties.” S.D. Codified Laws § 22-21-1.

State Parks:

In order to fly in state parks drones must: (1) be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration; (2) fly within visual line of sight; (3) fly below 400 feet; (4) fly only during daylight; (5) not be used to eavesdrop or engage in any other type of surveillance in a private place; (6) not be used to harass game birds or wild animals (e.g., bison); (7) not fly in a manner that causes serious public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm to any other person, makes unreasonable noise; (8) not distrub any lawful assembly or meeting of persons, or obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic; and (9) not fly in a manner which interferes with the management of the area or the authorized use of the area by others. See Drone Use On or Above South Dakota State Park Lands, S.D. Game, Fish and Parks, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). 

Stalking Laws: 

Criminal Law:

“No person may:

(1)  Willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow or harass another person;

(2)  Make a credible threat to another person with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury; or

(3)  Willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly harass another person by means of any verbal, electronic, digital media, mechanical, telegraphic, or written communication.

A violation of this section constitutes the crime of stalking.” S.D. Codified Laws § 22-19A-1.  


Civil Law:

“In addition to the criminal penalty provided in § 22-19B-1, there is a civil cause of action for malicious harassment.  The victim of malicious harassment may recover both special and general damages, including damages for emotional distress, reasonable attorney fees and costs, and punitive damages.  The civil cause of action for malicious harassment is in addition to any other remedies, criminal or civil, otherwise available under law.”  S.D. Codified Laws § 20-9-32.

Use of Information: 

Although our research is incomplete, these provisions address the use of information collected by citizens.

Explicitly Allows:

“Notwithstanding any other provision, any credible evidence may be used for the purpose of establishing whether a person has violated or is in violation of a[n air pollution control] plan.”  S.D. Admin. R. 74:36:13:07.

Prohibitive by Effect: 

“Credible evidence is as follows: . . . 

(2) The following testing, monitoring, or information gathering methods are presumptively credible testing, monitoring, or information-gathering methods; 

(a) Any federally enforceable monitoring or 

testing methods, including those in 40 C.F.R. Pts. 51, 60, 61, and 75 . . .; 

(b) Other testing, monitoring or informationgathering methods that produce information comparable to that produced by any method in [this section].”  S.D. Admin. Rule 74:36:13:07.

Evidentiary Standards:

Pleading a Claim:

Requires certification that “[t]he allegations and other factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, are likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery.”  S.D. Codified Laws § 15-6-11(b)(3).

Authentication or Chain of Custody:


“To satisfy the requirement of authenticating or identifying an item of evidence, the proponent must produce evidence sufficient to support a finding that the item is what the proponent claims it is.”  S.D. Codified Laws § 19-19-901(a).

Expert Testimony:

Section 19–19–702 and Daubert standard.  See Burley v. Kytec Innovative Sports Equip., Inc., 737 N.W.2d 397, 402-03 (S.D. 2007); State v. Hofer, 512 N.W.2d 482, 484 (S.D. 1994).


Please note that this discussion is not moderated by the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic.