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State of South Dakota

Methods of Judicial Selection: South Dakota

Limited Jurisdiction Courts

Magistrate
Jurisdiction: receive depositions; issue warrants; conduct preliminary hearings; set bail; appoint counsel; trials of criminal misdemeanors; trials of small claims actions < $8,000; trials of civil actions < $10,000*
Selection of Judges: appointment by presiding circuit judge with supreme court approval**
Retention of Judges: reappointment**
Qualifications: U.S. citizen; state resident; voting resident within circuit; magistrate judges must be licensed attorneys; lay magistrates must be high school graduates

*The jurisdiction of courts presided over by lay magistrates is more limited than that of courts presided over by magistrate judges.

**Lay magistrates are appointed by the presiding circuit judge and serve at the pleasure of the presiding circuit judge, while magistrate judges serve four-year terms.