South Dakota Court Records
The county court had original jurisdiction over all matters of probate, guardianship, and settlement of estate, as well as civil and criminal jurisdiction as may be conferred by law. The circuit courts held some case files, judgments, and depositions related to civil and criminal actions, naturalization records, and juror lists. In November 1972, the state’s constitution covering the Judicial Department was amended to create a unified judicial system. All judges then became either circuit court judges or state supreme court judges. This eliminated former county or district courts. Many of the counties simply left their old files with the clerk of the courts in the county. However, the state archives in Pierre has notified all counties that they can transfer their old files to the archives. A few South Dakota counties have turned over some of their court records to the state archives, which also holds criminal dockets for Huron, Beadle County (1919–23); Jones County (1919–39); Mellette County (1912–57); and Minnehaha County (1890–96, 1923–73) with police dockets (1884–1909).