Articles Posted in South Dakota Supreme Court

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Total Auctions and Real Estate, LLC (Total Auctions) was a licensed automobile dealer that intended to hold automobile auctions in Lincoln County. Total Auctions met with a dealer agent employed by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on how to comply with the applicable law. Total Auctions informed the agent that its business plan included the sale of vehicles consigned from dealers outside Lincoln County, the county of Total Auctions’ place of business. The agent failed to inform Total Auctions that state law prohibited auctioning vehicles consigned from dealers outside Lincoln County. After incurring expenses setting up its business, Total Auctions was informed that there was a problem with the out-of-county consignments. Total Auctions sued the DMV agent, the DMV, its director, and the Department of Revenue and Regulation, alleging negligence and negligent supervision. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Total Auctions’ claimed damages were caused by the agent’s alleged misrepresentation of law, relief was barred as to all claims because misrepresentations of law are not actionable. View "Total Auctions & Real Estate, LLC v. S.D. Department of Revenue & Regulation" on Justia Law

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Westside Gilts RE, LLC submitted an application to the Beadle County Planning Commission for a conditional use permit (CUP) to construct and operate a concentrated animal feeding operation. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the CUP. The Beadle County Board of Adjustment (Board) approved the CUP. Petitioners appealed, arguing that the Board was without authority to issue the CUP because the county zoning ordinances passed in 2011 (Ordinances), which authorized the Board to grant the permit, were improperly enacted. The circuit court reversed the Board’s decision granting the CUP, concluding that the Ordinances were improperly enacted. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the circuit court’s ruling reversing the Board’s decision to grant the CUP, holding that the Ordinances were invalid because the Planning Commission failed to comply with S.D. Codified Laws 11-2-18, and therefore, the Board lacked jurisdiction to grant a CUP; but (2) reversed the circuit court’s order declaring the Ordinances invalid, as the order exceeded the options available to the court under its limited scope of review on certiorari. View "Wedel v. Beadle County Comm’n" on Justia Law

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Curley Haisch and his wife Rose owned Mulehead Ranch. Joe Duling was the Haisches' financial advisor as well as a realtor and broker. When Curley was ninety years old, he decided to sell the ranch and signed a listing agreement with Joe. Approximately one year later, Joe suggested that Curley and Rose form a charitable remainder trust (Trust) into which the ranch and chattels could be gifted. Curley and Rose executed the Trust, to which the Ranch was transferred. The Trustee then sold the Ranch to Joe and Lynne Duling. Later, it was discovered that the Trust contained multiple defects. The Trustee brought suit against the Dulings, their businesses, and the Mulehead Ranch on behalf of the Trust and the Haisches. The complaint alleged negligence, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duties. A jury found in favor of the Trust awarded Plaintiffs $1,568,200, including punitive damages. The Supreme Court reversed in part and remanded for a new trial on damages, holding (1) the circuit court erred in failing to give a proper instruction on the statutes of limitation applicable to Plaintiffs' claims for future tax consequences related to the defects in the Trust; and (2) the court did not err in the remainder of its judgment. View "Bailey v. Duling" on Justia Law

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In a disciplinary proceeding, the South Dakota Real Estate Commission found that Cheri St. Pierre, a licensed broker associate, had engaged in unprofessional conduct involving dishonesty. The Commission suspended her license for one year, but held the suspension in abeyance on conditions, including the payment of a penalty and repayment of the Commission's attorney's fees. The circuit court reversed the Commission's conditional suspension. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court and reinstated all terms of the Commission's conditional suspension except the provision requiring the repayment of the Commission's attorney's fees, holding (1) St. Pierre engaged in unprofessional conduct within the meaning of S.D. Codified Laws 36-21A-71(15); (2) the Commission was without authority to conditionally order St. Pierre to reimburse the Commission for its attorney's fees expenses as part of its discipline; and (3) the Commission had authority to order St. Pierre to pay a $1,000 penalty as a condition of avoiding a suspension. View "St. Pierre v. State ex rel. S.D. Real Estate Comm'n" on Justia Law