Eviction Process

Eviction Statute

SDCL 21-16-2. Notice to quit required before commencement of proceedings - Service and return. In all cases arising under subdivisions 21-16-1(4), (5), and (6), three days' written notice to quit must be given to the lessee, subtenant, or party in possession, before proceedings can be instituted, and may be served and returned in like manner as a summons is served and returned. On the second service attempt, at least six hours after the previous service attempt, the notice to quit may be posted in a conspicuous place on the property, and also delivered to a person there residing, if such person can be found; and also sent by first class mail addressed to the tenant at the place where the property is situated.

Summons & Complaint

If the defendant does not leave at the end of the three days, the next step is the Summons and Complaint. The defendant may be made to answer in four days instead of the standard thirty days. The case may be brought to trial in two days.

Execution for Possession

After a judgment has been issued, then an Execution for Possession may be obtained. The Execution for Possession is also known as a Lockout. The lockout allows the Sheriff’s Office to remove the defendant from the property. If the tenant moves out, the eviction will most likely end. The landlord may continue action for any rent or any damages to the property.

Locks to the Residence

The landlord is responsible for contacting a locksmith if they do not have keys to the residence. We recommend the landlord change the locks to secure the residence.

Renter's Property

If the landlord has the Sheriff’s Office remove a person from the residence and property is left in the residence, the landlord, not the Sheriff’s Office, is responsible for the safe keeping of the renter’s property.

Property Abandonment

Property having a total reasonable value of less than $500 is considered abandoned by the tenant after 10 days of the tenant's move from the rental. The property may then be disposed of by the landlord according to the abandoned property laws. Property with a total reasonable value over $500 must be stored by the landlord for 30 days after the tenant moves. If the tenant does not claim the property during the 30 days, the landlord may treat the property as abandoned and dispose of it according to law. If the property is claimed by the tenant during the 30 days, the landlord may make the tenant pay reasonable cost and storage.

More Information

For more information, please contact the:
South Dakota Office of Attorney General
1302 E Highway 14
Suite 1
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: 605-773-3215
Fax: 605-773-4106
South Dakota Office of Attorney General Website