Articles Posted in South Dakota Supreme Court

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Two township residents appealed the circuit court’s denial of their request that the court issue a writ of mandamus compelling the township to repair and maintain two secondary roads. The court concluded that the township proved that it was unable to perform its mandatory duty to repair and maintain the roads. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion when it denied the writ because the township proved that it was unable to perform its legal duty because it would be unable to procure the funds necessary to repair and maintain the roads, and because the township proved that it had not willfully placed itself in a position where it could not perform its legal duty. View "Asper v. Nelson" on Justia Law

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Dustin Nelson filed an application for a conditional-use permit to construct and operate a concentrated animal-feeding operation in Grant County. The Grant County Board of Adjustment voted to approve the application. Geraldine and Barth Adolph petitioned the circuit court for a writ of certiorari to review the legality of the Board’s decision. The circuit court affirmed. The Adolphs appealed, arguing (1) the Board’s decision was illegal because Nelson’s proposed project violates the Zoning Ordinance for Grant County; and (2) Nelson presented a new waste-disposal plan at the public hearing, denying them an opportunity for meaningful participation. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding (1) although the Board regularly pursued its authority in most respects, it erroneously believed that past environmental violations of a prospective applicant are never relevant in considering whether to approve an application; (2) the Adolphs were not denied due process during the public hearing; and (3) the Board did not exhibit bias requiring a new hearing. View "Adolph v. Grant County Board of Adjustment" on Justia Law

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In 2015, the Sully County Board of Adjustment granted a conditional use permit (CUP) to Ring-Neck Energy & Feed, LLC for an ethanol plant. Petitioners filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the circuit court alleging that the Board’s decision granting the CUP was illegal. Ring-Neck Energy intervened and moved to quash the writ and dismiss the petition as untimely. The circuit court determined that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because the petition was untimely under S.D. Codified Laws 11-2-61. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Petitioners failed timely to appeal the Board’s decision to grant a CUP to Ring-Neck Energy. View "Hyde v. Sully County Bd. of Adjustment" on Justia Law

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In 2007, Brant Lake enacted an ordinance regulating the use of public and private sewers and requiring connection to the public sewer. In 2014, Brant Lake notified Steven and Gloria Thornberry that, pursuant to the ordinance, they must install suitable toilet and sanitation facilities in their dwelling and connect those facilities to the main public sewer line within sixty days. When the Thornberrys had no taken any steps to connect to the main sewer system over a year later, Brant Lake brought this action seeking to enjoin the Thornberrys from using or occupying their property until they connected their dwelling to Brant Lake’s sewer line. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of the Thornberrys, concluding that the ordinance did not apply to the Thornberrys. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Brant Lake’s ordinances, as written, did not require the Thornberrys to connect to its public sewer system. View "Brant Lake Sanitary Dist. v. Thornberry" 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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A county Board of Adjustment granted Developer a conditional use permit for a concentrated animal feeding operation. Petitioners challenged the Board’s decision, arguing that the Board did not have jurisdiction to grant the permit because the county had failed to validly enact the ordinance authorizing the Board to issue permits. The circuit court affirmed the Board’s decision. In so doing, the court refused to consider whether the county validly enacted the ordinance, deciding that such review would be outside the scope of Petitioners’ writ challenging the Board’s decision. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Petitioners had standing to appeal the Board’s decision; and (2) the circuit court erred when it refused to consider the validity of the ordinances enacted by the county, as review in this case was not beyond the scope of the writ. View "Lake Hendricks Improvement Ass’n v. Brookings County Planning & Zoning Comm’n" on Justia Law

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The Dewey County Commission (the Commission) granted an application to erect a power distribution line in a section line right-of-way bordering Margaret Upell’s property. Upell filed a notice of appeal of the Commission’s decision with the circuit court. Upell served her notice of appeal by mail on counsel for Coop and on the Dewey County State’s Attorney. But she did not serve a member of the board of county commissioners as required by SDCL 7-8-29. She appealed to the circuit court which dismissed her appeal for lack of jurisdiction. She then appealed to the South Dakota Supreme Court. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal. View "Upell v. Dewey Cty. Comm'n" on Justia Law

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Developers obtained a conditional use permit to build a dairy on Owner’s property in Brookings County. The City of Hendricks and others (collectively, City) filed a petition for writ of certiorari in circuit court challenging the permit. The circuit court affirmed the grant of the permit. City appealed. Developers filed a notice of review to challenge City’s standing but did not serve their notice of review on Owner. City moved to dismiss Developers’ notice of review/cross-appeal, arguing that Owner was a party required to be served with the notice of review. The affirmed, holding (1) Owner was a party required to be served with Developers’ notice of review, and Developers’ failure to serve Owner required dismissal of their notice of review/cross-appeal; and (2) neither S.D. Codified Laws 15-6-5(a) nor Developers’ alleged alignment of interests with Owner excused Developers’ failure to serve Owner. View "Lake Hendricks Improvement Ass’n v. Planning & Zoning Comm’n" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a property owner, sought to expand the buildings on his property and, accordingly, asked the City to rezone a portion of his property zoned within the Flood Hazard Zoning District. The City denied the request along with Plaintiff's building permits because the proposed expansion extended to a portion of Plaintiff's property zoned within the Flood Hazard Zoning District. After unsuccessfully appealing to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, Plaintiff filed a complaint with the circuit court, which included a writ of certiorari, a request for declaratory judgment, a writ of mandamus, a civil rights claim, and a state constitutional claim. While the suit was pending, the City partially granted Plaintiff's rezone request. The circuit court subsequently denied Plaintiff's writ of certiorari and granted summary judgment in favor of the City on the remainder of Plaintiff's claims. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in dismissing Plaintiff's writ of certiorari and granting summary judgment in favor of the City on Plaintiff's remaining claims. View "Parris v. City of Rapid City" on Justia Law

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Lamar Advertising submitted applications to Rapid City for sign building permits, which would allow Lamar to convert six traditional billboards to digital signs. The City denied Lamar's applications, finding that a conditional use permit was required to alter an existing off-premises sign. Lamar petitioned the circuit court for a writ of certiorari, arguing (1) the City, in at least 100 prior instances, allowed Lamar to alter existing signs without first obtaining a conditional use permit, and therefore, the City should be estopped from now requiring a conditional use permit; and (2) the City's denial was beyond its jurisdiction as an effort to improperly regulate digital billboards in contravention of existing ordinances. The circuit court denied Lamar's petition. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the City acted in an irregular pursuit of its authority when it denied Lamar's six applications for sign building permits. View "Lamar Adver. of S.D., Inc. v. Zoning Bd. of Adjustment" on Justia Law