SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The South Dakota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on eight cases Wednesday and Thursday at the University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law in Vermillion. 

The oral arguments will begin at 9 a.m. CT and end at noon each day. The cases scheduled for Wednesday are: Love’s Travel Stop v. City of Wall (9 a.m.), State v. O’Neal (9:45 a.m.), Avera St. Mary’s v. Sully County (10:30 a.m.) and Barr v. Cole (11:15 a.m.).

The cases scheduled for Thursday are: Redlin Trust v. First Interstate Bank (9 a.m.), State v. Richard (9:45 a.m.), Ellingson Drainage v. SD Department of Revenue (10:30 a.m.) and State v. Van Der Weide (11:15 a.m.). 

The members of the South Dakota’s Supreme Court are Chief Justice Steven Jensen, Janine Kern, Mark Salter, Patricia DeVaney and Scott Myren. Lawyers for each side of the case will appear in front of the court to emphasize points of the case and respond to questions from the court. 

Love’s Travel Stop v. City of Wall

The first case to be heard involves Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc. and the City of Wall. Justices will hear the city’s appeal against a circuit court order that found the city in contempt by failing to consider whether any of its city council members had a conflict of interest under state law and whether the circuit court abused its discretion by ordering the city to issue Love’s a building permit. 

The case dates back to Oct. 2019 when Love’s bought property with intent to develop a new travel stop in the tourist town along Interstate 90. In Feb. 2020, the Wall city council denied rezoning and building permit applications to Love’s. 

Michael F. Nadolski, Jeffrey D. Collins, and Dana Van Beek Palmer are the attorneys for Love’s, while Ronald A. Parson, Kent R. Hagg and Stephanie Trask are attorneys for the City of Wall. 

State v. O’Neal

The second case involves a man convicted on 15 child pornography counts from 2018. Michael O’Neal gave his cell phone to an officer of the Sioux Falls Police Department after Christina Guggenberger tipped law enforcement about a topless photo of a 10- or 11-year-old girl. The state then obtained a search warrant four days later to search O’Neal’s phone and found photos alleged to be child pornography. 

O’Neal is appealing the circuit court erred in admitting evidence obtained from his cell phone and that the warrant to search his phone was supported by probable cause. 

O’Neal is also appealing the circuit court violated his due process rights and whether the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to sustain the jury’s verdict that O’Neal knowingly possessed child pornography. 

Attorneys for O’Neal are Loranda Kenyon and Katheryn Dunn, while South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and assistant attorney general Erin Handke will represent the state. 

Avera St. Mary’s Hospital v. Sully County 

The third case involves an immigrant worker from Mexico who suffered a medical emergency while working a seasonal job in Sully County. The worker, identified as J.R., received an emergency appendectomy from Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre and Avera sought reimbursement for his medical treatment from Sully County. 

Sully County board of commission denied Avera’s claim saying J.R. was not a resident of Sully County and denied Avera’s two appeals which the circuit affirmed after the county considered an affidavit, testimony and arguments regarding Avera’s claim. 

Avera is appealing the circuit court erred on its reliance on a previous SD Supreme Court case from 1918 and in its interpretation of South Dakota law regarding county duties to relieve nonresidents in distress.

Robert R. Nelson is the attorney for Avera St. Mary’s Hospital, while Ryan Vogel, Zachary Peterson and Jack Hieb are the attorneys for Sully County. 

Barr v. Cole 

The last case on Wednesday involves a 2016 car crash in Tea involving Stuart Hughes and Doug Barr. Hughes, who was working as a law clerk in the First Circuit, ran a stop sign and collided with Barr. Barr sued for $1 million in damages and the two parties settled on $500,000. 

Barr and his wife Dawn then sued the lawyers he was represented by for the settlement. Barr was represented by Jeffrey Cole, William Sims and Gregory Brewers. Barr sued them claiming negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and breach of contract because the Barr’s believed they could have got an additional $500,000 through the Public Entity Pool for Liability fund. 

The circuit court concluded Hughes deviated from his employment because he was going to a family dinner when the crash happened and not getting reimbursed for travel while going from Vermillion to Parker and back to Vermillion. 

The Barrs are appealing must show the underlying claim would have been successful in a legal malpractice claim and whether the circuit court erred when it concluded Hughes was acting outside the scope of his employment when the crash happened. 

Lee Schoenbeck and Joe Erickson are the attorneys for the Barrs, while Jeffrey Hurd and Emily Smoragiewicz are the attorneys for Jeffrey Cole and William Sims. 

What to know about South Dakota’s Supreme Court 

The five members of South Dakota’s Supreme Court are appointed by the governor from judicial districts and the picks are subject to statewide electoral approval three years after appointment and every eight years after that. 

South Dakota Supreme Court Justices must retire at age 70 and the Supreme Court is final judicial authority on all matters involving the legal and judicial system in South Dakota. 

The members of the South Dakota’s Supreme Court are Chief Justice Steven Jensen, Janine Kern, Mark Salter, Patricia DeVaney and Scott Myren.

Kern was appointed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard in 2014, Jensen was appointed by Daugaard in 2017 and Salter was appointed by Daugaard in 2018. Gov. Kristi Noem appointed DeVaney in 2019 and Myren was appointed by Noem in 2021. 

The court travels throughout the state to hear oral arguments to give citizens in the state a better opportunity to see and hear how the court functions. The South Dakota Supreme Court allowed both television and still cameras in the Supreme Court in August 2001. 

“The South Dakota Supreme Court each fall and spring holds term of court outside of our courtroom at the State Capitol in Pierre,” Chief Justice Jensen said in a news release. “These special sessions give South Dakotans an up-close look at how the judicial system works and how the courts resolve disputes.”

The South Dakota Supreme Court issues opinions on cases every Wednesday, which are made public on Thursdays.