PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A group established by the Legislature to suggest improvements in South Dakota’s system of providing legal services to indigent people wants ideas from across the state.
Toward that goal, the task force plans a series of public listening sessions in the coming weeks:
Wednesday, May 17, 10 a.m. CT — Brown County Courthouse, community room, 25 Market Street, Aberdeen.
Wednesday, May 17, 2 p.m. CT — Roberts County Courthouse, 411 Second Avenue East, Sisseton.
Friday, May 19, 10 a.m. MT — Mueller Civic Center, 801 S. Sixth Street, Hot Springs.
Monday, May 22, 10 a.m. MT — Meade County Courthouse, 1425 Sherman Street, Sturgis.
Wednesday, May 24, 10 a.m. CT — Cedar Shore Resort, 1500 Shoreline Drive, Oacoma.
Wednesday, May 31, 10 a.m. MT — Dewey County Courthouse, 710 C Street, Timber Lake.
Thursday, June 1, 10 a.m. CT — Capitol Lake Visitor Center, 650 E. Capitol Avenue, Pierre.
Tuesday, June 6, 10 a.m. CT — USD Knudson School of Law, 414 E. Clark Street, Vermillion.
Monday, June 12, 10 a.m. CT — Crossroads Hotel & Event Center, 100 Fourth Street SW, Huron.
Tuesday, June 13, 3 p.m. CT — Virtual meeting
According to state courts administrator Greg Sattizahn, “The goal of the Indigent Legal Services Task Force is to study and make recommendations on how South Dakota provides, funds and ensures competent representation for indigent criminal defendants, parties in abuse and neglect cases and juvenile proceedings.”
Members are Republican Sen. Jim Mehlhaff, Republican Rep. Will Mortenson, Brent Kempema from the South Dakota Office of Attorney General, lawyer Lori Stanford of Flandreau, lawyer Tom Cogley of Aberdeen, Circuit Judge Michael Day of Belle Fourche, Circuit Judge Christina Klinger of Pierre, Pennington County public defender Eric Whitcher, Minnehaha County public defender Traci Smith, Oglala Lakota County Commissioner Art Hopkins, Hughes County Commissioner Randy Brown, Lake County State’s Attorney Wendy Kloeppner and USD law dean Neil Fulton.
The full group plans to meet again on June 20 at the State Bar of South Dakota convention in Sioux Falls.