PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Starting next week, decisions from the South Dakota Supreme Court will be released to lawyers, judges and the public in a different way.
Chief Justice Steven Jensen explained the changes in a recent letter sent to lawyers throughout South Dakota.
He said decisions will continue to be publicly released on Thursday mornings in most instances, but starting January 1, 2022, they will appear two hours later on the Supreme Court’s public website.
The later public release reflects a related change from the Supreme Court’s current practice.
The Supreme Court traditionally has used U.S. mail to send decisions on cases to lawyers of record and the judge on Wednesdays or, in special circumstances such as holidays, one day before the decision was to be publicly released.
But, the chief justice said in the letter, starting in 2022, decisions will instead be electronically emailed to lawyers and the judge in the case at 8 a.m. CT on the same day that the decision will be publicly released.
He said lawyers may notify clients of the decisions after receiving the emails, but lawyers and clients are expected to embargo the information until 10 a.m. CT, when new decisions will be posted on the court website.
South Dakota judges will receive emails about each new decision at 10 a.m. CT when the new decisions become available to the public.
The chief justice said lawyers, clients and judges involved in cases no longer could rely on receiving decisions ahead of the decisions appearing on the website.
“This often results in counsel of record receiving the opinion after it has been released publicly,” he wrote.
The Supreme Court released no new decisions Thursday.