United States District Court for the District of South Dakota
LocationFederal Building and United States Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toEighth Circuit
EstablishedNovember 2, 1889
Chief JudgeRoberto Lange
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyDennis R. Holmes (acting)
U.S. MarshalDaniel C. Mosteller

The United States District Court for the District of South Dakota (in case citations, D.S.D.) is the United States District Court or the Federal district court, whose jurisdiction for issues pertaining to federal law or diversity for the state of South Dakota. The court is based in Sioux Falls with other courthouses in Rapid City, Pierre, and Aberdeen. The district was created in 1889, when the Dakota Territory was divided into North and South Dakota.

Appeals from the District of South Dakota are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The United States Attorney's Office for the District of South Dakota represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of February 26, 2021 the acting United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota is Dennis R. Holmes.

Current judges

As of June 4, 2024:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
16 Chief Judge Roberto Lange Pierre 1963 2009–present 2020–present Obama
17 District Judge Eric Schulte Sioux Falls 1972 2024–present Biden
18 District Judge Camela C. Theeler Rapid City 1975 2024–present Biden
12 Senior Judge Lawrence L. Piersol Sioux Falls 1940 1993–2009 1999–2005 2009–present Clinton
13 Senior Judge Charles B. Kornmann Aberdeen 1937 1995–2008 2008–present Clinton
14 Senior Judge Karen Schreier Sioux Falls 1956 1999–2024 2006–2013 2024–present Clinton

Former judges

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Alonzo J. Edgerton SD 1827–1896 1889–1896[Note 1] B. Harrison death
2 John Emmett Carland SD 1853–1922 1896–1911[Note 2] Cleveland elevation to 8th Cir.
3 James Douglas Elliott SD 1859–1933 1911–1933 Taft death
4 Alfred Lee Wyman SD 1874–1953 1929–1953 Hoover death
5 George T. Mickelson SD 1903–1965 1953–1965[Note 3] 1954–1965 Eisenhower death
6 Axel J. Beck SD 1894–1981 1958–1969 1965–1966 1969–1981 Eisenhower death
7 Fred Joseph Nichol SD 1912–1996 1965–1980 1966–1980 1980–1996 L. Johnson death
8 Andrew Wendell Bogue SD 1919–2009 1970–1985 1980–1985 1985–2009 Nixon death
9 Donald James Porter SD 1921–2003 1979–1992 1985–1991 1992–2003 Carter death
10 John Bailey Jones SD 1927–2023 1981–1995 1991–1994 1995–2023 Reagan death
11 Richard Battey SD 1929–2017 1985–1999 1994–1998 1999–2017 Reagan death
15 Jeffrey L. Viken SD 1952–present 2009–2021 2013–2019 2021–2023 Obama retirement
  1. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 16, 1889, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 16, 1890, and received commission the same day
  2. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 8, 1896, confirmed by the Senate on December 15, 1896, and received commission the same day
  3. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 11, 1954, confirmed by the Senate on February 9, 1954, and received commission on February 10, 1954

Chief judges

Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court judges. To be chief, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge.

A vacancy is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years, or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position.

When the office was created in 1948, the chief judge was the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire, on what has since 1958 been known as senior status, or declined to serve as chief judge. After August 6, 1959, judges could not become or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.

Succession of seats

See also


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