The legal process can be complicated, even with the best information, and it is not advisable to attempt to represent yourself. If you find that you cannot afford traditional representation, you should first find out whether you qualify to receive free or low-cost legal services through an organization such as Dakota Plains Legal Services or Access to Justice. If you are not able to obtain representation, but still find yourself needing to use the legal system, the other information on this page may prove useful.
Dakota Plains Legal Services
DPLS provides free legal services in much of Western South Dakota to those who meet income and eligibility guidelines. The link above has been broken for several months, as of December 2013, and it does not appear that there is another DPLS website. The DPLS office in Rapid City is located at 528 Kansas City Street and can be reached at (605) 342-7171. There are other offices throughout the Western part of South Dakota. The primary office in Mission can be reached at (605) 856-4444.
Access to Justice
Access to Justice is a program of the State Bar of South Dakota that helps coordinate the pro-bono efforts of South Dakota attorneys. Its office is located at 816 6th Street in Rapid City and can be reached at (605) 791-4147.
South Dakota Legal Forms Helpline
This helpline is staffed by student volunteers from the University of South Dakota Law School. The volunteers can provide assistance in filling out many of the forms provided by the Unified Judicial System. The student can provide assistance filling out the forms, but cannot provide legal advice.
Help South Dakota
This site helps people find out what low cost legal resources are available in their community. The website also provides free and useful legal information.
South Dakota Unified Judicial System
The UJS website provides some useful information, including the following:
- A Guide to Representing Yourself
- South Dakota Parenting Time Guidelines and Corresponding Forms
- Pro-Se Divorce forms: With Children and Without Children
South Dakota Department of Social Services
DSS provides a variety of information and services, including the referee system that can be used to modify child support obligations and a child support obligation calculator that can provide an estimate of the child support due in many, but not all, situations.
South Dakota Bar Association
Provides informational pamphlets on some issues, such as divorce, mediation, adoption, wills, living wills, elder law, and more.