August 24, 2017, 1:10 am
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General Information About South Dakota Public Records and Laws
In South Dakota, public records are available for individuals who need to access them. The right to view and copy public records and documents is given to individuals through the South Dakota Public Access to Records statute, under Chapter 1-27 of the state's Code. This law outlines what is considered to be a public record, how it is to be maintained and what specific information is not available as such. Individuals only have the right to access non-private information.
 
What Is a Public Record?
 
The state outlines what it considers to be a public record. In short, this is information in any form that is contained by a government body in the state. It outlines that this can be any form of media, such as written documents, text, video, photographs, maps and electronic information or media. It can be given to, produced by or otherwise in the possession of the government or one of the government's agencies. This information includes details about the way government acts as well as information regarding policies and procedures.
 
There are specific types of information considered non-public. These are specifically listed as not being accessible as South Dakota public records. Some examples of this include the following, though this list is not exhaustive.
 
·         All financial records of personal individuals
·         All commercial records of non-publically owned agencies
·         Personal correspondence
·         Some types of court actions
·         Medical information for individuals
·         Student information, including testing and class records of prospective students
·         Government information the is sensitive due to a risk to the safety or security of the government agency or the public as a whole
 
It is also possible for a judge to rule that some information should be made to be non-public. The judge can do this because he or she believes the information is sensitive, could endanger someone or it involves a minor child.
 
Obtaining Public Records
 
In South Dakota, public records are available upon request. This means individuals must make a formal request in writing for most types of information. Some information remains easily accessible during the normal business hours of the agencies that manage it. Other information may take longer to produce.
 
Individuals can visit the location where the information is stored to gain access or they made also search for the information on one of the state's websites, as is appropriate and available. Some third party organizations also provide information in regards to this information.
 
The following are some agencies in the state that government state public records.
 
·         For vital statistics information, such as birth and death certificates, burial records and marriage certificates, visit the South Dakota Department of Health Vital Records.
·         For business related information, contact the Attorney General's Office in Pierre.
·         Criminal records are available through the Division of Criminal Investigation, Identification Section.
·         The state's sexual offender registry is available through the Division of Criminal Investigation.
 
In South Dakota, public records area specifically available to aid individuals. Some records may not be readily available for accessing.
South Dakota Public Records

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