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New SD Supreme Court ruling upholds anti-trespassing law

South Dakota Supreme Court
South Dakota Supreme Court

The South Dakota Supreme Court upheld a state law that requires consent from a landowner to fish, hunt or trap on their land in the case of State of South Dakota v. Casey W. Fideler.

Violating this law, 41-9-1, is a misdemeanor.

Casey Fideler was issued a citation for hunting on private property in December 2021. In January 2022, Fideler entered a not guilty plea with the clerk of courts. He argued that the state had no probable cause to charge him, and he was unaware he was trespassing.

Evidence presented to the court in April 2022 explained that Fideler was driving with his father, and his father directed him to the private property. When Fideler realized it was private land, he attempted to drive away but his vehicle got stuck in an iced-over stock dam. They returned the next day, with help, to retrieve the vehicle.

The property owner testified that the tire tracks resembled someone driving around in an attempt to “spook game.”

A circuit court ruled against Fideler, stating that he did violate the law.

Fideler appealed this ruling and argued his right to due process was violated.

The state’s supreme court affirmed the original decision in its ruling on Wednesday.

Elizabeth is an intern with South Dakota Public Broadcasting.