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Supreme Court rules in favor of open records in 'mystery appellant' case

SD supreme Court.jpg
SDPB
South Dakota Supreme Court

The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that news media should have access to five search warrants filed in 2019 in Second Circuit Court in Sioux Falls.

The opinion responds to an appeal filed by an appellant whose name was not revealed during arguments in August or in the opinion made public on Thursday, Oct. 28.

Second Circuit Judge James Power had unsealed the search warrants in 2020, ruling that state law clearly provides for public disclosure of search warrants and inventories. He also noted that affidavits supporting warrants would be unsealed also, after an investigation has been terminated or an indictment has been filed.

The unnamed appellant has been named in news reports by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and ProPublica. Reporters from those news outlets were present at oral arguments in August.

The unnamed appellant was represented at arguments by former state Attorney General Marty Jackley.

SDPB will have more of this story as it unfolds.

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