NEWS FROM U.S. DISTRICT COURT
October 11, 2019
JURY INSTRUCTIONS: When a case goes to trial in the District of South Dakota, the Clerk’s Office posts a set of the final jury instructions on our public website. To access the jury instructions, hover your mouse over the For Attorneys tab on the District Court’s website located at www.sdd.uscourts.gov and then click on the Jury Instructions option. You should then choose the “Click Here to Access South Dakota Jury Instructions” option. We just passed a major milestone. We have now archived over 400 sets of jury instructions in this searchable database. This is a great resource for attorneys who are preparing proposed jury instructions in a case and it allows you to access a PDF version of the jury instructions for free!
Unlike attorney newsletters, you cannot search the database for an individual jury instruction, however, you can search it for a specific set of jury instructions or specific case types. For example, if you are looking for jury instructions issued by a particular judge, click on the heading for the “Judge” column and the jury instructions will be sorted by judge. If you are looking for jury instructions issued in a particular year, click on the heading for the “Year_Filed” column and the jury instructions will be sorted by the year they were filed in CM/ECF. You can also use the search box located in the upper right-hand corner of the webpage. To search for jury instructions related to a specific type of charge in a criminal case or a particular issue in a civil case, enter the term in the search box and click on search. You can also use this function to search for jury instructions given in a specific case by entering a case number or a party’s last name. The database will return a list of relevant cases, including a link to a PDF version of the final jury instructions issued in the case.
CELLULAR AND ELECTRONIC DEVICES: Standing Order 18-03 governs the use of cellular and electronic devices inside United States Courthouses within the District of South Dakota. From time to time, the Court has received written requests from members of the news media to bring electronic equipment into a courtroom that would normally be prohibited under the standing order. Members of the news media can now request special permissions or exceptions to the protocols contained in the standing order by completing and electronically submitting a Request through the District Court’s website located at www.sdd.uscourts.gov. Requests must be submitted at least five days prior to the date of a hearing or trial.