Schott v. S.D. Wheat Growers, 2017 S.D. 91. Schott, the owner of Corson County Feeders, Inc., sued the South Dakota Wheat Growers Association, alleging that its agronomist incorrectly prescribed a herbicide that Schott sprayed on his 2014 sunflower crop. The herbicide was not labeled for use on all of Schott’s sunflowers, and 1,200 acres were destroyed. The circuit court granted the Wheat Growers summary judgment, ruling that Schott assumed the risk. On appeal, the Court, per Justice Zinter, reversed and remanded, concluding that genuine issues of material fact existed concerning Schott’s knowledge and appreciation of the risk.
Richardson v. Richardson, 2017 S.D. 92. Wife alleged that Husband forced her to work as a prostitute during the course of their marriage, and that he emotionally, physically, and sexually abused her, causing both humiliation and serious health problems. Wife divorced Husband on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, reserving by stipulation the right to bring other non-property causes of action against him. Following the divorce, Wife brought suit against Husband, alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress. The circuit court, bound by the Court’s precedent in Pickering v. Pickering, which bars former spouses from suing one another for intentional infliction of emotional distress when the claim is based on conduct that served as the basis of the parties’ divorce, dismissed Wife’s suit for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. On appeal, the Court, per Justice Kern on reassignment, and in a comprehensive, well-reasoned opinion, overruled Pickering and reversed and remanded the circuit court’s dismissal of Wife’s suit. Justice Severson concurred in result, in which Chief Justice Gilbertson joined.
State v. Toavs, 2017 S.D. 93. Toavs appeals his sentences on two counts of first-degree manslaughter in violation of SDCL 22-16-15(3). Toavs argues that the sentencing court abused its discretion by ordering him to serve two consecutive sentences of 110 and 100 years. According to Toavs, the sentencing court did not adequately consider whether he was capable of rehabilitation before imposing the sentences. On appeal, the Court, per Retired Justice Wilbur, affirmed, concluding that the sentencing court did not abuse its discretion.
State v. Bolton, 2017 S.D. 94. Bolton pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, which carries a maximum sentence of thirty days in jail or a $500 fine or both. As a condition of the plea agreement, the State agreed to recommend a thirty-day jail sentence with all thirty days suspended. The magistrate court imposed a thirty-day jail sentence but then suspended execution of that sentence on the condition that Bolton obey all laws and remain on good behavior for six months. Bolton objected to the sentence, arguing that the court could not condition a suspended execution of sentence for a period longer than thirty days. The magistrate court, relying on State v. Macy, concluded that it was permitted to conditionally suspend execution of sentence for periods that exceed the maximum term of imprisonment for the underlying offense. The circuit court affirmed, and the Court granted Bolton’s petition for intermediate appeal. On appeal, the Court, per Justice Zinter, affirmed, concluding that the Constitution delegates to courts the power to conditionally suspend execution of sentence for periods that exceed the maximum term of imprisonment for the underlying offense, and that the Legislature has not restricted that power.