S.D. Supreme Court releases ruling on ‘Implicated Individual’

South Dakota News

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Supreme Court says the public has the right to know about a high profile case involving an unnamed person.

The court has ordered to unseal documents related to an investigation into an ‘Implicated Individual.’ But the documents remain sealed for now.

Thursday’s ruling says “the court ultimately ordered the search warrants and corresponding inventories to be unsealed. The Implicated Individual has appealed. We affirm.”

You can view the 20-page ruling below.

KELOLAND News has decided not to use the name of the person at the center of the case, because at this point, the name is not included in any public documents. The person in question is only referred to as the “implicated individual.”

The case in question began in 2019, when a DCI special agent requested several search warrants, which were sealed by a judge.

It’s been in and out of the courts ever since. Members of the media, including ProPublica, want the documents unsealed. 

But the unnamed person at the center of the case wants to keep it secret, and has hired former Attorney General Marty Jackley to fight to keep it sealed. Jackley sent KELOLAND News the following statement:

“The investigation that has been reported on through anonymous sources is now the subject of today’s Attorney General release,” Jackley said in an emailed statement. “As further noted in today’s Supreme Court Opinion, an investigation involving search warrants began in December of 2019.  The ultimate fact remains that the investigating authorities have not filed any criminal charges.”

The case made its way to the South Dakota Supreme Court in August.

“With the exception of the affidavits in support of the five search warrants, our current order sealing the Supreme Court clerk’s appellate file will be dissolved following the expiration of the time for petitioning for rehearing or the resolution of a petition seeking rehearing, provided we do not grant the petition.”

The justices decided to uphold a circuit court ruling requiring search warrants and some other documents be unsealed. But that won’t happen until the time to petition for another hearing has expired.

Affidavits, which include details on the case and explanations for the searches, will remain sealed.

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