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South Dakota Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

State laws regulate how transparent a business must be and which business practices are considered deceptive, such as tampering with a used car's odometer or using blatantly false advertising. Many states follow the federal law known as the "Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act." South Dakota is not one of them, however. Instead, the state deals with deceptive trade practices under the South Dakota Codified Laws.

Who Enforces the Law?

The Attorney General is charged with enforcing this law when he or she determines that an enforcement action would be in the public interest.

Who May Bring Suit

Both a private citizen who is the victim of deceptive practices and the government authority in charge of enforcing the conduct of a particular industry may bring a lawsuit against a manufacturer or seller.

What is Deceptive Trade?

When a consumer is buying a good or service, the seller cannot deceive the consumer about the good or service, as defined under the South Dakota laws. A deceptive trade practice includes a seller making a false statement or misrepresentation about its goods or services, or failing to disclose material facts about its goods or services.

Not all fraudulent activity is illegal under South Dakota law, such as when another law applies that regulates a particular industry or is more specific.

Examples of what is not deceptive trade include timeshares, landlord/tenant issues, debt collection, and bank or credit card problems. Other government agencies, may handle these types of matters.

Remedies

Damages for injuries suffered vary based on the exact conduct alleged. Potential remedies include the following:

  • Actual damages if the defendant acted in bad faith;
  • Injunction (a court order instructing the defendant to either perform a particular action or to stop certain behavior); or
  • Declaratory judgment (a court determination of the rights or duties of parties involved in a civil dispute).

Learn more about South Dakota's deceptive trade practices laws in the table below, with links to additional resources. See Details on State Deceptive Trade Practices and Fair Advertising FAQ: A Guide for Small Business to learn more.

Statute No (§§37-24-1, et seq.)
False Advertising Forbidden Yes (§37-24-6)
Who May Bring Suit? Attorney general; (§37-24-23) any individual (§37-24-31)
Remedies Available? False advertising Class 1 misdemeanor punishable criminally (§§22-41-10, 11); injunction (§37-24-28); civil penalty up to $2,000 (§37-24-27); actual damages (§37-24-31); court may make additional orders or judgments as necessary (§37-24-29); Class 2 misdemeanor (§37-24-6)
Auto Odometer Tampering Forbidden Yes (§32-15-33); violator is guilty of Class 1 misdemeanor; for second and subsequent violations violator is guilty of Class 6 felony

Note: If you have been misled or injured by false information provided by a seller or manufacturer of a product, there may be legal remedies available. An experienced South Dakota consumer protection attorney can discuss the facts of your case with you and provide the appropriate legal advice for your situation.

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South Dakota Deceptive Trade Practices Laws: Related Resources

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