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SD Supreme Court agrees Custer County courthouse is ‘unsuitable and insufficient’

The five justices approved a proposed order from Seventh Circuit Presiding Judge Craig Pfeifle.
Custer County moves court hearings elsewhere after approval of guns in courthouse
Custer County moves court hearings elsewhere after approval of guns in courthouse
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 11:44 AM CST
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CUSTER, S.D. (KOTA) - Custer County’s decision to move all court proceedings to Pennington County was backed up by the South Dakota Supreme Court Thursday.

The five justices approved a proposed order from Seventh Circuit Presiding Judge Craig Pfeifle.

He said that Custer’s Courthouse “currently is unsuitable and insufficient due to safety concerns for court proceedings” because of an ordinance that allows firearms to be carried in the courthouse.

The change took effect in November. The commission says the new ordinance allows the public to carry firearms inside the courthouse, but not inside the courtrooms.

Judges felt unsafe with this ordinance and moved hearings to the Pennington County Courthouse in Rapid City or by audiovisual means.

County Chairman Jim Lintz said it could begin to get spendy to drive to Rapid City for every hearing. On Thursday, Custer County heard its first hearing in the Pennington County Courthouse.

Lintz remains hopeful the courts will reopen in Custer at some point. The riots in Washington don’t change the County Commission’s mind.

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