ABBY OLSON, BEN BLAKE, and JODI L. MASSIE, Appellants,
BUTTE COUNTY COMMISSION, Appellee, and CHRIS KLING, Intervenor and Appellee.
ON JANUARY 9, 2019
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FOURTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT BUTTE
COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA THE HONORABLE MICHELLE K. COMER Judge
A. WILDE Spearfish, South Dakota
R. FREDERICKSON Deadwood, South Dakota Attorneys for
WENDT Butte County State's Attorney Belle Fourche, South
Dakota ROBERT L. MORRIS Attorneys for appellee Belle Fourche,
South Dakota Butte County Commission
B. WILLERT MAX S. MAIN of Bennett, Main, Gubbrud &
Willert, P.C. Attorneys for intervenor and Belle Fourche,
South Dakota appellee Chris Kling.
SEVERSON, RETIRED JUSTICE.
After considering a petition to vacate a public roadway and
section line in Butte County, the County Commission entered a
resolution vacating the road. Ben Blake, Jodi Massie, and
Abby Olson (hereinafter collectively referred to as
"Olson") jointly appealed the Commission's
decision to the circuit court. The circuit court dismissed
the appeal as untimely. We reverse and remand.
On November 20, 2017, the Butte County Auditor received a
petition requesting that the Butte County Commission vacate a
certain public roadway and section line. The Commission gave
notice by publication of a public hearing on the petition and
held the hearing on January 11, 2018. After the hearing, the
Commission received a letter requesting that the Commission
not vacate a portion of the section line. The Commission
considered the petition and the letter at its February 6
meeting and voted to approve the petition to vacate the
public roadway and section line. The Commission, by
resolution, entered an order to that effect and published the
resolution and order on February 16 and February 23, 2018.
On March 27, 2018, Olson appealed the Commission's
decision to vacate the public roadway and section line. Olson
served notice of appeal on Commissioner Stan Harm. Chris
Kling intervened and filed a motion to dismiss the appeal as
untimely, asserting it was not filed within thirty days of
the last date of publication (between February 23 and March
26). The County joined Kling's motion. In response, Olson
argued the appeal was timely because it was filed within
thirty days of the effective date of the Commission's
decision. In Olson's view, the Commission's decision
became effective on March 26, thereby commencing the time to
appeal under SDCL 31-3-34.
After a hearing, the circuit court granted the motion to
dismiss, concluding that Olson's time to appeal had
expired (not commenced) on March 26. Olson appeals, asserting
the circuit court erred when it dismissed the appeal as
The facts of this case are undisputed, and we need only
engage in statutory interpretation and construction.
"[W]e adhere to two primary rules of statutory
construction. The first rule is that the language expressed
in the statute is the paramount consideration. The second
rule is that if the words and phrases in the statute have
plain meaning and effect, we should simply declare their
meaning and not resort to statutory construction."
Goetz v. State, 2001 S.D. 138, ¶ 15, 636 N.W.2d
675, 681. When, however, "statutory construction is
required 'statutes must be construed according to their
intent, [and] the intent must be determined from the statute
as a whole, as well as enactments relating ...