Articles Posted in South Dakota Supreme Court

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Appellants Thomas and Robin Branhan borrowed money from Appellee Great Western Bank. As collateral for the loan, the Branhans gave Great Western a security interest in their shares of Glacial Lakes stock. The Branhans later defaulted on their loan. Great Western subsequently brought a foreclosure action against the Branhans. As part of a settlement agreement, the Branhans agreed to surrender and transfer to Great Western all their rights to Glacial Lakes stock they were unable to sell by a certain date. After Great Western issued a satisfaction of judgment, Glacial Lakes announced a capital call repayment. In response, the Branhans filed a motion to determine which party was entitled to the capital call repayments. The circuit court concluded that Great Western owned the stock and was therefore entitled to the repayments. The Supreme Court affirmed, concluding that Great Western was entitled to the capital call repayment because the benefit of capital call repayment transferred with the shares. View "Great Western Bank v. Branhan" on Justia Law

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When Dennis Lindskov purchased Les Lindskov's interest in an automotive company, Dennis and Les signed a dissolution agreement that contained a non-disparagement clause. Les opened a competing business within months of the sale of his interest in the company. Dennis initiated a breach of contract and fraud and deceit action, alleging that the non-disparagement clause contained a covenant not to compete. The trial court granted Les's motions for summary judgment on both causes of action and dismissed Dennis's complaint. On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding the trial court properly granted Les's motions for summary judgment where (1) because the clause did not create a covenant not to compete, Les did not breach the dissolution agreement by opening a competing business, and (2) because Les did not have a fiduciary duty to disclose his intent to compete, he did not commit fraud or deceit as a matter of law.

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Richard Orr and Sheldon Cook had a partnership agreement to conduct a cow-calf operation. The parties sold the cows and calves in the spring of 2007. Cook received $230,935 from the sale. Orr sued Cook, disputing the reimbursement amount Cook owed him from the sale and for the cost of feeding and caring for the cows during the winter of 2007. The trial court awarded Orr $41,614. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the trial court was not clearly erroneous in determining the value of the calves; (2) the trial court was not clearly erroneous in determining the amount of reimbursement Cook owed Orr for feed and veterinarian costs; and (3) the trial court did err in refusing to award Orr prejudgment interest because it was requested in a manner allowed by statute.