211 N.W.2d 182 (S.D. 1973), 11166, State v. Williamson

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Writing for the CourtThe opinion of the court was delivered by: Doyle
Citation211 N.W.2d 182,87 S.D. 512
Date16 October 1973
Docket Number11166.
PartiesSTATE of South Dakota, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Richard C. WILLIAMSON, Defendant and Appellant.

Page 182

211 N.W.2d 182 (S.D. 1973)

87 S.D. 512

STATE of South Dakota, Plaintiff and Respondent,


Richard C. WILLIAMSON, Defendant and Appellant.

No. 11166.

Supreme Court of South Dakota.

October 16, 1973

[87 S.D. 513] Thomas Vickerman, Asst. Atty. Gen., Pierre (Gordon Mydland, Atty. Gen., Pierre, Paul J. Kern, State's Atty., Charles Mix County, on the brief), for plaintiff and respondent.

R. James Zieser, Tyndall, for defendant and appellant.

DOYLE, Justice.

This is an appeal by defendant from a judgment of conviction in the Circuit Court of Charles Mix County, South Dakota.

The defendant, Richard Williamson, is an enrolled member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe. On December 14, 1971, the defendant entered a plea of guilty in circuit court to four counts of 'obtaining money under

Page 183

false pretenses' and was sentenced to four separate two-year terms in the state penitentiary, the same to run concurrently. The offenses were committed in the cities of Lake Andes and Wagner, South Dakota. In this appeal defendant contends that the State of South Dakota had no jurisdiction to prosecute and convict him since the cities of Lake Andes and Wagner are within the boundaries of the Yankton Sioux Reservation and, therefore, in 'Indian Country'.

The term 'Indian Country' is defined in 18 U.S.C.A. § 1151 as 'all land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent.' Act of June 25, 1948, 62 Stat. 757. The law is established that state jurisdiction does not [87 S.D. 514] extend to Indians in Indian Country. [*] Williams v. Lee, 1959, 358 U.S. 217, 79 S.Ct. 269, 3 L.Ed.2d 251; State of Arizona ex rel. Merrill v. Turtle, 1969, 9 Cir., 413 F.2d 683; Seymour v. Superintendent of Washington State Penitentiary, 1962, 368 U.S. 351, 82 S.Ct. 424, 7 L.Ed.2d 346; The City of New Town, North Dakota v. United States, 1972, 8 Cir., 454 F.2d 121; United States ex rel. Condon v. Erickson, D.C.S.D., 344 F.Supp. 777; State v. Molash, 1972, S.D., 199 N.W.2d 591.

Our decision, therefore, turns on the resolution of the narrow question of whether the cities of Lake Andes and Wagner are within 'Indian Country'. In order to determine this issue, it is necessary to review the specific treaties, agreements and Acts of Congress dealing with this particular reservation.

The Yankton Sioux Reservation was created by the Treaty of April 19, 1858, 11 Stat. 743, ratified February 16, 1859, Proclamation February 26, 1859; Vol. 1 SDCL p. 74. The boundaries of the Yankton Sioux Reservation, as so established, included the land upon which the cities of Lake Andes and Wagner are presently located. The Yankton Tribe and the United States entered into an agreement, Act of August 15, 1894, 28 Stat. 286, 314, Vol. 1 SDCL p. 137, whereby the Tribe sold a portion of its reservation to the United States. The portion so sold included the cities of Lake Andes and Wagner. This agreement, in part, provided:

Article I.

'The Yankton tribe of Dakota or Sioux Indians hereby cede, sell, relinquish, and convey to the United States all their claim, right, title, and interest in and to [87 S.D. 515] all the unallotted lands within the limits of the reservation set apart to said Indians as aforesaid.'

Article II.

'In consideration for the lands ceded, sold, relinquished, and conveyed to the United States as aforesaid, the United...

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1 practice notes
  • AGO 88-26.
    • United States
    • Attorney General Opinions North Dakota
    • 13 Diciembre 1988
    ...not extend to Indians in Indian Country, absent assumption of jurisdiction by the state pursuant to federal statutes. State v. Williamson, 87 S.D. 512, 211 N.W.2d 182 25 U.S.C.A. § 231 (West 1983) is the specific federal statute regarding state health regulations and their effect on Indian ......

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