First appointments made to the new SD Commission on Indigent Legal Services

The first appointments have been made to the Commission on Indigent Legal Services.

The board will oversee the newly-created Office of Indigent Legal Services to provide statewide legal representation in direct criminal appeals some other cases.

The office and commission were created by legislation passed during this year’s legislative session.
South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven R. Jensen has appointed three people. They are: Neil Fulton, Dean of the USD School of Law; Betsy Doyle, Minnehaha County Public Defender’s Office; and Judge Bobbi Rank of the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

The two legislative appointments have also been announced: Senator Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown and Representative David Kull of Brandon.

In addition, three people appointed by the Governor and one will be appointed by the executive director of the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners.

The office is designed to improve legal services for those who cannot afford to hire their own lawyer. It will also provide some help for cash-strapped counties which currently cover the cost of court-appointed lawyers.

The commission is attached to the Unified Judicial System.


April 3, 2024