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SD Supreme Court partially reverses ruling in truck ownership case

The South Dakota Supreme Court has partially reversed a lower court’s ruling in a case involving a ownership of a semi-truck.

In 2020, Plains Towing, a Sturgis-based company, towed a crashed semi and trailer belonging to Scotlynn Transports.

According to court documents, Plains Towing argued Scotlynn failed to claim the vehicle. Plains Towing then moved to take ownership of the truck, noting state law allows towing or salvage companies to claim abandoned vehicles under certain circumstances.

Scotlynn sued, arguing they’d made a storage agreement with Plains Towing. They also argued Plains Towing made mistakes when notifying Scotlynn about its intent to take ownership of the truck.

A circuit court ruled in favor of the Plains Towing. Scotlynn appealed that ruling.

The Supreme Court reversed the decision in part Thursday, ruling the lower court did not properly recognize the storage agreement. However, justices did not rule in Scotlynn's favor regarding its notification error claim.

The case now heads back to circuit court, which must reconsider the case following the justices’ opinion.

Veda is an English and journalism major at Augustana University in Sioux Falls. She loves writing and storytelling, and she plans to pursue a career as a journalist after graduation.