Construction liens act as leverage for your financial compensation, so you want to be sure you’re filing them correctly. To use that leverage you need to find your specific state—but with all of the variations out there, this can get complicated. Worry not! We’re here to take away the complexity and confusion and give it to you straight. If you work in South Dakota and need to know the lien laws, this is the site for you. Here, we break down exactly what the state of South Dakota requires of you to properly file a valid lien and bond claim.

How to File a Valid Lien in South Dakota:

  • You only have a lien to the extent the Owner owes the Place 1* Contractor money when they receive your sworn notice of unpaid amounts.
  • You must send the Owner a copy of the lien that will be filed before it is filed with the County Register of deeds.
  • A lien must be filed within one hundred and twenty (120) days of the last work and/or materials supplied.
  • You must file suit to enforce your lien within six (6) years of it being filed or within thirty (30) days of a demand that you file suit to enforce your lien.

How to Have a Valid Bond Claim in South Dakota:

  • Bonds are required on public projects of more than $50,000.
  • To recover on a public payment bond you can join in a suit that the public entity has brought against the bond, or if the public entity has not filed suit you can sue the bond to recover the amounts you are owed. You cannot file suit until six (6) months after the project is completed, but the suit must be filed within one (1) year of completion.
  • You can have a lien on funds due to the Place 1* Contractor on public projects.
  • To make sure that you will be paid the full amount that you are owed, you need to file a “just and true account of the demand due or to become due” within twenty (20) days of first work and/or materials supplied. You can file this statement later than twenty (20) days after first work, but it will only be valid to the extent that funds are owed to the Place 1* Contractor.
  • You must file suit to enforce your lien on funds within thirty (30) days of acceptance of your work.

If you work in South Dakota, it is essential that you have a grasp of the information above. It is the only way to have leverage in favor of you getting properly paid. If you’d like someone else to take care of filing your construction lien or bond, and do it the right way, contact an experienced South Dakota lien lawyer who knows construction law. Our sister company, The Cromeens Law Firm, has a 90% success rate of collections before having to foreclose on a lien, saving you costly legal fees. Fortify your future by protecting your pay and filing your liens the right way.

*The “places” referenced in the rules above correlate to the Construction Food Chain Chart from Karalynn Cromeens’ book,
Quit Getting Stiffed. The chart can be found here to use when following these lien and bond rules.