Please read all the information about the types of cases we accept carefully before having the ACLU consider your issue. Your request for legal assistance will be processed within 3-6 weeks of receipt of the request. Please allow a minimum of 30 days for us to evaluate your letter. If you need immediate assistance, please contact a private attorney. Please be sure to read all the information on our Cases We Accept page before sending your complaint.
The ACLU of South Dakota does not review requests for legal assistance in person or over the telephone. To ask the ACLU for legal assistance, you must write a letter or send an e-mail.
The ACLU is a private, non-profit, membership organization. Our mission is to preserve and extend constitutional rights through participation in legislation, litigation and community education. We usually become involved in cases (either by representing a party or submitting a "friend of the court" brief) only when we believe that we can advance civil liberties through a change in law or policy. And, since the constitution is designed to protect people from abuse of power by the government, the ACLU primarily challenges the government, rather than private organizations or individuals.
Written complaints can be sent to our office by mail or email. You can print and complete our Printable Form and mail it to our office for consideration. You can also send us an email at email@example.com with the following information:
- DOC number (if applicable)
- Mailing Address
- Email Address (if applicable)
- Phone number or the number of an emergency contact who will know how to reach you.
- Other agencies you have contacted.
In your letter, please describe in detail the incident or the issue that prompts you to request legal assistance:
In describing the incident, it may be helpful to answer the five "W" questions: who, what, when, where, and why.
Be sure to identify the persons, business, institutions, or government agencies responsible for violating your rights.
- If the offending person or agency provided you with some sort of explanation, please let us know. If possible, please explain why you believe that explanation is not adequate.
- If the specific incident resulted in newspaper coverage, it may be helpful to include copies of the clippings.
- If you have documents, please send copies only; we cannot return originals.
- If your complaint involves mistreatment by police officers, it is especially helpful if you could obtain a copy of whatever report the police wrote.
- If you have already taken some action, such as filing an appeal or a complaint, please let us know the status of the matter.
- Please indicate whether the ACLU is authorized to write a letter of inquiry or a letter of protest using your name.
- Finally, please let us know what you are asking the ACLU to do for you.
Mail the request to:
ACLU of South Dakota
P.O. Box 1170
Sioux Falls, SD 57101
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send only copies of supporting documentation and NO original documents you would like returned. We will not return any documents we receive.
Our legal staff will review your complaint to determine whether it raises an issue we can address. You will be sent a letter or email indicating if the legal staff accepts, declines, or decides to investigate your complaint further. You may be asked for additional information at this time.
If your issue occurred in North Dakota, please visit the Web site at www.aclund.org and visit the Submitting Your Request page. The ACLU of South Dakota and ACLU of North Dakota are represented by the same staff.
If your issue did not arise in South Dakota or North Dakota, you should contact the ACLU office in the state where the incident or situation has taken place. To find the address for the appropriate affiliate, please go to the National ACLU website at www.aclu.org/affiliates.