Buffalo Chip Case Is Likely Heading Back to Court (3/4/2019)

Story by Woodall's Campground Management

A more than three-year legal tug-of-war over the incorporation of the Buffalo Chip Campground in Sturgis, S.D., as a town — an issue likely headed back to the South Dakota Supreme Court — could ultimately boil down to the difference between the words "and" and "or," according to the Rapid City Journal.

Buffalo Chip attorney Kent Hagg, of Rapid City, said Friday (March 1) that a notice of appeal to the state Supreme Court will likely be filed this week seeking to overturn a 4th Circuit judge’s February ruling that the campground, about three miles east of Sturgis, failed to meet the residential requirements of a state law in filing to become a municipality in 2015.

In a written ruling filed Feb. 22, 4th Circuit Judge Gordon Swanson ordered the town of Buffalo Chip to be dissolved because the Sturgis motorcycle-rally campground did not have at least 100 residents as required by SDCL 9-3-1 at the time of its incorporation in 2015.

A news release from the city of Sturgis, which has steadfastly opposed the incorporation, stated the lack of residents was just one of the issues surrounding the campground becoming a legal municipality but that Swanson’s ruling was sufficient to “nullify the incorporation as a municipality.”

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