Confidential Clergy Communications Privilege Statutes: South Dakota

Confidential Clergy Communications Statutes

South Dakota Confidential Clergy Communications Privilege Statute


TITLE 19. Evidence.

Chapter 19-13. Privileges.

  • 19-13-16. (Rule 505(a)) Religious privilege–Definition of terms.As used in §§ 19-13-16 to 19-13-18, inclusive:(1) A “clergyman” is a minister, priest, rabbi, accredited Christian Science practitioner, or other similar functionary of a religious organization, or an individual reasonably believed so to be by the person consulting him;

(2) A communication is “confidential” if made privately and not intended for further disclosure except to other persons present in furtherance of the purpose of the communication.§ 19-13-17. (Rule 505(b)) Privilege on communications to clergyman.A person has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent another from disclosing a confidential communication by the person to a clergyman in his professional character as spiritual adviser.

  • 19-13-18. (Rule 505(c)) Persons entitled to claim religious privilege.The privilege described by § 19-13-17 may be claimed by the person, by his guardian or conservator, or by his personal representative if he is deceased. The person who was the clergyman at the time of the communication is presumed to have authority to claim the privilege but only on behalf of the communicant.