Homestead: A (New) Hope

55 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2018

See all articles by Thomas Simmons

Thomas Simmons

University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law

Date Written: July 14, 2018


A finely-tuned balancing of commercial enterprise against a family's interests in shelter is at the heart of homestead exemption laws. In South Dakota, this balancing act has been displayed over a 145-year history in the form of legislative enactments, judicial decisions, and referendums. This history illuminates the expression of values against the dynamics of rule-making. A previously published article by this author, "Prequel to Homestead", outlined South Dakota's homestead laws under the contemporary statutory framework and also considered the constitutional history of homestead laws leading up to South Dakota's becoming a state in 1889. This article picks up where the prior article left off and presents judicial decisions dealing with the constitutional ambits of the homestead exemption beginning in 1889 and continuing through today. It concludes with an assessment of an unresolved homestead issue in the context of asset protection: whether a trust-owned or entity-owned home qualifies for homestead protection rights.

Keywords: Homestead, Probate Rights, Legal History, Asset Protection

JEL Classification: K11

Suggested Citation

Simmons, Thomas, Homestead: A (New) Hope (July 14, 2018). South Dakota Law Review, Vol. 63, No. 2, 2018, Available at SSRN: or

Thomas Simmons (Contact Author)

University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law ( email )

414 E. Clark Street
Law School suite 212
Vermillion, SD 57069
United States
605.658.3533 (Phone)
605.677.5417 (Fax)


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics