Aase v. South Dakota Board of Regents

400 N.W.2d 269 (1987)

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Aase v. South Dakota Board of Regents

South Dakota Supreme Court
400 N.W.2d 269 (1987)

Facts

In the spring of 1984, the South Dakota state legislature passed an emergency bill to turn the University of South Dakota at Springfield (USDS), a university specializing in vocational and technical programs, into a correctional facility and transfer control from its board of regents (the board) (defendants) to the board of charities and corrections. The law permitted USDS students to finish out the school year and directed the board to ensure that students could transfer their courses through articulation agreements and by including a baccalaureate program of vocational education in another institution. The majority of programs at USDS were not offered at other state universities. USDS students who attended USDS during the 1983-84 school year (the USDS students) (plaintiffs) filed suit, alleging breach of contract, a claim for violation of civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, violation of individual constitutional rights, and violation of the South Dakota Deceptive Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act (the consumer-protection act). The USDS students offered deposition testimony from former students, some of whom stated that they had to relocate out of the state or modify their academic program. Some students stated that they had to discontinue their college education altogether. A trial court granted summary judgment for the board, finding that the students had no contractual right beyond the term for which they had paid tuition. The USDS students appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Heege, J.)

Dissent (Henderson, J.)

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