Quimbee logo with url
From our private database of 14,500+ case briefs...

South Dakota v. Hy Vee Food Stores, Inc.

Supreme Court of South Dakota
533 N.W.2d 147 (1995)


Hy Vee Food Stores, Inc. (Hy Vee) (defendant) sold alcohol to a 19-year-old college student who was working as part of an undercover sting operation. When the student brought a bottle of whiskey to the counter, the cashier—who was too young to sell liquor—asked another cashier to ring up the sale. The second cashier took the student’s money and completed the sale. Neither cashier asked for the student’s identification to verify the purchaser was at least 21 years of age. Hy Vee was subsequently found guilty of violating a statute that made it a misdemeanor to sell alcohol to a person under the age of 21. The judge imposed a $200 fine on Hy Vee as a corporate entity. Neither employee who interacted with the student was charged with a crime. Hy Vee appealed, and the circuit court affirmed. On appeal to the Supreme Court of South Dakota, Hy Vee argued that imposing vicarious criminal liability on a corporation for the unlawful actions of its employees violated Hy Vee’s substantive due process rights under both the South Dakota and the United States Constitutions. Hy Vee further argued that its corporate policy against selling alcohol to minors insulated the corporation from vicarious liability.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Konenkamp, J.)

Dissent (Amundson, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 265,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,500 briefs, keyed to 196 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.