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Kansas Supreme Court Release for March 12, 2021

16 Mar 2021 10:00 AM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

Appeal No. 121,936: In the Matter of the Wrongful Conviction of M.M.

Archived oral argument video
On direct appeal, the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed Clay County District Court's decision granting the State's motion to dismiss M.M.'s Petition for Certificate of Innocence under K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 60-5004. In an opinion written by Justice Caleb Stegall, the court held the statute's unambiguous plain language bars claimants from recovering for wrongful juvenile adjudications because they are not criminal convictions.

Appeal No. 121,949: State of Kansas v. Shelbert Smith

Archived oral argument video

The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the decision of Sedgwick County District Court denying Smith's motion for leave to appeal his convictions out of time. Smith had twice before appealed the district court's denials of his motion to appeal out of time under the third exception set forth in State v. OrtizΒΈ 230 Kan. 733, 640 P.2d 1255 (1982), and the Supreme Court had twice before reversed the district court's decisions and remanded the matter for further consideration. This time, Smith challenged the district court's credibility determination with respect to his third Ortiz exception claim and its conclusion that certain newly raised arguments were outside the scope of the Supreme Court's previous appellate mandates. The Supreme Court unanimously concluded these newly raised issues were outside the scope of the previous mandates, which were stated in specific terms that limited the district court to consider only Smith's credibility in the context of the third Ortiz exception. The Supreme Court also unanimously affirmed the district court's credibility determination as supported by substantial competent evidence.

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