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Kansas Supreme Court Decisions for September 10, 2021

10 Sep 2021 10:11 AM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

Appeal No. 117,216: State of Kansas v. Bruce T. Shockley

Appeal No. 117,216 archived oral argument

The Supreme Court affirmed the Wyandotte County District Court’s decision to deny Shockley's trial motion requesting discharge from prosecution, finding there was no violation of his statutory right to a speedy trial. Shockley appealed on a theory of insufficient evidence. Finding no error, the Supreme Court affirmed his convictions.

Appeal No. 120,472: University of Kansas Hospital Authority v. Board of County Commissioners of Franklin County and City of Ottawa

Appeal No. 120,472 archived oral argument

The Supreme Court reversed the Wyandotte County District Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the University of Kansas Hospital Authority (KUHA) and against the City of Ottawa. KUHA sought payment of over $71,000 in unpaid medical expenses for a patient who suffered extensive injuries after crashing his car in Franklin County following a high-speed car chase involving Ottawa police officers and Franklin County sheriff's deputies. KUHA claimed that pursuant to K.S.A. 22-4612(a), both the City and Franklin County had custody over the patient such that they were liable for these expenses. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of KUHA against the City and in favor of Franklin County against KUHA. It reasoned that the Franklin County deputies were not involved in the chase and did not observe the patient commit any felonies. On the other hand, the court found that Ottawa police officers effectively had custody over the patient when the decision to obtain medical treatment was made. This was because Ottawa police officers would have been required to arrest the patient after the chase pursuant to K.S.A. 8-2104—because of the patient's fleeing and eluding those officers.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that Franklin County did not have custody over the patient. However, it reversed the district court's entry of summary judgment against the City because it found that there were not enough facts to determine whether a stop pursuant to K.S.A. 8-2104 occurred, which the panel claimed would have triggered a mandatory arrest resulting in custody for the purposes of K.S.A. 22-4612(a). The panel remanded the matter with instructions to further develop the record as to that point. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the panel's reversal of summary judgment against the City. However, it concluded that based on the facts of the case, the City never had custody of the patient within the meaning of K.S.A. 22-4612(a) and was accordingly not liable for the patient's medical costs. The court also found that K.S.A. 8-2104 was inapplicable in determining whether the City had custody of the patient.


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