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Supreme Court Decisions, May 6, 2022

06 May 2022 9:58 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

Appeal No. 122,294: In the Matter of L.L., a minor child, by and through next friends C.W. and T.W., Grandparents, and D.L. and A.W., natural parents

Summary calendar; no oral argument

The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals after Grandparents pursued a "co-parenting agreement" regarding L.L., which they sought to have adopted and enforced. While Grandparents had standing to bring the original action to determine most of their initial claims on behalf of L.L. and themselves under the Kansas Parentage Act, they lost that standing when the appeal narrowed to their personal claim. This appeal is dismissed.

Appeal No. 122,525: State of Kansas v. Keno M. Claiborne

Summary calendar; no oral argument

In 1994, Claiborne was sentenced to a term of life imprisonment, subject to the possibility of parole after 15 years, for first-degree murder and other crimes. In 2018, he moved to correct his sentence, claiming the sentence was illegal. After the Shawnee County District Court denied his motion, he appealed, contending the sentence was ambiguous as to the time and manner it was to be served. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Eric Rosen affirmed the district court. The Supreme Court held the phrase “life parole” means defendants are subject to parole for the remainder of their lives if they are released after serving their minimum prison terms for off-grid crimes.

Case No. 124,619: In the Matter of Jacob Johnson

Case No. 124,619 oral argument

In an attorney disciplinary proceeding, the Supreme Court publicly censured Johnson following his conviction for misdemeanor assault in Colorado. Johnson self-reported the conviction to the Kansas disciplinary administrator, as required by the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct, which arose out of a domestic violence incident with his spouse. In recommending public censure, the disciplinary administrator and the disciplinary hearing panel cited Johnson's participation in therapy and substance abuse treatment, his lack of prior disciplinary actions, and his cooperation with the investigation process, as mitigating factors regarding the appropriate discipline.

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