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Kansas District Court- NOTICE TO ALL ATTORNEYS PRACTICING CRIMINAL LAW

12 May 2020 2:59 PM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

Kansas District Court 

NOTICE TO ALL ATTORNEYS PRACTICING CRIMINAL LAW

May 12, 2020

Due to the outbreak of COVID 19 and the Kansas Supreme Court’s Administrative Order 2020-PR-45 issued on May 1, 2020, the 3rd Judicial District Criminal Department has established the following:

  • 1.                  All criminal jury trials are continued until further notice but in any event will not begin prior to July 6, 2020.
  • 2.                  Since the courthouse remains closed to the public, hearings set during this time of restricted operations will be continued generally until further notice unless a video conference is scheduled.

Pursuant to Supreme Court Administrative Order 2020-PR-45, essential or nonessential functions are authorized to be heard by two-way telephonic or electronic audio-visual communication. This Order includes all criminal proceedings, specifically pleas, criminal sentencings, probation revocations, show causes, or any other proceedings.

Audio-visual conference hearings via Zoom will be scheduled for the following types of hearings for defendants who are in the Shawnee County Department of Corrections: pleas, sentencing, show cause, bond issues, and any other pretrial, bench trial, or post-trial proceedings.  If the defendant requests release from custody, defense counsel should verify the defendant’s proposed housing, employment, etc.  The schedule for hearings will be as follows or as otherwise set by the division:

Mondays - Divisions 9 and 11

Wednesdays - Divisions 1 and 13

Fridays – Divisions 12 and 14

Tuesdays – Division 7 (Misdemeanor hearings) 

In addition, audio-visual conference hearings via Zoom will be scheduled for defendants who are out of custody for the same type of hearings listed above for in custody defendants.  However, the hearings scheduled for out of custody defendants will not be limited to the schedule listed above for in custody defendants. 

Defense counsel will be allotted up to 15 minutes prior at the beginning of the hearing to talk with their client.  If more time is needed, the defense counsel should independently schedule time with their client in advance of the hearing.

Defendants will be questioned at the beginning of the audio-visual conference if they are willing to waive their personal appearance.  Counsel will need to explain to their clients prior to the hearing that they will be questioned about waiving their personal appearance (except for bond hearings).  If a defendant is not willing to waive his or her personal appearance, the hearing will need to be rescheduled until further notice since in person hearings are not currently allowed under the Supreme Court Orders. Defense counsel is responsible for filing defendant’s written waiver of their personal appearance. 

Zoom hearings will be streamed to YouTube simultaneous to the hearings so that the public can observe the proceedings.  However, the YouTube recording will be erased immediately following the hearing.   Individuals watching on YouTube are not allowed to photograph or record proceedings as the official record will be made by the court reporter. 

  • 3.                  Counsel do not need to file Motions for Continuance for hearings that have been (or will be) cancelled due to the Supreme Court Orders.
  • 4.                  Emergency issues will be handled by the Duty Judge and/or the Backup Duty Judge.
  • 5.                  First Appearances will be heard by the Duty Judge (Judge Moylan or her designee) and the Backup Duty Judge will deal with emergency issues such as bond resets, warrant recalls, etc.  The schedule for the Backup Duty Judges through June is as follows:
  • May 11-15                 Judge Debenham     Division 13
  • May 18-22                 Judge Parrish            Division 14
  • May 25-29                 Judge Geier              Division 1
  • June 1-5                     Judge Ossmann       Division 9
  • June 8-12                   Judge Rios                Division 11
  • June15-19                 Judge Ebberts           Division 12
  • June 22-26                Judge Debenham     Division 13
  • June 29-July 2           Judge Parrish            Division 14

Modification of Bond – If the State and defense counsel agree to a modification of bond, the backup duty judge will handle the bond reset process.  If counsel do not agree, the bond issue will be referred to the assigned division.  As of May 12, 2020, the court suspended DCR 3.317, Motions in Criminal Cases.  Timelines as set out in Supreme Court Rule 133 will be followed which provides that responses be filed no later than 7 days after service of a motion or as otherwise provided by the court.

  • 6.                  New cases on first appearance will be set 60 days out on either a criminal docket or CAD.
  • 7.                  The court is granting a 30 day automatic extension of all motion deadlines currently set in May.  If other extensions are needed, counsel should file a motion. 

Download Original Notice below:

Notice to All Practicing Criminal Law Attorneys.pdf


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