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  • 10 Apr 2020 10:54 AM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

    Appeal Nos. 118,673, 118,674, and 118,675: State of Kansas v. Kevin Coil Coleman


    Archived oral argument video


    Coleman appealed Saline County District Court's decision to revoke his probation after the Legislature amended the probation revocation statute. The amended statute allows a trial court to revoke probation without first imposing graduated sanctions in cases where the court originally granted probation as a downward disposition. Coleman argued the trial court erred by revoking his probation without first giving him graduated sanctions. A majority of the Court of Appeals held the trial court could not revoke Coleman's probation without first imposing intermediate sanctions. The Supreme Court affirms, holding the amendment does not apply to probationers such as Coleman whose offenses were committed before the amendment's effective date.

     

    Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today


  • 10 Apr 2020 8:39 AM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

    KANSAS DISTRICT COURT

    AMENDED NOTICE TO ALL ATTORNEYS PRACTICING CRIMINAL LAW

    April 9, 2020


    Chambers of

    Shawnee County Courthouse

    Officers:

    NANCY E. PARRISH

    Division Fourteen

    NORMA DUNNAWAY

    District Judge

    Topeka, Kansas   66603-3922

    Administrative Assistant

    (785)  251-6290

    MIRANDA CUMMINGS

    Fax   (785)   251-4917

    Official Court Reporter

    AMENDED NOTICE TO ALL ATTORNEYS PRACTICING CRIMINAL LAW

    April 9, 2020

    Due to the outbreak of COVID 19 and the Kansas Supreme Court’s emergency order issued on March 18, 2020 (2020PR16) restricting operations to critical functions in the District Court and the Supreme Court Order Amending 2020PR16 (2020PR32), 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 June 1, 2020.
    • 2.                  Essential functions of the court shall include: first appearances; determination of probable cause; issuing warrants; setting appearance bonds; conducting inquisitions and any other matters that require expeditious hearing.
    • 3.                  Hearings set during this time of restricted operations will be continued generally until further notice unless a video conference is scheduled.

    Pursuant to the Supreme Court Administrative Order 2020 PR 32, nonessential functions may be performed in a manner consistent with the Supreme Court Order as local resources and circumstances allow.  No hearing related to a nonessential function may be conducted except by two-way telephonic or electronic audio-visual communication.

    Audio-visual conference hearings via Zoom will be scheduled for the following types of hearings for defendants who are in the Shawnee County Correctional Facility: pleas, sentencings with PSI’s which don’t require victims or witnesses, show causes that do not require witnesses, and bond issues.  If the defendant requests release from custody, defense counsel should verify the defendant’s proposed housing, employment, etc.  The schedule for hearings will be:

    Mondays - Divisions 9 and 11

    Wednesdays - Divisions 1 and 13

    Fridays – Divisions 12 and 14

    Tuesdays – Division 7 (Misdemeanor hearings) 

    In order to provide time for all participants to be ready for the hearings by downloading the Zoom App as well as other preparations for the hearing, the majority of the hearings won’t begin until the week of April 20th.  However, there may be some hearings scheduled by individual divisions prior to that date in order to provide some test runs or if there are urgent issues.

    Defense counsel will be allotted 15 minutes prior to 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 Order for nonessential functions.

    • 4.                  Counsel do not need to file Motions for Continuance for hearings that have been (or will be) cancelled due to the Supreme Court Orders.
    • 5.                  Emergency issues will be handled by the Duty Judge and/or the Backup Duty Judge.
    • 6.                  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 April and May is as follows:
    • April 6-10                  Judge Parrish                        Division 14
    • April 13-17               Judge Geier               Division 1
    • April 20-24               Judge Ossmann         Division 9
    • April 27-May 1         Judge Rios                 Division 11
    • May 4-8                     Judge Ebberts           Division 12
    • May 11-15                 Judge Debenham      Division 13
    • May 18-22                 Judge Parrish                        Division 14
    • May 25-29                 Judge Geier               Division 1

    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.  Requests for modification of bond should be made through email.  Response to those requests should be made within 48 hours excluding weekends.  The assigned judge then will make a decision and notify counsel or set a hearing.  Bond emails, responses, and the court’s ruling will be filed by the judge so that there is a record of the arguments and the court’s decision.

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

    *The amendments and additions to the Notice dated March 19, 2020, are underlined.

    View Full Notice Here - Amended Notice to All Attorneys Practicing Criminal Law (2).pdf

  • 09 Apr 2020 8:49 AM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

    Supreme Court issues orders affecting attorney registration and continuing legal education requirements

     

    TOPEKA—The Kansas Supreme Court issued three administrative orders today that change deadlines and other requirements for annual attorney registration and continuing legal education reporting.

    “The social distancing needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 created unexpected challenges for attorneys who were nearing the deadline to complete their annual continuing education,” said Justice Carol Beier, the Supreme Court liaison for continuing education. “With these orders, the Supreme Court is extending the deadline to complete and report the required education and to relax limits in place for education provided by prerecorded content.”

    Administrative Order 2020-RL-033: Order Modifying Continuing Legal Education Attendance and Reporting Deadlines and Waiving Limitation on Prerecorded Programming

    Administrative Order 2020-RL-033 extends until September 30, 2020, the reporting deadline for continuing legal education that is required by Supreme Court rule to be completed between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020. An attorney unable to complete the education within the compliance period is automatically granted an extension until September 30.

    The order also waives a limit on continuing education hours delivered by prerecorded programs. Kansas Continuing Legal Education will consider provider applications received after the date of the order through September 30 that seek accreditation for prerecorded programming of more than six hours. Provider applications submitted before the date of the order will not be reconsidered for additional credit hours.  

    The annual report of continuing education typically sent to active attorneys in August will instead be sent in October 2020.

    Administrative Order 2020-RL-034: Order Modifying Deadline for Continuing Legal Education Annual Fee and Late Fee

    Administrative Order 2020-RL-034 extends until September 30 the deadline for attorneys to pay the annual continuing legal education registration fee. Payments must be received or postmarked by September 30. If payment is made after the deadline, the attorney must pay a $50 late fee.

    Attorneys who fail to meet the minimum requirements set out in Supreme Court rules for continuing legal education, or who fail to pay the annual fee and any applicable late fee, may be suspended from practicing law.

    Administrative Order 2020-RL-035: Order Modifying Deadlines for Annual Attorney Registration and Fee and Related Late Fee

    Administrative Order 2020-RL-035 extends until September 30 the deadline for annual attorney registration for the 2020-2021 licensing period. The annual registration fee must also be paid by September 30.

    Attorneys who fail to register and pay the annual registration fee and any applicable late fee may be suspended from practicing law.

    “The Supreme Court extended the annual registration deadline to September 30 as a courtesy to attorneys who are used to registering on the same timeline that they report their continuing legal education,” Beier said. “It’s also to acknowledge the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on livelihoods, including for some attorneys.”

    Kansas Courts Response to COVID-19


  • 06 Apr 2020 8:31 AM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

    The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) will re-open on April 6, 2020.  However, OAH’s physical office remains closed to the public through at least April 19, 2020, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).  Phones will be answered, and mail will be received daily. 

    All prehearing conferences and hearings will be held as scheduled unless OAH specifically notifies you that your proceeding has been cancelled or rescheduled.   

    No filings may be hand-delivered to OAH at this time.  To ensure access to OAH, filings may be submitted in one of four ways:

    1. E-Filing System.  Use the e-filing system if you are already approved to utilize the e-filing system for your appeal.  If you are not an approved e-filer, you may access the e-filing system by completing the E-filing Terms of Use Agreement. This Agreement is located at the “Resources” tab on the OAH website.  The e-filing system is the most effective way for parties to verify that their filings have been received by OAH and to receive prompt notice of filings and orders in your appeal.
    1. File by email.  Use TemporaryFilingOAH@ks.gov to send filings to OAH.  This is a temporary email address to send filings to OAH during the COVID-19 emergency.  Do not send questions or general correspondence to this email address as OAH will not respond. 
    1. Fax.  File by fax at 785-296-4848.
    1. Mail or third-party delivery services.  Filings may be sent to OAH through U.S. mail or other letter/parcel delivery services such as FedEx or UPS.  OAH’s address is 1020 S. Kansas Avenue, Topeka, KS  66612.


  • 03 Apr 2020 1:22 PM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

    Read the notice here: Scan0014.pdf

  • 03 Apr 2020 12:34 PM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

    Supreme Court issues two new administrative orders in its COVID-19 pandemic response

     

    TOPEKA—The Kansas Supreme Court today issued two new administrative orders to add direction to courts and clarity to court users about how courts function during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

     

    “The need to reduce in-person contact as much as possible is paramount to our state’s COVID-19 response,” said Chief Justice Marla Luckert. “These orders clarify points in the judicial branch’s actions to reduce or eliminate in-person contact with court staff and judges to protect the health of our workforce and the health of people who need our services.”

     

    Administrative Order 2020-PR-031: Order Suspending Certain Deadlines and Time Limitations in Kansas Municipal Courts Due to the COVID-19 Emergency

     

    This order applies to municipal courts some of the same provisions regarding state court operations and deadlines as outlined in Administrative Order 2020-PR-016 and continued in 2020-PR-32. It authorizes municipal courts to conduct hearings by videoconference and suspends deadlines and time limitations related to speedy trial and arraignment while the order is in effect.

     

    Administrative Order 2020-PR-032: Order Amending 2020-PR-016

     

    Administrative Order 2020-PR-016 named the essential functions state courts are required by state statute to perform and outlined how these can be accomplished without face-to-face contact, whether by telephone conference or videoconference.

     

    Administrative Order 2020-PR-032 modifies Administrative Order 2020-PR-016 by: 

    • renaming emergency operations as essential functions;
    • clarifying that litigation conduct is not limited when it does not involve a judge or court employee;
    • encouraging parties to meet deadlines that do not require in-person proceedings;
    • confirming state courts must have staffing necessary to carry out essential functions and nonessential functions may be performed as local resources and circumstances allow;
    • clarifying that hearings related to nonessential functions may occur, but only by telephone conference or videoconference;
    • clarifying that court staff, whether working in a courthouse or from home, may perform both essential and nonessential functions; and
    • clarifying that courts continue to accept electronic filings in all case types and explaining that processing of filings related to nonessential functions may be delayed depending on staffing levels and demands of essential functions. 

    2020 House Substitute for Senate Bill 102

     

    Today's administrative order clarifies that provisions in 2020 House Substitute for Senate Bill 102 became effective March 19, 2020, when it was published in the Kansas Register. It permits the chief justice to issue an order suspending all statutory deadlines and time limitations to bring a defendant to trial until further order of the chief justice.

    Essential court functions

     

    Essential functions are outlined in the Administrative Order 2020-PR-32, and generally include: 

    • determining probable cause for persons arrested without a warrant;
    • first appearances;
    • bond hearings;
    • warrants for adults and juveniles;
    • juvenile detention hearings;
    • care and treatment emergency orders;
    • protection from abuse and protection from stalking temporary orders;
    • child in need of care hearings and orders;
    • commitment of sexually violent predators; and
    • isolation and quarantine hearings and orders. 

    For a complete list of judicial branch actions to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, visit Kansas Courts Response to COVID-19.


  • 03 Apr 2020 10:17 AM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

     

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today:


     

    Appeal Nos. 115,293, 115,294, 115,295, and 115,305: State of Kansas v. Jacqueline L. Coleman

    Archived oral argument video

    The Supreme Court today resolved a sentencing issue in a consolidated appeal brought by Coleman, who questioned how Sedgwick County District Court scored a 1992 involuntary manslaughter conviction in her criminal history when sentencing her after she was convicted in a series of thefts. The Supreme Court held the district court appropriately scored the 1992 crime as a person felony. The legal issues turned on how to interpret changes the Legislature made to the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act.

     

     

    Appeal No. 120,436: In the Matter of the Joint Application of Westar Energy Inc. and Kansas Gas and Electric Co.

    Archived oral argument video

    In an opinion written by Justice Caleb Stegall, the Supreme Court held the residential distributed generation (RS-DG) rate design proposed by Westar and Kansas Gas and Electric violates K.S.A. 66-117d. This decision reverses the Court of Appeals, where the panel held K.S.A. 66-117d conflicted with and was thus superseded by a more recent statute: K.S.A. 66-1265(e). The Supreme Court disagreed, holding K.S.A. 66-117d and K.S.A. 66-1265(e) do not conflict based on the plain language statutes. K.S.A. 66-117d focuses on the price of goods and services sold by the utilities while K.S.A. 66-1265(e) addresses rate structure rather than price. Thus, K.S.A. 66-117d remains in full effect and prevents utility companies from charging customers producing their own energy more than they charge other customers based on that distinction. Because the proposed RS-DG rate design uses a customer's production of renewable energy as a basis for charging more for the same goods and services than customers who do not produce their own energy, the RS-DG rate design violates K.S.A. 66-117d.

     

    Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today

     


  • 31 Mar 2020 2:16 PM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

    Court Issues Administrative Order to Allow Criminal Defendants to Appear Remotely

    On March 27, Congress passed and the President signed the CARES Act which provides economic relief for individuals and businesses; and, authorizes the use of video and telephone conferencing, under certain circumstances with the consent of the defendant, for various criminal events during the course of the COVID-19 emergency. The District of Kansas adopted Administrative Order 2020-4 to allow for these provisions to take effect. The CARES Act consent form is posted on our public website under criminal forms.

    Kansas City
    500 State Ave.
    Kansas City, KS 66101
    913-735-2200

    Topeka
    444 S.E. Quincy.
    Topeka, KS 66683
    785-338-5400 

    Wichita
    401 N. Market
    Wichita, KS 67202
    316-315-4200


  • 31 Mar 2020 8:17 AM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

    Supreme Court issues administrative order to allow file-stamped copies when docketing an appeal

     

    TOPEKA—The Kansas Supreme Court today issued Administrative Order 2020-RL-027 to temporarily allow file-stamped copies of documents to be used when docketing an appeal instead of certified copies normally required under Supreme Court Rule 2.04.

    “The appellate courts continue to process cases, even though we are on emergency operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chief Justice Marla Luckert. “By allowing file-stamped copies of documents to be used to docket appeals, we are making it easier for the parties and for district courts that would provide those certified copies.”

    All state courts have been on emergency operations since the Supreme Court issued Administrative Order 2020-PR-016 March 18. The administrative order lists emergency operations that courts must perform while the order is in place.

    All courts continue to accept filings in all case types, but priority is given to filings in matters that are on the list of emergency operations. Courts process filings in matters not considered emergency operations as time and staffing allow.

    “Kansas courts continue to serve the people of Kansas, even though we had to restrict services to protect the health of our judges, our employees, and the people who come into our courthouses,” Luckert said. “We are taking actions to make it easier to process cases until we can resume normal operations. Temporarily allowing file-stamped copies to be used to docket an appeal is one example.”

    The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals encourage parties to continue to meet filing deadlines, even while Administrative Order 2020-PR-016 is in place.

    “It’s better to keep cases moving, even at a slower pace, than to stop them until the need for restricted operations has passed,” Luckert said.

    ______ 

    Kansas courts response to COVID-19


  • 27 Mar 2020 4:19 PM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decision today:

     

     

    Appeal No. 119,492: State of Kansas v. Efrain Gonzalez Jr.

    Archived oral argument video

    The Supreme Court rejected challenges made by Gonzalez to his Wyandotte County convictions for felony murder, attempted aggravated robbery, and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. On November 27, 2016, a passenger in a car Gonzalez was driving shot and killed Louis Scherzer outside a bar in Kansas City, Kansas The central question on appeal was whether sufficient evidence existed to prove intent to commit a robbery. Justice Dan Biles wrote the Supreme Court's unanimous opinion.

    Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today



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