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  • 18 May 2017 9:21 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    The American Bar Association is conducting a Survey on the Decline in Jury Trials.

    Click here for information regarding the survey.


  • 12 May 2017 10:45 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    Kansas Courts News Release



    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today: 

    Appeal No. 114,465: Bryon J. Kirtdoll v. State of Kansas 
    A unanimous Supreme Court affirmed the Shawnee County District Court's denial of Kirtdoll's pro se motion to correct an illegal sentence In addition to rejecting the illegality-of-sentence challenge, the justices also analyzed the issue under K.S.A. 60-1507 and found that the new rule of law established by the United States Supreme Court in Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 2151, 186 L. Ed. 2d 314 (2013), in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that factors that increase a sentence beyond the statutory mandatory minimum must be decided by a jury instead of a judge was not retroactive and could not be applied to sentences in cases that were final when Alleyne was decided.

    Appeal No. 114,350: State of Kansas v. Michael A. Brown 
    A unanimous Supreme Court affirmed the Wyandotte County District Court's denial of Brown's challenge to his life sentence. The justices rejected Brown's argument that K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 21-6620 mandates retroactive application of the new rule of law established by the United States Supreme Court in Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct 2151, 186 L. Ed. 2d 314 (2013), in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that factors that increase a sentence beyond the statutory mandatory minimum must be decided by a jury instead of a judge. The justices found that the rule in Alleyne was not retroactive and could not be applied to sentences in cases that were final when it was decided.

    Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today 

  • 08 May 2017 9:54 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    Chief Judge of the Kansas Third Judicial District, Hon. Evelyn Z. Wilson, signed Administrative Order 2017-102 E-filing Civil on May 4, 2017 regarding Mandatory E-Filing Civil Cases, including domestic.  Click here for a copy of the order.

  • 08 May 2017 9:51 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    Kansas Courts News Release

     

    May 5, 2017

    Contact: 

    Lisa Taylor
    Public Information Director 
    785-296-4872
    taylorl@kscourts.org
     

     

    The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today: 

    Appeal No. 113,362: State of Kansas v. Jeramy A. Zwickl

    The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a Reno County District Court judge was wrong to order suppression of drug evidence discovered in an automobile while executing a search warrant issued by another judge. The court held the drug evidence could be used in Zwickl's the criminal prosecution because officers were acting in objectively reasonable reliance on the search warrant.
     
    The case resulted from a criminal investigation by the Reno County Sheriff's Office into Zwickl's suspected sale of marijuana over a period of time. The investigation included the use of confidential informants and surveillance both using a GPS device on Zwickl's automobile and physical tailing of Zwickl to Colorado, where it was suspected he would periodically purchase marijuana for resale. Three pounds of marijuana were discovered in the vehicle during the execution of the search warrant after the Colorado surveillance.
     
    Reno County District Judge Trish Rose ordered that the drug evidence be suppressed because she determined the search warrant, approved by another judge, was not properly supported by probable cause and the officers should have known the warrant was defective. A Kansas Court of Appeals panel reversed Rose, and the Supreme Court took the case to resolve the conflict between the two lower courts.
     
    In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Dan Biles, the court agreed with the Court of Appeals.
     
    "This case is not one of those unusual circumstances in which there was so little indicia of probable cause in the affidavit that a reasonable law enforcement officer would override the probable cause determination found by the magistrate and refuse to execute the warrant," Biles wrote. The case will now return to Reno County District Court for further proceedings.

    Appeal No. 115,978: Cherokee County Commissioners v. Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission 

    In an opinion written by Justice Caleb Stegall, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's dismissal of petitions for judicial review filed by the Commissioners of Cherokee County and Castle Rock Casino Resort, LLC, in Shawnee County District Court. After conducting a competitive bidding process involving Castle Rock Casino, Kansas Crossing Casino, L.C., and one other casino, a board formed by statute selected Kansas Crossing to manage the state-owned and operated casino in southeast Kansas. Kansas Crossing proposed to operate a casino in Crawford County, while Castle Rock's proposed site was in Cherokee County. The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission approved the board's selection, and Castle Rock and Cherokee County filed petitions for judicial review, which were eventually dismissed by the district court. Castle Rock and Cherokee County asked this court to review the district court's decision. The Supreme Court unanimously held that under the circumstances of this case, the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying their several requests to investigate claims of impropriety during the selection process through traditional means of discovery. The court further found that substantial evidence supports the board's selection of Kansas Crossing and that the board did not err as a matter of law when interpreting the standard by which it was to select a casino.

    Appeal No. 110,021: State of Kansas v. Jason A. Reese

    The Supreme Court unanimously held that a defendant could not use a motion to correct illegal sentence to argue the 2011 amendments to the Kansas Offender Registration Act violate the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution. After Reese committed the crime, but shortly before he pled no contest to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Sedgwick County District Court, the Kansas Legislature amended the act to require offenders such as Reese to register. The district court imposed the registration requirement and, after the time for direct appeal had passed, Reese filed a motion to correct illegal sentence challenging the constitutionality of the 2011 amendments. The district court denied the motion, and a Court of Appeals panel affirmed. The Supreme Court reaffirmed the longstanding rule that an illegal sentence does not include a claim that the sentence violates a constitutional provision.

    Appeal No. 111,243: State of Kansas v. Matthew A. Wood

    The Supreme Court unanimously held that a defendant could not use a motion to correct illegal sentence to argue the 2011 amendments to the Kansas Offender Registration Act violate the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution. Several years after Wood pled guilty to one count of attempted indecent liberties with a child in Sedgwick County District Court, the Kansas Legislature amended the act lengthening from 10 years to 25 years the amount of time Wood was required to register. In 2012, Reese filed a motion to correct illegal sentence challenging the constitutionality of the 2011 amendments. The district court denied the motion, and a Court of Appeals panel affirmed. The Supreme Court reaffirmed the longstanding rule that an illegal sentence does not include a claim that the sentence violates a constitutional provision.

    Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today 


  • 01 May 2017 1:13 PM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    Kansas Courts News Release


    The Kansas Supreme Court released published decisions today in the following cases: 

    Appeal No. 113,962: State of Kansas v. Jeffrey Wade Chapman. The Supreme Court upheld Chapman's first-degree premeditated murder conviction for the 2011 killing of Damon Galyardt, whose body was found along a rural road in Barton County. Chapman admitted the killing but claimed it was in self-defense. A jury rejected that argument and convicted him. On appeal, Chapman argued that pretrial publicity denied him a fair trial. His case generated notoriety when he asked permission to have a prominent tattoo on his neck removed that read "REDRUM" ("murder" spelled backward).

    In a unanimous decision written by Justice Dan Biles, the Supreme Court reviewed the questioning leading up to the final jury selection and noted, "The record shows the jury was selected with relative ease, with Chapman passing the panel for cause with no challenges during general voir dire." The court further observed the district court went to special efforts to avoid empaneling jurors tainted by publicity.

    The court also rejected Chapman's argument that the district court erred by admitting into evidence the substance of a text message, in which one of Chapman's friends purportedly asked Chapman before Galyardt's murder if Chapman wanted to go "shoot a dog." Chapman claimed this was hearsay and its probative value was outweighed by its prejudicial effect. But the court ruled that even assuming error, there was no prejudice to Chapman.  

    Appeal No. 111,995; State of Kansas v. Maurice Orlando Stewart: The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Stewart's convictions for felony murder, aggravated robbery, burglary, and theft, emanating from incidents in an Olathe motel in 2010. The Supreme Court held that the Johnson County District Court's jury instruction on the alternative theories of first-degree murder was legally appropriate and that any error of omission in the jury instruction on the force element of aggravated robbery was invited error. The Supreme Court further opined that, while Stewart's low intelligence quotient (IQ) score placed his competency to stand trial in issue, a preponderance of the evidence supported the district court's finding that Stewart was able to understand the nature and purpose of the criminal proceedings and that he could assist in making his defense. With respect to the defense challenge to the reliability of the expert testimony on blood spatter evidence, the Supreme Court related that any procedural error created by the trial court's failure to re-visit the merits of the evidentiary challenge was, at most, harmless error. Finally, the Supreme Court determined that the cumulative effect of trial errors did not rise to the level of denying the defendant a fair trial.

    Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today 

    State of Kansas
    Office of Judicial Administration
    Kansas Judicial Center
    301 SW 10th
    Topeka, Kansas 66612-1507
    785-296-2256
    www.kscourts.org


  • 26 Apr 2017 9:55 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    YOU ARE INVITED!

    Crimes, Courts, and the Constitution

    a Law Day Event

    Please join us for presentations on

    The role of the courts in criminal justice, Constitutional issues in criminal cases, and the history of the Courthouse

    Tours of the Courthouse will be available and light refreshments will be served.

    Monday, May 1, 2017

    6:00-8:30

    Shawnee County Courthouse

    200 SE 7th St.

    Topeka, KS

    Hosted by:

    The District Court Judges of the Third Judicial District Court of Kansas and the Topeka Bar Association Law Day Committee

    SPACE IS LIMITED PLEASE RSVP

    Tiffany Fisher at (785) 233-3945 or topekabar@sbcglobal.net

    Space is limited and spots will be honored in the order RSVPs are received.
  • 24 Apr 2017 1:10 PM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    May Membership Luncheon & 2017 CLE Updates

    When: 05 May 2017 12:00 PM, CDT

    Where: Topeka Shawnee County Public Library - 1515 SW 10th Ave

    EVENT DETAILS:

    Celebrate Law Day 2017 at the May TBA Membership Luncheon

    The 2017 Liberty Bell Award recipient will be recognized as well as the Law Day Coloring Contest winners.

    CLE Commissioner Shelley Sutton will round out the luncheon with an update on new CLE Requirements beginning July 1, 2017. 

    11:30 a.m. –12:00 p.m.:  Registration

    12:00–12:20 p.m.:  TBA Membership Luncheon Welcome and Introductions, presentations of the 2017 Liberty Bell Award and  Law Day Coloring Contest award winners.

    12:20–12:50 p.m.:  2017 CLE Updates CLE Program

    12:50–1:00 p.m.:   Q&A Session

    Approved for a Half Hour of CLE Credit

    REGISTRATION DEADLINE:  FRIDAY, APRIL 28

    Sponsored by:

    FISHER, PATTERSON, SAYLER & SMITH


  • 24 Apr 2017 9:24 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    Kansas Courts News Release

    Contact: 

    Lisa Taylor
    Public Information Director 
    785-296-4872
    taylorl@kscourts.org

    Supreme Court accepting comment on proposed new and amended rules for specialty courts

    TOPEKA—The Kansas Supreme Court is accepting public comment on a proposed new rule and a proposed amended rule that address how specialty courts are defined and what standards judicial districts follow when creating a specialty court.

    Comment on the proposed new rule and proposed amended rule may be made by email to publiccomments@kscourts.org until 5 p.m. Monday, May 22, 2017. The subject line must read Specialty Court.

    A specialty court is one that uses therapeutic or problem-solving procedures to address underlying factors that contribute to a person's involvement in the criminal justice system, whether those underlying factors are mental illness or addiction.

    • Proposed Amended Supreme Court Rule 109A allows a judicial district to create a specialty court to address specific needs within its district. The proposed amendment to this rule simplifies the terminology used to describe these courts. 
    • Proposed Supreme Court Rule 109B is new and adopts general standards for judicial districts creating a specialty court. These new standards include having measurable goals and objectives, using evidence-based practices, and having trained, knowledgeable judges overseeing the specialty court.
    The proposed rules are available for review on the Kansas judicial branch website at www.kscourts.org under the heading What's New. 
  • 21 Apr 2017 10:23 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

    Kansas Courts News Release

    April 21, 2017

    Contact: 
    Lisa Taylor
    Public Information Director 
    785-296-4872
    taylorl@kscourts.org


    The Kansas Supreme Court released published decisions today in the following cases: 

    Appeal No. 111,235: FV-I, Inc., In Trust for Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital Holdings, LLC v. Constance M. Kallevig, et. al., and Bank of the Prairie 
     
    The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the Court of Appeals opinion affirming the Miami County District Court's decision in a mortgage foreclosure proceeding between FV-I and junior mortgage holder Bank of the Prairie. The district court initially granted summary judgment in the Bank of Prairie's favor, and the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for trial. The district court ruled that FV-I lacked standing to file the foreclosure petition, failed to establish enforcement rights in the note at trial, and the Bank of Prairie's mortgages had priority. The Court of Appeals affirmed on appeal, and the Supreme Court granted FV-I's petition for review.
     
    Writing for a unanimous court, Justice Eric Rosen held that standing in a foreclosure action is predicated on the plaintiff's ability to demonstrate that it was in possession of the note with enforcement rights at the time it filed the foreclosure action, and possession of the mortgage alone is insufficient to establish standing. The court held that remand was necessary because the district court erroneously excluded two endorsements on the note that may have been able to establish standing. The court vacated the Court of Appeals' priority determination in the Bank of Prairie's counterclaim noting that an unenforceable mortgage remains in existence.     

    Appeal No. 111,046: State of Kansas v. David Darrel Williams
     
    An Ellis County jury convicted David Darrel William of distribution of methamphetamine. On appeal, Williams challenged a district court judge's decision to allow the jury to consider an audio recording of an informant who participated in the drug buy underlying the prosecution but did not testify against Williams at his trial.
     
    The Kansas Supreme Court agreed with Williams that the audio recording included testimonial statements by the informant – one identifying Williams and one identifying the methamphetamine. Admission of the recording violated Williams' right to confront the witnesses against him, but the error was harmless and did not require reversal of Williams' conviction.

    Appeal No. 114,721: State of Kansas v. Patrick Angelo

    In a unanimous decision written by Justice Marla Luckert, the Kansas Supreme Court rejected Patrick Angelo's appeal from his consecutive life sentences. Angelo was convicted in Wyandotte County District Court of two counts of premeditated murder and, on his first habeas corpus motion, the Court of Appeals concluded the district court had mistakenly only pronounced sentence on count one — an error that required resentencing. A different district court judge then pronounced what he believed the first district court intended: two terms of life imprisonment with parole eligibility after 25 years, to run consecutive to one another. Angelo appealed from the resentencing order, and the Supreme Court affirmed Angelo's sentences after concluding his arguments against them depended on an inapplicable statute. 

    Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today 



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