Time limitations and deadlines re-implemented in Kansas courts

Published: Jul. 4, 2020 at 2:24 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Chief Justice announces a plan to reinstate statutes of limitation and time standards applying to conduct or processing of judicial proceedings.

Chief Justice Marla Luckert says it is her plan to reinstate statutes of limitation and statutory time standards that apply to the conduct or processing of judicial proceedings after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My actions to suspend some deadlines and time limitations at the beginning of the pandemic were to uphold peoples’ legal and constitutional rights while courts made changes to case processing to adhere to public health guidelines,” Luckert said. “Now more services are being provided remotely, and all district courts are providing in-person service.”

Luckert says she is announcing her plan now so Kansans and attorneys have proper notice of the decision to reinstate deadlines and statutes of limitations impacting court proceedings.

The Chief Justice says it is her plan to reinstate most time requirements by August 3, 2020, assuming that all district court facilities in Kansas remain open to the public.

Luckert says courts across Kansas have worked with local health officials to reopen court offices to the public and some have allowed access for several weeks while others have just recently done so.

According to Luckert, under her plan, the suspension of deadlines in K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 22-3401, K.S.A. 12-4501 and K.S.A. 12-4403 will all continue after August 1.

The judge says these statutes deal with speedy trial deadlines in criminal cases in district courts and time requirements for trials and arraignments in municipal courts.

Luckert says courts must meet constitutional requirements but also need to be flexible until trials can be safely scheduled in large numbers. St least some municipal courts do not plan to reopen until after August 1, says the judge.

According to Luckert, health conditions in jails and prisons will continue to be monitored in order to determine whether other deadlines that impact prisoners should remain suspended.

Luckert says several orders under 2020 House Substitute for Senate Bill 102 are impacted. She says the legislation and its amendments in 2020 Special Session House Bill 2016 allow her to enter certain orders during any state of disaster emergency declared under K.S.A. 48-924 when deemed necessary to secure the health and safety of court users, staff and judicial officers.

According to the Chief Justice, the legislation authorized an order extending or suspending any deadlines or time limitations established by statute. She says she invoked this provision in connection with Governor Laura Kelly’s declarations of a state of disaster emergency.

For more information on what district courts are doing to resume necessary court proceedings after COVID-19 lockdowns visit the Kansas Courts website.

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