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Chief Justice continues suspension of time limitations, deadlines

(WOWT)
Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 6:44 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Chief Justice Marla Luckert has continued the suspension of time limitations and deadlines for Kansas Courts due to COVID-19.

Chief Justice Marla Luckert says she will not reinstate statutes of limitation and statutory time standards or deadlines applying to the conduct or processing of judicial proceedings on Aug. 17.

Luckert said on June 29 she planned to reinstate most time requirements effective Aug. 3, based on the assumption that all district courts would be providing in-person services at that time.

According to Luckert, due to rising COVID-19 case numbers in some jurisdictions, some courts closed offices to the public after Luckert’s June 29 announcement. She says in response, she adjusted her timeline and announced she would provide an update about a projected date o reinstate some time limits, deadlines and time standards. She also says that the reinstatement would not occur before Aug. 17.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 4, some court offices remain closed to the public. Luckert says she will continue to monitor the situation and will provide at least a two weeks notice before reinstating any deadlines.

“All district courts are now able to process cases remotely, but I need to be sure all courts can also provide some level of in-person service before I reinstate timelines and deadlines,” Luckert said.

The Kansas Supreme Court says it is seeking grant funding to develop alternative methods to deliver services to the people of Kansas so deadlines can be reinstated without fear someone will be unable to access the courts and lose the ability to protect a constitutional right or to prosecute a cause of action.

Luckert says she will provide periodic updates because she wants Kansans and their attorneys to have adequate notice of her plan to reinstate statutes of limitation and statutory time standards or deadlines. She says after reinstatement courts, attorneys and self-represented parties must be ready to move cases forward or accept consequences for missing deadlines or statutes of limitations, which can cause cases to be dismissed.

Luckert says she plans to continue the suspension of some time limitations. She says those would include statutory speedy trial deadlines in criminal cases, the time requirements for filing actions and the time requirements for processing limit actions cases.

According to Luckert, even while statutes of limitation and statutory time standards or deadlines have been suspended, courts have continued to process cases. She says all state courts are conducting many types of proceedings using teleconferencing technology, greatly reducing the need for in-person eharings.

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