Chief Justice continues suspension of court deadlines, time limitations

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 5:37 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Chief Justice Marla Luckert has signed a new administrative order which continues the suspension of deadlines and time limitations.

The Kansas Judicial Branch says Chief Justice Marla Luckert has issued a new administrative order continuing the suspension of statutes of limitation, statutory time standards, deadlines and time limitations that started under earlier orders responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kansas courts says Luckert’s order follows the State Finance Council’s decision to extend the COVID-19 state of disaster emergency.

The Court says Administrative Order 2020-PR-101 continues the suspension of statutory deadlines and time limitations to bring a defendant to trial in district court.

According to the Branch, the order also continues the suspension of statutes of limitations, statutory time standards or deadlines applying to conducting or processing judicial proceedings. It said under the order no action may be dismissed for lack of prosecution or failure to meet a deadline, except when a judge, appellate judicial officer or hearing officer exempts a case from the suspension.

The Branch also said the order continues the suspension of certain deadlines and time standards which include applicable statutory speedy trial provisions, for any municipal court closed or continuing trials due to COVID-19. It said the suspensions remain in effect until the court reopens and can reasonably place the case on its calendar, or until further order.

According to the Court, Tuesday’s order will remain in effect until further ordered or it expires under provisions in 2020 House Substitute for Senate Bill 102 as amended by the 2020 Special Session House Bill 2016.

The Branch said courts continue to process cases while statutes of limitation and statutory time standards or deadlines have been suspended. It said judges hear various types of proceedings using videoconferencing technology, greatly reducing the need for in-person hearings. It said in-person hearings, which include jury trials, are also taking place with social distancing and other precautions.

“Despite great strides by judges and court employees to overcome obstacles presented by the pandemic, public health concerns continue to create barriers to access to justice for many Kansans,” Luckert said. “These barriers create a substantial risk that Kansans could forfeit claims, causes of action, or legal rights if time requirements are reinstated.”

For more information on Kansas courts and COVID-19, click here.

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