Kansas High Court finds Wichita ordinance unconstitutionally overbroad

City of Wichita
City of Wichita(KWCH)
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 1:05 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Supreme Court has sided with a Wichita man and found that a city ordinance is unconstitutionally overbroad thereby vacating his convictions.

The Kansas Supreme Court says in the matter of Appeal No. 122,007: City of Wichita v. Arlando Trotter, it affirmed part and reversed part of the Court of Appeals decision to reverse the Sedgwick Co. District Court’s dismissal of two criminal charges against Trotter.

The Wichita Municipal Court convicted Trotter of failing to file a license application after-hours and teen club or entertainment, which the Supreme Court said it knew nearly nothing about.

After the conviction, the Supreme Court said the district court vacated the convictions on appeal and then dismissed the charges finding the municipal ordinances unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the First Amendment.

Court records indicate that the Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of both charges as it found the ordinance was not overbroad and further found the district court had made a mistake in dismissing the second charge under a separate statute.

The Supreme Court said it unanimously reversed the Court of Appeals on both grounds, finding that the ordnance was, in fact, unconstitutionally overbroad and that the panel made a mistake by raising the propriety of the second dismissal because the City of Wichita had waived the issue in its briefing.

Thus, the Court said it affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Trotter’s charges.

Finally, the Court also affirmed the Court of Appeals’ rejection of a Fourth Amendment-related claim Trotter raised under the overbreadth analysis.

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