Kansas Supreme Court orders hospital to hand over electronic records

Published: Jan. 8, 2023 at 1:11 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Following allegations that a Kansas Hospital violated the Kansas Open Records Act, a Phillips Co. woman has been granted access to the documents she requested.

The Kansas Supreme Court says that in the matter of Appeal No. 122,810: Kelly Roe v. Phillips County Hospital it has reversed a Court of Appeals decision and affirmed the judgment from the Phillips Co. District Court. The move comes after the Phillips Co. Hospital appealed the court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Roe.

Court documents indicate that after the hospital refused to provide Roe with copies of certain requested public records in their electronic format, she filed an action under the Kansas Open Records Act to obtain the documents.

The Court noted that the Phillips Co. District Court granted summary judgment to Roe and held that the Kansas Open Records Act required the hospital to provide electronic copies of the records. A Court of Appeals panel reversed that decision as KORA contained no mandatory language which requires electronic production.

On review, the Court said it found that KORA does require a public agency to provide a copy of a public record in the form in which it maintains that record. Therefore, as Roe requested copies of records created and stored electronically, KORA requires the hospital to provide her with electronic copies of those records.