Articles Posted in Kansas Supreme Court

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The Kansas Legislature intended the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) to be a civil, nonpunitive remedial scheme, and therefore, the retroactive imposition of KORA’s fifteen-year registration period on Appellant, as a drug offender, did not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution. At the time Appellant committed his qualifying drug offense, KORA required him to register for ten years. Subsequent amendments made to KORA extended Appellant’s registration period to fifteen years. Appellant filed a motion for clarification on the status of his need to register. The district court filed a nunc pro tuna entry of judgment erroneously stating that Appellant’s registration period was for ten years rather than fifteen years. The court of appeals affirmed and remanded the case to the district court to correct the length of registration error. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) KORA registration for sex offenders is not punishment, and therefore, retroactive application of KORA”s tolling provision to sex offenders does not violate the Ex Post Fact Clause; and (2) Appellant was subject to the current fifteen-year registration requirement. View "State v. Meredith" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed an intentional tort lawsuit against Defendants for injuries he allegedly suffered as a result of a battery. The case was dismissed for lack of prosecution. Plaintiff refiled his case using the Kansas savings statute, Kan. Stat. Ann. 60-518. The district court dismissed the case once again for lack of prosecution. Plaintiff then filed this third action, attempting to invoke section 6-518 a second time. The district court dismissed the action with prejudice. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding (1) a party may use section 60-518 only one time to resurrect a case dismissed for a reason other than upon the merits when the statute of limitations for the underlying cause of action has expired; and (2) therefore, this action was barred by the statute of limitations and properly dismissed with prejudice. View "Lozano v. Alvarez" on Justia Law

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A jury found Cecil Emerson was a sexually violent predator, and the district court ordered him committed. In 2001, Emerson filed a notice of appeal. The Court of Appeals ultimately dismissed the appeal in 2002 after Emerson’s counsel failed to file a brief. In 2014, Emerson moved the district court to permit an out-of-time appeal of the underlying ruling that he was a sexually violent predator. The district court ruled that it would give Emerson the right to appeal based upon his previous counsel’s lack of action after the notice of appeal was filed and the appeal was dismissed. In 2015, Emerson filed a notice of appeal. The Court of Appeals concluded that Emerson was entitled to an out-of-time appeal based on principles of fundamental fairness and then rejected Emerson’s arguments. Emerson petitioned for review. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the district court lost jurisdiction to authorize the filing of the out-of-time direct appeal when the initial appeal was docketed in the Court of Appeals, and therefore, the district court could not set aside the order of the Court of Appeals and reinstate the appeal. View "In re Care & Treatment of Emerson" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Defendants. The district judge issued a memorandum decision addressing various motions for partial and full summary judgment. Plaintiffs subsequently filed a motion seeking the district judge’s certification of the memorandum decision as a final judgment under Kan. Stat. Ann. 60-254(b). The district judge granted the request in a journal entry, determining that “there is no just reason for delay.” Within thirty days of the filing of the court’s journal entry, Plaintiffs then filed their notice of appeal of the adverse rulings. The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal, ruling that Prime Lending II v. Trolley’s Real Estate Holdings controlled and that the district court had no discretion to retroactively certify the judgment as immediately appealable. The Supreme Court vacated the Court of Appeals’ order dismissing Plaintiff’s appeal, holding (1) a certification of “no just reason for delay” may be made after summary judgment is granted to fewer than all parties or on fewer than all claims; (2) the filing date of the district court order or journal entry memorializing that certification starts the thirty-day appeal clock; and (3) the district judge’s certification of his original decision as an appealable judgment was successful in this case. View "Ullery v. Othick" on Justia Law

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In 2008, Plaintiff settled his negligence case against Defendant. The district court dismissed the litigation for lack of prosecution later that year. More than four years later, Plaintiff filed a motion to set aside the dismissal order, alleging that he never received payment. The district court set aside the dismissal order. Defendant then filed this interlocutory appeal arguing that the district court lacked jurisdiction to set aside the dismissal order because Plaintiff’s motion was untimely under Kan. Stat. Ann. 60-260(c). Defendant did not seek certification for his interlocutory appeal but, instead, argued that a common-law jurisdictional exception permitted an appeal from an order setting aside a final judgment, citing Brown v. Fitzpatrick. The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, concluding that Brown was no longer viable in light of more recent case law from the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Brown is overruled to the extent it endorsed a judicially created appeal right in a civil case outside of those created by statute; and (2) Plaintiff’s appeal in this case must be dismissed because it was not brought in accordance with the statute governing interlocutory appeals. View "Wiechman v. Huddleston" on Justia Law