Kansas Judicial Branch Home
Cases and Opinions
Kansas Judicial Branch

The Kansas Supreme Court
301 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka Kansas 66612-1507

Office of Judicial Administration
Fax:  785.296.7076
Email: info@kscourts.org

Appellate Clerk's Office
Fax:  785.296.1028
Email: appellateclerk@kscourts.org

Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - March 7, 1997

Summaries and press releases are prepared by Ron Keefover, Office of Judicial Administration, Kansas Judicial Center, 301 West 10th, Topeka, KS 66612-1507 (785-296-2256), e-mail: keefoverr@kscourts.org.

The Supreme Court today filed 24 opinions. Today's filings include:

Appeal No. 77,659: In Re: Stuart W. Gribble

The court indefinitely suspends the law license of a Wichita attorney who served as a part-time hearing officer for the Kansas Department or Revenue, presiding over driver's license suspension hearings, based upon his dismissal of eight cases of persons who had employed him as an attorney to represent them in their DUI cases.

Appeal No. 77,688: In Re: Patrick S. Dow

The court indefinitely suspends the law license of a Eureka attorney based upon numerous violations of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

Appeal No. 77,821: In Re: Mark A. Roy

The court imposes published censure against an Overland Park attorney based upon his handling of a bankruptcy matter. (Justice Fred N. Six dissents, saying he would have imposed a six-month suspension of the respondent's law license.)

Appeal No. 75,882: State v. Donald L. Mallory

The court affirms the defendant's Jewell County controlling sentence of 28 years to life based upon his guilty pleas to second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated robbery.

Appeal No. 75,219: State v. Kim R. Ordway

The court, in a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, affirms the defendant's Rooks County convictions of two counts of second-degree murder and one count of felony theft, which arose from the shotgun slayings of his parents, Clarence and Betty Ordway.

Appeal No. 76,574: Board of Trego County Commissioners v. Division of Property Valuation et al.

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms a Trego County District Court decision sustaining the Director of the Division of Property Valuation's finding that the county commission improperly terminated the county appraiser and exceeded its home rule powers by placing a nonstatutory requirement on the appraiser's appointment.

Appeal No. 76,097: Board of Leavenworth County Commissioners v. McGraw Fertilizer Service Inc. and Board of Leavenworth County Commissioners v. Geiger Ready-Mix Co.

"Retail cost when new," for purposes of ad valorem taxation never includes sales tax and does not always include the addition of freight and installation charges to the purchase price of an item, the court rules in a Leavenworth County appeal in which the district court affirmed the State Board of Tax Appeals.

Appeal No. 75,808: State v. Jerry Lee Robinson

The court, in a majority decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms Robinson's Franklin County second-degree murder conviction, which arose from the death of Claude Richard Crowley, who was struck in the head with a golf club at Ottawa's Forest Park. Justice Tyler C. Lockett, in a concurring and dissenting opinion, said he would affirm the conviction, but would have held that a confession Robinson gave police was improperly admitted, but constituted harmless error in view of other overwhelming evidence of the defendant's guilt. Justice Lockett's concurring and dissenting opinion is joined by Justices Donald L. Allegrucci and Fred N. Six.

Appeal No. 74,528: In the Matter of the Application of Nina Kaul, for exemption from ad valorem taxes in Jackson County

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, reverses a Jackson County District Court ruling affirming the State Board of Tax Appeals' finding that land owned by Kaul on the Potawatomi Reservation is subject to property taxes. Today's decision remands to the State Board of Tax Appeals for additional findings as to the source of the land's ownership and then for a determination of the propriety of state ad valorem taxes on Kaul's land in light of the treaties between the Potawatomi Tribe and the United States government and a U.S. Supreme Court in the area.

Appeal No. 77,177: Arlene Eveleigh, County Commissioner of Trego County, v. Kathleen Conness, Trego County Clerk

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms a Trego district court decision that a recall petition seeking the recall of Eveleigh, is legally sufficient.

Appeal No. 72,538: Michelle Shirley v. U. Duane Smith, M.D.

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, affirms an Ellsworth County jury verdict awarding Shirley $457,000 in a medical malpractice case.

Appeal No. 74,361: State v. Johnnie P. Scales

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, orders resentencing in a Reno County case in which Scales received a sentence of 86 months for voluntary manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon. The sentence was imposed based upon his guilty pleas to the charges, which arose from the death of Kevin Covington and is reversed based upon the trial court's ex parte communication with the family of the homicide victim and his consideration of a petition requesting harsh punishment.

Being held over for decision later are:

Appeal No. 75,608: State v. Jackson
Appeal No. 72,257: State v. Orr
Appeal No. 75,381: State v. Cheek
Appeal No. 75,497: KPERS v. Reimer & Koger et al.
Appeal No. 74,774: State v. Moncla
Appeal No. 76,511: Roark v. Finney
Appeal No. 73,410: In Re: Betts
Appeal No. 74,211: Brigham v. Dillon Companies
Appeal No. 76,658: In Re: Harris
Appeal No. 75,290: State v. Plunkett
Appeal No. 76,618: Gragg v. Wichita State University
Appeal No. 76,184: In Re: Cherokee County