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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - March 13, 1998

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 court, as a follow-up to the March 6, 1998, opinion release date, has filed four decisions today, which are summarized below. The full text of the decisions and the summaries may be found at the Judicial Branch web site.

Appeal No. 78,548: CURB et al. v. Kansas Corporation Commission

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, upholds the validity of the 1996 Kansas Telecommunications Act and orders of the Kansas Corporation Commission implementing it. (See the separate news release for an extended summary and Appeal No. 78,548, for the full text of the decision.)

Appeal No. 79,358: In the Matter of B.M.B.

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, rules that a juvenile under 14 years of age must be given an opportunity to consult with his or her parent, guardian, or attorney, about waiving the rights to an attorney and against self-incrimination. Under today's ruling, both the parent and juvenile are to be advised of the juvenile's rights, and absent the warning and consultation, a statement or confession cannot be used against the juvenile. (Unanimous, reversing a Sedgwick County rape adjudication of juvenile, who was 10 years old when questioned in May 1996 about an incident in a sand pile involving a 4-year-old female playmate. Chief Justice Kay McFarland and Justice Fred N. Six concur in the result reached in this decision.)

Appeal No. 78,383: State v. Ryan Lueker

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Chief Justice Kay McFarland, reverses a Dickinson County ruling dismissing a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm within five years of a felony conviction against a Herington man who used a rifle to shoot and kill an intruder who physically attacked the defendant and his girlfriend during an altercation at Lueker's home. The state stipulated that the weapon was used in self-defense. Justice Bob Abbott, in a concurring opinion, said the jury should have been given an instruction enabling it to determine whether the possession was justifiable as self-defense in view of previous attacks by the decedent. However, that issue was not raised on appeal or considered by the trial court, Justice Abbott noted. His concurring opinion was joined by Justices Tyler C. Lockett and Donald L. Allegrucci.

Appeal No. 78509: Smith v. State

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Fred N. Six, affirms a decision upholding a Shawnee County District Court administrative order setting up a court-administered bail bond program for non-violent offenders. (Unanimous, affirming decision of Hon. Stephen D. Hill, Paola, Assigned, dismissing claims under the federal civil rights statute and under the Kansas Tort Claims Act.)