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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - December 11, 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 Supreme Court today filed 38 opinions. Today's filings include:

Appeal No. 79,979: Harold Reifschneider and Joyce Reifschneider v. State of Kansas; The Kansas State Lottery et al.

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms a Shawnee County decision dismissing the plaintiff's lawsuit in which they attempted to recoup $177,442 they contend is owed them by virtue of a winning lottery ticket; however, the court left the door open for them to attempt recovery using a different procedure under the Kansas Judicial Review Act.

Appeal No. 78,891: State v. Cornelius Johnson

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Larson, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery, but reverses a third count of aggravated burglary, holding that the defendant's entry into a house being used for the sale of drugs was "not authorized" was not proven.

Appeal No. 77,646: State v. Geno D. Mullins

The court affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery, but reverses a third count of aggravated burglary. (Companion case to State v. Johnson, immediately above.)

Appeal No. 79,372: State v. Deandre Harris

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County first-degree murder conviction, which arose from the August 1996 death of Paul Moore, who was shot in a Kansas City, KS, alley.

Appeal No. 78,334: State v. Damon L. Vontress

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County first-degree murder conviction and resulting hard 40 sentence, but reverses his conviction for aggravated battery, one of two lesser offenses the court determined were multiplicitous. (Left intact is his conviction of aggravated robbery.)

Appeal No. 80,606: State of Kansas ex rel Wayne Franklin, Secretary of Human Resources, v. City of Topeka Human Relations Commission and Thelma A. Drayton

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, affirms a Shawnee County decision that cities' anti-discrimination ordinances can be enforced against state agencies that have offices in the city because the legislature has neither expressly preempted the field nor exempted employment discrimination violations from the Tort Claims Act.

Appeal No. 80,274: The Kansas East Conference of the United Methodist Church Inc. v. Bethany Medical Center Inc.

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, affirms a Wyandotte County decision that Bethany Medical Center should not be dissolved. However, the court reverses a second holding of the trial court that Bethany should be permanently enjoined from amending its articles of incorporation to remove the Kansas East Conference of the United Methodist Church as the designated recipient of Bethany's assets in the event of its dissolution.

Docket No. 81,427: In Re: Russell W. Davisson

The court places a Wichita attorney on two years supervised probation under conditions that include limiting his practice, maintaining malpractice insurance, and paying a judgment pending against him that arose from his handling of a client's automobile accident.

Docket No. 81,658: In Re: Patrick S. Levy

The court imposes published censure against a Lawrence attorney arising from three complaints brought against him.

Docket No. 81,657: In Re: Terrence A. Lober

The court places a Leavenworth attorney on two years supervised probation for several violations of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

Docket No. 81,523: In Re: Kerry D. Howlett

The court disbars a Kansas City, KS, based on his conviction of felony theft for taking a $1,000 fee from a client three days after he had been formally suspended from the practice of law for one year.

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