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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - July 14, 2000

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 47 opinions. The full text of these decisions may be found at www.kscourts.org. Today's filings include:

Appeal No. 82,454: State v. Marcus Rodriquez

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Edward Larson, affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County conviction of arson and the upward departure sentence of 27 months imprisonment for the burning of Scruffy, the dog.

Appeal No. 82,347: State v. Edward B. Wilkinson

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation's disclosure over the Internet of sex offender registration, when construed in harmony with the Kansas Open Records Act, does not violate the Kansas Sex Offender Registration Act, a unanimous Supreme Court held today. Writing for the court, Justice Edward Larson said sex offenders have been on notice since April 14, 1994, that if they commit certain crimes they will be subject to public disclosure, affirming Sedgwick County District Court.

Appeal No. 81,073: National Education Association-Topeka et al. v. Unified School District No. 501 and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Inc.

The court, in a 5-2 decision, affirms a Shawnee County District Court ruling that refunds of surplus health insurance premiums should be retained by the school district, not the insureds. The majority, led by Justice Fred N. Six, said the teachers missed their opportunity to claim the so-called "divisible surplus" by not filing a timely grievance regarding it as specified in the professional employment agreement between NEA-T and the school district. Dissenting are Justices Tyler C. Lockett and Donald L. Allegrucci. (Today's decision is a reconsideration of the appeal, which earlier was decided by a court split 3-3 with Justice Bob Abbott not participating.) Senior Judge James W. Paddock subsequently was assigned to sit with the court to participate in today's decision. The earlier decision had the effect of affirming Shawnee County's Judge Terry L. Bullock because there was no majority. Today's decision affirms the court once again.)

Appeal No. 82,080: In the Matter of the Care and Treatment of Michael T. Crane

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, orders a new trial in Crane's Johnson County sexual predator case, due to the trial court's failure to instruct jurors that they must find that Crane was unable to control his dangerous behavior due to a volitional impairment, as set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in the earlier State v. Hendricks sexual predator appeal.

Appeal No. 82,354: State ex rel State Board of Healing Arts v. Stanley W. Beyrle

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Edward Larson, upholds the constitutionality of the state's statutes relating to naturopathy, but affirms a Sedgwick County decision enjoining a naturopathy practitioner from prescribing drugs or practicing surgery or obstetrics.

Appeal No. 83,056: State v. Terry L. Adams

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Fred N. Six, affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County convictions of felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and criminal possession of a firearm, which arose from the May 1997 fatal drive-by shooting of Derrick Rusley, rejecting his contentions that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict and that African Americans were improperly excluded from the jury.

Appeal No. 82,687: State v. Crystal J. Jasper

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms the defendant's Barton County conviction of felony murder based on child abuse, rejecting her claims that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing to appoint new counsel and that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the conviction.

Appeal No. 82,756: State v. Isaac D. Saiz

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, and discharge of a firearm in an occupied building, rejecting his contentions that he was entitled to an instruction on aggravated assault and that the evidence was not sufficient to support the verdict.

Appeal No. 81,644: State v. Chester R. Jamison

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of two counts of first-degree murder, as well as his two consecutive hard 40 sentences. He unsuccessfully contended in the appeal that there was erroneous admission of evidence relating to flight, gang membership, and an anonymous tip. (The admission of the latter was held to be harmless error.) He also contended there was a lack of sufficient evidence to support his convictions and that the consecutive sentences were improperly imposed.

Docket No. 84,334: In Re: Susan M. Shumway

The court suspends the law license of an Olathe attorney for one year based upon her misappropriation of a client's funds and imposes other conditions of her reinstatement after the year is up.

Docket No. 84,675: In Re: Mark J. Sachse

The court imposes a two-year probationary period (with 15 conditions of probation) for a Kansas City attorney based upon seven complaints brought against by clients.

Docket No. 84,256: In Re: Christopher E. Lucas

The court suspends the law license of an Overland Park attorney for two years based upon violation of rules of professional conduct regarding the proper placement of client funds and engaging in conduct involving, dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

Docket No. 84,676: In Re: John E. Rogers

The court disbars a Kansas City, MO, attorney who was licensed in Kansas based upon his Missouri disbarment, which arose from a 1997 complaint in Missouri arising from the solicitation of clients in a joint marketing program with a chiropractor during 1996 and 1997.

Being held over for decision later are:

#80,643: State v. Hedges
#83,271: Sebelius v. LaFaver
#83,004: In re Arabia
#82,504: State v. Fulton
#81,835: Goldbarth v. KS St. Bd. of Regents
#81,631: In re 18th Judicial District
#83,423: In re Barton-Dobenin
#82,678: State v. Robbins