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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - December 3, 2004

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 23 opinions. The full text of these decisions may be found at www.kscourts.org.

Appeal No. 90,762: Roland Whye v. City Council for the City of Topeka

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Carol A. Beier, affirms a Shawnee County decision holding that a former Topeka police major's wrongful termination case was filed too late. The court held that the two-year statute of limitations begins to run at the time a plaintiff tenders his or her resignation or announces a plan to retire.

Appeal No. 91,041: State v. Kyle Cavaness

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Marla Luckert, affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County convictions of premeditated first-degree murder, and related charges arising from the brutal slaying of Deangelo Wheeler, which occurred at a Kansas City, KS, residence in October 2002. The court rejected his objections that an instruction on the lesser-included offense of second-degree murder should have been given, to the admission of gruesome photographs of the victim, and that there was insufficient evidence to support the verdict.

Appeal No. 91,275: Charles D. Brown v. State of Kansas

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Lawton R. Nuss, reinstates an appeal of a Sedgwick County decision denying Brown's civil attack of his 1998 convictions of three counts each of aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated indecent liberties with a minor. His appeal from the denial of his petition for relief was dismissed by the trial court as not being filed within statutory deadlines; however, the court today held that Brown was not advised of the denial until long after the deadlines passed and, thus, should be allowed to effect the appeal to the Court of Appeals.

Appeal Nos. 89,603 and 89,656: State v. Jamie C. Stevens

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, orders resentencing on his conviction of attempted manufacture of methamphetamine and sets aside a conviction of possession of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. A third charge of possession of drug paraphernalia with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine is affirmed.

Appeal No. 89,560: William Gonzalez-Centeno v. North Central Kansas Regional Juvenile Detention Facility

The court, in a case of first impression, recognizes a cause of action for retaliatory discharge for exercising rights under the Workers Compensation Act against an employer other than the employer against the workers compensation claim was or might be asserted. In this matter, the plaintiff was injured at one place of employment and contended in a suit against a second employer that the second employer terminated him as a result of his filing a worker's compensation claim against the first employer. (Unanimous, Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, affirming in part and reversing in part the Geary County District Court.

Appeal No. 91,779: Lois Sander v. State of Kansas and State Self-Insurance Fund

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert L. Gernon, finds it has no jurisdiction to decide an appeal from an Ellis County District Court decision disqualifying an administrative law judge in worker's compensation proceedings.

Appeal No. 91,039: State v. Paul A. McCoin

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert L. Gernon, orders an appeal from the denial of his motion in Lyon County District Court to correct an illegal sentence to be dismissed because the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hear it.

Docket No. 92,142: In Re: Glenn F. Anderson II

The court disbars a Wichita attorney based on numerous complaints arising from his association with a suspended lawyer.

Docket No. 91,877: In Re: Michael K. Sheahon

The court orders published censure for a Salina attorney based on two complaints arising from his representation in unrelated matters.

Docket No. 92,072: In Re: Allen B. Angst

The court orders published censure for an Abilene attorney based on his conviction of domestic battery.

Docket No. 92,140: In Re: Victor S. Nelson

The court imposes indefinite suspension of a Wichita attorney's law license based on his representation in three unrelated cases.