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Kansas Courts Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)



Court operations during pandemic response

Chief Justice Marla Luckert issued six new administrative orders May 1 to provide updated direction to state courts and court users for gradually reopening state courts and increasing the number and types of service delivered to the people of Kansas.

Administrative orders related to COVID-19
News releases related to COVID-19

These actions allow courts to continue to provide vital services to the people of Kansas while following public health guidelines to protect people served and court personnel.  
 

Reopening district courts

For current information about district court operations during the pandemic, visit the court’s website. If a court website does not give you the information you need, call the court clerk. 

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Administrative orders

Two administrative orders that give direction to district courts are:

Administrative Order 2020-PR-049 applies to courts closed by order or directive.
Administrative Order 2020-PR-048 applies to courts not closed by order or directive.

The orders provide measures to allow court processes to continue while significantly reducing the number and frequency of in-person contact and using health protective measures when in-person contact is required.

Courts not closed by order or directive

For a complete explanation, read Administrative Order 2020-PR-048.

Before reopening, courts must seek input and follow guidance from local public health officials to:

  • plan for a safe return to in-person hearings based on local risk and the courthouse facility;

  • screen people entering courtrooms and court offices; and

  • use appropriate measures—masks, gloves, cleaning and sanitizing—to protect the health of people coming into courtrooms and court offices, including court personnel.

Courts are also directed to:

  • reduce in-person court appearances by conducting remote hearings when possible; and

  • allowing telework to its greatest extent possible to reduce the number of people in the courthouse.

Courts closed by order or directive

For a complete explanation, read Administrative Order 2020-PR-049.

A court closed by order or directive must provide essential functions, although the court may perform other functions as local resources and circumstances allow.

Essential functions generally include:

  • determining probable cause for persons arrested without a warrant;

  • first appearances;

  • bond hearings;

  • warrants for adults and juveniles;

  • juvenile detention hearings;

  • care and treatment emergency orders;

  • protection from abuse and protection from stalking temporary orders;

  • child in need of care hearings and orders;

  • commitment of sexually violent predators; and

  • isolation and quarantine hearings and orders.

Courts are also directed to:

  • conduct hearings related to essential functions by remote technology when possible;

  • conduct hearings related to nonessential functions by remote technology only; and 

  • ​allow telework to its greatest extent possible to reduce the number of people in the courthouse.


Statutes of limitations and statutory time standards suspended

The 2020 House Substitute for Senate Bill No. 102 referenced in Administrative Order 2020-PR-016 was published in the March 19, 2020, Kansas Register. It permits the chief justice to suspend until further order all statutes of limitations and statutory time standards or deadlines that apply to conducting or processing judicial proceedings. During the effective dates of the order, no action will be dismissed for lack of  prosecution.
 

For attorneys

03-20-20: Chief Justice Marla Luckert's letter to the Kansas bar
03-16-20: Attorney, client protocol established for Kansas courts
 

Kansas Judicial Center closed

The Kansas Judicial Center is closed until further notice. Contact us at:

Office of Judicial Administration
785-296-2256
info@kscourts.org

Clerk of the Appellate Courts
785-296-3229
appellateclerk@kscourts.org

Other email contacts

 

Public health resources

Kansas Department of Health and Environment--COVID-19 Resource Center
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention--Coronavirus (COVID-19)
World Health Organization--Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
 

Preparing for a public health emergency

NCSC: State courts are responding to the coronavirus to protect the public, while maintaining access to justice
NCSC: Preparing for a Pandemic - An Emergency Response Benchbook & Operational Guide for State Court Judges and Administrators


Fact sheets 

What you need to know about coronavirus disease
Lo que necesita saber sobre la enfermedad del coronavirus
 
What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease
Qué hacer si se contrae la enfermedad del coronavirus


Signs

Access to courts

COVID-19 Disease and the Courts
 
Visitor alert

Symptoms of coronavirus disease
Síntomas de la enfermedad del coronavirus
 
Stay home if you are sick
Quédese en casa si está enfermo
 
Stop the spread of germs
Detenga la propagación de los microbios
 
Don't spread germs at work
No propague los microbios en el trabajo



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