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Kansas Courts Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)



Court operations during pandemic 

Chief Justice Marla Luckert and the Kansas Supreme Court have issued a series of administrative orders to define how district and appellate courts will safely operate during the COVID pandemic. This allows state courts to continue to provide vital services to the people of Kansas while following public health guidelines that protect judges, court staff, and the people who come into our courts.

NEW! Supreme Court issues new administrative order, personnel policies related to COVID-19

(07-01-21) Chief justice reinstates additional statutory deadlines and time limitations beginning August 2

(05-24-21): Supreme Court issues updated COVID-19 policies and procedures

(03-31-21): Most time limitations, deadlines in court proceedings reinstated effective April 15, 2021
Missing deadlines or statutes of limitations can cause cases to be dismissed. 

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

Pandemic court initiatives

The Supreme Court formed two groups to examine issues related court operations during the pandemic.

Ad Hoc Jury Task Force
Ad Hoc Virtual Court Proceedings Committee
 

District court operations

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

Find a district court
Find court forms
Judicial branch court forms (forms created since the beginning of the pandemic)
File using a district court drop box
 

Administrative Order 2022-PR-014

Administrative Order 2022-PR-014 supersedes and rescinds Administrative Order 2021-PR-048. The new order acknowledges COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are widely available and COVID-19 cases appear to be in decline. 

The order gives chief judges greater control to develop minimum standard health protocols as needed to avoid exposing court users, staff, and judicial officers to COVID-19. It removes screening requirements but allows them to be used based on local conditions. 

Courts are no longer required to submit jury plans to the Office of Judicial Administration, but courts should continue to develop and update plans given local risks and facilities available. Plans and plan amendments are to be communication to court users, staff, and judicial officers. 

The order encourages courts to continue to expand their use of remote hearings to reduce any backlogs and dispose of new cases efficiently and safely. Remote hearings must comply with 2021-PR-021, which authorizes using two-way audio-visual communication for court proceedings. 

The order discontinues guidance documents released by the Supreme Court with 2021-PR-048, as well as updated versions released later. They covered developing minimum standard health protocols and conducting jury proceedings, both of which are the responsibility of the chief judge based on local conditions. Best practice guidance on mitigation measures varies as COVID-19 conditions fluctuate throughout the state. Chief judges are in the best position to determine what protocols are needed in their courts 

The order requires court personnel to follow COVID-19 related policies in conjunction with Kansas Court Personnel Rules. Personnel policies were updated March 2, 2022. 

Kansas District and Appellate Court COVID-19 Personnel Policies
 

Deadlines and time limitations

The chief justice reinstated most statutory deadlines and time limitations effective April 15, 2021. On July 1, 2021, the chief justice reinstated more statutory deadlines and time limitations beginning August 2.
 

Speedy trial statute

During the 2021 session, the Kansas Legislature passed House Bill 2078, which temporarily suspends provisions in K.S.A. 22-3402, the speedy trial statute in the Kansas Code of Criminal Procedure. The bill was requested by the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association, and it became effective on its March 31 publication in the Kansas Register. 2021-PR-100 does not impact suspensions under K.S.A. 22-3402.

Constitutional speedy trial protections remain in place. 
 

Time calculation when suspensions lift

For a deadline or time limitation suspended because of an order issued by the chief justice, on the date the order terminates, a person has the same number of days to comply with the deadline or time limitation as the person had when the deadline or time limitation was suspended.

For a deadline or time limitation that did not begin to run because of an order issued by the chief justice, on the date the order terminates, a person has the full period provided by law to comply with the deadline or time limitation.

Remote hearings                

The chief justice issued Administrative Orders 2021-PR-021 and 2021-PR-022 to authorize municipal, district, and appellate courts to use two-way audio-visual communication in proceedings. 

Administrative Order 2021-PR-021 applies to appellate and district court proceedings.

Administrative Order 2021-PR-022 applies to municipal court proceedings.
 

Kansas Judicial Center open

The Kansas Judicial Center is open to the public with minimum standard health protocols in place. Visitors are advised not to enter if they have:

  • had a fever at or over 100.4°F in the last 48 hours;

  • tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 5 days; or 

  • tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days and are still showing symptoms.

Masks are recommended when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Shawnee County’s COVID-19 Community Level as “high.” 
 

Public health resources

Kansas Department of Health and Environment COVID-19 Response
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: COVID-19
World Health Organization Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic
 

Preparing for a public health emergency

NCSC: Coronavirus and the courts
NCSC: Preparing for a Pandemic: An Emergency Response Benchbook and Operational Guide for State Court Judges and Administrators


Signs

Visitor alert
Alerta a los visitantes

Face mask recommended 
Se recomienda mascarilla 
 



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