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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 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.

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 during the pandemic, 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 disrict court drop box
 

Administrative Order 2020-PR-123

Administrative Order 2020-PR-123, which took effect December 1, 2020, updates and clarifies requirements for safely operating both district and appellate courts. 

Courts may conduct in-person hearings—including jury trials with an approved jury plan—if appropriate measures are in place to protect the health of courtroom participants. These measures can include:

  • screening people as they enter the courthouse or courtroom;

  • managing the number of people in a courtroom;

  • providing adequate physical distancing;

  • using physical barriers;

  • using personal protective equipment; and

  • cleaning and sanitizing court spaces.

Attachment A to 2020-PR-123 lists the essential functions a court must perform if its offices close temporarily due to COVID-19. A court may perform nonessential functions if local resources and circumstances allow and it is consistent with Supreme Court administrative orders.

All courts must continue to expand as much as possible their use of remote hearings to reduce any backlog and to dispose of new cases efficiently and safely. Courts should consider virtual courtroom standards and guidance prepared by the Ad Hoc Virtual Court Proceedings Committee.
 

Statutes of limitations and statutory time standards suspended

The chief justice has issued multiple administrative orders under 2020 House Substitute for Senate Bill No. 102, published in the March 19, 2020, Kansas Register, and its amendments in 2020 Spec. Sess. House Bill 2016, § 24, published in the June 9, 2020, Kansas Register. This legislation permits the chief justice to suspend any deadlines or time limitations established by statute.

Administrative Order 2020-PR-113 continues the suspension of statutory deadlines and time limitations to bring a defendant to trial in district court started under earlier orders. The order does not impact a criminal defendant's constitutional right to a speedy trial.

2020-PR-113 also continues the suspension of statutes of limitations, statutory time standards, or deadlines that apply to conducting or processing judicial proceedings. Under the order, no action may be dismissed for lack of prosecution or failure to meet a deadline, except when a judge, appellate judicial officer, or hearing officer exempts a case from the suspension.

2020-PR-113 will remain in effect until further order or it expires under provisions in 2020 House Substitute for Senate Bill 102 as amended by 2020 Spec. Sess. House Bill 2016. The chief justice will give at least two weeks' notice before reinstating any time limitations or deadlines. 

Courts continue to process cases even while statutes of limitation and statutory time standards or deadlines are suspended. Judges hear many types of proceedings using videoconferencing technology, greatly reducing the need for in-person hearings. And in-person hearings, including jury trials, are also taking place with physical distancing and other precautions.

 

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 open by appointment only

The Kansas Judicial Center is open by appointment only 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
 
Prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick
Si está enfermo, prevenga la propagación del COVID-19


Signs

Access to courts

COVID-19 Disease and the Courts

Face mask required to enter
Se requiere mascarilla para ingresar

Visitor alert
¡Alerta a los visitantes!

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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