TOPEKA—Chief Justice Marla Luckert said today she will not reinstate statutes of limitation and statutory time standards or deadlines that apply to conducting or processing of judicial proceedings on August 17.
Luckert had announced June 29 she planned to reinstate most time requirements effective August 3, based on the assumption that all district courts would be providing in-person service at that time.
Due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in some jurisdictions, some courts closed offices to the public after Luckert's June 29 announcement. In response, Luckert adjusted her timeline and announced she would provide an update today about a projected date to reinstate some time limits, deadlines, and time standards. She also said that the reinstatement would not occur before August 17.
As of today, some court offices remain closed to the public. Luckert will continue to monitor the situation and will provide at least two weeks' notice before reinstating any deadlines.
“All district courts are now able to process cases remotely, but I need to be sure all courts can also provide some level of in-person service before I reinstate timelines and deadlines,” Luckert said.
The Kansas Supreme Court is seeking grant funding to develop alternative methods to deliver services to the people of Kansas so deadlines can be reinstated without fear someone will be unable to access the courts and lose the ability to protect a constitutional right or to prosecute a cause of action.
Luckert said she will provide periodic updates because she wants Kansans and their attorneys to have adequate notice of her plan to reinstate statutes of limitation and statutory time standards or deadlines. Once reinstated, courts, attorneys, and self-represented parties must be ready to move cases forward or accept consequences for missing deadlines or statutes of limitations, which can cause cases to be dismissed.
Luckert plans to continue the suspension of some time limitations. Those would include statutory speedy trial deadlines in criminal cases, the time requirements for filing actions under K.S.A. 60-1501 and K.S.A. 60-1507, and the time requirements for processing limited actions cases in K.S.A. 61-3002(b).
Even while statutes of limitation and statutory time standards or deadlines have been suspended, courts have continued to process cases. All state courts are conducting many types of proceedings using teleconferencing technology, greatly reducing the need for in-person hearings.