TOPEKA—Kansas Court of Appeals judges will hear appeals by videoconference Tuesday, July 14. The oral arguments will be livestreamed on YouTube.
Judge Tom Malone is the presiding judge and is joined by Senior Judges Patrick McAnany and James Burgess for July 14 docket.
Ordinarily, Court of Appeals panels hear oral arguments in person. Through Administrative Order 2020-PR-076, the Kansas Supreme Court has ordered all hearings be conducted remotely if possible.
9 a.m. • Tuesday, July 14
Appeal No. 120,061: Lanier Trucking Inc. and Steven Lanier v. James J. Long
Sedgwick County: This appeal involves a dispute between a trucking company, one of the owners of that company, and an attorney who represented the company. The owner and the trucking company unsuccessfully sued the attorney in district court for breach of fiduciary duty and legal malpractice. They now argue the district court erred by holding they had not provided sufficient evidence to show the attorney owed the owner an independent fiduciary duty. They also argue the district court erred by holding other claims they brought were barred by the statute of limitations.
Appeal No. 120,868: Estate of Roger D. Seematter, Colleen E. Seematter, Executor, and Colleen E. Seematter v. Delmar Seematter and Seematter Farms Inc.
Marshall County: This appeal involves a dispute over a family-operated farm. Roger Seematter and his wife, Colleen, sued Roger's father, Delmar, for promissory estoppel, alleging Delmar broke an oral promise to bequeath Roger all of Delmar's land and farming corporation in exchange for Roger staying to work on the farm after graduating from high school. Roger and Colleen alleged Roger's reliance on that promise prevented him from pursuing another career. After Roger died during the litigation, Delmar counterclaimed against Colleen, seeking to enforce an alleged right to repurchase four acres of real estate on the farm Delmar had granted the couple. The district court granted summary judgment to Delmar on the promissory-estoppel claim, finding Colleen could produce no admissible evidence showing Delmar made the promise, as well as on his counterclaim, finding the deed reserved to Delmar the right to repurchase the property for fair market value in the event of the death or divorce of either Colleen or Roger. On appeal, Colleen argues the district court erred in granting both of Delmar's motions for summary judgment.
1:30 p.m. • Tuesday, July 14
Appeal No. 120,930: In the Matter of the Marriage of Lindsay Madrigal and Daniel Madrigal
Sedgwick County: This appeal involves an order modifying child support in a divorce action. Daniel Madrigal appeals the district court's order modifying the amount of child support paid to his ex-wife Lindsey Madrigal and imposing sanctions on him under the Kansas Child Support Guidelines for not notifying Lindsey his income had materially increased. Daniel claims the sanction should have been limited to the earliest date on which he could have known his income had materially increased, which because he was self-employed, was when he filed his yearly taxes. Daniel contends the sanction claim was untimely under either the one-year statute of limitations or the legal doctrine of laches. Daniel also disputes the district court's decision to increase his child-support payments, stating the district court failed to justify its reliance on an extended-income formula and failed to consider contributions he made to the children's direct expenses.
Appeal No. 121,912: State of Kansas v. Beth Janice Merrill
Johnson County: This interlocutory appeal involves a dispute about whether the district court properly suppressed blood test results. After officers arrested Merrill following an automobile accident, Merrill refused an evidentiary breathalyzer, so officers obtained a search warrant and took Merrill to a nurse practitioner, who eventually obtained a blood sample. The State charged Merrill with two counts of aggravated battery while driving under the influence. The district court granted Merrill's motion to suppress statements she made to the nurse practitioner and the blood test results, finding the officers repeatedly violated Merrill's constitutional rights throughout her time in custody. On appeal, the State argues the blood sample evidence should not have been suppressed because the nurse practitioner's questions did not amount to a police interrogation, and even if it did, the appropriate remedy would have been to suppress only the statements. Merrell argues this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the interlocutory appeal because the suppression order does not substantially impair the State's ability to prosecute the case and, in the alternative, suppression of the blood test results was an appropriate remedy.