TOPEKA—Kansas Court of Appeals judges will hear appeals by videoconference Wednesday, July 15. The oral arguments will be livestreamed on YouTube.
Judge Henry Green Jr. is the presiding judge and is joined by Judges G. Gordon Atcheson and Kathryn Gardner for the July 15 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. • Wednesday, July 15
Appeal No. 121,605: In the Matter of the Marriage of Steven P. Welter and Keira J. Welter
Miami County: In granting their divorce, the district court ordered Steven to pay spousal maintenance to Keira with conditions of termination, including Keira's cohabitation with a non-family member. When Steven discovered Keira had been living with a boyfriend, Steven moved to terminate maintenance. Keira argued termination of spousal support would be inequitable because she cohabitated with her boyfriend only after the district court suspended her spousal maintenance and she could not live on her own or with a family member at the time. The district court found Keira had cohabitated but declined to terminate her spousal maintenance, instead reducing Steven's payments. On appeal, Steven argues spousal maintenance should have automatically terminated when Keira violated the termination conditions in the divorce decree and the district court abused its discretion when it only vacated payments. In response, Keira argues: 1) the district court could not terminate maintenance because it was suspended at the time she lived with her boyfriend; 2) the district court had the power to modify spousal maintenance under K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 23-2903; and 3) the result of the district court's decision was fair and equitable, given her circumstances.
Appeal No. 121,767: Daniel L. Myers, M.D. v. Kansas State Board of Healing Arts
Shawnee County: The district court affirmed the decision of the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts to deny Myers' application for reinstatement of his medical license. Myers appeals, arguing the board's determination he was not sufficiently rehabilitated to practice medicine was not supported by substantial evidence. Myers also argues the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to consider his appeal because the Shawnee County district court clerk wrongly rejected his timely filed notice of appeal for lacking page numbers.
1:30 p.m. • Wednesday, July 15
Appeal No. 121,649: Joseph W. Lambert and Sharon L. Lambert v. City of Leawood
Johnson County: In 1992, the Lamberts purchased residential property in Leawood and built a two-story house. Subsequently, the City of Leawood enacted ordinances modifying the zoning restrictions applicable to single-family residential property. In December 2017, a fire destroyed the Lamberts' home. They prepared plans to rebuild the house. The plans substantially deviated from the design of the original home. The city refused to issue a building permit because the plans did not comply with existing height and massing restrictions on the property. The Lamberts filed a petition in district court. Based on stipulated facts and cross-motions for summary judgment, the district court ruled in favor of the city. On appeal, the Lamberts claim the zoning restrictions are invalid because: 1) they retroactively interfere with their vested property right in the zoning restrictions existing when they purchased their property; (2) the ordinances were enacted without adequate notice to the Lamberts; and (3) the ordinances violated statutory uniformity requirements. The city contests these claims and also contends the Lamberts' appeal of the city's action to the district court was untimely.
Appeal No. 121,014: State of Kansas v. Daniel Earl Genson III
Riley County: Genson was charged with failing to register under the Kansas Offender Registration Act. Genson raised an insanity defense, claiming he was involuntarily committed just days after his time to register lapsed. The district court rejected the defense because failing to register under the Kansas Offender Registration Act is a strict liability crime and precluded evidence of Genson's mental health at trial. A jury convicted Genson as charged. On appeal, Genson challenges the constitutionality of the Kansas Offender Registration Act, alleges the district court improperly instructed the jury, and contends the court improperly precluded mental health evidence.