TOPEKA—The Kansas Supreme Court has amended Rules 20 through 24, known collectively as the Kansas eCourt Rules.
The amendments took effect June 12 and apply in district courts using the new centralized case management system and will apply in other courts as they begin using the system.
The courts now using the centralized case management system include:
8th Judicial District—Dickinson, Geary, Marion, and Morris counties.
21st Judicial District—Clay and Riley counties.
The amendments are included in Administrative Order 2020-RL-064.
Changes under Rule 21: Definitions
The term "filing user" has been amended to make clear this does not include any judicial branch employees, judges, temporary judges assigned to a case, retired judges or justices assigned to a case, or current Court of Appeals judges or Supreme Court justices acting in their official capacities.
The added term "transcript" means any written verbatim record of a court proceeding or deposition.
Change under Rule 22(d): Inaccessible Documents
Using the public portal to the new centralized case management system, the public has access to many more documents than compared to the FullCourt system it is replacing.
But criminal complaints and warrants are treated differently under the centralized case management system. An arrest warrant, search warrant, or bench warrant that has not been executed is not accessible to the public using the centralized case management system's public access portal.
Comments related to this rule clarify that:
A criminal complaint is not sealed, even if a proposed arrest warrant is filed at the same time or an arrest warrant is pending. The criminal complaint is available to the public unless a court order previously sealed it.
An arrest warrant, search warrant, or bench warrant is available to the public once the return confirming the warrant was served is filed, unless a court order previously sealed it.
Change to Rule 23(a): Filing User's Obligations
The requirement to certify compliance with Rule 24(b) does not apply to those exempted from the amended definition of "filing user" in Rule 21(l).
Change to Rule 23(b): Filing Under Seal
A case or document may be sealed only if a specific court order or a statute or Supreme Court rule requires it.
Comments related to Rule 23(c): District Court Clerk Processing of an eFiled Document
The person filing a document is solely responsible for filing it correctly.
Comments clarify that Rule 23(c)(1) applies to a document filed in an existing case when the district court clerks must match the county designation, the names of the parties in the case caption, and the case number.
Change under Rule 24(b): Personally Identifiable Information
The name of a minor who is not a named party in a case must be excluded from a pleading filed with the court unless an exception in Rule 24(c) is met. Similarly, a filing must exclude the name of a person whose identity could reveal the name of a minor who is not a named party in a case.
Change under Rule 24(c): Exceptions
An exception to personally identifiable information includes any information in a transcript.
Comments were added to Rule 24 to clarify:
Information a filer reasonably believes is necessary or material under the exception in (c)(4) means the information is needed for the document to make sense or for its proper processing, or is information requested on a Kansas Judicial Council form.
If the use of initials to protect personally identifiable information is unwieldly, the first name and first initial of the last name may be used, in addition to the use of a generic identifier or a pseudonym.
If an exception in Rule 24(c) applies, then the information is no longer considered personally identifiable information. For example, "the physical address of an individual's residence" is considered personally identifiable information under Rule 24(b)(1); but if a law requires the physical address of an individual's residence be provided, then the address may be stated and is no longer treated as personally identifiable information.