TOPEKA—The Kansas Supreme Court released Administrative Order 2020-PR-024 today to clarify the emergency operations imposed by earlier administrative orders.
Previous orders had allowed courts to enter emergency protection from abuse and protection from stalking orders. Today's order expands court emergency operations to include temporary protection orders and related extensions of those orders.
Kansas district and appellate courts are under emergency operations the Supreme Court imposed Wednesday by Administrative Order 2020-PR-016. That order listed actions district and appellate courts will process during emergency operations. Today’s order is a supplement to that order.
All state courts continue to accept electronic filings in all case types, but priority is given to cases identified as emergency operations. Attorneys who continue to file electronically should expect processing delays, as courts are operating with reduced staffing.
“Everyone who depends on our courts should expect some delay,” said Chief Justice Marla Luckert. “As much as we would like to provide full service to everyone, the purpose of placing courts on emergency operations is to limit in-person contact to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
The Supreme Court has encouraged district courts to conduct hearings required under emergency operations to be done by two-way electronic audio-visual communication.
Luckert added that in-person access to most court offices is limited. She encouraged people to call before visiting a local court to get information about hours and access to offices.
The Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka is closed, and the Supreme Court has added a COVID-19 page to the judicial branch website to share information about court operations.
“After two weeks, the Supreme Court will reevaluate its order placing courts on emergency operations,” Luckert said. “We understand people depend on our courts, but strong action is needed now to curb COVID-19. The health and safety of court visitors and our staff depend on it.”