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TOPEKA—The Kansas Supreme Court adopted a temporary rule today to help people who represent themselves in court by allowing them to file documents in a case by mail, fax, or drop box during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The intent of the temporary rule to is to establish procedures that increase access to justice while protecting the health and safety of court users, staff, and judicial officers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Through this temporary rule, we expand the options available to self-represented parties to file documents in district courts,” said Chief Justice Marla Luckert. “If a courthouse must close to walk-in service as a result of the pandemic, this rule gives options to filing in person, increasing that person’s access to justice.”

Temporary Rule: Filing in a District Court by a Self-Represented Litigant includes provisions that:

  • allow self-represented litigants to file by fax or mail in all district courts; by courthouse drop box, if available in the county; or in person, if the courthouse is currently open to walk-in service;

  • identifies how the filing date will be determined;

  • specifies how filing fees may be paid;

  • explains how a document may be filed under seal as well as how to request to seal a document;

  • emphasizes the self-represented litigant filer’s obligation to redact personally identifiable information;

  • requires the self-represented litigant filing a new case to also submit a case filing cover sheet; and

  • requires the court clerk office to provide a phone number for self-represented litigants to seek help from court staff under Rule 1402.

The temporary rule takes effect December 7, 2020, and it remains in effect until rescinded by the Supreme Court.

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