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TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court announced the two cases it will hear in a special session Tuesday, April 23, in Lansing, the next destination in the court's ongoing outreach to familiarize Kansans with the court, its work, and the overall role of the Kansas judiciary.

The court will be in session from 6:30 p.m. to about 8 p.m. at Lansing Middle School, 220 Lion Lane. After the session concludes, justices will greet the public in an informal reception.

“We invite the people of Lansing and surrounding communities to join us at Lansing Middle School to hear these two cases,” Chief Justice Marla Luckert said. “It’s a great way to get to know our court, what we do, and how we do it. Plus, we want to meet you in the reception afterward.”​

Cases on docket

The two cases on the April 23 docket are:

Appeal No. 124,160: Benchmark Property Remodeling, LLC., v. Grandmothers, Inc., CoreFirst Bank and Trust, Kansas Department of Revenue, Robert Zibell, and State of Kansas

Shawnee County: (Petition for Review) The Kansas Department of Revenue leased a building from Grandmothers. Benchmark submitted quotes for remodeling the building; KDOR approved the quotes and, once Benchmark completed the work, KDOR paid Grandmothers the full amount. Grandmothers did not pay Benchmark the full amount, however, and Benchmark sued both. The district court granted summary judgment to KDOR and partial summary judgment to Grandmothers, holding that Benchmark had no contract with either. Benchmark moved to dismiss its remaining claims without prejudice to appeal. The Court of Appeals reversed. The panel held it had appellate jurisdiction because Benchmark—which was time-barred from reviving its dismissed claims—had no pending claims in the district court. The panel also concluded the district court erred in holding, as a matter of law, that no contract existed. Grandmothers petitions this court for review.

Issues on review are whether the Court of Appeals erred: 1) by holding it had jurisdiction; and 2) in finding that issues of material facts remain.

Appeal No. 125,318: State of Kansas v. Zshavon Malik Dotson

Wyandotte County: (Criminal Appeal) Dotson appeals his convictions for premeditated first-degree murder and aggravated battery. The district court sentenced him to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years, which is called a hard-25 sentence.

Issues on review are whether: 1) the prosecutor misstated the law on premeditation during closing arguments; 2) there was insufficient evidence of premeditation to support a conviction for first-degree murder; 3) premeditated first-degree murder and intentional second-degree murder are identical offenses; 4) the district court erred when instructing the jury on premeditation; 5) the verdict form erroneously listed guilty before not guilty; 6) Dotson's trial counsel provided constitutionally ineffective assistance; and 7) the cumulative effect of multiple trial errors denied Dotson a fair trial.

Case information online

Briefs filed by the attorneys involved in these two cases are on the judicial branch website at Briefs include details about the cases and the issues before the Supreme Court.

Attend the special session

Anyone who wants to attend the special session in person should plan to arrive early to allow time to get through security screening. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Court security offers these guidelines to ease the screening process:

  • Do not bring food or drink.

  • Do not bring large bags, large purses, backpacks, computer cases, or briefcases. Small handbags are permitted.

  • Do not bring knives, pepper spray, firearms, or weapons.

  • Do not bring electronic devices such as laptop computers, handheld games, personal digital assistants, or tablets. If you must carry a cell phone, turn it off and store it out of sight while court is in session.

Decorum during oral argument

Audience members must not talk during oral argument because it interferes with the attorneys’ remarks and questions asked by justices. Talking immediately outside the auditorium is also discouraged.

If someone arrives after proceedings start, or must leave the auditorium before it ends, they should be as quiet as possible entering and exiting the auditorium.


The special session will be broadcast live online at

Communities visited

The Supreme Court has conducted special sessions outside its Topeka courtroom since 2011, when it marked the state's 150th anniversary by convening in the historic Supreme Court courtroom in the Kansas Statehouse. Since then, the court has conducted special sessions in Colby, Concordia, Dodge City, El Dorado, Emporia, Garden City, Great Bend, Greensburg, Hays, Hiawatha, Hutchinson, Kansas City, Lawrence, Manhattan, Overland Park, Parsons, Pittsburg, Salina, Topeka, Wichita, and Winfield.

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