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August 18, 2017 Digests

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Kansas Supreme Court

Attorney Discipline

ORDER OF DISBARMENT
IN THE MATTER OF DANIEL L. BALDWIN
NO. 16283 – AUGUST 16, 2017

FACTS: In a letter signed August 16, 2017, Daniel L. Baldwin, attorney licensed to practice law in Kansas, voluntarily surrendered his license to practice law in Kansas. At the time Baldwin surrendered his license a formal hearing was pending regarding two docketed disciplinary complaints. The complaints involved issues of competence, diligence, safekeeping property, and fees.

HELD: The court examined the files of the office of the Disciplinary Administrator and found that the surrender of Baldwin's license should be accepted and that he should be disbarred.

 

Criminal

constitutional law—criminal procedure—sentences—statutes
State v. shaylor
reno district court—affirmed on issues subject to review
court of appeals—affirmed on issues subject to review
no. 108,103—august 18, 2017

FACTS: Shaylor was convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine. Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) was subsequently amended to define an “offender” required to register as including Shaylor’s offense unless a court found the manufacturing of the controlled substance was for personal use. Shaylor was then convicted of failing to register as a drug offender. On appeal, she claimed the retroactive application of the KORA amendment violated the Ex Post Facto Clause, and also claimed for first time on appeal the district court’s finding as to whether Shaylor possessed drug precursors for personal use violated Apprendi. In an unpublished opinion, Court of Appeals affirmed on these issues. Review granted.

ISSUE: Kansas Offender Registration Act - Ex Post Facto and Apprendi

HELD: As set forth in State v. Meredith,  306 Kan. __ (2017), non-sex offenders seeking to avoid retroactive application of KORA provisions must, in order to satisfy “effects” prong of test in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963), produce a record that distinguishes - by the “clearest proof”- KORA’s effect on those classes of offenders from the Act’s effects on sex offenders as a class. Record in Shaylor’s case failed to make this required showing. This also defeats her Apprendi claim about the district court’s finding as to personal use.

DISSENT (Beier, J., joined by Rosen and Johnson, JJ.): Dissent is consistent with votes in Meredith and State v. Huey, 306 Kan. __ (2017). The current KORA registration requirement is punishment in effect if not intent, whether claim is raised under Ex Post Facto Clause or Eighth Amendment. And it is no less so for a drug offender than a sex offender.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2002 Supp. 22-4902; K.S.A. 20-3018(b), 22-4901 et seq., -4902(a)(11)(A), 60-2101(b)

  

Kansas Court of Appeals

 

Civil

IMMUNITY—NEGLIGENCE
WILLIAMS V. C-U-OUT BAIL BONDS
JOHNSON DISTRICT COURT—AFFIRMED
NO. 116,883—AUGUST 18, 2017

FACTS: The Williams family was at home when several armed representatives of C-U-Out Bail bonds came to their door searching for their daughter-in-law, who had absconded. Although they told the bond company that the daughter-in-law was not at the house, the company refused to leave and forced its way in with a steel battering ram. The Williamses called the police department for help. Overland Park police officers came near the scene but never on the Williams' property, and the officers watched while the bond company entered the home and allegedly threatened the occupants. The Williamses filed suit against both the bond company and the Overland Park Police Department. The district court granted the city's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, finding that the police officers who responded to the call owed no duty to the Williamses, and that the city was immune from liability under the discretionary function exception to the Kansas Tort Claims Act. The Williamses appealed.

ISSUES: (1) Proper standard of review; (2) did the police department owe a duty to the Williamses? (3) is there immunity under the KTCA?

HELD: Kansas has not yet adopted the federal standard of review for motions to dismiss. The court is not required to accept as true legal conclusions that are contained within the petition. Under the "public duty doctrine", a governmental agency owes a duty to the public at large rather than to individuals. Here, the officers' act of responding to a 911 call did not create a special relationship. Deciding whether to make an arrest is discretionary on the officers' part. Their investigation here is not meant to be subject to judicial review, and the district court properly found immunity under the KTCA.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 22-2202(m), 60-208(a), 75-6104(c), -6104(e), -6104(n); K.S.A. 13-1339, 22-2401, -2405(3), -2809

STATUTORY INTERPRETATION—ZONING
LAYLE V. CITY OF MISSION HILLS
JOHNSON DISTRICT COURT—REVERSED
NO. 116,095—AUGUST 18, 2017

FACTS: The Layles' fence at their residence did not meet zoning regulations in Mission Hills. But over 20 years, the Layles were given two variances to either repair or replace the fence, even though it would not meet regulations. In 2012, the Layles sought to remove and replace the pickets and rails of the fence without changing the fence posts. The city denied the request, finding that the work could not be authorized without approval from the Architectural Review Board and the Board of Zoning Appeals. After a number of appeals, the ultimate decision was that the proposed work was a replacement of the fence requiring new variances. The Layles appealed.

ISSUES: (1) Application of correct standard of review; (2) was the proposed work a repair or a replacement

HELD: An issue that requires a court to interpret regulatory or statutory criteria uses a de novo standard of review and not a review for reasonableness. Whether the proposed fence project constituted a repair or a replacement was actually a question of law. Repair of fence sections did not constitute a full replacement. Repairs do not require a variance and the city could have granted the building permit that was requested by the Layles.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 12-759(e)(1), -759(f)

CIVIL PROCEDURE—CONTRACTS—DIVORCE—EVIDENCE
IN RE MARRIAGE OF JOHNSTON
JOHNSON DISTRICT COURT—REVERSED AND VACATED
NO. 115,256—AUGUST 18, 2017

FACTS: The Johnstons divorced in 2011. Despite having significant assets and debts and highly technical military pay, the couple created a separation agreement without the assistance of counsel. They agreed that Jim would pay Pamela $1,000 per month from his military retirement pay for the rest of her life, unless she remarried. He also agreed to a lump-sum transfer of $100,000 from his retirement account. After 3 years, Jim motioned the district court to relieve him of his duty to pay Pamela $1,000 because, he alleged, Pamela was living in a marriage-like relationship. That motion was denied. But the district court sua sponte put a 121-month cap on Jim's maintenance obligation. Pamela did not appeal this order, but she did obtain counsel and sought to reopen the separation agreement regarding Jim's military retirement benefits. After hearing testimony, the district court divided Jim's military retirement benefits equally between both parties but did not alter the obligation to pay maintenance for 121-months. Jim appealed.

ISSUES: (1) Authority to modify property settlement agreement; (2) ability to modify earlier order on spousal maintenance

HELD: Authority to modify the separation agreement would have had to come from K.S.A. 60-260(b)(6). There was no ambiguity in the agreement or any evidence of mistake. But even if there was, Pamela failed to seek relief within one year. Because a more specific provision of K.S.A. 60-260(b) applied, Pamela is barred from using the catchall provision at 260(b)(6) in an attempt to circumvent the statutory time limits. The district court had no jurisdiction to modify the prior separation agreement and its order doing so is void. Parties may agree to extend maintenance beyond the 121-months mentioned in the statute.

DISSENT: (Leben, J.) The property settlement agreement was ambiguous, giving the district court jurisdiction to modify it under K.S.A. 60-260(b)(6).

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 23-2712, -2801, -2904, 60-260(b); K.S.A. 60-260(b)

ATTORNEY FEES—JUDGMENT
RICHARDSON V. MURRAY
JOHNSON DISTRICT COURT—AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, REMANDED
NO. 115,745—AUGUST 18, 2017

FACTS: The Richardsons purchased a home from the Murrays, and brought suit after experiencing water intrusion in the residence. Before trial, the Murrays submitted an offer of judgment and the Richardsons accepted it. After judgment was entered, the Richardsons sought attorney fees and expenses. The district court allowed court costs but not attorney fees, and the Murrays promptly tendered payment. The Richardsons failed to timely file a satisfaction of judgment. As a result, the Murrays sought an award of statutory penalties and attorney fees. The district court granted that motion and the Richardsons appealed.

ISSUES: (1) Decision on attorney fees and related expenses; (2) untimely satisfaction of judgment

HELD: The offer of judgment was silent on whether attorney fees were included with court costs. Generally, attorney fees are not part of costs and are available only if a statute or other authority defines costs to include attorney fees. As the offering party, the Murrays were obligated to make a clear and unambiguous offer. Because the offer was silent on this matter, the Richardsons were allowed to seek attorney fees outside the context of costs. Under the terms of the contract, the Murrays must reimburse the Richardsons for all reasonable attorney fees for work reasonably performed in pursuing relief. Filing a satisfaction of judgment would not have prevented the Richardsons from appealing the district court's denial of their request for attorney fees. For that reason, the district court did not err in assessing the statutory penalties against the Richardsons.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 60-254(a), -2002, -2003, -2803; K.S.A. 50-634(e) 

 

Criminal  

constitutional law—criminal procedure—evidence—Fourth Amendment—jury trial—search and seizure
state v. chavez-majors
butler district court—affirmed in part, reversed in part, remanded
no. 115,286—august 18, 2017

FACTS: Chavez-Majors had a motorcycle accident, and was unconscious when officer and EMS arrived at scene. Observing evidence that Chavez-Majors had been under the influence of alcohol, officer directed EMS to conduct warrantless blood draw. Test results showed twice the legal blood-alcohol limit. District court denied Chavez-Majors’ motion to suppress the test result, finding officer had probable cause with exigent circumstances to justify the warrantless search and seizure. Chavez-Majors was convicted at a bench trial of aggravated battery while driving under the influence (DUI). On appeal, he claimed for first time that he did not waive his right to a jury trial. He also claimed the district court erred by denying motion to suppress evidence that was unconstitutionally obtained.

ISSUES: (1) Waiver of right to jury trial, (2) motion to suppress blood draw evidence

HELD: Waiver claim was considered. Two-part test in State v. Irving, 216 Kan. 588 (1975), is applied finding Chavez-Majors did not knowingly and voluntarily waive right to jury trial. District court’s mention that plea agreement was in part “in contemplation of waiver of right to jury trial” did not satisfy Irving’s first requirement, and there was no compliance with Irving’s second requirement. The conviction was reversed and case was remanded to afford right to jury trial or to effect a valid waiver.

Consent exception, or applicability of Kansas implied consent statute, was not asserted  in this case, and third requirement of three-part test in Schrmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757 (1966), was not challenged. The first two parts of the Schrmerber test were applied to the two claimed exceptions. Limited Kansas case law found applying Schmerber’s exigent circumstances requirement in warrantless blood draw DUI cases. Comparable U.S. Supreme Court reviewed for guidance, finding the metabolism of blood alcohol is a factor that can be considered. Under totality of circumstances in this case, district court’s conclusion that probable cause with exigent circumstances justified the warrantless blood draw was supported by substantial competent evidence.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2014 Supp. 8-142, -262(a)(1), -1001 et seq., -1001(b)(2), 21-5413(b)(3)(A),  22-2502(a), 40-3104(d); K.S.A. 8-1567, 22-3403(1)

Tags:  Attorney Discipline  Butler  Johnson  Reno 

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