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September 8, 2017 Digests

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Updated: Monday, September 11, 2017

Kansas Supreme Court

 

Criminal

 

IDENTITY THEFT; PREEMPTION
STATE V. GARCIA
JOHNSON DISTRICT COURT – COURT OF APPEALS IS REVERSED, DISTRICT COURT IS REVERSED
NO. 112,502 – SEPTEMBER 8, 2017

FACTS: An investigation revealed that Garcia used identity information belonging to another person when he obtained employment. As a result of this investigation, Garcia was charged with one count of identity theft. Prior to trial, Garcia filed a motion to dismiss in which he claimed that his prosecution was preempted by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). The district court denied the motion and Garcia was convicted as charged. His conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeals and his petition for review was granted.

ISSUE: Is State prosecution preempted by the IRCA

HELD: Garcia raisesd an "as-applied" preemption claim. During oral argument, Garcia narrowed his claim and argued that an as-applied, field preemption existed. But he made other claims in earlier proceedings, and the court will consider any type, category, and sub-type of preemption. The IRCA does not allow state prosecution for identity theft as this prosecution is expressly preempted by federal statute.

CONCURRENCE: (Luckert, J.) State prosecution of Garcia was preempted. But the doctrines of field and conflict preemption apply rather than express preemption.

DISSENT: (Biles, J.) Garcia's use of someone else's identify information to secure employment is not expressly preempted by federal statute. And although it is a narrower question, implied preemption is similarly inapplicable. The majority's holding will make it difficult to prosecute anyone for identity theft in Kansas.

DISSENT: (Stegall, J.) The majority's reading of IRCA gives Congress power that it does not have. Justice Stegall joins Justice Biles with the exception that he does not believe implied preemption is a close call.

STATUTES: 8 U.S.C. § 1324a, § 1324a(a), § 1324a(b), §1324a(e), (f), § 1324a(h)(2), 18 U.S.C. § 1546(b)

 

 

IDENTITY THEFT; PREEMPTION
STATE V. MORALES
JOHNSON DISTRICT COURT – COURT OF APPEALS IS REVERSED, DISTRICT COURT IS REVERSED
NO. 111,904 – SEPTEMBER 8, 2017

FACTS: Morales applied for a job and provided a Social Security number, permanent resident card, and Social Security card. A subsequent investigation revealed that the Social Security number provided by Morales belonged to someone else. Morales was charged with identity theft and making a false information. Prior to trial Morales filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that his prosecution was preempted by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). The district court denied Morales' motion and Morales was convicted after a bench trial. His conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeals.

ISSUE: Is State prosecution preempted by the IRCA

HELD: It is questionable whether this issue was properly preserved for appellate review. But the court chose to address the merits because Morales' dispositive issue is one of law, and justice required a decision on the merits. State prosecutions such as this one are expressly preempted by IRCA.

 CONCURRENCE: (Luckert, J.) Justice Luckert did not agree with the majority that express preemption applies. But she believed that the doctrines of field and conflict preemption did apply.

DISSENTS: (Biles and Stegall, J.J.) They dissented for reasons elaborated upon in State v. Garcia.

STATUTE: 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(b)(5)

 

 

 

IDENTITY THEFT; PREEMPTION
STATE V. OCHOA-LARA
JOHNSON DISTRICT COURT – COURT OF APPEALS IS REVERSED, DISTRICT COURT IS REVERSED
NO. 112,322 – SEPTEMBER 8, 2017

FACTS: Ochoa-Lara obtained identify information belonging to other people in order to obtain employment. After he was discovered, the State charged Ochoa-Lara with identity theft and making a false information. Prior to trial, Ochoa-Lara filed a motion to dismiss in which he claimed that the State's prosecution was preempted by federal law. That motion was denied and Ochoa-Lara was convicted. His conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court granted his petition for review.

ISSUE: Is State prosecution preempted by the IRCA

HELD: It is questionable whether this issue was properly preserved for appellate review. But the court chose to address the merits because the dispositive issue was one of law, and justice required a decision on the merits. State prosecutions such as this one are expressly preempted by IRCA. 

CONCURRENCE: (Luckert, J.) Justice Luckert did not agree with the majority that express preemption applied. But she believed that the doctrines of field and conflict preemption did apply.

DISSENTS: (Biles and Stegall, J.J.) They dissented for reasons elaborated upon in State v. Garcia.

STATUTE: 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(b)(5)

 

 

OFFENDER REGISTRATION; STATUTES
STATE V. WATKINS
RENO DISTRICT COURT – COURT OF APPEALS IS AFFIRMED, DISTRICT COURT IS AFFIRMED
NO. 110,702 – SEPTEMBER 8, 2017

FACTS: After being convicted of several felonies, Watkins was required to register under the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA) because the district court found that Watkins used a deadly weapon when committing the offenses. For the first time on appeal, Watkins argued that the registration requirement violated his constitutional rights because the facts that prompted registration were not found by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. The Court of Appeals decided to address the merits of Watkins' claim and rejected his arguments. The Supreme Court granted review.

 ISSUES: Could Watkins' punishment be enhanced without a jury finding the presence of aggravating factors

HELD: Precedent holds that KORA is a non-punitive, civil regulatory scheme and lifetime registration requirements are not a punishment. Because the registration requirement was not a punishment, there is no need for a jury to make the deadly weapon-use finding.

CONCURRENCE: (Malone, J.) The doctrine of stare decisis required this decision, but he believed that KORA is so punitive in effect that it negated any legislative intent to the contrary.

STATUTES: [No substantive statutes cited.]

 

 

Kansas Court of Appeals

 

Civil

 

STATUTES; TRUSTS
HUTSON V. MOSIER
DOUGLAS DISTRICT COURT – AFFIRMED IN PART, VACATED IN PART, REMANDED
NO. 117,020 – SEPTEMBER 8, 2017

FACTS: While in her 70s, Hutson transferred assets to a pooled supplemental needs trust. The trustee was given the authority to administer the trust and meet needs that were not being met by either any public agency or source of private income. While the trust was still in place, Hutson applied for Medicaid benefits to assist with her long-term care needs. The Medicaid application was approved, but a transfer penalty was put in place; Hutson's Medicaid benefits were delayed 313 days. Hutson appealed, and the district court eventually determined that federal statutes required the transfer penalty because Hutson did not receive fair market value for the transfer. Hutson appealed.

ISSUES: (1) Did the district court incorrectly interpret the rules and regulations surrounding Medicaid eligibility; (2) Did the district court err by finding that Hutson did not receive fair market value for her transfer

HELD: The trust to which Hutson contributed satisfied the requirements for a pooled supplemental or special needs trust. But a person over age 65 who transfers assets to such a trust is subject to the imposition of a transfer penalty if the transfer is for less than fair market value. The evidence in the record on appeal was insufficient to show whether Hutson received fair market value for her transfer. The case was remanded to the district court for supplemental fact finding on that issue.

STATUTES: 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a), § 1396(c), § 1396p(c), § 1396p(d)(4)(A), § 1396p(d)(4)(C); K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 77-621(a)(1); K.S.A. 77-425, -622(b)

 

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