Unpublished Kansas appellate courts opinions now available online
Friday, September 11, 2015
Posted by: Beth Warrington
Beginning today, the Kansas Supreme Court and Court of Appeals will make unpublished opinions available online, making it possible for the first time for the public to access them using the Internet.
Previously, only published opinions from the two courts were posted online. That practice began in 1996 and earned the judicial branch recognition from the American Association of Law Libraries.
"This is one small change of many that Kansans should expect in coming years as our courts continue to move toward even greater transparency through our use of technology,” said Lawton R. Nuss, chief justice of the Supreme Court.
The unpublished opinions will be available on the judicial branch website at www.kscourts.org under the Cases & Opinions tab at the top of the home page. Unpublished opinions may be posted at any time during the day they are released, which is typically on Fridays.
Published opinions are posted online within about an hour of the time they are released, which is usually around 9:30 a.m. on Fridays. They are also accessible under the Cases & Opinions tab on the judicial branch home page.
A "published” opinion is one that’s included in a bound volume of either the Kansas Reports, for Supreme Court opinions, or the Kansas Court of Appeals Reports, for Court of Appeals opinions. The opinions in the bound volumes are considered the final official versions and may be cited in legal documents and proceedings for their precedential value.
An "unpublished” opinion is one that does not decide a new point of law or set binding precedent. Unpublished opinions are not included in the bound volumes of either the Kansas Reports or Kansas Court of Appeals Reports.
Before being offered online, a person who wanted an unpublished opinion had to request it from the clerk of the appellate court’s office or the Supreme Court Law Library.
Source: Office of Judicial Administration