Appellate Decisions

JurisdictionKansas,United States
CitationVol. 90 No. 6 Pg. 57
Pages57
Publication year2021
Appellate Decisions
No. 90 J. Kan. Bar Assn 6, 57 (2021)
Kansas Bar Journal
December, 2021

November, 2021

Kansas State Supreme Court

All opinion digests are available on the KBA website at www.ksbar.org/digests. If you do not have access to the KBA members-only site, or if your email address or other contact information has changed, please contact member and communication services at info@ksbar.org or at (785) 234-5696. For the full text of opinions, access the courts' website at www.kscourts.org

CIVIL

CITIES AND TOWNS–POLICE CUSTODY UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS HOSPITAL AUTHORITY V. BOARD OF FRANKLIN COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WYANDOTTE DISTRICT COURT–COURT OF APPEALS IS AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART, DISTRICT COURT IS REVERSED, CASE REMANDED NO. 120,742–SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

FACTS: The Ottawa Police Department initiated a car chase of a driver who was known to be driving without a license, among other crimes. As the chase approached city limits, officers discontinued the pursuit. Soon after, a Franklin County sheriff's deputy radioed OPD to let them know there was a vehicle on fire right on the county side of the city limits. Both county and city law enforcement helped free the driver from the burning car. The patient was transported to KU Medical Center where he received medical treatment spanning 10 days. The patient was not arrested prior to transfer but was placed on a police hold while inpatient, and he was charged in Franklin County upon release. The patient accumulated hospital bills in excess of $71,000 and had no insurance. The University of Kansas Health Authority sued both the City of Ottawa and Franklin County seeking reimbursement of these expenses, citing K.S.A. 2020 Supp. 22-4612(a). The district court ruled on summary judgment that the City was exclusively liable for the cost of the patient's medical care. The Court of Appeals affirmed that the County was not liable but reversed the district court, finding that there were insufficient facts to determine whether the patient was in OPD custody when he was transported to the hospital, rendering summary judgment inappropriate. Both KUHA and the City petitioned for review.

ISSUES: (1) The City's liability for the driver's medical care

HELD: K.S.A. 2020 Supp. 22-4612 does not define the term "custody" The undisputed facts show the patient was never subject to a traffic stop and was never arrested by OPD. He received prompt medical care without needing to rely on OPD. There is no construction of the word "custody" that would cover this situation even if OPD had a statutory duty to arrest the driver, and it is unclear whether there can ever be a statutory duty to arrest. The case must be remanded so judgment can be entered in the City's favor.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2020 Supp. 22-2202(d), -2202(i), -4612(a), --- -4612(e); K.S.A. 8-2104, 19-1919

CRIMINAL

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW–CRIMINAL PROCEDURE EVIDENCE–JURY INSTRUCTION–STATUTES STATE V. SHOCKLEY WYANDOTTE DISTRICT COURT–AFFIRMED NO. 117,216–SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

FACTS: In drive-by shooting Shockley fired gun into exgirlfriend's house, killing her father. Defense counsel withdrew and new counsel filed May 2015 motion for continuance of June 2015 trial date, citing need to review voluminous material in preparation for trial. District court granted the continuance, found Shockley waived speedy trial rights, and directed parties to set new date. Prior to rescheduled September 2015 trial date, State filed motion for continuance, citing unavailability of material witness. District court granted the continuance over defense counsel's objection to the necessity of that witness. Continuance granted again in January 2016 without a hearing on court's motion. Prior to trial, Shockley filed motion asserting his right to speedy trial. District court denied the motion citing Shockley's initial waiver of speedy trial, but failed to clarify whether that waiver was unconditional. Jury convicted Shockley of crimes including felony murder and criminal discharge of a firearm. He appealed claiming speedy trial violations, arguing his waiver was not unconditional, and even if so construed, he reasserted his right when he objected in September 2015 to State's continuance. Shockley also claimed insufficient evidence supported his convictions because information and jury instructions said he recklessly discharged firearm at a building, but State's theory of prosecution was that Shockley intentionally fired rifle at the house as act of revenge.

ISSUES: (1) Speedy Trial - Statutory Right, (2) Speedy Trial -Constitutional Right, (3) Sufficiency of the Evidence

HELD: No violation of Shockley's right to a speedy trial under K.S.A. 2020 Supp. 22-3402(a). Unlike City of Shawnee v. Patch, 33 Kan.App.2d 560 (2005), State v. Bloom, 273 Kan. 291 (2002), and State v. Smallwood, 264 Kan. 69 (1998), a new trial date was set after the court accepted Shockley's waiver of rights to a speedy trial. The law presumes a defendant's waiver of statutory right to a speedy trial is unconditional. Shockley's lack of clarity concerning parameters of his waiver failed to rebut that presumption. And the basis for Shockley's objection to the State's continuance was not clear enough to revoke his unconditional waiver. Third continuance due to court's crowded docket thus had no impact on Shockley's statutory speedy trial claim because his unconditioned waiver had not been revoked.

No violation of Shockley's constitutional right to a speedy trial. Seventeen-month jail time from arrest to trial was not presumptively prejudicial.

Sufficient evidence supported Shockley's convictions for felony murder and criminal discharge of a firearm. No legal authority presented that jury needs to be informed that knowing or intentional conduct is sufficient to establish recklessness.

DISSENT: (Standridge, J.) (joined by Rosen and Biles, JJ.): Dissents from majority's legal conclusion that Shockley was not deprived of statutory right to a speedy trial because he unconditionally waived that right. Disagrees that Patch, Bloom, and Smallwood create a rule that requesting a continuance creates a rebuttable presumption of unconditional waiver. Would find Shockley was deprived of statutory right to a speedy trial because record in this case establishes that his waiver was limited to time period between his request for continuance and the definitive date set for trial as a result of court granting that continuance. Also, Shockley should have been present when the court continued the trial on its own motion. Shockley's absence unfairly deprived him of the opportunity to reinvoke his right to a speedy trial, and this deprivation was not remedied by the availability of alternative method of filing a written notice of revocation.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2020 Supp. 22-3402(a), -3402(e)(3), -3402(e)(4); K.S.A. 2006 Supp. 22-3402; K.S.A. 22-3401, 60-459(g)(3)

OFFENDER REGISTRATION STATE V. DAVIDSON SEDGWICK DISTRICT COURT–COURT OF APPEALS IS AFFIRMED, DISTRICT COURT IS AFFIRMED NO. 119,759–SEPTEMBER 17, 2021

FACTS: Davidson was convicted of aggravated criminal sodomy in 2002 and was required to register as a sex offender under the Kansas Offender Registration Act. After he failed to register in 2017, the State charged Davidson with violating KORA. Davidson moved to dismiss, noting that at the time of his conviction he was only required to register for 10 years and arguing that retroactive extension to lifetime registration violated the ex post facto and due process provisions of the US Constitution. The district court denied the motion and Davidson was convicted by a jury. The Court of Appeals affirmed, finding it was bound by prior Supreme Court decision which holds that the sex offender registration scheme is not punitive in intent or effect. Davidson's petition for review was granted.

ISSUES: (1) Constitutionality of KORA registration scheme

HELD: KORA must be presumed constitutional. The court will not overrule the precedent lightly and must give full consideration to the doctrine of stare decisis. The primary question is whether KORA is punitive. In the absence of new argument or evidence, the court affirms prior holdings and rules that retroactive KORA application does not violate the US Constitution.

CONCURRENCE: (Standridge, J.) The majority correctly left the prior holding in place under the doctrine of stare decisis. Reversing a decision solely because of a change in court composition undermines the rule of law.

DISSENT: (Rosen, J.) Consistent with prior dissents, Justice Rosen continues to believe that KORA is punitive.

STATUTES: No statutes cited.

ILLEGAL SENTENCE; JURY UNANIMITY STATE V. RICHARDSON WYANDOTTE DISTRICT COURT–AFFIRMED NO. 123,045–SEPTEMBER 17, 2021

FACTS: Richardson was convicted of first-degree murder in 1992. After a hearing before the jury, Richardson received a hard 40 sentence. Twenty-seven years later, Richardson filed a pro se motion to correct illegal sentence in which she claimed various ways that her sentence did not conform to the law. The district court summarily denied Richardson's motion, finding that her arguments lacked merit. Richardson appealed.

ISSUES: (1) Conformity with statutory scheme; (2) conversion to...

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