Despite opposition from journalists, genealogists, and others, the Kansas Supreme Court has amended Supreme Court Rule 106 so that marriage information that had been publicly available for decades is no longer accessible. Instead, courts are to prepare a “limited marriage record.” The rule went into effect on October 1, 2015, and can be found here. Although the amendment is troubling in its own right, even more troubling is the fact that the process by which it was adopted remains shrouded in secrecy. The Court should publicize the rule-making procedure, as other state supreme courts have done.
The effect of the rule is that district court clerks are required to provide anyone who requests marriage information with a copy of the “uniform application for marriage license.” Sedgwick County’s form, modified to reflect the applicable jurisdiction, is what a requestor would expect to receive. This form constitutes the “limited marriage record” that journalists, genealogists and others oppose on the basis that the information provided therein is insufficient to meet the needs of legitimate requestors.