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Agency seeks closure of law enforcement evaluation records

[NOTE: The following is legislative testimony I submitted for a March 15 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee opposing the attempt by the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training (KS CPOST) to close certain records related to Kansas law enforcement officers.  It has been corrected for typographical errors.] March 15, 2017 To: Sen. […]

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statehouse hearing room

House bill seeking closure of “public comment sessions” before prisoner review board may be unconstitutional

A bill proposed this session, HB 2338, would amend K.S.A. 22-2717(h) so that “public comment sessions” before the Prisoner Review Board would become “private comment sessions” no longer open to the public.  Further, HB 2338 seeks to amend K.S.A. 75-4318(g)(2) of the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) so that the “comment sessions” are not open […]

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New Oklahoma vital statistics law highlights restricted access in Kansas

To the chagrin of genealogists and researchers, Kansas joins the federal government in severely limiting access to birth and death information. Except for instances where determining the parentage of a child is relevant to a limited class of legal proceedings, Kansas law, specifically K.S.A. 65-2422d(c), does not “permit inspection” of birth and death records unless […]

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Media coverage on election day in Kansas

Members of media organizations and citizen journalists alike should be cognizant of their rights and legal limitations as they cover election day in Kansas. Those seeking to cover a polling place are considered to be “visitors” as set forth in Chapter II(f) of the Kansas Secretary of State Election Standards.  All visitors are encouraged to […]

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The Government Records Preservation Act: Connections to KORA

On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, the Senate Committee on Judiciary introduced SB 361, a bill that would amend the definition of “public records” to include state-related communications made from personal devices. The bill was the result of a recommendation of the Kansas Judicial Council’s Open Records Advisory Committee reached during several meetings in the fall […]

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Balancing truthful political advertising with news organizations’ First Amendment interests

For Kansas news media, the political campaign season is an opportunity to inform the public by publishing news reports about candidates as well as political advertising. However, a Kansas statute interferes with the media’s freedom to publish political ads on their websites, limiting the media’s ability to inform and threatening their ability to earn revenue […]

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affidavit request form--SH CO

Once is enough: Disclosure of an affidavit under K.S.A. 22-2302 or K.S.A. 22-2502 makes it available to the public

Fresh Takes has learned that in more than one jurisdiction throughout the state, judges who have ruled to disclose a probable cause affidavit to a requester under the procedure set forth in K.S.A. 22-2302(c) and K.S.A. 22-2502(e) do not then make the affidavit available to the general public. Instead, the judges require each subsequent requester to […]

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Director’s records are public and should be released, but only subject to applicable exemptions under KORA

Earlier this month, Douglas County District Court Judge James McCabria declined to grant summary judgment in Hall v. University of Kansas, thereby requiring that the case proceed to trial. The case arose when KU lecturer Dr. Art Hall obtained injunctive relief late last year against the university preventing it from disclosing documents requested by a […]

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