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mandamus dismissal

With district court finding that affidavit requests are not moot under KSA 22-2302, LJW seeks dismissal of mandamus action

The Lawrence Journal-World has asked the Kansas Supreme Court for a final disposition of an appeal by the newspaper from denial of its requests for probable cause affidavits related to two rape cases last year in Douglas County.  The disposition sought by the Journal-World, if granted by the Supreme Court, would affirm a lower court […]

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Franklin Co.

Franklin County Judge says he does not have to explain decision to seal records; procedural issue is ripe for challenge

After a motions hearing on April 9, 2015 in State v. Flack, where the defendant has been accused of a 2013 quadruple murder in Franklin County, Kansas, the Lawrence Journal-World’s Karen Dillon reported that about 60 documents in that case have been filed under seal.  Most troubling to Fresh Takes is that the presiding judge, […]

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capitol law library

Small tweaks to KORA could make email transparency feasible

As reported by the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Kansas Senate, by a vote of 32-6, recently “rejected an amendment to the state’s open records law Thursday that would have expanded the definition of a public record to include any information on a ‘personal electronic device’ used by a public agency to conduct government business.” The amendment […]

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Wedding

Amendment to Supreme Court Rule 106 would make marriage information inaccessible under KORA

On March 13, 2015, the public was notified that the Kansas Supreme Court is considering adding subsection (d) to Supreme Court Rule 106 that would ostensibly “clarify the treatment of personally identifiable information in marriage licensing documents maintained by the district courts.”  As per the notice that accompanies the proposed new rule, “[t]he proposed changes […]

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constitution-of-the-united-states-hi

State interest in bill forbidding state employee titles in op-ed articles far from legitimate, let alone compelling

On February 18, 2015, the House Education Committee had a hearing on HB 2234 seeking to forbid state employees from including their titles in op-ed article contributions to newspapers.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Reps. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, and Joe Seiwert, R-Pretty Prairie, in advocating for the bill, offered an “amendment that would apparently allow university […]

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statute books

Resolving Open Records Disputes: New Statutory Sections Proposed in SB 206

It is well-established that district courts in Kansas have jurisdiction to rule on controversies involving the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) and the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA). K.S.A. 45-222; K.S.A. 75-4320a. However, Kansas law has long lacked a specific enforcement mechanism to better ensure compliance with open records laws. In an attempt to remedy […]

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prof

Prohibiting professors from using their titles in Op-Ed pieces is unconstitutional

Recently-introduced HB 2234 seeks to require all post-secondary institutions in the state to implement a policy preventing their employees from including their official titles when “authoring or contributing to a newspaper opinion column.” In other words, the bill seeks to restrict the speech of those employees, specifically with regard to those employees’ freedom to include […]

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