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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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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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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Judge subject to mandamus appeal agrees LJW request is not moot; issues scheduling order

On February 27, 2015, Douglas County District Court Judge B. Kay Huff, the respondent in Supreme Court Case No. 14-113027-S, The Lawrence Journal-World v. B. Kay Huff, issued an order concerning the underlying criminal cases, which have since been expunged.  In the Order, the district court “agrees that Intervenor’s interest is not moot and survives […]

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AG’s open records enforcement bill virtually unopposed

Supporters of HB 206, which would provide for alternative dispute resolution-style negotiations upon findings of violation by the Attorney General’s office as well as more specific enforcement powers for violations of KORA and KOMA, testified in favor of the bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee in February 18, 2015.  Read the Topeka Capital-Journal’s coverage here.

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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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