Kansas Court of Appeals Hears Oral Arguments at Washburn Law on April 12, 2016

Washburn University School of Law, the Center for Law and Government, and the Center for Excellence in Advocacy host the Kansas Court of Appeals on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 in the Robinson Courtroom and Bianchino Technology Center.

See the docket of hearings (35 KB PDF).

Panel of judges

Tuesday 9:30 a.m. Docket

  • 112,841 – State of Kansas v. Pablo Alberto Gonzalez
    • Brief of Appellant (2.2 MB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee (2.7 MB PDF)
    • Summary: A jury convicted Gonzalez of unintentional reckless second-degree murder after he fatally shot his friend, Levi Bishop, in the neck. Gonzalez claimed the shooting was accidental because he did not know the gun was loaded.
    • Issues:
      1. Is the statute defining unintentional second-degree murder unconstitutionally vague?
      2. Was there sufficient evidence to support Gonzalez' conviction?
      3. Did the district court err in responding to a question submitted by the jury?
      4. Did the procedure used to answer the jury's question violate Gonzalez' constitutional rights?
      5. Did the district court err in failing to issue a limiting instruction regarding prior bad acts evidence admitted at trial?
      6. Did the cumulative effect of the alleged errors deprive Gonzalez of a fair trial?
  • 113,923 – State of Kansas v. Amy Jean Roth
    • Brief of Appellant (556 KB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee (316 KB PDF)
    • Summary: The State appeals the district court's dismissal of Roth's case at the preliminary hearing. At the hearing on Roth's motion to dismiss, she testified that she never meant to leave Wal-mart without paying for the items in her cart. The State countered that the motion must be denied because: (1) at the preliminary hearing it presented evidence supporting that Roth committed theft; and (2) when there is conflicting evidence before the court, the court must draw all inferences in favor of the State. The district court granted Roth's motion to dismiss with prejudice.
  • 114,199E – Stanton D. Barker v. Kansas Department of Labor and Creative Consumer Concepts
    • Brief of Appellant (957 KB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee (461 KB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee, Creative Consumer Concepts, Inc (618 KB PDF)
    • Summary: Barker had an at-will employment relationship with Creative Consumer Concepts, Inc. He was employed to find prospective clients for sales. The company provided for commissions to Barker based upon quarterly gross profits in addition to his salary. Barker ended his employment the company in August 2012. He subsequently brought an administrative claim for lost wages against the company for unpaid commissions. The Kansas Department of Labor denied his claim, and Barker has sought judicial review of the agency action.
  • 112,728 – State of Kansas v. Larry Gene Smith, Jr.
    • Brief of Appellant (2.4 MB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee (901 KB PDF)
    • Summary: This case arises from an incident at the Saline County Jail. Deputies heard pounding sounds coming from Smith's cell and responded to the commotion. When the deputies tried to move Smith to another cell, he resisted. Smith was later charged with battery on a corrections officer for punching a deputy in the chest and biting the deputy's hand while the deputies tried to restrain him. A jury convicted Smith.
    • Issues:
      1. Did the district court err by refusing to give a self-defense instruction?
      2. Did the district court err by refusing to admit Smith's blood-spattered papers?
      3. Did the district court err by failing to give a unanimity instruction?
      4. Did the district court's errors, if any, amount to cumulative error?

Tuesday 1:30 p.m. Docket

  • 113,025 – Kape Roofing & Gutters, Inc., and Chuck Cooper, v. Chad Chebultz, An Individual; and Community First National Bank, A Banking Corporation
    • Brief of Appellants (4.2 MB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellees (2.4 MB PDF)
    • Summary: The district court struck Kape and Cooper's pleadings after their attorney failed to appear at a final pretrial hearing and granted partial summary judgment against Kape and Cooper, dismissing their request for a mechanic's lien. Following a bench trial on Chebultz' counterclaims, the district court granted final judgment in favor of Chebultz. The district court ordered Kape and Cooper to pay compensatory damages and punitive damages based on their outrageous conduct in filing an invalid mechanic's lien which resulted in financial loss and severe emotional distress to Chebultz. The district court also imposed a civil penalty under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act against Kape and Cooper for intentionally committing several deceptive acts, and awarded attorney fees.
    • Issues:
      1. Did the district court err in granting Chebultz and Community First National Bank's joint motion for partial summary judgment?
      2. Did the district court err in striking Kape and Cooper's pleadings?
      3. Did the district court err in granting judgment against Kape for violating the KCPA?
      4. Did the district court err in granting judgment against Kape for outrageous conduct?
      5. Did the district court erred in failing to dismiss Chebultz' counterclaims or deny judgment to Kape based upon the advice of counsel defense?
  • 113,991E – State of Kansas v. Angel Unruh
    • Brief of Appellant (117 KB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee (255 KB PDF)
    • Summary: Defendant Angel Unruh pled guilty to one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Saline County District Court. At the time, she was on felony postrelease supervision for a prior conviction. While Unruh was being held pending disposition of this case, the Kansas Department of Corrections issued a warrant for her violation of her postrelease supervision conditions. The district court ordered the time she spent in jail pending the disposition of this case to be credited toward the time she had remaining on postrelease supervision. Unruh filed a motion to credit the jail time to her current conviction. The district court denied the motion. The issue on appeal is whether the time Unruh spent in jail should be credited toward her postrelease violation time or toward the current conviction.
  • 114,571E – Jonni Cullison, et al v. City of Salina, Kansas
    • Brief of Appellant (2.3 MB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee (2.4 MB PDF)
    • Reply Brief of Appellant (255 KB PDF)
    • Summary: The parents of twelve-year-old Jayden Hicks sued the City of Salina for wrongful death, claiming the City's negligence resulted in Jayden's death after she was electrocuted when she slipped and fell onto the metal lid of an in-ground electrical junction box in Campbell Plaza in downtown Salina, Kansas. The district court granted summary judgment for the City finding the City was immune from liability under the Recreational Use Exception to the Kansas Tort Claims Act because the electrical junction box was located in a recreational area—Campbell Plaza. The issues on appeal are whether the City met its burden to prove the Recreational Use Exception applies, and if the Recreational Use Exception does provide immunity, whether the City can still be liable because the City's failure to maintain its electrical system was gross and wanton negligence. Plaintiff also claims the Recreational Use Exception does not immunize municipalities for injuries or death caused by inherently dangerous activities on public property.
  • 114,574E – State of Kansas v. Lakendrick K. Smith
    • Brief of Appellant (954 KB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee (1.6 MB PDF)
    • Reply Brief of Appellant (243 KB PDF)
    • Summary: This is an interlocutory appeal by the State from the district court's order suppressing evidence. Defendant Lakendrick K. Smith was charged with reckless criminal threat and disorderly conduct after allegedly making verbal threats to other bar patrons stating he had a concealed-carry permit and that he would should people in the bar. He never showed any of the patrons a gun. After he was escorted from the establishment by a security guard, he again stated that he had a conceal-carry permit and indicated that he had a gun locked in his car. Police arrived shortly thereafter and arrested Smith and his friend for criminal threat and disorderly conduct. Police took Smith's keys, at which time he told them they would find a gun in the glove box of the car. Police then unlocked the car and found a gun in the glove box. After a hearing, the district court suppressed the gun found in the car, concluding Smith did not consent to the search and police lacked probable cause to search the vehicle. The court also suppressed Smith's post-arrest statements as to the gun's location because police failed to give Smith Miranda warnings.
    • Issue:
      1. Did the State establish that suppression of the gun and/or Smith's statement substantially impaired its ability to prosecute Smith for criminal threat and disorderly conduct, a condition precedent to taking an interlocutory appeal in a criminal case?
      2. Did the district court err in finding that police lacked probable cause to search Smith's vehicle under the totality of the circumstances.
      3. Did the district court err in finding that officers violated Miranda and that the public safety exception to Miranda did not apply in the facts of this case?