Kansas Court of Appeals Hears Oral Arguments at Washburn Law on April 18, 2017

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 18, 2017 in the Robinson Courtroom and Bianchino Technology Center.

See the docket of hearings (31 KB PDF).

Panel of judges

9:30 a.m. Docket

  • 115,609 – State of Kansas v. Anthony Stephen Nichols
    • Brief of Appellant (5.0 MB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee (683 KB PDF)
    • Summary: A Riley County jury convicted Nichols of attempted first-degree murder. Prior to his conviction, Nichols filed two motions to suppress which the district court denied. The first motion sought to suppress statements made during an interrogation by law enforcement officers. The second motion sought to suppress evidence found during a search of his cell phone. Nichols appeals the district court's denial of the motions. Nichols argues that the statements he made to law enforcement officers were involuntary because he did not waive his Miranda rights and he invoked his right to remain silent. Moreover, Nichols argues that the search of his cell phone was invalid under the United States Supreme Court cases of Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie.
  • 116,322 – Diana Sabatino v. Employment Security Board of Review
    • Brief of Appellant (4.3 MB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee (299 KB PDF)
    • Summary: The Kansas State Fire Marshall's Office terminated Sabatino as an investigator for alleged insubordination related to following agency directives in conducting inspections and preparing reports. Sabatino's application for unemployment benefits was denied and she filed an administrative appeal. While the appeal was pending, the Fire Marshall modified the alleged reason for Sabatino's termination from insubordination to inefficiency and incompetency. Ultimately, the Board of Review denied Sabatino's appeal. Sabatino then sought judicial review in the Shawnee County District Court. The district court reversed the Board's decision. In this appeal, the Board raises two issues. First, whether the district court erred by disregarding the appropriate standard of review. Second, whether the modified reason for termination was sufficient to support the Board's decision.
  • 113,869 – State of Kansas v. Stephen Alan Macomber
    • Brief of Appellant (852 KB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee (5.1 MB PDF)
    • Supplemental Brief of Appellant (725 KB PDF)
    • Summary: Stephen Macomber was charged in Shawnee County with intentional second-degree murder in the death of Ryan Lofton. After a jury trial convicted him of involuntary manslaughter, Macomber appeals. On appeal, Macomber claims the trial court erred by (1) giving an instruction on the lesser included offense of involuntary manslaughter, (2) refusing to give instructions regarding his theory of the defense, and (3) denying his claim for immunity based on justification. Macomber also claims there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for involuntary manslaughter.

1:30 p.m. Docket

  • 115,599 – State of Kansas v. Ulysses Clark
    • Brief of Appellants (1.9 MB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellees (327 KB PDF)
    • Summary: In Geary County, Clark pled no contest to solicitation to commit first-degree murder, sale of methadone, sale of oxycodone, and perjury. In a previous appeal, a panel of the Kansas Court of Appeals remanded the case to the district court for resentencing. At the resentencing hearing, Clark moved to withdraw his plea. Clark alleged that, had he known the correct maximum sentence possible, he would not have agreed to the plea. The district court denied his motion to withdraw his plea, and Clark appealed. On appeal, Clark raises one issue: whether the district court erred in denying the motion to withdraw his plea.
  • 116,307 – Corvias Military Living, LLC, and Corvias Military Construction, LLC v. Ventamatic, LTD, Jakel, Inc., United Heating & Cooling, Inc., Kornis Electric Supply, Inc., Fahnestock Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., and Consolidated Electric Distributors, Inc. d/b/a American Electric
    • Brief of Appellant (510 KB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee (719 KB PDF)
    • Reply Brief of Appellants (338 KB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee Jakel Motors Incorporated (763 KB PDF)
    • Summary: Corvias, LLC built family housing units in Fort Riley, Kansas. During construction of the residences, Corvias, LLC purchased bathroom ceiling exhaust fans from subcontractors who installed them in the residences. Subsequently, two of the housing units caught fire resulting in property damage. Shortly after the second fire, Corvias, LLC replaced the vent fans from the housing units with a different brand of vent fan. Corvias, LLC then filed a petition in Geary County District Court alleging that the fires were caused by a defect in vent fans manufactured by Ventamatic, LTD and containing motors made by Jakel, Inc. Ultimately, the district court granted summary judgment motions in favor of Ventamatic, LTD and Jakel, Inc. On appeal, Corvias, LLC contends that the district court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of Ventamatic, LTD and Jakel, Inc. Corvias, LLC argues that the economic loss doctrine involves a mixed question of fact and law. In addition, Corvias, LLC alleges that it should be allowed to proceed under an implied warranty theory because the vent fans were inherently dangerous.
  • 115,956 – State of Kansas v. Rebecca A. Blackburn
    • Brief of Appellant (1.3 MB PDF)
    • Brief of Appellee (460 KB PDF)
    • Summary: A police officer stopped a car for an alleged traffic violation. While performing a driver's license check, the officer requested a drug canine be brought to the scene. Upon arrival, the dog was led around the car and indicated the possible presence drugs. Two items with white residue on them were found in the car—a cut straw and a mirror-like object. Blackburn, who had been driving the car, was arrested along with the other occupants. The officer searched Blackburn and found methamphetamine in her shoe. As a result, Blackburn was charged with possession of methamphetamine in Clay County District Court. Prior to trial, Blackburn filed a motion to suppress the evidence claiming that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop and did not have probable cause to arrest her. The district court denied the motion to suppress and Blackburn was convicted after a bench trial on stipulated facts. On appeal, Blackburn contends that the district court erred in denying her motion to suppress.