Echoing NY Assembly bill, Kansas Senate Judiciary chair wants to mandate judges render decisions within certain timelines

I mentioned the bill introduced in the New York Assembly to mandate that the judges of the state’s main trial court issued decisions within 9 months or be forced out of office. Now, amid the anger of a possible Kansas supreme court decision mandating additional expenditures for K-12 education,  is seeking to mandate courts decide cases within certain timelines. Although the official sponsor is the Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee itself, this item from the Wall Street Journal indicates it was filed by the chair of the committee.

Under SB 289 as introduced late last week, the bill would effectively mandate that motions and verdicts in non-jury trials be handed down by the state’s main trial court (District) within 120 days. The appellate courts (Supreme and Court of Appeal) would have 180 days to render opinions. Unlike the New York bill, however, it is not clear what the penalty would before a judge or panel of judges who missed the deadline; there are provisions for the court’s presiding judge (district chief judge, court of appeals chief judge, and chief justice) to work with the judge(s) that miss the deadline to come up with an “intended decision date” if the 120/180 day deadline is missed.

SB 289 has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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