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Kansas Supreme Court

Leans Pro Freedom
Total Judgeships: 

7 (0 vacancies)

Political Makeup: 

Non-Partisan

Location(s): 
Topeka
Caseload: 

1900

Recent Cases

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LISTEN NOWThe Freedom Files Podcast Episode 37: Shon HopwoodListen Here
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No Probable Cause Means No Warrant. Period.

Fri, 06/06/2014

State of Kansas v. Ryan Powell: Powell was charged with involvement with theft and was ordered by the court through a warrant to give biological material as evidence, leading it to be used against him resulting in his conviction. Powell filed a motion to have this evidence suppressed and be non-applicable in court arguing that the warrant was unjustly acquired because there was no probable cause.

Decision

The Supreme Court of Kansas reversed the ruling of the lower courts by ruling in favor of Powell, stating that the lower court did not have enough probable cause to issue the warrant that resulted in the evidence that was used in Powell’s conviction. As a result, the evidence that is that result of the warrant cannot be used in his trial and thus Powell's current conviction is void. The Court remanded the trial for further proceedings.

Read the full decision here
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Accidental Pull-Over Leads to Reversed DUI

Fri, 05/02/2014

State v. Reiss: Officer Ritter put on his lights to pull over a vehicle that was three cars in front of him. As a result, all 3 cars pulled to the side of the road, one of them driven by Reiss, who was not originally the one in violation of traffic laws. Reiss approached the officer and the officer suspected that Reiss was intoxicated, did a field sobriety test, and charged Reiss with a DUI. Reiss filed a suit against the state on the grounds that the evidence against him should be suppressed in court because it was attained while he was “unlawfully seized.”

Decision

The Supreme Court of Kansas reversed the decision of the lower courts by ruling that Reiss’ motion to suppress the evidence should be granted since it was obtained without any probable cause. All evidence that was collected against him was obtained while he was under “unlawful seizure” and therefore tainted.

Read the full decision here
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Right Against Unlawful Search More Clearly Defined and Defended

Fri, 03/28/2014

State of Kansas v. Robert Stevenson: Stevenson was pulled over by officers after failing to use a turn signal. When approaching his vehicle, the officer noticed a strong alcoholic odor and as a result, he and his partner proceeded to search Stevenson’s vehicle to look for open containers of alcohol. Their search resulted in the discovery of methamphetamine and Stevenson was convicted with possession. Stevenson appealed the decision to higher court on the basis that the evidence collected by the officers’ search should be suppressed in court because it was acquired through a warrantless search.

Decision

The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the lower courts by ruling in favor of Stevenson. The Court determined that the officers did not have adequate probable cause to search Stevenson’s vehicle based on the smell of alcohol alone and should have attempted to gain more evidence of probable cause before conducting a full search. As a result, Stevenson’s motion for suppression was granted and the evidence found by the officers during the search was suppressed in trial.

Read the full decision here