Sterling College to Host Oral Arguments

A three-judge panel of the Kansas Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Tuesday, November 14, in Sterling College’s Heritage Hall in Sterling.

Judge Kathryn Gardner will be joined by Judges Michael Buser and Gordon Atcheson to hear oral arguments in five cases. Three will be heard starting at 9 a.m. with the remaining two starting at 1:30 p.m. These cases have been to trial but have been appealed.

After each docket session, the judges will be available to answer questions from the public about the court and court procedures.

Gardner, the presiding judge for the panel, was born in Sterling and attended Sterling College, as did her daughters (Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah Gardner), her parents (Joe and Roberta [Dill] McFarland), and their parents.

“It’s always a pleasure to return to the town of Sterling and to experience the hospitality of Sterling College,” Gardner said.

Gardner said that the Court of Appeals regularly hears cases throughout the state.

“Nearly every month, panels of Court of Appeals judges hear cases in Topeka, Wichita, Kansas City, and a location farther west, which varies.” Gardner said. “We enjoy sitting at locations such as Sterling College, to make the court accessible to more people.”

Oral Arguments 

Attorneys for each side will have an opportunity to present arguments to the judges, and the judges will have a chance to ask questions. The court will then take each case under consideration and will issue a written decision at a later date, usually within 60 days.

There are 14 judges on the Court of Appeals, and the judges sit in three-judge panels to decide cases. In addition to the Court of Appeals panel hearing cases this week in Sterling, other three-judge panels of the Court of Appeals will be hearing cases in Overland Park, Wichita, and Topeka. All hearings are open to the public.

In fiscal year 2016, the Court of Appeals resolved appeals in 1,932 cases, including 1,304 in which the court issued a formal written opinion.

The five cases to be heard at Sterling College are summarized below. They arise from Lyon, Finney, Ford, Russel, and Ellis counties.

9 a.m. Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Case No. 117,254: State of Kansas v. Nicholas Wayne Faglie 

Faglie was convicted by a Lyon County jury of aggravated battery based on events that occurred outside a bar in Emporia. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison. In this direct appeal, Faglie contends the district court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on self-defense and by admitting statements Faglie made to a police officer the day after the event. As to this latter issue, Faglie contends his statements were not made voluntarily, were made at a time he did not feel free to leave, and were made in response to the officer’s attempt to get him to “fess up.”

Case No. 116,493: State of Kansas v. Jimmy Meyers

After a jury convicted Meyers of 11 counts of sex crimes, Finney County District Court sentenced him to four consecutive life sentences with the possibility of parole after a collective 2,612 months. He raises two arguments on appeal: that the prosecutor misstated evidence during closing argument at trial; and that a Kansas statute unconstitutionally denies Meyers the rights to due process, the presumption of innocence, and to know the nature of crimes charged. As to this latter issue, Meyers contends the statute permits courts to admit evidence of a criminal defendant’s prior convictions solely for the purpose of showing defendant has a propensity to commit the crime charged.

Case No. 116,843: Chelsea Elizabeth Bradfield v. Jorge Urias

This is an appeal of a child custody case by the father, Jorge Urias. He contends the Ford County District Court erred in granting custody to the mother, Chelsea Elizabeth Bradfield, because a court in Nebraska had previously granted him custody. The district court found that Kansas is now the home state of the child and that the Nebraska court had relinquished jurisdiction after finding that Kansas is the more appropriate and convenient jurisdiction for addressing the child custody issues presented in this case.

1:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Case No. 117,069: Kari A. Karst v. Tia Blehm and B & B Investment Properties, LLC

This case began in small claims court when Karst, who leased an apartment from Blehm, sought reimbursement of her security deposit and other damages. A magistrate judge held a trial and awarded Karst $500 plus reimbursement for certain fees. Karst then appealed to Russell County District Court, which held another trial and awarded Karst essentially the same damages. The district court denied Karst any award for her attorney fees but ordered Karst to pay Blehm’s attorneys fees, finding Blehm was the prevailing party. Karst now appeals to us, arguing that the district court erred in determining that she was not entitled to reimbursement for certain payments she had made, and that Blehm was not entitled to have Karst pay her attorneys’ fees.

Case Nos. 116,456 and 117,079: In the Matter of the Estate of Earl O. FieldDeceased

This appeal is from the probate of an estate exceeding $20 million. After a two-week trial, Ellis County District Court denied the petitioner’s request to admit a codicil to probate. A codicil is an addition or supplement that explains, modifies, or revokes a will. The district court found that the codicil had been forged or made under undue influence. The district court also ordered payment of petitioner’s attorneys’ fees and expenses. That decision is the subject of a separate appeal that has been consolidated with this appeal for purposes of oral argument and decision.


Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2017. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story or website may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.