Access to Justice Committee seeking comment on draft guidelines to restrict filings from abusive litigants

The Access to Justice Committee has released for comment proposed guidelines for judges to restrict court filings from litigants who repeatedly file frivolous, malicious, or repetitive pleadings.

Members of the public and the legal community are encouraged to review the proposed guidelines and provide comment by Feb. 1. The guidelines and instructions for commenting are available on the judicial branch website at www.kscourts.org under the heading What’s New.

Judge Edward Bouker, who serves on the Access to Justice Committee and is chief judge of the 23rd judicial district that includes Ellis, Gove, Rooks, and Trego counties, spoke on behalf of the committee when the proposed guidelines were released.

“It’s challenging for a busy judge to give every case fair and impartial treatment when some litigants file pleadings merely to harass or punish individuals, businesses, attorneys, or the court,” Bouker said. “These guidelines are to help judges respond to malicious and repetitive filings while upholding everyone’s access to courts as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.”

The Access to Justice Committee, in collaboration with the Advisory Council on Dispute Resolution, spent several months reviewing existing Kansas laws and case law, as well as filing restrictions imposed in other states, to develop the proposed guidelines.

“Our intent is to inform judges of their options to restrict some filings under specific circumstances,” Bouker said. “The guidelines do not propose a blanket restriction on any party with a history of malicious or repetitive filings.”

The 18-member Access to Justice Committee is made up of attorneys, judges, and laypeople. It was created by Kansas Supreme Court Rule 1401 for the purpose of making recommendations to the court about reducing barriers to equal access to justice, improving legal services delivery, and increasing resources available for legal services to low-income litigants in civil cases.

Holiday Millionaire Raffle sells out for sixth year in a row

Kansas Lottery players again showed their enthusiasm for the Kansas Lottery’s Holiday Millionaire Raffle by purchasing all 175,000 tickets well before the drawing date. This is the sixth year for the Kansas-only game.

Ticket number 175,000 was sold at 9:57 a.m. on Dec. 25. The $20 tickets went on sale Sept. 5, 2014. The drawing is Dec. 31.

“We want to say a big ‘thank you’ to the players who purchased tickets and the retailers that sold the tickets, for making this another successful Holiday Millionaire Raffle,” said Kansas Lottery Executive Director Terry Presta. “Now it’s on to the big grand prize drawing!”

The Holiday Millionaire Raffle Grand Prize drawing will take place December 31. One lucky ticket will be worth $1 million. There will also be 25 $5,000 winners, 25 $1,000 winners and 2,500 $100 prizes. Players must retain their tickets to claim a prize.

All 175,000 tickets are automatically entered in the grand prize drawing, including the 10 tickets that won $10,000 each in the five early bird drawings and the 5,000 tickets that were $50 instant cash bonus tickets.

The $1 million grand prize winning raffle number will be announced at 11:56 a.m. Dec. 31 on KSHB-41 Action News.

A list of all winning raffle numbers will be available on www.kslottery.com shortly after noon on December 31 so players can check their tickets against the winning ticket numbers.

Tickets can also be checked at any Kansas Lottery retailer, including Check-a-Ticket machines, or by calling the Kansas Lottery at 785-296-5700. For more information, click on Holiday Millionaire Raffle .

Light snow possible early Saturday morning when cold front moves into area

National Weather Service graphic
National Weather Service graphic

After a warm day when temperatures may reach 50 degrees, the temperatures will fall tonight and there is a possibility of a light dusting of snow overnight, the National Weather Service said.

It was 48 degrees at 8 a.m. Dec. 26.

Temperatures will fall from the high of 50 degrees in the afternoon, to 43 by 9 p.m. and 41 by midnight, according to the weather service.

There is a slight possibility of a wintry mix of snow and precipitation falling between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Saturday.

When temperatures are higher from noon through midnight tonight, rain is possible, according to the weather service.

Saturday, the high will be 34. Saturday night the low will be 22.

On Sunday, it will be sunny with a high near 37. Sunday night, the temperature will be around 25.

Cold air will return midweek next week, according to the weather service. Highs are expected to be in the teens to 20s for Tuesday and Wednesday.

On New Year’s Eve, the low will be around 18 degrees. The high Wednesday will be near 23.
On New Year’s Day, it will be mostly sunny with a high near 35.