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Kansas Supreme Court creates Ad Hoc Committee on Best Practices for ...

TOPEKA—The Kansas Supreme Court has created an Ad Hoc Committee on Best Practices for Eviction Proceedings to examine how evictions are processed by Kansas courts to identify best practices that reduce filings, expeditiously resolve pending cases, and enhance housing stability.   

The committee is to deliver its initial recommendations to the Supreme Court by February 28, 2022. 

The committee, created by Administrative Order 2021-CM-154, includes people with expertise in eviction proceedings and represent landlords, tenants, the court system, and housing programs.  

Judge Sarah Warner, Kansas Court of Appeals, will chair the committee.  

"This committee will study all aspects of eviction practices to provide our Supreme Court with the most accurate picture of how the proceedings are functioning," Warner said. "We will then provide practical recommendations for how eviction practices might be carried out smoothly and fairly, in a way all can understand, both during the pandemic and in the years to come." 

The committee’s charge is to: 

  • study pertinent statistical trends related to Kansas eviction cases, including any available data about case filing, amount in controversy, and the geographical distribution of cases; 

  • gather information about how the end of COVID-19 eviction moratoria affects Kansas landlords, tenants, and the court system; 

  • examine the use of court-based and court-adjacent eviction prevention and eviction diversion programs in other states; 

  • study orders and rules adopted by state-level judicial systems to reduce the number of eviction cases and enhance housing stability; 

  • identify court-based programs that have been successful in reducing landlord-tenant case filings and evictions; 

  • recommend the implantation and placement of pilot programs in Kansas to reduce eviction filings, resolve pending cases, and enhance housing stability; and 

  • recommend any necessary changes in law, regulation, or rule to effectuate recommended best practices. 

Appointed to the committee are: 

  • Judge Courtney Mikesic, 29th Judicial District, which is Wyandotte County 

  • District Magistrate Judge Christopher Velez, 25th Judicial District, composed of Finney, Greeley, Hamilton, Kearny, Scott, and Wichita counties 

  • District Magistrate Judge Daniel Vokins, 10th Judicial District, which is Johnson County 

  • District Judge Rodger Woods, 18th Judicial District, which is Sedgwick County 

  • Amber Ballard, trial court clerk IV, 7th Judicial District, which is Douglas County 

  • Tracy Hays, trial court clerk V, 18th Judicial District, which is Sedgwick County 

  • Jessica Albers, president of Apartment Association of Greater Wichita, Wichita 

  • Erin Beckerman, attorney, Topeka 

  • Michelle Ewert, associate professor, Washburn University School of Law, Topeka 

  • L. Donald Huelson, attorney, Olathe 

  • Casey Johnson, attorney, Kansas City 

  • Kerry Kinkade, attorney, Lenexa 

  • Bobbie Lee Riling, attorney, Lawrence 

  • Sue Rouse, member of the Hays Housing Authority Board, Hays 

  • Paul Shipp, attorney, Manhattan 

Sarah Hoskinson, director of dispute resolution, and other Office of Judicial Administration personnel will provide support.