Court Videoconferencing and Deadline Extensions

2020 Kan. Sess. Laws Ch. 4 (S.B. 102)


The House Substitute for Senate Bill 102 allows the Chief Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court to extend any statutory deadline and to authorize video conferences in any court proceeding, when necessary for public health and safety.


This bill was passed quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and became effective after publication in the March 19, 2020 Kansas Register.  It permits the Chief Justice to issue an order extending or suspending any statutory deadline or time limitation during any declared state of emergency.  It also authorizes the use of videoconferencing in any court proceeding.  The Chief Justice may exercise these powers when she determines these actions are necessary to secure the health and safety of court users, court staff, and judicial officers.  Additionally, any orders issued under the Bill may remain in effect for up to 150 days after the state of emergency is terminated.  These provisions will expire on March 31, 2021.

The Bill will impact many criminal defendants in Kansas because it amends the speedy trial statute in the Kansas Code of Criminal Procedure.  Specifically, the Bill authorizes the Chief Justice to extend or suspend speedy trial statutory deadlines and requires any trial scheduled during the order’s effective period to be pushed back on the court schedule within 150 days.  The practical effects of the Bill remain to be seen, but many criminal trials will undoubtedly be delayed reducing in-person contact to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Key Authorities:

39 Kan. Reg. 306 (Mar. 19, 2020).

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