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Municipal Court Appeals

APPEALS FROM CITY COURTS IN KANSAS

In Kansas, municipal court appeals are filed in accordance with K.S.A. 22-3609.  Kansas law allows defendants to appeal the city court conviction to a higher court with the opportunity for a jury trial.  

MUNICIPAL COURT APPEALS MUST BE FILED WITHIN 14 DAYS

Kansas law requires that convictions from municipal courts be filed within 14 days.  This time limit is jurisdictional, meaning that if the appropriate documents are not filed on time, the district court will not have jurisdiction over the case.  A timing error will likely result in the filing of a motion to dismiss by the city prosecutor.

HOW TO APPEAL A MUNICIPAL COURT CASE

Termed "perfecting an appeal," defendants must file a notice of appeal and an appeal bond.  The appropriate documents must be filed on time, otherwise the district court will not have jurisdiction to hear the case.  Additionally, the notice of appeal must designate the judgment or part of the judgment being appealed.

MUNICIPAL COURT APPEALS ARE HEARD BY THE DISTRICT COURT

Appeals from city courts do not go to the Kansas Court of Appeals.  Rather, Kansas law requires the city appeals first go to the district court.  This is due in part to the fact that the proceedings in the municipal court were not recorded.  Because of this, the Court of Appeals cannot review the proceedings to determine whether an error occurred.  District courts, on the other hand, record every hearing.

DE NOVO REVIEW

When a case is appealed from a city court to the district court, it is as if the case starts anew.  Evidence must be presented to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt again.  All of the standard procedural rules which must typically be followed in the district court in county cases must also be followed in a municipal court appeal.

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