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Kansas Supreme Court rules blood tests in two DUI cases admissible

(MGN)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 6:32 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that blood tests in two DUI cases are admissible, despite a state statute.

The Kansas Supreme Court says in Appeal No. 114,413: City of Kingman v. Ronald S. Ary and Appeal No. 115,980: State of Kansas v. Trenton Michael Heim, it held that the test results from a warrantless blood test were admissible despite the fact a state statute that authorized the warrantless blood test was later held to be unconstitutional. It said it had already reached the conclusion and expanded that rationale to apply warrantless blood tests as well.

According to the Court, the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule allows the admission of unlawfully obtained evidence if the officer’s reliance on an unlawful warrant or unconstitutional statute was reasonable, applied to warrantless blood tests because the arresting officer had no reason to think the statute would be declared unconstitutional after the arrest.

In Appeal No. 117,839: Building Erection Services Co. Inc. v. Walton Construction Co. Inc., the Court said it reversed a Johnson County District Cort award of third damages in the parties’ dispute over liability for faulty construction on the University of Kansas Memorial Stadium and remanded the case to the district court for a new award. It said BESCO, a subcontractor, and Walton, the general contractor, have been litigating their respective liability for issues with water leaks and incorrectly attached windows at the Memorial Stadium press box for 15 years. It said the case was the third appeal in the matter.

According to the Court, in the first appeal, the Court of Appeals agreed BESCO was liable for some, but not all, of the costs of repair. It said in the second appeal, the Court of Appeals held the evidence did not support an award ordering BESCO to pay 50% of the costs of repair and all of Walton’s attorney fees. It said neither party petitioned for Supreme Court review of that decision. It said after the second appeal, the district court judge ordered BESCO to pay over 50% of the costs of repair, plus all of Walton’s attorney fees. However, it said the Court of Appeals mandates from the first two appeals in this case prohibited the award.

The Supreme Court said under Kansas statutes, a lower court cannot circumvent the mandate of a higher court, which is known as the mandate rule. It said this is the reason it reversed the award for violating the mandate rule and remanded the case to the district court for an award that complies with the mandates of the first and second appeal.

For more published decisions, click here.

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