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Chapter 61 Cases

1. Court Assignment. All Chapter 61 limited action cases will be assigned to Division No. 61 unless otherwise directed by the Chief Judge. The current schedule is posted on the Court's website.

2. Transfer to Chapter 60. When a motion under K.S.A. 61-2910 to apply the provisions of Chapter 60 to a case is granted, that case will be reassigned from Division No. 61 to a District Judge in the Civil Department under the procedures of Local Rule 2. Motions to transfer a case to Chapter 60 procedures should be made no later than 10 days prior to a trial date.

Motions to Transfer will only be granted if good cause is shown. If the Motion to Transfer is denied, expansion of discovery provisions will be liberally granted.

3. Answer Dates. Answer Dates in Division No. 61 will be on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. and at 10:30 a.m. as set forth on the Court’s website. If the defendant fails to appear or file a written Answer, default judgment for the liquidated amounts set forth in the Petition may be entered against the defendant. The specific amount requested, including any amount requested for attorney fees, must be stated in the Petition in order to be granted in the Judgment. If the plaintiff fails to appear to call the case, the Petition will be dismissed for failure to prosecute unless the plaintiff has knowledge that a written Answer has been filed. Continuance of Answer Dates ordinarily will not be granted. If the defendant appears on an Answer Date and enters a general denial, the defendant shall file with the Court Clerk a Written Answer within 14 days from the Answer date and provide a copy to plaintiff (or plaintiff’s attorney) per K.S.A. 61-2904. Failure to do so may result in Judgment entered against the defendant. Written Answers are subject to the requirements of K.S.A. 61-2904 (which requires filing a written Answer to assert affirmative defenses under K.S.A. 60-208).

Blank Answer Forms will be provided by the Clerk's Office and are posted on the Court's website.

4. Answer Dates and Trials – Evictions. Trials in eviction cases under K.S.A. 61-3801 et. seq. shall be held at 9:00 a.m. on the Friday of the week following the Answer Date (i.e. within 14 days after the appearance date set forth in the summons unless a holiday or furlough day). No separate written notice of this trial is required; counsel and parties are deemed to have notice of this local rule. Continuance of this trial cannot be granted unless the defendant files the bond required by K.S.A. 61-3807(b) in advance of the trial setting or has such bond to present for approval at the time of trial.

5. Journal Entries. It is the responsibility of the plaintiff to determine the status of service of process and to present to the Judge a proposed Journal Entry/Judgment Form reflecting service, appearances, and the proposed Judgment or disposition to be entered, if appropriate. Unless otherwise directed by the Judge, a Journal Entry/Judgment Form shall be presented to the Judge at the conclusion of the call of the docket.

An approved Journal Entry form and instructions are posted on the Court's website and shall be used in all cases. Blank Journal Entry forms will be made available at each docket call by the Clerk's Office.

6. Attorney Fees. In cases involving a claim of property damage arising out of an automobile accident under K.S.A. 60-2006, and in all other cases in which attorney fees are authorized either by statute or written contract, and the defendant either failed to appear on the Answer date or file a written answer and default judgment was granted, the Court will presume that the following shall constitute a reasonable attorney’s fee in the absence of an affidavit or other evidence demonstrating, under applicable standards (see Model Rule of Professional Responsibility 1.5), that a different amount is required for the award of a reasonable fee in a specific case:

Automobile accident cases: $1,000.00 (subject to Court discretion);
Insufficient fund check cases: $ 350.00 (subject to Court discretion);
Credit card cases: 15% of amount due up to a maximum of $1,000.00 (subject to Court discretion).
Any other case authorized by statute or contract: $1,000.00 (subject to Court discretion).

7. Trial Dates and Motion Settings. Trial dates for all cases except evictions shall be obtained from the clerk for Division No. 61. The current schedule is posted on the Court's website.

8. Continuances - Non-Eviction Cases. Except to prevent manifest injustice, trial settings will not be continued except on written motion and order of the Court entered prior to the scheduled time of trial, or upon the joint request of the parties. Continuances of trial settings will not be granted ex parte.

9. Dismissal List. Cases will not be removed from the dismissal list for Division No. 61 unless service has been made on the defendant before the scheduled date of dismissal. All cases removed from the Dismissal List shall be set for a Pretrial Conference.

10. Multiple Defendants. Unless otherwise ordered, in multiple-defendant cases in which service of process has not been obtained on all defendants, the plaintiff must, before trial, either (a) elect to proceed against the served defendants, dismissing the case without prejudice against the unserved defendants, or (b) allow the entire case to be dismissed without prejudice.