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Office of Judicial Administration

The Kansas judicial branch has 246 judges of the district court and about 1,500 nonjudicial employees who are supported by the Office of Judicial Administration under the direction of a judicial administrator. The judicial administrator is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Kansas Supreme Court.

The judicial administrator is responsible for implementing the rules and policies of the supreme court as they apply to the operation and administration of the courts, including fiscal operations, personnel management, education, statistical caseload information, public information, court services, and many other administrative matters involving the trial and appellate courts.

To help manage court activities throughout the judicial districts, the chief judge of each judicial district is empowered to appoint either a chief clerk or a court administrator to help the chief judge carry out the court’s administrative functions.

All employees of the Kansas court system who are not judges are under a personnel plan adopted and administered by the Kansas Supreme Court. Personnel and payroll records of all court employees statewide are maintained in the Office of Judicial Administration. The supreme court adopts and submits to the Kansas Legislature an annual budget for the entire Kansas judicial branch.

Clerk of the Appellate Courts

The Kansas Constitution established the position of a supreme court clerk, appointed by the Kansas Supreme Court, who by statute also serves as the clerk of the Kansas Court of Appeals. The clerk is referred to as the clerk of the appellate courts.

All documents related to cases coming before the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of Appeals are filed in the clerk’s office. Motions filed with the clerk’s office are either acted upon by the clerk at the court’s discretion or forwarded to the appropriate appellate court for consideration and ruling. After an appeal is decided, a mandate is sent to the clerk of the district court where the case originated.

In addition to processing cases in the two appellate courts, the clerk’s office is responsible for a wide variety of activities including the conduct of bar examinations, record-keeping of admissions to the Kansas bar and annual attorney registration. The clerk also is responsible for the conduct of certified court reporter examinations, for granting certificates of eligibility for certified court reporters and annual certified court reporter registration.

Per supreme court rule or state statute, the clerk of the appellate courts serves as secretary for the Commission on Judicial Qualifications, the Client Protection Fund Commission, the Kansas Board of Law Examiners and the Supreme Court Nominating Commission. The clerk’s office conducts elections for the lawyer members of the Supreme Court Nominating Commission and also conducts elections in 17 of the 31 judicial districts to elect lawyer members of the district judicial nominating commissions.

Reporter of Decisions

The reporter of decisions, another officer of the court established by the Kansas Constitution and appointed by the Kansas Supreme Court, is responsible for publishing opinions and rules of the Kansas Supreme Court in advance sheets and later compiling into bound volumes known at the Kansas Reports. By statute, the reporter also serves as the reporter of decisions for the Kansas Court of Appeals and prepares and publishes its opinions in advance sheets and bound volumes known as the Kansas Court of Appeals Reports.

Supreme Court Law Library

The Supreme Court Law Library, housed in the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka, maintains more than 185,000 volumes and 600 periodicals. Its collection includes statutory and case law for all 50 states, treatises on various legal subjects, some federal documents, briefs of Kansas appellate-level cases, and special collections of court and court-related materials. Besides serving the research needs of the judicial branch, the library is used by employees of state agencies and the Kansas Legislature, attorneys and the public.

Supreme Court Law Library image
Supreme Court Law Library in the Kansas Judicial Center
Photo by Todd Caywood