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Like other states' court systems, the Kansas court system is a hierarchical structure, with the lower courts originally trying cases and the higher courts handling appeals and administrative matters. There are four separate courts in the state of Kansas.
The lowest tiers of court are the municipal courts and the district courts. Municipal courts are generally located in the larger cities in Kansas. They are courts of limited jurisdiction and primarily handle city code violations, traffic infractions and DUI offenses. The district courts are of general jurisdiction and handle all criminal, civil, probate, juvenile, family and other matters. In areas where municipal courts are not present, the district courts also handle traffic infractions and DUI offenses.
The second tier of the Kansas court system is known as the Court of Appeals. If a decision is made in a district court that either party disagrees with, they may file an appeal with the Court of Appeals in the hopes of overturning the decision. The appellate court consists of 13 judges in three panels.
The final tier, known as the "court of last resort" in the state, is the Kansas Supreme Court. Any appeals of decisions made by the Court of Appeals go straight to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court also hears appeals of death penalty decisions made in the district courts. Finally, it handles administrative tasks such as admitting attorneys to the bar, setting judicial rules and generally overseeing the operation of the courts.
When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Kansas attorney by location and by practice area. We have Kansas attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.
LawInfo offers free Kansas legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own. Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.
Property owners in Kansas often find that renting is a good idea to make some extra money. It can be a prudent decision, but you have to make sure to have a quality, binding Residential Lease Agreement before you agree to a rental situation. LawInfo provides free lease contract templates so you can feel secure in your landlord/tenant agreement.
Last Will and Testament forms for Kansas residents may also be found for free on LawInfo. You need a last will if you want to have control over the inheritance your descendants receive from your estate. A Last Will and Testament details who gets what in the event of your death. Those who die without one die "intestate" and thus have their possessions divided up by the probate court.
Another way to prepare for the future is to file Power of Attorney forms. You need someone to have medical, financial and legal power of attorney if you are incapacitated in order to ensure that your wishes are met. Whether for end-of-life care or in the event that an unexpected accident occurs, it is important to be prepared. LawInfo offers free Kansas Power of Attorney forms for your convenience.
When beginning a business in Kansas, the first step is to take advantage of resources offered by the Kansas Business Center. These resources will help you with all-important aspects of starting your own business like analyzing your market, writing a business plan and securing seed capital to begin.
Once you have a plan ready, you should decide on your business's structure: Do you want to grow your business and potentially sell shares to the public? You may want to file for corporation status. Do you want to take advantage of tax breaks and legal protections? A limited liability company may be right for you. Are you just in business for yourself? You might want to go with a sole proprietorship. A business lawyer can advise you further.
You then need to decide on a name for your business. Look up existing businesses at the Kansas Business Center website to make sure your name is unique as there may be legal consequences otherwise. You will also need to file business registration, tax and payroll documents with federal and state authorities as well as local agencies, depending on where you live and the structure of your business.
Small businesses, defined as companies with less than 500 workers, employ 52.8 percent of the labor force in Kansas. In 2010, they numbered nearly 250,000 and represented 96.6 percent of all businesses in the state. Kansas enjoyed a lower-than-average unemployment rate of around 5.9 percent in the first half of 2013, due in part to the strong business tradition in the state.
Larger companies also played a large part in the state's 3.8 percent economic growth rate, including major Fortune 500 companies like Sprint Nextel (S), Seaboard (SEB) and YRC Worldwide (YRCW).