Session of 1998
By Committee on Judiciary
            9             AN ACT concerning courts; relating to use of electronic audio-video
10             communications.
12       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
13           Section 1. (a) Whenever the law requires a party to appear before
14       any judge for a first or subsequent appearance, bail, arraignment or other
15       pretrial proceeding, at the discretion of the court, the proceeding may be
16       conducted by a two-way audio-video communication device, in which case
17       the party shall not be required to be physically brought before the judge.
18       The audio-video communication shall enable the judge to see and con-
19       verse simultaneously with the party and operate so that the party and the
20       party's counsel, if any, can communicate privately. Counsel of any party
21       not in the physical presence of the court may be personally present in
22       the court if there is a means for private communication or may be at an
23       audio-video site with such counsel's client. If two-way electronic audio-
24       video communication is used, a judge may exercise all powers conferred
25       by law and all communications and proceedings shall be conducted in the
26       same manner as if done in person. Nothing in this section shall preclude
27       the judge accepting a plea during a pretrial hearing. Such two-way elec-
28       tronic audio-video communication allowing the participants to be ob-
29       served and heard in the courtroom is considered to be held in open court.
30           (b) Any documents filed during the two-way audio-video communi-
31       cation may be transmitted electronically. The electronic data transmission
32       may be served or executed by the person to whom it is sent, and returned
33       in the same manner, and with the same force, effect, authority and liability
34       as an original document. All signatures on such documents shall be
35       treated as original signatures.
36           (c) All witnesses must be examined in the presence of the parties. A
37       hearing that is conducted by the use of two-way electronic audio-video
38       communication that allows the participants to be observed and heard by
39       each other and that allows the parties to cross-examine a witness is con-
40       sidered to be an examination of a witness in the presence of the parties.
41       The use of two-way electronic audio-video equipment may be for the sole
42       purpose of the appearance of a witness before the court.

SB 572


  1           Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
  2       publication in the statute book.