Friday, October 05, 2012

Objection before trial on stipulated facts sufficient

Rick Kittel won in State v. Kelly, No. 102,210 (Kan. Sept. 28, 2012), obtaining a remand to the COA, which had held that a suppression issue was procedurally defaulted because defense counsel did not renew a pre-trial objection during the trial on stipulated facts (a procedure used to preserve issues for appeal when the facts are not really contested).  The KSC acknowledged that it had recently held that a pretrial objection followed by a contested bench trial to the same judge did not require an additional objection to preserve the issue for appeal.  In this case, the KSC extended that reasoning to a bench trial on stipulated facts, even if it involves a different judge:
We conclude that having more than one judge involved in the proceedings does not alter the two-fold rationale of the decision in Bogguess. First, a defendant's stipulation to facts for the purpose of a bench trial precludes a defendant from asking the trial judge to ignore—in other words, suppress—evidence that a defendant has agreed can be admitted and considered. Second, because the case is tried solely on stipulated facts there will be no new evidence or arguments submitted that might change the ruling on the motion to suppress. Consequently, there is no legal or factual basis to revisit the suppression issue.
So, the case heads back to the COA for a decision on the merits.

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