Archive for Thursday, December 1, 2005

Cases handled by suspended judge being reviewed

December 1, 2005


— Dodge City officials are reviewing hundreds of municipal court cases handled by a judge who continued to practice for about three weeks after her law license had been suspended.

The Kansas Supreme Court suspended former Municipal Judge Deanna Knapp's law license on Oct. 13 because she didn't comply with requirements for continuing education for lawyers. But she continued to serve on the bench until Nov. 8, when city officials learned of the situation. State law requires municipal judges in first-class cities to have a law license.

Knapp later met the continuing education requirement and had her law license reinstated Nov. 15, but was replaced on the municipal court.

"We've started auditing all those cases, and there are many of them," said Ken Strobel, the city's legal counsel. He said some cases may not require any action, but others might have to be voided, depending on how heavily Knapp was involved.

Municipal court cases mainly involve traffic infractions, but also include such things as building code violations or loose-dog infractions.

Strobel estimated "several hundred" municipal court cases were handled while Knapp's law license was suspended.

City Prosecutor Terry Malone said he is focusing his review on cases that were contested and those in which Knapp issued orders.

Cases in which people pleaded guilty and paid fines may not require any further action.


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