TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court last week adopted Rule 160, which applies when district courts provide public access to a live proceeding by electronic means, whether by livestream, closed-circuit feed, or recording.
New Rule 160 provides that if a proceeding is open to the public, district courts may:
• Broadcast the proceeding live, whether over the internet or by closed-circuit feed;
• Record the proceeding; and
• Preserve any recording of the proceeding.
If a broadcast is the only means to give public access to a court proceeding, the court must stop the proceeding if the broadcast fails and resume the proceeding when the broadcast is restored or provide public access another way.
The rule also includes updated language based on feedback received during a public comment period last spring. Among other things, the updates clarify how the rule interacts with existing Supreme Court Rules 1001 and 1002 that govern how digital recording devices can be used during court proceedings.
When adopting Rule 160, the Supreme Court also rescinded Administrative Order 2023-RL-018. It continued temporary rules put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic to guide courts making proceedings available through court-initiated livestreams.