Sometimes the black letter law passed by the legislature is unclear. The legislature can’t anticipate every possible fact scenario when they pass a law, so it lay to the courts to interpret the law and give guidance to what it means. This interpretation is called case law. When the court decides a certain meeting to the law it essentially answers a legal question. Lawyers and other courts then can rely on that ruling when they have a similar issue in their case. The following case answers the question above.
State v. Nading, 214 Kan. 249 (1974).
This case addresses the following question:
How long may I legally have to wait to appear before a magistrate after being arrested?
The issue in this case involves the determination as to what point an arrestee must be taken before a magistrate. The applicable Kansas statute is that of K.S.A.1973 Supp. 22-2901 that “the person arrested shall be taken without unnecessary delay before a magistrate”. Id at 252 (emphasis added). The Court stated that the phrase “without unnecessary delay” in Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Criminal procedure, upon which the Kansas rule is based, was intended to be flexible, and dependent on the circumstances of the arrest, yet it still institutes a high degree of promptness. Id. Further, when determining what constitutes an unnecessary delay, federal courts make case by case determinations. Id. The Court also noted that “a person arrested for a crime, either with or without a warrant, [is] to be taken before a magistrate with reasonable promptness and without unnecessary delay.” Id. at 253. In addition, the Court stated that even if the waiting time was considered excessive, the delay must “in some way deprive the defendant of a fair trial” and does not itself “constitute a denial of due process.” Id. The Court again looked to the federal rule for guidance and determined that if the person was arrested outside of regular business hours, having to wait until regular business hours of the magistrate does not constitute an unnecessary delay. Id.
In the case at issue, the appellant was arrested, the complaint was filed, and a warrant was issued on the same day on which the offense was committed – Saturday, April 8, 1972. Id. The appellant was not taken before the magistrate until 1:30 P.M. on the afternoon of Monday, April 10, 1972 and alleges that this was an unnecessary delay. Id. The Court found that there was no indication that any incriminating statement or admission occurred while the appellant was incarcerated over the weekend. Id. Further, the appellant failed to assert or show that he was in any way prejudiced by the delay, nor does any evidence give rise to the indication that prejudice resulted due to the delay. Id. The Court concluded that the delay the appellant was subjected to was not a violation of K.S.A.1973 Supp. 22-2901 because there was no showing of a resulting prejudice, and thus, the Court concluded that his constitutional right to a fair trial was not violated and the trial court property denied the appellant’s motion to dismiss. Id.