With a diverse composition of both densely populated areas and farm country, Olathe is the fourth largest city in Kansas and the county seat of Johnson County. Olathe is home to many large companies and has a prospering economy. Covering a large geographic area, Olathe is bordered by Overland Park to the east, Gardner to the south, Lenexa to the north and Desoto to the northwest.
Olathe has two courthouses: the Johnson County District Court in downtown Olathe and the Olathe Municipal Court just south of downtown Olathe off Old 56 Highway. Two criteria must be met for the Olathe Municipal Court to hear a case: (1) the alleged violation must have occurred inside the city limits of Olathe; and (2) the violation charged is a city ordinance violation. Examples of frequently charged city ordinance violations include DUI, driving on a suspended license, marijuana possession, criminal trespass, criminal damage, theft, minor in possession and some other “code” violations. Generally, code violations deal with the maintenance and upkeep of Olathe residents’ homes and businesses.
Olathe Municipal Court hears a fair number of DUI cases because Olathe contains a small community of bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Additionally, a fair number of misdemeanor theft cases are heard because Olathe has several big box retail stores. Moreover, Olathe downtown has a very active parking monitor so the municipal court hears a fair share of parking ticket infractions.
Courthouse: Located a few miles south of downtown Olathe and on the corner of Harrison and Old 56, the Olathe Municipal Court is connected to the Olathe Police Department. The courthouse houses two courtrooms and depending on the time and day, both could be in use. Both courtrooms have plenty of seating for the public and both having multimedia equipment used to view evidence. Furthermore, the judge has a link to numerous detention facilities so she can conduct video court and video arraignments for people that are in custody.
The address of the Olathe Municipal Court is: 1200 S. Harrison Olathe, KS 66061
Judge: Two primary judges hear cases in Olathe Municipal Court. If the two primary judges are unavailable, Olathe has several pro-tem judges. The court does not have the ability to have cases heard in front of a jury so only the judge hears the cases.
The Judges in Olathe are: Judge Katie McElhinney (Presiding) Judge Jill Kenney
Prosecutor: The city prosecutor’s office is the division of the Olathe City Attorney’s office that prosecutes crimes that occur in the city. Currently, Olathe has four full time prosecutors. Housed in the Olathe Municipal Court on the north side of the court house, the city prosecutor’s office has the job of making charging decisions and prosecuting alleged criminal acts that occur in Olathe. If the case is appealed to the District Court, the city prosecutors continue on with the case.
The Chief Prosecutor in Olathe is: Kevin Gunkel
Court Clerk: The Court Clerk’s office is entrusted with the administrative tasks of the Olathe Municipal Court. The office employees about 12 assistant court clerks and is located on the south side of the courthouse. The office is responsible for keeping the court’s schedule, maintaining files, accepting monies on behalf of the court and performing other essential functions for the court.
The Court Administrator in Olathe is: Jane Clark
Appealing from the Olathe Municipal Court: Olathe Municipal Court does not have the ability to provide a defendant with all the protections afforded by the United State’s Constitution because they are a court of limited jurisdiction. So, the Olathe Municipal Court’s final decision is generally not the final word on any given case. Therefore, the defendant may appeal if he or she is not happy with the decision of the municipal court. Moreover, the defendant must appeal in a timely manner, which is defined as within 14 days of sentencing in a municipal court. In order to begin the appeal process, the defendant must file a notice of appeal with the municipal court and pay an appeal bond (money to secure appeal which is determined by the municipal court judge and varies on a case by case basis).
Obtaining Discovery on an Olathe Case: Every individual that is accused of violating an Olathe ordinance is allowed to receive discovery in the matter. Brady v. Maryland outlines the constitutional protections one is entitled to when it comes to discovery. According to Brady, an individual is entitled to view all evidence that the city intends to use against them at trial and all the evidence the city has or can reasonably obtain that tends to prove the individual did not commit the offense. In short, an individual can see all of the city’s evidence. In Olathe, a defendant must follow a specific process to receive discovery. This process includes going to the Olathe city prosecutor’s office and filling out a form. Moreover, the defendant must pay a small fee to produce the evidence and this fee is paid directly to the court clerk. Upon receiving payment, the court clerk will give the defendant a receipt and provide the prosecutor’s office a copy of the receipt to receive discovery.
Olathe Specific Information: Every court has their own rules and processes set in place with regards to different aspects of the court and Olathe is no different. For example, Olathe has authorized certain providers for drug and alcohol evaluations. Also, Olathe uses a specific provider for house arrest and uses their own probation monitoring that they do in-house which is different than most municipal courts. Most municipal courts utilize third party agencies to monitor individuals on probation or diversion. Specific information about the Olathe Municipal Court is found below.