Victims of Crimes

Victims of crimes in Kansas have certain rights pursuant to the Kansas Constitution and Kansas Statutes.  The City of Liberal has designated a Victim-Witness Coordinator to provide victims of crimes with information needed to protect those rights.  Shawnna Shuck is the Victim-Witness Coordinator for the municipal court.  It is important that you provide the court with an updated address so that you can be notified of  those hearings.

Kansas Victims' Rights Amendment, Article 15, & 15 of the Kansas Constitution.

(a) Victims of crime, as defined by law, shall be entitled to certain basic rights, including the right to be informed of and to be present at public hearings, as defined by law, of the criminal justice process, and to be heard at sentencing or at any other time deemed appropriate by the court, to the extent that these rights do not interfere with the constitutional or statutory rights of the accused.

(b) Notion in this section shall be construed as creating a cause of action for money damages against the state, a county, a municipality, or any of the agencies, instrumentalities, or employees thereof.  The legislature may provide for other remedies to ensure adequate enforcement of this section.  

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a court to set aside or to void a finding of guilty or not guilty or an acceptance of a plea of guilty or to set aside any sentence imposed or any other final disposition in any criminal case.

The rights referenced in the Kansas Constitution have been codified in the Kansas Statutes as set forth below:

K.S.A 74-7333. Bill of rights for victims of crime.

(a)  In order to ensure the fair and compassionate treatment of victims of crime and to increase the effectiveness of the criminal justice system by affording victims of crime certain basic rights and considerations, victims of crime shall have the following rights: 

(1)  Victims should be treated with courtesy, compassion and with respect for their dignity and privacy and should suffer the minimum of necessary inconvenience from their involvement with the criminal justice system.
(2)  Victims should receive, through formal and informal procedures, prompt and fair redress for the harm which they have suffered.
(3)  Information regarding the availability of criminal restitution, recovery of damages in a civil cause of action, the crime victims compensation fund and other remedies and the mechanisms to obtain such remedies should be made available to victims.
(4)  Information should be made available to victims about their participation in criminal proceedings and the scheduling, progress and ultimate disposition of the proceedings.
(5)  The views and concerns of victims should be ascertained and the appropriate assistance provided throughout the criminal process.  
(6)  When the personal interests of victims are affected, the views or concerns of the victim should, when appropriate and consistent with criminal law and procedure,m be brought to the attention of the court.
(7)  Measures may be taken when necessary to provide for the safety of victims and their families and to protect them from intimidation and retaliation.
(8)  Enhanced training should be made available to sensitize criminal justice personnel to the needs and concerns of victims and guidelines should be developed for this purpose.
(9)  Victims should be informed of the availability of health and social services and other relevant assistance that they might continue to receive the necessary medical, psychological and social assistance through existing programs and services.

(b)  As used in this act, "victim" means any person who suffers direct or threatened physical, emotional or financial harm as the result of the commission or attempted commission or attempted commission of a crime against such person.

(c)  As used is this act and as used in article 15 of section 15 of the Kansas constitution, the term "crime" shall not include violations of ordinances of cities except for violations of ordinances of cities which prohibit acts or omissions which are prohibited by articles 33,34, 35 and 36 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, prior to their repeal, or articles 53, 54, 555 or 56 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, or K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 21-6104, 21-6325, 21-6326 or 21-6418 through 21-6421, and amendments therto, and as provided in subsection (d).

(d)  The governing body of any city which has established a municipal court shall adopt policies which afford the rights granted to victims of crime pursuant to this act and pursuant to article 15 of section 15 of the Kansas constitution to victims of ordinance violations specified in such policies.

(e)  Nothing in this act shall be construed as creating a cause of action on behalf of any person against the state, a county, a municipality or any of their agencies, instrumentalities  or employees responsible of the enforcement of rights as provided in this act.

(f)  This section shall be known an may be cited as the bill of rights for victims of crime act.

Some resources that may assist victims are set  forth below.

Emergencia (Urgenica)
Liberal Area Rape Crisis & Domestic Violence Services, Inc.
Servicio de Violencia Domestica Crisis de Violacion Area de Liberal
Liberal Police Department
Departamento de la Policia de Liberal
Seward County Sheriff's Office
Departamento del Sheriff del Condado de Seward
Kansas Legal Services
Servicios Legales de Kansas
DCF (Kansas Department for Children and Families)
DCF (Departamento para Ninos y Familia)
DCF Office for Seward County
(Oficina de DCF del Condado de Seward)
Seward County Victim Witness Coordinator
Coordinador de Victimas Atestiguantes de la Corte Municipal de Liberal
Liberal Municipal Court Victim Witness Coordinator
Coordinador de Victimas Atestiguantes de la Corte Municipal de Liberal
Southwest Medical Center
Southwest Guidance Center
Kansas Attorney General Victim Services
Servicios a las víctimas del Fiscal General de Kansas
Kansas Division of Crime Compensation
Compensación de la División de Crímenes de Kansas

You as a victim may be represented by an attorney.  A civil remedy for recovery of damages may exist, please contact an attorney if you have any questions regarding your civil rights.
Usted, como victima puede ser representada por un abogado.  Pueda exister un remedio civil para recobrar los danos.  Por favor contacte un abogado si usted tine prguntas acerca de sus derechos civiles.

If you have any additional questions about your rights as a victim or requirements as a witness, please contact Shawnna Shuck at 620-626-0142 or contact her at the municipal court at 325 N. Washington, Liberal, Kansas, 67901.