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2014 Statute


23-3509.Case manager; duties; withdrawal; reassignment; recommendations. (a) A case manager appointed under K.S.A. 2014 Supp. 23-3508, and amendments thereto, shall:

(1) Meet with the parties, and other individuals deemed appropriate;

(2) gather information necessary to assist the parties in reaching an agreement or making recommendations, including medical, psychological, education and court records, including child custody investigations and child custody psychological evaluations, of the parties and children;

(3) report to the court as directed by court order;

(4) keep a record by date and topic of all contacts with the parties in the case. When requested, this record shall be made available to the court in total or summary form without the express consent of the parties and shall not be considered a medical or psychological record for purposes of confidentiality;

(5) notify the court when a party fails to meet the financial obligations of the case management process;

(6) file for collection of costs as necessary. The court shall assist in such filing or collection efforts, or both;

(7) be authorized by the court to report threats, imminent danger, suspected child abuse, fear of abduction and suspected or actual harm to any party or child involved in case management either directly to the court and to other authorities, or both. Such action shall be followed by a written summary within five business days of the initial filing of such report which shall be sent to the judge or the judge's designee and included in the court file; and

(8) directly contact the court with any other information the case manager determines that the court should know.

(b) A case manager appointed under K.S.A. 2014 Supp. 23-3508, and amendments thereto, may withdraw at any time following the initial order. Sufficient reasons for withdrawal may include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Loss of neutrality which prevents objectivity;

(2) nonpayment by a party;

(3) lack of cooperation by a party;

(4) threat to a party;

(5) retirement or case load reduction by a case manager; or

(6) any other reason which shall be stated to the court in writing and considered adequate and sufficient reason by the court.

(c) A disputant party may request reassignment of a case manager by filing a motion with the court. The court shall consider such requests upon review. Repeated requests may raise a presumption of lack of parental cooperation and the court may consider sanctions against the uncooperative parent or parents.

(d) (1) If parties have been ordered by the court to attempt to settle the party's disputes with the assistance of a case manager, and are unable to settle such disputes, the parties are to follow the recommendation or recommendations of the case manager as ordered by the court.

(2) When a case manager is forced to make recommendations for the parties, such recommendations shall be noted in writing as soon as possible and may be accompanied by supporting information. Such recommendation shall be reported to the court with copies to the attorneys of record for each party within 10 working days.

(3) Agreements of the parties and recommendations of the case manager which may concern temporary arrangements need not be entered into the court record by the attorneys of record.

(4) Case managers shall be furnished a form for orders to recommend such agreements to the court for the court's final order.

(5) Permanent issues such as designation of custody, primary residence or child support which are recommended by the case manager shall be entered into the court record within 10 working days of receipt of the recommendation. Should there be differing opinions as to the language of the journal entry, the case manager shall review the proposed journal entry and may recommend appropriate language to the court.

(6) If a disputant party disagrees with a recommendation such party may file a motion before the court for a review at which time an order shall be made by the court. The case manager shall explain to the court either by report or testimony the reasons for such recommendation or recommendations.

(7) Costs of the procedure and professional time may be assessed to the party who objected to the recommendations in the journal entry or may be otherwise assessed by the court.

History: L. 1996, ch. 159, § 3; July 1.