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DCR 3.407 Dissmination of Domestic Relations Investigation Reports

1.    Application of Rule. This rule applies to cases where the parties have been ordered to participate in conciliation or the court has ordered an investigation and report relating to legal custody, parenting time or visitation issues or the court has ordered an investigation by a court services officer into any issue arising in the action.

2.    Investigator Defined.  The term "investigator" includes a conciliator or anyone whom the court directed to make an investigation or evaluation, including, but not limited to, a court services officer, mental health professional, DCF employee, CASA volunteer, and a guardian ad litem.

3.    Delivery of Report.  A copy of the report shall be provided by the investigator to the court for dissemination to the attorney of record for each party.

4.    Limitation on Dissemination of Report by Counsel.  Attorneys may generally discuss the contents of the report with their clients, but absent court authorization shall not give a copy of the report to their clients and shall not permit their clients to read or make notes from the report.  If the investigator clearly designates a portion or portions of the report as "sensitive" or "confidential" those portions of the report shall remain confidential and shall not be read or released to the client without prior court approval.

5.    Self Represented Litigants; Dissemination of Report.  If a party is not represented by an attorney of record, the report shall be made available for review by the self represented litigants, but no copy of the report shall be given to unrepresented parties.  The review of the report by a self represented litigant shall be subject to such conditions as the court shall determine.  If the investigator clearly designates a portion or portions of the report as "sensitive" or "confidential" those portions of the report shall remain confidential and shall not be read by or released to the self represented litigant without prior court approval.

If a self represented litigant is allowed to read and/or copy the report, then the represented litigant shall be allowed that same privilege.

6.    Exceptions; Procedure.  Pursuant to K.S.A. 23-3210(c), exceptions to this policy may be granted up on a showing of necessity after a written motion and hearing unless the court finds that distribution of the report would be harmful to either party, the child, the investigator, or other witnesses.  A copy of the motion and notice of hearing shall be served upon the investigator who prepared the reports, who shall be allowed to advise the court regarding the investigator's recommendations as to the risks of providing a written copy of the report.

7.  Required Language.  The following notice shall be included on a separate cover sheet to any report prepared by and investigator where a portion or portions of the report have been deemed "sensitive" or "confidential" information to either party, the child or children involved or other witnesses.


NOTICE:  Portions of this report are subject to the provisions of K.S.A. 23-3210(c) and rules adopted by the Shawnee County District Court.

Those portions of the report designated as "sensitive" or "confidential" may not be shared with, read by the client or self represented litigant or copied or otherwise released to the client or self represented litigant without prior court approval.

Failure to comply with the terms of this Notice by either attorney or self represented litigant may be punishable by sanctions for contempt as the Court may determine.


8.    Failure to comply with the terms of this rule by either an attorney or a self represented litigant may be punishable by sanctions for contempt of Court as the Court may determine.

PRACTICE NOTE

5.  Self Represented Litigants; Dissemination of Report.

For example, the court might required a self represented litigant to read the report in a conference room at the courthouse and allow the individual to take hand-written notes but not allow copies to be made.

Adopted:  April 16, 2014