Kansas Bankruptcy Courts (KS)

The Kansas Bankruptcy Courts and Evidentiary Standards

Proceedings before Kansas Bankruptcy Courts are quite different when compared to state trials before juries. In federal court, the judge acts as both the finder of fact and arbiter of law. Because of this double role, judges are endowed with great influence over the type and weight of evidence offered for consideration. Oral testimony from the debtor is common. Written documents are generally admissible according to the federal rules of bankruptcy procedure, but may need to be authenticated if opposing parties object. The process for objection, authentication, acceptance and assignment of weight (or value) are all highly regulated. Compliance with the rules of evidence do not extol evidence per se, but merely allow the court to consider the matter. The weight assigned to any particular evidence item is matter for the court, considering the quality, reputation and history of those offering statements, documents and things for admission. The rules of evidence are intended to anneal or enervate facts, but to provide a consistent standard of quality for allowable evidence, for all parties involved.

More information about Kansas Bankruptcy Courts and Procedures:

Kansas Bankruptcy Court Divisions: Kansas City, Topeka, and Wichita.

All parties should know that a scintilla of evidence (a hint of fact, or the slightest speck of persuasion) is often enough to shift the burden of proof to an opposing party. To become persuasive however when opposing parties both offer conflicting testimony, the best evidence rule applies. For instance, testimony from 10 acquaintances and family members regarding opinions of truthfulness will not be persuasive rebutting a disinterested eye witness who observed the event in controversy.