Charging documents do not bestow or confer subject matter
jurisdiction on state courts to adjudicate criminal cases;
the Kansas Constitution does.
Charging document sufficiency is a question of law subject to
de novo review.
Charging documents need only show that a case has been filed
in the correct court, e.g., the district court rather than
municipal court; show that the court has territorial
jurisdiction over the crime alleged; and allege facts that,
if proved beyond a reasonable doubt, would constitute a
Kansas crime committed by the defendant.
Instructional error issues are subject to a multistep
analysis: (a) the reviewing court must determine whether it
can or should review the issue; (b) the court then must
decide whether there was any error at all by considering
whether the instruction at issue was factually and legally
appropriate; and (c) if error is found, the court assesses
whether the error requires reversal.
jury instruction issues raised for the first time on appeal,
the court applies a clear error standard, i.e., the court
will not disturb the conviction unless it is firmly convinced
that the jury would have reached a different verdict had the
instructional error not occurred.
of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished
opinion filed August 22, 2014.
from Kingman District Court; Larry T. Solomon, judge.
Judgment of the Court of Appeals affirming the district court
is affirmed. Judgment of the district court is affirmed.
Kittel, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, argued the cause
and was on the briefs for appellant.
Natalie Chalmers, assistant solicitor general, argued the
cause, and Matthew W. Ricke, county attorney, and Derek
Schmidt, attorney general, were with her on the briefs for
M. Sayler appeals his Kingman County conviction for failure
to register as an offender under the Kansas Offender
Registration Act, K.S.A. 22-4901 et seq. He advances two
arguments, both premised on his claim that the reason he was
required to register in Kingman County-the fact that he
resided there-was an essential element of the offense: (1)
the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the
prosecution because the charging document failed to allege he
resided in Kingman County; and (2) the jury instructions,
which similarly failed to require the jury to find he resided
in Kingman County, permitted the jury to convict him without
finding each element of the offense beyond a reasonable
of the Court of Appeals rejected both arguments and affirmed
the conviction. State v. Sayler, No. 110, 048, 2014
WL 4231244 (Kan. App. 2014) (unpublished opinion). But after
the panel's decision, State v. Dunn, 304 Kan.
773, 375 P.3d 332 (2016), made significant changes to the law
on charging document sufficiency, the effect of deficient
charging documents, and appellate review of deficient
charging document claims. Among these, Dunn held
charging document sufficiency does not implicate state
courts' subject matter jurisdiction in criminal cases.
304 Kan. at 810-11.
ordered supplemental briefs as to what effect, if any,
Dunn had on Sayler's first issue. Sayler
conceded Dunn foreclosed his lack-of-jurisdiction
claim but argued the charging document still failed to allege
facts sufficient to constitute a Kansas crime. We hold the
charging document was sufficient because it alleged facts
that, if proved beyond a reasonable doubt, would constitute
the crime of ...