BY THE COURT
another state has designated a travel trailer as a salvage
vehicle and the trailer has since been repaired so that it
can be safely operated in Kansas, the Kansas Department of
Revenue may issue a rebuilt salvage title for the trailer.
from Franklin District Court; Eric W. Godderz, judge.
Bradley R. Finkeldei, of Stevens & Brand, LLP, of
Lawrence, for appellant.
A. Reed, of Kansas Department of Revenue, for appellee.
Leben, P.J., Buser and Standridge, JJ.
Insurance had insured a travel trailer when it was damaged;
Safeco then obtained a salvage title from the State of
Oregon. A salvage title tells anyone who might want to buy
the trailer-and get title to it-that some issue has led to
its status as a salvage vehicle. The title to the vehicle
involved here said "TOTALED" in an area for title
brands (designations that are put on the title for
information about a vehicle beyond ownership).
RV, Inc., a Kansas company, then bought the trailer from
Safeco. When Central RV titled the trailer in Kansas, the
Kansas Department of Revenue issued what's called a
rebuilt salvage title. That would tell potential buyers that
there had been some past problem with the trailer but that it
had been repaired.
Central RV wanted a clean Kansas title-one that would give no
indication the trailer had ever been damaged, let alone that
its prior title said it had been "TOTALED." When
the Department of Revenue refused to give it a clean title,
Central RV sued. The district court ruled for the Department
of Revenue, and we must now decide whether it was correct.
district court granted a motion to dismiss Central RV's
claim, so we accept for the purposes of this opinion the
facts set out in Central RV's petition. See Platt v.
Kansas State University, 305 Kan. 122, 126, 379 P.3d 362
(2016). With no disputed facts, we face only questions about
statutory interpretation. We consider them independently,
with no required deference to the district court. In re
Tax Appeal of BHCMC, 307 Kan. 154, 161, 408 P.3d 103
buying the trailer, Central RV sought a Kansas vehicle title
for it. See K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 8-127; K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 8-135.
The parties agree that the trailer is a vehicle as defined by
Kansas law. See K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 8-126 (ll), (mm), (qq), and
(rr). The parties differ on interpreting several terms in a
statute that defines the terms involved in titling vehicles,
K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 8-197. We too will focus on those
Department of Revenue gave Central RV a rebuilt salvage
title, and that's a defined term:
"'[R]ebuilt salvage title' means a certificate
of title issued by the division for a vehicle previously
designated a salvage vehicle which is now designated a
rebuilt salvage ...