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75-702. Duties and responsibilities; authority to prosecute and defend. (a) The attorney general shall appear for the state, and prosecute and defend any and all actions and proceedings, civil or criminal, in the Kansas supreme court, the Kansas court of appeals and in all federal courts, in which the state shall be interested or a party, and shall, when so appearing, control the state's prosecution or defense.

(b) The attorney general shall also, when required by the governor or either branch of the legislature, appear for the state and prosecute or defend, in any other court or before any officer, in any cause or matter, civil or criminal, in which this state may be a party or interested or when the constitutionality of any law of this state is at issue and when so directed shall seek final resolution of such issue in the supreme court of the state of Kansas.

(c) (1) The attorney general shall have authority to prosecute any matter related to a violation of K.S.A. 12-189 or 75-5133, and amendments thereto, related to unlawful acts when the offender is an officer or employee of a city or county.

(2) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the attorney general shall have concurrent authority with any county or district attorney to prosecute theft as defined in K.S.A. 21-5801, and amendments thereto, a violation of the Kansas racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act, K.S.A. 21-6327 et seq., and amendments thereto, or an attempt, conspiracy or criminal solicitation as defined in K.S.A. 21-5301, 21-5302 or 21-5303, and amendments thereto, of such crimes that is part of an alleged course of criminal conduct that occurred in two or more counties.

History: L. 1879, ch. 166, § 71; R.S. 1923, 75-702; L. 1975, ch. 431, § 1; L. 2005, ch. 110, § 9; L. 2013, ch. 89, § 2; L. 2023, ch. 94, § 7; July 1.

Source or prior law:

L. 1861, ch. 58, § 43; G.S. 1868, ch. 102, § 64.

Cross References to Related Sections:

Attorney general to invoke county or district attorney's assistance in certain criminal appeals, see 22-3612.

Civil actions against certain tobacco product manufacturers, see 50-6a03.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

Parole eligibility of prisoners serving consecutive sentences in Kansas, Malcolm E. Wheeler, 21 K.L.R. 167, 176 (1973).

"Collateral Challenges to Criminal Convictions," Keith G. Meyer and Larry W. Yackle, 21 K.L.R. 259, 316 (1973).

"The New Mandamus—State ex rel. Stephan v. Kansas House of Representatives," Henry E. Couchman, Jr., 33 K.L.R. 733, 740 (1985).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Kansas association of counties; definitions; municipality; cash-basis law; public agency; open records act. 95-67.

CASE ANNOTATIONS

1. Prosecution by county attorney in another county; objection of attorney general. Martin, Governor, v. The State, ex rel., 39 Kan. 576, 18 P. 472.

2. Attorney general under order of governor becomes prosecuting attorney of county. The State v. Bowles, 70 Kan. 821, 824, 79 P. 726.

3. Section cited in considering qualifications of county attorney. Hanson v. Grattan, 84 Kan. 843, 847, 115 P. 646.

4. Provision requiring attorney general to prosecute an order of governor mandatory. The State, ex rel., v. Dawson, 86 Kan. 180, 188, 193, 119 P. 360.

5. Attorney general has power to make any disposition of state's litigation. State v. Finch, 128 Kan. 665, 668, 280 P. 910.

6. State may contest will in interest of permanent school fund. State, ex rel., v. Rector, 134 Kan. 685, 688, 8 P.2d 323.

7. Respective duties of county attorney and attorney general discussed. Heinz v. Shawnee County Comm'rs, 136 Kan. 104, 106, 107, 12 P.2d 816.

8. Attorney general, without insurance commissioner, cannot maintain action against insurance company. State, ex rel., v. Kansas Life Ins. Co., 140 Kan. 267, 36 P.2d 88.

9. Cited in holding attorney general could bring receivership action against insurance company. State, ex rel., v. Bank Savings Life Ins. Co., 142 Kan. 899, 906, 52 P.2d 639.

10. Members of legislature may maintain mandamus action when attorney general appears for state. Coleman v. Miller, 146 Kan. 390, 392, 71 P.2d 518.

11. Right of county attorney to bring mandamus action discussed and determined. State v. Peterson, 147 Kan. 626, 629, 78 P.2d 60.

12. Cited; action by county attorney to enjoin illegal medical practice properly maintained. State, ex rel., v. Leopold, 170 Kan. 613, 615, 228 P.2d 538.

13. Attorney general superior to county attorney in original supreme court action and is officer of supreme court. State, ex rel., v. City of Kansas City, 186 Kan. 190, 192, 194, 195, 350 P.2d 37.

14. Governor without authority to direct attorney general to not dismiss case in supreme court; attorney general by intervention may supersede county attorney in supreme court case. State, ex rel., v. City of Kansas City, 186 Kan. 190, 192, 194, 195, 350 P.2d 37.

15. Attorney general not necessary party to probate proceeding contesting charitable trust created by will. In re Estate of Roberts, 190 Kan. 248, 260, 373 P.2d 165.

16. When attorney general prosecutes case at county attorney's request, attorney general can be removed only for cause. State ex rel. Stephan v. Reynolds, 234 Kan. 574, 576, 673 P.2d 1188 (1984).

17. Attorney general and county attorney have concurrent duty to enforce open meetings act (K.S.A. 75-4317 et seq.); attorney general can appeal when county attorney does not. Memorial Hospital Ass'n, Inc. v. Knutson, 239 Kan. 663, 667, 668, 722 P.2d 1093 (1986).

18. Attorney general cannot be directed by legislature to file action attorney general believes seeks an unconstitutional remedy. State ex rel. Morrison v. Sebelius, 285 Kan. 875, 886, 179 P.3d 366 (2008).

19. Cited in opinion upholding the constitutionality of the Kansas expanded lottery act. State ex rel. Six v. Kansas Lottery, 286 Kan. 557, 561, 186 P.3d 183 (2008).


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