No, the employees of the District Attorney's Office cannot offer legal advice or act on behalf of individuals. Our office can provide general information and direct you to the appropriate agencies. You may wish to contact a private attorney for additional information. Or, for general information and lawyer referral services, contact the Kansas Bar Association online at http://www.ksbar.org, by calling 785-234-5696, or by calling toll-free 1-800-928-3111 for lawyer referral services.
District Attorney FAQ
List of frequently asked questions (FAQ) for District Attorney.
- Can the employees of the District Attorney's Office give legal advice?
- How can I obtain a Protection From Abuse Order?
- How do I get someone to a Mental Health Treatment Facility if he/she is unwilling to go?
- How do I register my telephone number on the Do Not Call List?
- I am getting ready to purchase a car. Do you have any tips?
- I just received a call from a charity. How can I find out if the charity is legitimate?
- I just want to pay my ticket. Do I have to go to court? What if I want to contest my ticket?
- What are some types of problems the District Attorney's Office will investigate?
- What does the three-day right to cancel mean?
- What is a Child in Need of Care (CINC) case?
- What should I do when a crime happens? How does my case then get to your office for prosecution?
- How can I remove my name from telephone, mail and/or e-mail lists?
- I received a bad check and wish to prosecute. What is the correct procedure to follow?
- I received a speeding ticket in Douglas County, Kansas. Is there any way to keep the ticket off my record?
- I think that a business has defrauded me. What can I do?
- What are some types of problems the District Attorney's Office will not investigate?
- I am getting ready to do some repairs to my home. Do you have any tips?
- What is a Diversion Agreement and how do I apply for one? What factors are involved in the District Attorney's decision whether or not to grant diversion?
- What is the mailing address and phone number of the District Attorney's Office?
- What Victim/Witness Services does the District Attorney's Office provide?
To receive an order for Protection From Abuse (PFA) under K.S.A. 60-3101 et seq., you will need to file a PFA petition in the Douglas County District Court Clerk's office. Petitions are available in the self-help box outside the Clerk's office, or at the counter located inside the Clerk's office. There is no fee to file a PFA petition. You will be required to show proof of identification, in the form of a photo ID, so the clerk may notarize your signature.
In order to qualify for PFA protection, you must reside, or have resided, with the abuser, or have had a child with the abuser. A parent or other adult residing with a minor child may file for PFA protection on behalf of the child against another adult residing with the child or with the person filing for protection. You may use the PFA procedure only twice within any twelve (12) month period, except in an abuse of a minor case.
Once your petition is reviewed, the judge may grant temporary orders, including: a restraining order, possession of the residence, and child custody. These orders, if any, will remain in effect only until the hearing date set at the time the orders are issued. Hearings are set within twenty (20) days of the filing date. Filing a PFA petition does not guarantee that orders will be issued. For various reasons, the court may dismiss the petition and no further action will be taken.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Clerk's office at 785-832-5256.
You can call your local police department and ask for public assistance. Any law enforcement officer who has a reasonable belief formed upon investigation that a person is a mentally ill person and/or a person with an alcohol and/or substance abuse problem and because of such is likely to cause harm to self or others if not allowed to remain at liberty, may take the person into custody without a warrant.
The officer shall transport the person to a treatment facility where the person shall be examined by a physician or psychologist. See K.S.A. 59-2953.
- You can visit http://www.donotcall.gov or call toll free 1-888-382-1222 from the telephone you would like to register. You are able to register both cell phones and landlines. Once you register your telephone number, telemarketers covered by the Do Not Call Registry have up to 31 days to stop calling you. After 31 days if a telemarketer covered by the Do Not Call Registry continues to call you, you may file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or with the Kansas Attorney General's Office.
- Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all of them. Unfortunately there are limitations in the jurisdiction. Calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors would still be permitted, as would calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship, or those to whom you've provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls. However, if you ask a company with which you have an existing business relationship to place your number on its own do-not-call list, it must honor your request. You should keep a record of the date you make the request.
If you are buying a new or used car consumers should know the following tips:
- Never purchase a vehicle on impulse or in response to high pressure sales tactics.
- Have the dealer provide you with prior information on the vehicle, such as, title history and Carfax information.
- Ask the dealership if the vehicle has had any prior damage or mechanical problems.
- Determine the mileage of the vehicle.
- Get all promises in writing. Fully understand all language contained in any financing statements, such as number of payments, insurance, early termination if it is going to be leased, etc.
- Remember, once you purchase the car, it's yours. There is no three-day right to cancel.
Many charities provide valuable services for people. Unfortunately, there are some solicitors that take advantage of individuals who really want to donate money for a good cause. The following are suggestions by our office that may help you in determining which charity to give to:
- Beware of solicitors that use names of well-known charities and/or use common pleas for police, firefighter, veteran's and children's causes.
- Check out the charity before you make a donation. Visit http://www.kscharitycheck.org or contact the Charitable Solicitations Help Desk at 785-296-4565. You may also visit http://www.bbb.org.
- Pay the charity directly instead of going through the solicitor. Remember, solicitors receive a portion of the actual money donated.
- Contact the charity directly to determine how much of your money donated actually goes to the charity. Ask for financial statements. Ask for information on the board of directors and other services that the charity has provided. A legitimate charity will gladly answer your questions.
- Be aware of solicitors who refuse to answer your questions or insist that you donate your money first.
- Ask if the charity is registered in Kansas or check online. Most charities are required to register with their office, although there are some exceptions.
- Remember, what sounds too good to be true, probably is.
- Contact the National Charities Information Bureau at (212) 929-6300.
If your ticket requires a court appearance, you must appear in court at the time and date shown at the bottom of your ticket. Failing to appear may result in the suspension of your driving privileges or the issuance of a warrant for your arrest. If your ticket does not require a court appearance, you may avoid coming to court by paying the ticket in full before your court date. Please contact the Clerk of the District Court at 785-832-5356 to confirm whether you must appear. You may mail your payment to the Clerk of the District Court at the address shown on the back of your ticket.
The court date listed on your ticket is a first appearance date, not a trial date. At that court appearance you may plead not guilty and ask for a traffic court trial date.
Our office, through enforcement of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, identifies and investigates deceptive and unconscionable acts committed by area merchants against consumers within Douglas County. Some areas of fraud that our office will investigate are:
- New/Used Car Purchases
- Car Repairs
- Odometer Rollback
- Charitable Solicitations
- Door-to-door Sales
- Home Improvement
- Magazine Sales
- Travel Scams
- Vacation Time Shares
- Investment Scams
- Pyramid Schemes
The Kansas Consumer Protection Act, KSA 50-640, refers to door-to-door sales, cancellation and required disclosures. According to the statute the consumer has the right to cancel a door-to-door sale made within this state until midnight of the third business day after the day on which the consumer signs an agreement or offer to purchase goods or services. A door to door means a sale, lease, or rental of consumer property or services with a purchase price of $25 or more, whether under single or multiple consumer transactions, in which the supplier or the supplier's representative personally solicits the sale, including those in response to or following an invitation by the consumer, and the consumer's agreement or offer to purchase is made at a place other than the place of business of the supplier. Some of the disclosures are:
- Consumers should be provided a fully completed receipt or copy of any contract pertaining to such sale at the time of its execution, and which shows the date of the transaction and contains the name and address of the supplier, and a space for the signature of the consumer.
- Merchants are required to advise consumers, orally and in writing, of the consumer's three-day right to cancel. A statement, in substantially the following form, should be provided to the consumer by the merchant and state: "You, the buyer, may cancel this transaction at any time prior to midnight of the third business day after the date of this transaction. See the attached notice of cancellation form for an explanation of this right." "Buyer" means "consumer."
Generally, a child in need of care is a person less than 18 years of age who is without adequate parental care; or who has been physically, mentally, or emotionally abused or neglected; or who has been abandoned; or who is not attending school as required; or who is a run-away from home or court-ordered placement.
The Kansas Code for Care of Children seeks to remedy such circumstances in order to ensure that each child receives the care, custody, guidance, control and discipline, preferably in the child's own home, as will best serve the child's welfare and the best interests of the state.
It is the duty of the District Attorney to prepare and file the petition alleging a child to be a CINC and to appear at all hearings on the petition and in aid to the court. A CINC case may be resolved by a range of possible dispositions, up to and including, termination of parental rights.
First, call the police or sheriff's office and make a full report. In most cases, a law enforcement officer will meet with you to obtain important details. The relevant law enforcement agencies then refer the results of their investigations to the District Attorney's Office.
The Direct Marketing Association Consumer Assistance website contains detailed information about their free Mail and e-Mail Preference Services which are designed to reduce targeted advertising.
To receive less national advertising mail, you can register for the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA's) Mail Preference Service (MPS) and Electronic Mail Preference Service (e-MPS). The DMA is a private marketing association that is not directly regulated by Federal, State or local government. MPS collects consumer information and sells it to businesses. MPS requires, as a condition of using their consumer data, its members to use their name-removal service, and encourages all direct mail companies to use the list.
- To remove your name and email from marketing lists instantly online, visit: http://www.dmaconsumers.org/consumerassistance.html or https://www.ims-dm.com/cgi/optoutemps.php
- You may also send a letter requesting your name and email removal to:
- MAIL PREFERENCE SERVICE (MPS)
- P.O. Box 282
- Carmel, NY 10512
Please Note: Although you will see a great reduction in the unsolicited mail you receive, not all commercial mail will stop. You may continue to receive mail from companies with which you already do business, or companies that do not use MPS or e-MPS to clean their lists. Also, MPS only applies to home addresses, not business addresses.
Our standard Instructions for Worthless Checks can be obtained online, or at our office's front desk.
If you have questions or problems, please feel free to call the Check Division at 785-841-0211. Dorothy will be happy to help with any questions you may have.
The Douglas County District Attorney's Office offers a Traffic Diversion. If you wish to apply for the Traffic Diversion please visit our office and pick up the application. There is a $25.00 non-refundable application fee due upon filing the Traffic Diversion Application. If you received a speeding ticket within the city limits of Lawrence, please contact:
- Lawrence Municipal Court
- Address: 1006 New Hampshire, Lawrence, Kansas 66044
- Phone: 785-832-6190
- Website: http://lawrenceks.org/attorney/understanding_municipal_court
- First, try and resolve the matter on your own with the business to whom your complaint is against.
- If you do not receive any results, please contact our office at 785-330-2849 and request a consumer complaint form, or you can also print our form from our website. When submitting a complaint form to our office, we ask you please include any and all documentation you have to help support your claim.
- You may also contact the Kansas Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division by telephone at 800-432-2310 or 785-296-3751 or on the internet at https://ag.ks.gov/.
Our office is given statutory authority for investigating consumer fraud. However, the Kansas Consumer Protection Act generally does not authorize our office to act on behalf of consumers who have problems in certain areas:
- For lemon law problems, contact the Kansas Attorney General's Office online at https://ag.ks.gov/ or by calling toll-free 1-800-432-2310. You may also contact the Better Business Bureau's Auto Line at https://www.bbb.org/autoline/bbb-auto-line-process/ or by calling 1-800-955-5100.
- For landlord-tenant difficulties, contact Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc. online at http://www.hcci-ks.org/ or by calling 785-749-4224.
- For shoddy-workmanship, business-to-business complaints, contract disputes or other areas, you may wish to contact a private attorney regarding your legal rights. You may contact the Kansas Bar Associations Lawyer Referral Service toll-free at 1-800-928-3111, 785-234-5696 or by visiting http://www.ksbar.org.
- For issues relating to insurance, contact the Kansas Insurance Commissioner's Office Consumer Assistance Division online at http://www.ksinsurance.org, by calling toll-free 1-800-432-2484, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Considerations for selecting a contractor, mechanic or repairman.
1. Homeowners should be especially careful when having work done to their home:
a. If damage is caused by a Kansas storm, homeowners are very anxious to have repairs done as soon as possible. Such storms attract con artists who go door-to-door offering immediate repair services and promising to do the work at a very attractive price;
b. The added demand for repair work may make it difficult for consumers to obtain repairs from established local contractors and this results in homeowners being especially vulnerable to home-repair rip-offs;
c. Be leery of a contractor who comes door to door looking for work, offers you discounts for finding other customers, pressures you for an immediate decision, drives an unmarked vehicle or has out of state plates, or asks you to pay upfront.
2. Repair or remodeling projects should be carefully planned. Homeowners should talk with contractors about their plans, the costs involved and the expectations for the completed job. This can be a challenging experience as workers invade your home in order to complete the project.
3. Find out from the appropriate building code enforcement office what permits and inspections are required for the work being done. Avoid a contractor who wants you to secure the permit or permits.
4. Homeowners should remember the following:
a. Only deal with contractors who have an established area business.
b. Out-of-state contractors may not complete the work and any warranties may be worthless if they are no longer in the area when defects are uncovered later by the homeowner.
c. Be especially cautious if one of the bids is much lower than the others.
d. Obtain at least three bids on any major repair or remodeling project and check several references to help decrease the likelihood the contractor does substandard work.
e. Check the Better Business Bureau website for complaints. www.bbb.org.
f. If you are hiring a roofer, check the Kansas Attorney General Website, www.InYourCornerKansas.org, to see if the roofer is registered with the State of Kansas.
g. Check the Secretary of State website to make sure that the business meets Kansas registration requirements. www.e-secretaryofstate.com.
5. Make sure your contractor, mechanic or repairman is insured. Ask to see current proof of insurance certificates. Ask for proof of the contractor's liability and worker's compensation insurance to help protect you as a property owner against any claim in the event someone is injured while the work is being done on your property and confirm that the policies are current by calling the insurance agent.
6. Make certain that all important details concerning the work are written into the bid and contract. Insist on a written contract that states exactly what work will be done, including but not limited to the following:
a. the type and quality of materials that will be used;
b. warranties - all express or implied warranties on the materials and labor;
c. timetables - the dates the work will begin and is expected to be completed;
d. the names of any subcontractors;
e. the total price of the job, and the schedule of payments;
f. the total cost of work:
i. How and when payments will be made;
ii. 10% down payment is a good place to start. Beware of a business requiring a down payment of more than 25% or more than 25% prior to satisfactory completion of the work for smaller jobs.
iii.You should always consider hiring an attorney, engineer, architect or other relevant expert to assist you throughout your project.
7. Don’t make a final payment or sign a final release until you are satisfied with the work and have proof that the subcontractors have been paid. At the first sign of even a small problem contact an attorney and other relevant expert.
8. Evaluate whether it is best for you to pay the contractor with a check or credit card. Paying with a credit card instead of check may give you additional protections. Check your credit card bank or company about these protections, so you understand the options and process in the event a contractor fails to deliver.
9. Know your rights. If you get “buyer’s remorse”, you might be able to change your mind. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission has a three day cooling off period for door-to-door purchases. www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro03.shtm.
10. If you believe you have been a victim of a crime, please report it to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If you believe you are a victim of consumer fraud please report it to this Office, 785-330-2849. If you are not a victim and believe a business is engaged in fraudulent business practices, please report it to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
a. Douglas County Sheriff’s Office – 785-841-0007
b. Lawrence Police Department – 785-832-7509
c. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – 1877-382-4357
d. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx
e. Douglas County District Attorney’s Office (DA) – 785-330-2849
f. Kansas Attorney General (AG) - 1-800-432-2310
These practices will not guarantee your project will not have problems, but they might reduce the likelihood.
Information can be found on the Douglas County District Attorney's Office Pre-Trial Diversion Services page.
- Office of the District Attorney
- Location: The Judicial & Law Enforcement Center
- Address: 111 E. 11th Street, Unit 100, Lawrence, Kansas 66044-2912
- Phone: 785-841-0211
- Fax: 785-832-8202
- District Attorney's Webpage
The Douglas County District Attorney's Office has three Victim/Witness Coordinators to provide assistance to victims and witnesses of crime. These Coordinators act as liaisons between law enforcement, prosecutors, community resources, families, criminal justice system representatives, employers, and schools. Specifically, our Victim/Witness Coordinators provide the following services:
- Explain the legal system and inform victims of the services the DA's Office provides.
- Maintain reputable public relations by listening to victims express their concerns and frustrations.
- Assist in collecting restitution information and directing inquiries concerning restitution payments to the appropriate offices.
- Refer victims to appropriate community resources.
- Provide notification of hearings and trials and the results of these court proceedings.
Please contact Cindy Riling, Pam Lawrence or Lindsey Aduddell, Victim/Witness Coordinators, at 785-841-0211 for additional questions and concerns.