Kansas City is one of the few major metro areas in the US that is split in half by two different states. Although bankruptcy is Federal law and is filed in Federal Court, the two state make up of Kansas City has a profound affect on bankruptcy in Kansas City.
The initial effect the state line has in Kansas City is determining where a case is filed. Bankruptcy cases in the Kansas City metro area are filed either in the Federal District of Kansas or the Federal Western District of Missouri.
The District where a case is filed determines or influences many things in a bankruptcy case. It determines the basic things like the place where documents will be filed and where a client will go for their Court dates. It can also have a large effect on the outcome of a case, or the resolution of a particular issue in a case, because the District of Kansas and the Western District of Missouri are in two different Federal Circuits.
The District of Kansas is in the 10th Federal Circuit and the Western District of Missouri is in the 8th Federal Circuit. These different Federal Circuits can have different interpretations of the bankruptcy law due to the rulings by judges in these Circuits. This differing of opinions on issues can result in different outcomes regarding issues presented in front of the court.
In addition to two different Federal Circuits, we also have two different Federal Courthouses in Kansas City. We have the District of Kansas Federal Court in Kansas City, Kansas, and the Western District of Missouri Federal Court in Kansas City, Missouri. These Courts each have their own judges, case law, and rules that can also differ between each jurisdiction.
All of this means that the same question in a bankruptcy case can sometimes have different answers, depending on where the case is filed. This is why you really need to consult with an experienced attorney regarding bankruptcy.
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