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Recent changes to the Local Rule 34 regarding Kansas foreclosures in Johnson County, Kansas have been implemented and impact mortgage foreclosures where a defendant is deceased. The changes require the plaintiff appoint a guardian ad litem, at its cost, to represent the unknown heirs in a foreclosure action. The above referenced changes will likely impact the plaintiff’s costs as well as foreclosure timelines in situations where a defendant is deceased. The applicable section of Local Rule 34 is below. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding this recent change.

Thank you,

Martin Leigh PC

**From Civil Rule No. 34

2. Duty to Give Notice; Deceased Defendants.

(a) If the plaintiff in a mortgage foreclosure action learns that the defendant is deceased, before or after filing the Petition or through subsequent pleading or motion, the plaintiff has a responsibility to conduct a good faith and due diligent search for the titled owner’s heirs at law and inform the Court of the results of its search. Notice shall be given to all heirs at law located by the Petitioner.

(b) A guardian ad litem shall also be appointed to represent the unknown heirs at law. The guardian ad litem shall conduct an additional search to locate heirs at law of the titled owner.

(c) The costs associated with the appointment of a guardian ad litem and the guardian ad litem’s initial search for heirs at law shall be borne by the Petitioner.

(d) If the guardian ad litem locates heirs at law, the guardian ad litem shall file a report of the results of the search and the Petitioner shall serve notice of the Petition and any pending hearings upon all identified heirs at law.

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