Hartes lose court fight over botched drug raid

Posted December 21, 2015

(From left), Rep. John Rubin, Adlynn and Robert Harte and Karen Dillon discuss their support in 2014 of legislation to make probable cause affidavits an open record.

Editor's note: The Associated Press contributed to this article.

WICHITA — A Leawood couple who were the victims of a failed search of their home for marijuana have lost their legal fight against the law enforcement authorities who conducted the raid.

Robert and Adlynn Harte spent $25,000 to get the records that led to the search, and they subsequently testified in support of legislation that made it easier to get probable cause affidavits in Kansas.

A federal judge summarily ruled late Friday that authorities had probable cause for the warrant to search the Hartes' Leawood home after a field test of wet tea leaves found in their trash falsely tested positive for marijuana.

The failed search in 2012 launched the couple on a crusade for documents to find what led to the search, which produced no charges.

Their lawsuit also prompted the Johnson County Sheriff's Office to now require lab confirmation of suspected drug material.

The couple received the Kansas Sunshine Coalition's Friend of Open Government award in 2014 along with Rep. John Rubin, R-Shawnee, and Karen Dillon, then a reporter for a Kansas City television station. Dillon now reports for the Lawrence Journal-World. Rubin carried the bill that led to the change iin how PCA's are handled by district court personnel.