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Kansas Court Records

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Kansas Warrant Search

Kansas warrants are legal directives that authorize specific law enforcement activities, such as searching premises, seizing evidence, and detaining individuals. Warrants are grounded in the Fourth Amendment, which protects every Kansas resident's rights without impeding police work.

Typically, individuals conduct warrant searches in Kansas to discover their standing with the law and fulfill outstanding legal obligations. These searches may be performed through local law enforcement agencies, clerks of courts, the Kansas Bureau of Information, and taxing agencies.

Are Warrants Public Records in Kansas

Yes. Kansas warrants are generally treated as public information with specific exceptions. The Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) instructs public agencies to honor requests from members of the public to inspect or obtain records they create, collect, or maintain. KORA defines public agencies as bodies, except the judiciary, funded by public money. As such, warrants in the custody of law enforcement agencies and taxing authorities are open for public inspection.

However, certain warrants may be restricted by court rules, state statutes, or federal laws. Information that members of the public cannot view includes:

  • Search warrants issued for tracking devices: These warrants are sealed by the court and can only be disclosed during discovery in criminal proceedings (K.S.A 22-2506 (b)(1)).
  • Testimonies and affidavits: Oral and written testimonies and affidavits submitted under oath to request search warrants are not considered public records unless a warrant has been executed and parties to the case agree to disclosure (K.S.A 22-2502 (e)).
  • Criminal investigations: Materials, including warrants and other reports, gathered during an investigation are not open to the public unless disclosure fulfills any of the conditions under K.S.A 45-221 (10).
  • Juvenile Records: Some records generated and collected during juvenile proceedings per K.S.A 38-2309 are sealed from public viewing.

Types of Warrants in Kansas

Kansas's district and municipal court judges often issue warrants upon finding probable cause. Tax authorities, such as county treasurers and the Kansas Department of Revenue, also issue specific warrants.

As such, Kansas's statutes recognize several types of warrants, each serving different judicial, administration, and law enforcement purposes, including:

Arrest Warrants

These are legal documents issued by district and municipal judges and magistrate judges for the apprehension and detention of individuals believed to have committed criminal offenses.

Search Warrants

These warrants authorize law enforcement to search locations, people, and other items and seize any evidence uncovered during the search. Search warrants help law enforcement agencies find and preserve critical evidence of crimes without violating people's rights.

Bench Warrants

Bench warrants are often issued by judges when defendants fail to appear in court, violate their parole or probation, do not comply with court orders, or are found in contempt of court. These warrants compel offenders to appear for trials or honor their court-ordered responsibilities.

Tax Warrants

Kansas law (K.S.A 79-2101) allows the Department of Revenue and county treasurers to issue tax warrants against individuals or entities that have failed to pay state and local taxes. These warrants allow these agencies to impose judgment liens on delinquent properties. 

What is a Search Warrant in Kansas?

A Kansas search warrant is a judicial authorization for law enforcement officers to search specified locations and persons and confiscate discovered evidence. The warrant carries the name of the issuing magistrate or judge, the time and date of issuance, and the location and items to be searched.

Search warrants can also be issued to use tracking devices to collect data for a limited period, not more than 30 days (K.S.A 22-2502). 

In Kansas, a peace officer can petition a judge for a search warrant. However, it can only be issued when the officer submits an oral or written statement under oath, convincing the judge reasonable grounds exist to search a defendant or premises.

Law enforcement officers in Kansas must observe specific legal constraints when executing search warrants to avoid infringing on an individual's rights. They are typically required to knock and announce their presence before entry, except in cases where no-knock warrants are issued. Further, Kansas law sanctions the use of force when executing warrants (K.S.A 22-2508) and permits law enforcement to search people on designated premises. A copy of the warrant must also be issued to the owners of the premises.

Per the law, a report must be compiled and submitted to the issuing judge. It details the conduct of the search and the seized items. In specific cases, a copy of the report will be sent to the owner of the searched property.

K.S.A 22-2502 - 22-2530 regulates the process of obtaining, executing, and returning search warrants in Kansas.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Search Warrant?

Several factors, such as the situation's urgency, the availability of a judge or magistrate, and the case's complexity, determine how long it takes to secure a search warrant in Kansas. Law enforcement can obtain the paperwork relatively quickly, sometimes within a few hours after gathering the necessary evidence to prove probable cause.

In urgent cases, especially those involving imminent danger or the potential destruction of evidence, a search warrant can be expedited and issued in less than an hour. 

What is an Arrest Warrant in Kansas?

A Kansas arrest warrant is a court document that commands sheriffs, police officers, and other designated officials to apprehend and detain a defendant suspected of breaking the law. Municipal and district court judges can issue the warrant upon finding convincing evidence (probable cause) that the accused individual may have committed or is about to commit a crime.

Per K.S.A 12-4208, an arrest warrant must indicate a defendant's name or describe them adequately, specify the crimes or violations for which they are being pursued, and contain the judge's signature.

Once issued, Kansas arrest warrants do not expire until the defendant is captured, turns themselves in, or the judge withdraws the warrant in light of exculpatory evidence.

Arrest Warrant Lookup in Kansas

Individuals can look up arrest warrants in Kansas through different agencies. Each agency may provide various means for checking and retrieving information about active arrest warrants.

Local Law Enforcement 

County sheriff's offices and police departments in Kansas typically maintain active arrest warrant records. One can contact the appropriate office's warrants unit or records division in person, via mail, or by telephone to confirm if a warrant has been issued for them or someone else. 

Many sheriff's offices and police departments also operate online databases and lists of active arrest warrants. Individuals can use these resources to look up arrest warrants by name and other supported search parameters.

Municipal and District Courts

Municipal and district courts are the primary judicial bodies that issue arrest warrants in Kansas. Municipal courts issue warrants in connection to violations of city ordinances, while district courts issue warrants related to other criminal and civil offenses.

Members of the public can contact the appropriate court clerk to ask about issued warrants. A name or case number is often required. A person can also use other court search resources, such as courthouse terminals and online databases, to look up warrants.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI)

The KBI maintains a list of the state's most wanted offenders whose warrants have been issued by district courts. The list keeps state residents informed and allows them to contact law enforcement should they encounter such individuals.

How to Find Out If You Have a Warrant in Kansas

Individuals who suspect they have an active warrant in Kansas can confirm through different avenues, depending on the type of warrant. 

Bench and Arrest Warrants

Bench and arrest warrants are similar because they command law enforcement officers to detain defendants. Other types of warrants, such as citation, FTA (failure to appear), and probation violation warrants, also fall under this category.

One can find out if they have such a warrant by checking with the county sheriff's office, police department, or court within the jurisdiction where the warrant was issued. Most agencies have dedicated divisions that handle warrant inquiries. They also operate online databases and lists where they update active warrants. These bodies are also open to walk-ins, phone calls, and mail inquiries for active arrest warrants.

For example, the Riley County Police Department regularly updates its online active warrants list as a public resource. The department also has a warrants section, which individuals can contact at (785) 537-2112 for arrest warrant information.

Search warrants

Upon executing search warrants, Kansas law (K.S.A. 22-2506) mandates police officers to leave a copy of the warrant with anyone whose items or property were seized during the search. If nobody is present during the search, they must leave the copy at the search location. 

Further, one can find search warrants through court clerks if they are the subject of the warrant or as long as it is a public record. They can use terminals in courthouses, call court clerk offices to check records, or access online case search resources.

Tax Warrants

Tax warrants are issued by county treasurers and the Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR) when taxpayers fail to pay their taxes after a specific period. Individuals who have received multiple notices for tax defaults will likely have warrants issued against their property. 

Members of the public can check for tax warrants with a district court clerk, their local tax authority (county treasurer), the county sheriff's office, or the Kansas Department of Revenue:

  • County Treasurer

County treasurers typically provide online tax search resources to allow members of the public to check for tax warrants and pay off their debts. The Sedgwick County Treasurer is a good example. The office's Delinquent Tax Listings web portal allows individuals to search for property whose taxes are due. It shows each property's tax rate and owed taxes for a specific year. Payments can also be made through the portal.

  • County Sheriff

County treasurers are mandated by law to issue tax warrants to county sheriffs, commanding them to receive payment of owed taxes. These warrants are public records; individuals can inspect them by contacting their county sheriff's office. They can also use any online resources a sheriff's office provides.

  • The Kansas Department of Revenue

The KDOR issues tax warrants when people fail to pay state taxes 60 days after each tax payment's due date. Members of the public can reach out to the department to find out if they have active tax warrants. They can also check the department's online Tax Warrant List, which contains details of delinquent taxpayers with large outstanding tax debts.

  • District Court Clerks

Tax warrants are filed in district courts and are converted to liens, allowing county treasurers and the KDOR to pursue the collection of taxes. Individuals can use the terminals at county courthouses or contact a county's district court clerk to inspect and obtain records pertaining to such warrants. They can also check for tax warrant records with the Kansas District Court Public Access Portal.

Free Warrant Search in Kansas

Members of the public can inspect warrant information in Kansas for free when they use the following resources:

  • Public access terminals in county courthouses
  • The Kansas District Court Public Access Portal
  • Municipal courts' public access online portals
  • County sheriff's offices' online databases
  • County treasurers' online portals
  • The Kansas Department of Revenue's Tax Warrant List

How to Find Out If Someone Has A Warrant Online

Interested persons can use online resources to check for warrants issued against others in Kansas. It is essential to understand that public agencies do not treat online databases as official information sources. Users are always advised to confirm any warrant detail with the law enforcement agency, court clerk, or taxing agency maintaining the online platform.

Sheriff's Offices and Police Department Websites

Most sheriff's offices and police departments run websites that display warrant information for free to the public. These systems allow users to search by different parameters, including names. They contain details, such as the defendant's bio data (name, sex, height, date of birth, weight, eye color, etc.), type of warrant, case number, bail amount, and charges.

For example, people can use the Johnson County Sheriff's Office Warrant Search system to find warrants by name or city. 

The Kansas District Court Public Access Portal

This unified portal contains court records from district courts across the state. It displays basic case information, such as the parties involved, case type, attorneys, and hearing dates. Users must register for a Court Public Access Portal Account to access the web application. People who want to view more information can use terminals at court locations in their counties. 

Municipal Court Public Access Online Portals

Some municipal courts operate online case search databases where the general public can determine if a warrant was issued. These resources reveal the defendant's name, warrant type, case number, and issue date. For instance, one can access the City of Wichita's Municipal Court Case Search portal to find warrant information using a defendant's name.

County Treasurer Online Systems

Some county treasurers provide tax warrant details online for members of the public, allowing potential buyers and other investors to check if a property has outstanding tax debts. 

The Kansas Department of Revenue's Tax Warrant List

The KDOR maintains an online warrant list to notify the public of persons with considerable tax debts. The list shows the taxpayer's name and address, tax type, county, total amount due, and district court case number.

How Long Do Warrants Last in Kansas?

Kansas warrants have different validity periods. Warrants that order the arrest of individuals remain valid and active until the defendant is in custody, surrenders, or fulfills their outstanding obligation. 

Search warrants, on the other hand, are valid for 240 hours (10 days) from issuance. When a search warrant is issued for a tracking device, the device must be installed within 15 days after a judge issues the warrant and used for not more than 30 days, except where the court permits an extension.

Kansas Warrant Search
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