The city of Fort Collins has refused to pay a couple's claim for more than $200,000 for letting their marijuana plants die after they were seized in a medical-marijuana case.

Police confiscated 39 plants from Jim and Lisa Masters in August 2006, but they were returned after a judge ruled the couple qualified as medical-marijuana growers, even though they had not completed the required paper work.

The Masterses say their plants were dead, dry, and in some cases moldy when they got them back in December 2007, so they filed a claim with the city.

Police say they weren't required to keep them alive because the couple didn't have permits.

The couple's attorney, Brian Vicente, said Thursday they will probably file a civil suit in state court in hopes of forcing the city to pay.

A voter-approved amendment to the state constitution legalized marijuana for medical use.

Using marijuana for medical purposes remains illegal under federal law.