Kansas courts working to restore public access to records and information systems; some access ‘soon’ to be available in Topeka

photo by: Evert Nelson/Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Marla Luckert signed a new administrative order extending rules related to a security incident that interrupted operation of electronic filing systems in district and appellate courts.

The Kansas Judicial Branch announced over the weekend that it is working through a phased recovery of the public records and filing systems that were shut down last month after a security incident and some access is soon to be restored at two terminals in Topeka.

A news release went out from the Office of Judicial Administration Saturday morning describing a phased recovery of the courts information systems. A firm timeline has not been established for when specific parts of the system will come back online or when systems will be fully operational, according to the release.

“Our phased recovery includes upgrading firewalls, rebuilding our network, and securing our technology environment,” said Chief Justice Marla Luckert in the release. “We are following best practices for restoring and managing our information systems safely and securely, and it takes time.”

The release said that the Kansas Judicial Branch is working on restoring public access to court records and that it will soon have two terminals at the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka, 301 SW 10th Ave.

One bank of computer terminals will be used to support district courts staffed by several employees from the Office of Judicial Administration and volunteers from nearby district courts, and the other will be for public use in person by appointment. The release did not specify when the terminals would open, only that it would be “soon.”

“Kansas courts have continued to process cases while our information systems have been offline, but it is at a slower pace due to our current dependency on paper documents,” Luckert said in the release. “Having access to district court case data, even on a limited basis, will help courts better track cases. It will also help fill information needs related to real estate transactions, background checks, conflict checks, and more.”

As the Journal-World reported, the state’s court records and filing systems experienced a security incident on Oct. 12 that has forced courts across the state to use paper filings instead of the online Odyssey and E-file court records systems. Douglas County began using the Odyssey system in April. The Office of Judicial Administration said in a news release on Oct. 16 that the outage would last two weeks. The office has not specified the nature of the security incident.


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