‘Catastrophic’ IT issue accidentally deletes some of Duval County’s court calendars

August 1, 2019 (Courtesy The Florida Times-Union.)

Data

An email sent to all attorneys working in the 4th Judicial Circuit foretells of potential headaches ahead, following what court officials dubbed a “rather catastrophic issue” with electronic court calendars in Duval County.

The email, sent around 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 4, was forwarded to First Coast News by a local attorney, says the technological issue “deleted some of the calendars.”

The wording of the email is vague and attributes the failure to “some unknown reason.”

It asks any attorney practicing in Duval, Clay and Nassau counties for help in “trying to reconstruct the calendars.”

“We are requesting that you advise us if you have a case set. If you have set up an upcoming hearing, respond to this email with the information below.” It then lists every basic case parameter, including:

Case Number
Style of Case
Date and Time of Hearing or Trial
Length of Hearing or Trail
Name of Motion(s) Set for Hearing along with Docket line number for said motion(s).
The issue does not affect Domestic Violence Court, Trials in Courtrooms, or Child Support, according to the email.

The email goes on to say that they “would like to have all this completed in the next week.” But it’s hard to imagine a busier court calendar in Northeast Florida to reconstruct than Duval Counties. The email says calendars in Clay and Nassau are unaffected.

However, the email warns that the court system will be “unable to set any matters for the remainder of this week and perhaps the first part of next week.”

It does not excuse lawyers from appearing as scheduled. “If your hearing was previously set, you are still required to attend.”

Public Defender Charlie Cofer says he spoke to court IT officials, and they say the issue will not affect the criminal court calendar, only civil court. He also said he was assured by IT officials that it was not a malicious attack, merely a data transfer that failed.

First Coast News has reached out to the court’s IT director and public information officer for more information. We will update this story as it becomes available.

The full text of the email is below:

From: DuvalCases <DUVALCASES@LIST.COJ.NET> on behalf of “Smith, Mike” <MikeJS@COJ.NET>
Reply-To: DuvalCases <DUVALCASES@LIST.COJ.NET>
Date: Friday, July 5, 2019 at 5:33 PM
To: <DUVALCASES@LIST.COJ.NET>
Subject: 4th Circuit Attorneys – Please Read

To All 4th Circuit Attorneys –

Unfortunately, we have had a rather catastrophic issue with a few of our DUVAL COUNTY calendars. For some unknown reason COURT IT has deleted some of the calendars. They are trying to reconstruct the calendars, but to further ensure we do not have issues regarding your cases, we are requesting that you advise us if you have a case set. If you have set up an upcoming hearing respond to this email with the information below.

We do not need information about cases set with DV Court or Trials in Courtrooms or Child Support.

We included members of the Bar from Clay and Nassau County, but we do not need feedback on hearings set in those counties. Only Duval please.

Although most hearings and non-jury trials have been reset we want to be diligent so we do not overlap future scheduling.

The information we need is as follows:

Case Number
Style of Case
Date and Time of Hearing or Trial
Length of Hearing or Trail
Name of Motion(s) Set for Hearing along with Docket line number for said motion(s).
Please email this information to DuvalCases@coj.net. Please do not call the Judge’s Office or email the Judge’s Assistant.

Please try to respond as soon as possible. We would like to have all this completed in the next week.

As a byproduct of this situation, we are unable to set any matters for the remainder of this week and perhaps the first part of next week.

If your hearing was previously set, you are still required to attend. This email is to catch anything we may missed when the calendars were rebuilt and to schedule the events that have not been filed yet because took place on the phone with a Judge or Judicial Assistant.

Thank you for your cooperation, consideration and understanding.

 

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