Monday, April 22, 2013

Crisis puts court in retro mode

You have to call this a classic definition or irony.
In the midst of county court officials’ attempt to move the county courthouse to more electronic filing and document preparation, a fire basically knocks out computers and phones.
“Now we need paper and we can’t find paper,” one official said with a smirk.
Macomb County Circuit Court Officials and employees have reverted to doing everything by pen and paper due to Wednesday’s fire at the adjacent “old” County Building, that knocked out the county's computer and telephone systems.
Why the computer hard drives that run the equivalent of a multi-million dollar business weren’t protected better should become an issue and topic of discussion in the weeks and months to come.
But for the time being, it appears that at least the clerk and court employees have been adjusting well to the crisis situation. Employees late last week seemed pretty calm going back to the old way of doing some things and adjusting on the fly to problems that have cropped up. For example, the jury division is contacting prospective jurors by telephone and email. The jury supervisor is hoping the company that provides its software will be able to retrieve information on jurors that have been contacted for duty over the next few weeks.
The prosecutor's office is using typewriters.
Today, court Administrator Jennifer Phillips released about 30 temporary phone numbers for judges and key court departments.
Officials and employees seem to be adjusting well.
In light of all the other crazy things that happened recently in the nation, the loss of computer and telephone service doesn’t seem so bad.


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