The electronic system used by judges, court clerks and lawyers in Iowa failed this week. The Electronic Data Management System had “spotty” availability on Monday, but went completely down on Tuesday.
Court system spokesman Steve Davis says the problem was caused by computer software. “The cause was security patches that were made on Friday – it caused system performance issues. There was a bug in the patch,” Davis said. Chief Justice Mark Cady signed an order Tuesday allowing clerks of court to accept paper filings until further notice.
The computer system is regularly backed up, according to Davis, so workers are using that information to restore the system. “What they’re doing now is reverting back to Friday, before the patch was installed,” Davis said.
Davis added that hacking had nothing to do with the problem. “This is not a hack. It’s a bug in a patch,” Davis said. It’s unclear when the problem will be fixed.
Plymouth County was the first county in Iowa to file court records electronically in January 2010. The system went statewide on July 1, 2015.
Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City