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Kansas Court Websites Near Fourth Week of Being Down

Following a cybersecurity incident, the online portals that are used to search court cases there have been down statewide, leaving attorneys and judges unable to access their own records.

(TNS) — Kansas court system websites are nearing a fourth week of being offline because of a "security incident." The online portals used to search court cases have been down state-wide, leaving attorneys and judges unable to access their own records.

Riley County District Court administrator Katherine Oliver said she is unable to access digital records, so the court is scrambling to make paper copies of case filings as backup.

Oliver said the Kansas Judicial Branch is in the "recovering process."

"They are setting up information service centers in Topeka at the judicial center," Oliver said. "There will be a bank of computer terminals for the public to come and use to look up court case information."

Oliver said the court is setting up for court clerks.

"It's still in the early stages," Oliver said. "They are working cautiously. ... There is a group of court clerks working to support district courts where district courts would be able to email and ask for court documents for information. Then the clerks working at the information center will email that information back."

Oliver said the information banks for the public are not set up yet. However, she personally helped prepare computers in Topeka for clerks.

"We are crossing our fingers," Oliver said. "They are hoping (for the public computers to be ready) for this week."

Riley County District Magistrate Judge Jeremy Larchick rules on preliminary hearings in Manhattan. Larchick said he keeps rescheduling these court dates because he doesn't have any background information because he can't access the case records.

The Kansas Judicial Branch announced Oct. 12 the pause in electronic filings.

There is an ongoing investigation into whether the security breach has malicious intent. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is investigating whether it was intentional and from a ransomware group.

Ransomware groups have been responsible for court website security breaches in other states. However, no ransomware groups have claimed credit so far.

The Kansas Judicial Branch said the computers will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Monday through Friday.

© 2023 The Manhattan Mercury, Kan. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.