Network security incident disrupts court operations statewide – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Network security incident disrupts court operations statewide

TOPEKA, Kan. – All clerk offices in Kansas appellate courts and all district courts, except Johnson County court, remain unable receive electronic filings a week after a network security issue took the system offline.

The Kansas Courts eFiling system has been offline since the judicial branch experienced a security incident Oct. 12, 2023. The security incident affected several systems used daily by courts statewide, including the system attorneys use to file documents in cases, the case management systems district and appellate courts use to process cases, and others.

Courts are open and operating, but clerks cannot receive electronic filings or electronic payments. All filings must be on paper or by fax. Paper filings can be hand delivered or sent by mail.

A Kansas Supreme Court order issued Oct. 16 declared clerk offices inaccessible because the electronic filing systems in those courts are unavailable. The court’s order allows a party to seek relief from a court if their filing is untimely.

“This order and other information on our website will guide court users on our operations while our information systems are offline,” said Chief Justice Marla Luckert. “We continue to serve our communities, but we are using different methods until our systems are restored.”

The Office of Judicial Administration has added information to the judicial branch website to help court users while court systems are offline. The court systems security incident page will be updated as new information becomes available. It includes links to information pages for attorneys and the public who need to interact with courts.

The network security issue has also affected the Kansas Department for Children and Families and the state’s child support services. DCF is warning Kansans of delays for those working with the agency’s child support services.

DCF works daily with Kansas courts to process child support court orders and payments on behalf of Kansas families. With the efiling and electronic court records system offline, Kansans should expect delays on returned filings, court hearings, and orders being entered. Child support payments that are awaiting court orders or direction from DCF, court trustees, and county clerks will be delayed. Any orders filed prior to the week of Oct. 9 should continue to process properly.

The Office of Judicial Administration is working with experts from several sources to find out what happened in the security incident, how it happened, and how far it reached. Until those questions are answered, the office said it is unknown when the systems will be brought back online.

The network issues faced by the judicial branch interrupted user access to several online systems, including:

  • Kansas Courts eFiling, which accepts electronically filed documents.
  • Kansas Protection Order Portal, which accepts electronically filed documents.
  • Kansas District Court Public Access Portal, which allows searching district court case information.
  • Appellate Case Inquiry System, which allows searching appellate court case information.
  • Kansas Attorney Registration, which allows searching for an attorney by name or bar number.
  • Kansas online marriage license application. Persons can still apply, but the application will not be sent to a district court for processing through the efiling system.
  • Central Payment Center, which operates in the Office of Judicial Administration, will not be able to process disbursements on behalf of district courts.
  • Kansas eCourt case management system, which district courts use to process cases.

The court’s order is Administrative Order 2023-CC-074, available here.

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