Computer glitch ‘cripples’ DC Superior Court operations

WASHINGTON — A major computer glitch at the D.C. Superior Court “crippled” operations Tuesday morning and sent dozens of prospective jurors home early for the day.

The glitch halted juror check-in at the Moultrie Courthouse on Indiana Avenue, which was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., and also affected courtroom operations. Clerks and court employees were unable to access any electronic records and files.

Judge Milton C. Lee dismissed the entire jury pool at about 10:15 a.m.

The “catastrophic computer outage” affected the entire D.C. Superior Court campus, Lee said, and was unlikely to be resolved soon enough to warrant keeping prospective jurors in the building.

“We’re hampered” by the outage, Suzanne Bailey-Jones, a juror officer for the court, told prospective jurors earlier Tuesday. “We’re crippled.”

There were six felony trials scheduled for Tuesday morning, Bailey-Jones said.

It’s believed the malfunction was caused by a problem with the cooling unit that keeps the court’s computer servers chilled, Bailey-Jones said in the announcement to prospective jurors.

There is no estimate for when the problem will be resolved, court officials told prospective jurors.

The D.C. Superior Court website is also currently down.

Before dismissing the jury pool, Lee said he was “deeply apologetic” about the malfunction and thanked prospective jurors for attempting to fulfill their civic duty.

Bailey-Jones said the courts would mail debit cards to prospective jurors and that those summoned Tuesday would not be called for jury duty at the D.C. court for at least two years.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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