TOPEKA—Today, the judicial branch opened a public access service center in the Kansas Judicial Center to give members of the public their first access to district court case information since court information systems were taken offline following an October 12 security incident.
A second service center opened yesterday to provide remote support to district courts. It sends data and records to fill district court needs, including court schedules, routine reports, and documents used for hearings or court transcripts. Access also allows courts to process drivers’ license reinstatements and abstracts of conviction, and it gives court services officers access to documents needed to prepare presentence investigation reports.
Both service centers are staffed by employees from the Office of Judicial Administration and nearby district courts.
“Kansas courts statewide have continued to process cases despite their lack of access to the information systems we all rely on,” said Chief Justice Marla Luckert. “Even facing those challenges, we had several district court employees come to Topeka to help us run the information service centers. We are grateful for their support and their commitment to serving the people of Kansans under trying circumstances.”
Public access service center
The public access service center is in a meeting room on the first floor. It has 10 computer terminals visitors can use to search district court case information by appointment. The room also has printers for visitors to print any search results they need to take with them.
The service center is for searching case information only. The terminals are not set up to receive electronic payments. Court payments must be made by cash, check, or money order delivered to the courthouse in person or by mail. Visit Pay a Fine or Fee for more information.
Scheduling appointments to visit public access service center
Visits to the public access service center are by appointment only, and each appointment is for 30 minutes. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the same hours the Judicial Center is open. Visitors will be allowed to schedule up to two 30-minute visits per day.
Requests for appointments can be made online using the Public Access Service Center appointment request form. Prospective visitors will be asked to give their name, contact information, and preferred time to visit the service center. A second form must be submitted to choose a second appointment time.
Requests for appointments will be processed first come, first served. If demand for a particular time slot exceeds capacity, requests that cannot be served will be declined.
Details a visitor might want to know about scheduling an appointment or visiting the Judicial Center are on the Public Access Service Center webpage on the judicial branch website. It covers how to schedule an appointment, where to park, and what to expect when reporting to the Judicial Center for the appointment.
Early recovery phase
Efforts to bring judicial branch information systems back online will occur in phases, although the judicial branch is still developing a firm timeline when all information systems will be fully restored.
Beyond rebuilding a safe and secure environment for its information systems, the judicial branch is planning how it will restore full access to court case data. It will occur incrementally, and it starts with access to district court case information through a network of computers in the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka.
October 12 security incident
Kansas court information systems have been offline since October 12, when the Office of Judicial Administration experienced a security incident. The office activated its response process, which included notifying the Kansas Information Security Office of the security incident.
Law enforcement is also aware of the security incident, and the Office of Judicial Administration is cooperating with their inquiry into the matter.
The Office of Judicial Administration has been working with outside experts to investigate what happened, how it happened, and what is affected. That investigation is ongoing.