Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Aug. 9, 2022

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Clark County software change affects access to court documents, could delay trials

By , Columbian staff writer

Local attorneys are questioning how to access clients’ court documents as Clark County struggles to implement a new online records database.

The old database, LibertyNet, requires users to run Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. But Microsoft quit supporting that software this week, and some subscribers are having trouble gaining access to documents.

Without a firm launch date for the new system, called OnBase, Superior Court Clerk Scott Weber and his staff have been trouble-shooting alternate ways to run LibertyNet or to fulfill requests for documents from attorneys, the public and the press.

Early kinks in the new software, combined with low staffing and high turnover at the clerk’s office and county information technology department, have made implementation of OnBase take longer than Weber had planned.

Because Superior and District courts can work closely together, Weber said he and the IT department want to launch OnBase for both courts at the same time. Weber said OnBase is ready for Superior Court, but he’s waiting for IT to work through a few more issues in conjunction with District Court records.

Earlier this week, Superior Court Judge Emily Sheldrick emailed Weber to say attorneys had told judges that if they didn’t have access to either LibertyNet or OnBase, they’d likely request later trial dates or other accommodations.

Efforts to reach the Clark County Bar Association were unsuccessful.

District Court Administrator Bryan Farrell said his office is looking at a launch date for OnBase in the beginning of August. He said the biggest delay for District Court has been issues with the image quality of documents.

Weber is hoping to implement the system for Superior Court next month. He said getting the new program operational is his staff’s top priority.

Until OnBase debuts, staff in the clerk’s office have sent workarounds to adapt other browsers to support LibertyNet. For LibertyNet subscribers who still can’t gain access, Weber said his office can send copies of documents by request.

Meanwhile, Weber said that so far he hasn’t heard of as many attorneys struggling with access this week as he had feared.

Public document terminals within the clerk’s office at the Clark County Courthouse are still able to run LibertyNet, Weber said.

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