In Fort Worth’s municipal court, thousands of cases go into a digital wasteland thanks to a bungled computer system, reports the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. In 2005, the city paid $1.7 million for a municipal court system that promised to keep track of thousands of tickets a year for traffic violations, code compliance problems, and lesser crimes.
The technology, known as CourtView, was supposed to offer full automation and help the city collect millions in fines. Seven years later, it remains a cyber hiccup, with numerous violations falling into “virtual limbo,” says an independent assessment conducted for the city. It is sluggish and relies on manual input of cases by clerks. The Star-Telegram found that the docket is jammed with tens of thousands of outstanding violations dating to 1994. The system does not purge old cases, which is required by law. It doesn’t always account for financial transactions, so fees are sometimes lost or distributed to the wrong account.