Computers Crash In Texas Federal Court

     BEAUMONT, TEXAS (CN) – The federal court in East Texas has been disrupted since Friday, when a database failure shut down its computer system. No data was lost, said the court’s computer tech, who hoped the system would be up and running by Friday. Filing deadlines were extended.

     “During [last] week, our IT department started receiving an error message that said the system was unable to record new filings,” said Smith Wimberley, information technology manager for the U.S. District Courts in the Eastern District of Texas. “Our first solution for the problem worked until Friday, when we started receiving the same error message.”
     The system switched over to an off-site replication, or backup server, so subscribers can use the system while the primary server undergoes maintenance. Unfortunately, this caused another problem.
     “We were unable to access our backup server when we disabled the primary server due to human error at the off-site facility,” Wimberley said. The entire system was unavailable as a result.
     Although the problem has been identified, it is a lengthy process to reformat the server and restore it with saved information, Wimberley said. “Right now, we are watching the record counter as it goes up. All we can do now is wait. We have been working with IBM and the Systems Deployment and Support Division of the U.S. Courts Administrative Office located in San Antonio to fix the problem.
     “The database for the Eastern District of Texas contains over 2.6 million records, which factors in to the amount of time a system recovery requires. It receives more filings regarding patent infringement than any other district in the entire U.S.”
Because of the system crash, filing deadlines from Friday, May 2 to Sunday, May 11 have been extended to Monday, May 12. Any emergency matters occurring between these dates may be conveyed to the court in paper or electronic format by hand delivery, conventional mail, facsimile or electronic mail.
Late Wednesday, the system was available only for queries and reports. Electronic filing was not available. Updates on the status of the system are available at http://www.txed.uscourts.gov/.

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