RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Three clients with the same citation on the same date. Their court costs should also be the same…but they weren’t.
That’s what the Law Offices of Anna Smith Felts spent their day trying to sort out on Monday while using the new computer program known as Odyssey.
CBS 17’s Russ Bowen spoke to a number of local attorneys who are experiencing their own problems with the software, including Charlie Gray. He said issues occurring in court right now are “tremendously” impacting clients.
“People who are in high stress situations who are anxious for these things to be closed, cases are having to be continued simply because it’s taking so long to do the administrative housekeeping stuff of a daily court session…that they don’t get to the substantive stuff,” said Gray.
Gray says a number of his client’s DWI hearings have been continued. That includes offenders who are seeking driving privileges to get to work or to medical appointments.
“That’s been a huge problem. Because without that privilege being updated for where the police officers see it, the DMV sees it, it appears you’re driving with a revoked license and it’s revoked because of a DWI and you could get arrested and you very possibly will,” Gray said.
Wake, Johnston, Lee and Harnett are pilot counties for the new court system software that will eventually be installed across North Carolina by Tyler Technologies.
Tyler Technologies has had issues with similar software in other states, which in some cases has led to litigation.
“From a personal standpoint,” Gray said, “it’s frustrating, but it does ripple out to the community in that this is a time where you’re not going to be able to get in touch with the DA who’s maybe handling your case because they’re stuck in court.”
Gray also said some may not be able to get in touch with an attorney because they’re stuck in court.
North Carolina’s pilot counties launched more than two weeks ago after problems with the system delayed the launch by more than a year.
The question is—was it too many counties too fast? Gray said the blame does not lie on the court clerks, district attorneys or judges.
“The logic I do get. I don’t know that it was completely thought through. I do think we’ve bit off a little more than we can chew,” said Gray.