Y-2-K Watch: Tulsa County Court Clerk's Office and Court Records

Monday, November 22nd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The News on Six’s Y-2-K watch has this story from the Tulsa County Courthouse. The Court Clerk's office is moving criminal cases from an old computer system to a new one. They're trying to beat the millennium clock, but their hitting some bumps on the road to New Year's Day.

Court cases were tracked by a scribe, a pen and a large ledger at the beginning of this century. Court Clerk Sally Howe Smith's office is helping build a computer system the Tulsa County Courts to be used in the next century.
"We are simply converting mainframe data to a personal computer system," she said. "We are still in the process of building the data system."

Thirteen other counties in the state face the same time crunch. Court Clerk office personnel are trying to get a new system up and running before the New Year’s Day, due to the possibility of their old systems crashing.

Progress has a price. Sheriff's employee Joyce Chappell is slowly moving through a stack of paperwork gummed up in the conversion. The six inch high stack of papers represents inmates awaiting a move from county to state custody. The sheriff can't move any inmate without a court order. "We've been slowed in the generation of documents," she said. "But as far as the public being at risk, there's no one being turned loose that shouldn't be turned loose."

The statewide project will eventually connect all Oklahoma counties. All of the Court Clerks will finally be on the same page. Offices will have Internet access and help authorities track down wanted suspects. Until then, it may be hard to pull up some information, temporarily. "It's not permanent," said Howe Smith. "It's not lost. It's just a matter of getting it in the right spot where people can see it."