Tarrant County working through glitches as it launches long-awaited court software program

·2 min read
Madeleine Cook/mcook@star-telegram.com

Tarrant County leaders are working through glitches as they launch a long-awaited courts software program, district clerk Tom Wilder wrote in a press release Monday afternoon.

And Wilder answered the question that has popped up over and over since the new commissioners took the bench: TechShare.Courts is working.

But, not as well as they’d like, Wilder added. He told the Star-Telegram Monday afternoon his staff hoped to have glitches knocked out in the next week.

Tarrant County has been working to launch TechShare.Courts, an online document system, since 2011. Taxpayers have spent more than $26.6 million on the program.

The launch date was set for May 1 after being pushed from October, to New Year’s Day and to the end of January.

Tarrant County originally signed onto TechShare.Courts with Travis and Dallas counties to develop software they could sell to other counties.

Travis hopped ship in 2016 after spending $3.3 million on the program. Dallas left in 2020 after spending $35 million.

Wilder wrote in the release that any new software implementation presents “real life challenges for users.”

“TechShare Court is no exception,” Wilder wrote.

He wrote that the informational technology staff is working with TechShare to address the problems.

“All staff worked all weekend to do final testing but that is not in a production environment with volume data from all courts,” he wrote.

Wilder asked for patience as the county replaced “a 1980’s system with a modern version built to use our business processes that have proven to be very efficient.”

Wilder said Monday the program launch was like “whack-a-mole” and that his staff was catching issues as they pop up.

The county’s online system for accessing court documents was down Monday morning. As of Monday afternoon, it was back up and running.

During their April 18 meeting, county commissioners began discussions about exploring other software options if the program did not launch Monday as planned.

“May 1 is your drop dead date,” commissioner Roy Brooks told a TechShare representative.

Tarrant County clerk Mary Louise Nicholson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Commissioners are expected to hear updates on TechShare.Courts during their Tuesday meeting.