No Monday jury duty for some Houstonians

February 9, 2009 4:50:41 AM PST
A computer virus still has the Houston Municipal Court system shut down in Houston.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Hundreds of people -- some with minor infractions -- spent time in jail because the shutdown meant they couldn't be processed out.

Today, the city is still dealing with the virus, which is going to create a big backlog of cases. A team of experts spent the weekend trying to get the municipal court computer system back up and running.

It was around the middle of last week when the virus showed up. The rapidly spreading virus forced the courts to shut down early Friday afternoon.

This virus, known as the 'conficker' virus, didn't only affected the Houston court computers. It is a worldwide problem.

"As you know, that virus has impacted three million desktops worldwide," said Rebecca Martinez with Capitol Bail Bonds.

"Just can't do anything but just wait and wait and hope that everything will be back up," said another Capitol Bail Bonds' employee. "Who knows."

Hundreds of cases will have to be reset. That forced all dockets in municipal court to be canceled. People scheduled for jury duty Monday will receive a notice by mail with a new appointment.

The closure only affects the Houston Municipal Courts. However, the virus forced the city's emergency management center to cut itself off from the main computer system and dispatchers were forced to use their radios rather than computers. We're told no calls were missed and it didn't slow down response times.

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