David Finn Asked For His Thoughts on New Dallas County Court Software Implementation

by Jacob Vaughn / Dallas Observer

Dallas County Commissioners voted in April 2022 to adopt a new court management software, but things haven’t been running smoothly since the software was implemented in May of this year.

The county had switched to this system previously for its civil district courts, family courts and truancy courts without much issue. The current problems arose when the county tried to implement the software in its jail management system and misdemeanor and felony courts.

A couple of weeks after the software, called Odyssey, was implemented, The Dallas Morning News reported that prosecutors, public defenders and the county probation office had only limited access to county criminal case files, and the problem was bringing the county’s criminal justice system to a near standstill. This was in large part due to the migration from the old software, Forvus, to the new one. The migration involved cases as far back as the 1970s, according to the News.

“What’s really been a nightmare for two months now is this new Odyssey software system,” David Finn, a local criminal defense attorney, told the Observer. “It’s a complete meltdown train wreck. It’s a disaster.”

The News reported in early June that lawyers couldn’t check on the times and locations of their trials because they couldn’t access electronic files. The old system included court settings, bond forfeitures, case dispositions, judgments and sentences. It stopped being updated after May 16, but the new system wasn’t up and running until May 22, according to the News.

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