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Associated Press, Published February 17 2012

Minnesota court data system includes erroneous records

ST. PAUL (AP) — Minnesota's court data system failed to register changes to thousands of cases in which low-level or first-time offenders completed probation terms and had their charges reduced or dismissed. The result could have caused problems with an offender's attempts to get a job or rent an apartment, among other things.

University of Minnesota law professor Steve Simon, who's also a public defender, says he warned several judges and court employees about the issue last summer. But, only Hennepin County had reviewed its records and made necessary changes. Judge Mark Wernick says a computer glitch is to blame in most cases. The county is sending letters Friday to about 2,500 individuals whose erroneous records were changed.

The Star Tribune says about 1.6 million cases are entered into the Minnesota Court Information system each year.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.