The first Court of Appeals opinions of the New Year were password protected and locked so that people accessing the online opinions were unable to print them.
That was an internal, unintended glitch and the problem's been resolved, according to Supreme Court Administrator and Appellate Clerk Kevin Smith.
The opinions posted earlier this morning disappeared temporarily and reappeared around 10:30 a.m. and allowed users to print them.
That glitch came as a result of a procedure started within the appellate clerk's office - a timestamp graphic on each opinion showing date and time it was posted.
In early December, the appellate clerk's office made the decision to not provide printed courtesy copies of opinions in an effort to save paper and costs. The Internet is now the main method for viewing and obtaining appellate opinions. Opinions can be viewed at http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions, as well as on Indiana Lawyer's Web site and via Indiana Lawyer Daily.
Smith said that move to eliminate paper complicated the process with WestLaw and LexisNexis, which had previously required a final, stamped printed copy of each opinion. As a result, Smith asked the information technology department to create a graphic to include so that an e-version could be sent.