News and Press Releases

Madison County Court Clerk Gets $5,000 Fine and Probation for Aiding Unauthorized Access to State Court Computers

March 19, 2012

BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced the circuit clerk for Madison County to one year probation and fined her $5,000 after she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of aiding and abetting the unauthorized access of others to the Alabama court computer system, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

JANE CHANDLER SMITH, 57, of Huntsville, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Harwell G. Davis III to three counts of aiding and abetting unauthorized access under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Judge Davis then imposed Smith’s sentence.

A circuit clerk in Alabama is the elected chief administrative and fiscal officer for a state court system at the district and circuit level. Smith acknowledged in her guilty plea that she helped others get unauthorized access to the Alabama Administrative Office of the Court’s State Judicial Information System (SJIS), a service that accesses county court records pertaining to most proceedings that take place in the State of Alabama.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Estes and Trial Attorney William Hall of the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.






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