The cyberattack on Suffolk County’s computer system affects some aspects of family law, a Huntington attorney has said.
Louis L. Sternberg, who specializes in divorce and family law cases, said while the courts, which are mostly state-run, are working, what isn’t working well is the system. collecting and reporting child support payments.
Prosecutors do not have e-mail, so documents cannot be exchanged by e-mail. “But what’s much more problematic are the child support cases,” Sternberg said. “Any order payable through the State Support Collection Unit is in limbo.
The ransomware attack on the county’s system was first spotted around September 8, crippling many government operations as emails, computer systems and sometimes phones crashed. The county told Newsday that the title verification system was restored to service on Monday, allowing real estate transactions to resume. But other government operations that rely on access to databases and other computerized systems and information have failed or been slowed down.
“Normally there are people who attend and testify in court every day to keep the courts informed of what is going on, but (without technology) the support collection unit liaisons whose job is to offer testimony cannot. They are essentially helpless.
“It’s especially stressful with child support litigation,” he said. “It just halved the finances of recipients and payers because we can’t verify without the county.”
“We used a fax machine for the first time in many years this week,” old technology he could normally do without, he said.