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Municipal court mistakenly sends arrest warrant texts

Municipal court mistakenly sends...

Imagine awakening to a text message saying you're going to jail. That's what happened to 1,500 people Monday morning when the Spokane Municipal Court accidentally told them a warrant was out for their arrest. It sent one panicked man right to KXLY 4 News to find out what happened.

Neil Hansen spent his morning delivering Meals on Wheels. But just a few hours before, he thought he'd instead be heading to jail.

“Flabbergasted. Just absolutely flabbergasted. I mean, what would you do,” he said.

The text went out around 8 a.m. Monday. Hansen immediately called his attorney. She, along with dozens of others, went down to the court to figure out what was going on.

“Am I going to jail? As it turns out, no I'm not going to jail. It's just the courthouse screwed things up,” Hansen said.

The court administrator says the text was sent accidentally due to a glitch in a new computer system they introduced about a month ago. But it caused a lot of confusion and stress for those who didn't know. The court quickly realized the error and sent a follow up text telling people to disregard the first one, but it took nearly two hours to get things straightened out.

“A lot of stress, that's for sure,” Hansen said as he delivered meals. “And with what I do in the wintertime as a volunteer, that would have really screwed things up for me and a lot of other people.”

The court has already corrected the glitch and the system is back online, working correctly.

This new system does send texts to people who really do have warrants or missed court dates, so if you receive a text in the future, you'll want to follow up.