Screw-Ups, Technology, Weirdness

Why Does the Connecticut Judiciary Have ‘Erotic Fondling’ on its Official Website?

Government websites have never been known for pizzazz or cool design. Half the time court websites barely seem to function on modern computers. At best, dealing with the government online is a boring, tedious chore.

So imagine our surprise — and hey, a little excitement too — when a tipster forwarded us information about a funny glitch buried within the State of Connecticut’s Judicial Branch website.

Click through to see some unexpected “erotic fondling” (don’t worry, this is totally safe for work)…

Here’s what we got in our inbox yesterday:

I just stumbled across this [cue jokes] while searching the Connecticut court sites for case dismissal procedures (called withdrawal in CT).

1) Go to http://jud.ct.gov/

2) On the left hand toolbar there is a space to search the site. Search for “Withdrawal”

3) Count down to the seventh document. The title is in all caps. Hilarity ensues.

Noticeably document #7 (score 34) links to the definition of “Exchange” which is seemingly unrelated to the heading of the document in the search results.

I suspect someone has either hacked the court website or hates their job and knows no one has enough tech savvy to find their little joke.

The directions are a bit obtuse, but it turns out our tipster was correct. Check out some EROTIC FONDLING, courtesy of your friendly Connecticut judiciary. It’s about two-thirds down the page:


If you click on the link hoping for titillation, though, you’ll be disappointed. The header is utterly unrelated to the content of the page.


We reached out to a state spokesperson for an explanation of this little Easter egg, and we got a few responses back:

I just saw your e-mail and have forwarded it. I don’t know how it happened, however, I would say that your assumption that this is unintentional is accurate.

Fair enough! A few minutes later we got a bit more clarification. Apparently juries sometimes need to have the definition of “Erotic Fondling” explicitly explained to them:

Here’s a bit more info for you –

The phrase actually is legitimately in the criminal jury instructions section … here’s a link to the glossary, where you’ll see it. The context is within the criminal jury instructions that might be provided in a sex case.

http://jud.ct.gov/ji/Criminal/glossary/erofond.htm

That said, our IT Division is looking at how the phrase wound up on [those] two pages.

In case you’re wondering, under Connecticut law, “erotic fondling” means “touching a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or if such person is a female, breast.”

In any case, as nobody ever says they say, the Connecticut courts are for lovers.

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