Media Report: Cuyahoga County’s Lexis Nexis account temporarily disconnected for unpaid bill which administrator said had never been received

Here’s what’s being said

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cuyahoga County’s legal community found itself in a bind last week when access to one of its most important resources was shut off due to nonpayment.

Lexis Nexis, a tool that attorneys, judges and public defenders rely on for research when filing briefs, motions, or orders, temporarily went dark on March 3 after the county failed to pay its bill dating back to September.

“I cannot believe (I) have to put this in writing, but our LEXIS is down because the County failed to pay the bill for 6 months,” Chief Public Defender Cullen Sweeney said in an email to his employees at the time.

The outage also impacted the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court and the prosecutor’s office, along with any other county employee who use it.

“It’s like having the library closed,” Sweeney recently told

Access was restored later that day and the county has since brought its bill current.

County spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan said the company never sent paper invoices either of the last four months of 2021, before the county’s Dec. 2 deadline to process payments.

“We pay our bills when we get them,” she said. “We didn’t get a bill.”

It’s unclear if the county received invoices for January or February; Madigan did not immediately have an answer. She said Lexis did not give any warning before disconnecting the service.

“When we learned of the problem, we took steps to expedite payment,” Madigan said. “As of today Lexis is paid through Feb 2022.”