Grand Rapids — A Kent County judge has ordered Hewlett-Packard to turn over the computer source code for vehicle registrations online to the state of Michigan, according to the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.

The state terminated its contract with the global information technology company in August and sued HP in Kent County Circuit Court in September after the company failed to deliver on a $49 million contract over 10 years. The contract was expected to replace aging computer systems at the Secretary of State offices across the state.

The ruling Monday addressed the state’s request for an injunction to force HP to provide computer source code that is necessary to ensure the state’s ability to maintain and manage its ExpressSOS website, which is used by millions of Michigan residents, the SOS office said in a news release Monday.

Shortly after taking office in 2011, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson publicly addressed the project’s lack of progress after the state had already paid out $27.5 million for a system that, at the time she took office, had not delivered a single function to the state, the SOS office website said.

The suit came after months of negotiations, the Secretary of State said in September in a release on its website. “Despite requirements in the contract that, even if terminated, HP still must provide support to ensure services to Michigan are not affected, HP staff has failed to report to work since Aug. 31,” the release said.

“We respect the ruling of the court, and its recognition that the state was wrongfully deprived of property it had fully paid for,” Johnson said. “It’s a shame we had to take them to court to force them to honor their agreement and responsibilities.”

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