Change of ownership without any direct action


I’ve made an import from an excel file in order to update 1 property in some of the cases. Everything went smoothly, but when I logged in the app, I discovered that some cases went missing.
Looking that in CommCare HQ, it appears that those cases are missing the owner info, so this could explain why my user can’t see them. But the fact is, in my import there were only to columns : case_id and the property… And this thing didn’t happened for every cases, only some of them…

Do you know what could have happened ?

Thanks in advance,


Hi Michel,

That sounds very strange.

One useful thing to check right-off-the-bat: When you locate cases which were created or manipulated through an excel import, you should be able to see a form in their Case History which is the translation of the Excel file into a CommCare Form. That form should include the raw information about the case in CommCare’s internal terminology.

If you locate your cases in that form, is the Owner ID listed as blank, malformed, or some other helpful lead? That should help identify where the issue is located.


Yes, it is indeed strange.
I’ve checked the form created by the import, and there is no trace whatsoever of the owmer_id manipulation.

Investigating a little further, it seems that some cases doesn’t have a owner_id and appears on the device, and others have a owner_id and don’t appear on the device.

maybe it is related, but those cases aren’t shown in the reports using the “project data (active and deactivated owner)” filter but are shown when selecting “all data (active and deactivated owner)”. What are the differences ?

I’m not 100% sure that I remember the difference between those filters, but I believe it comes down to whether the cases are linked to forms it associates with live forms and apps in the project space.

If you load one of the offending cases, and you click on the owner_id field in the HQ case view, you should see a historical mapping of every time that field was updated and by what form. Do those cases have a clear source of changes that is blanking out the ID?

Hi Michel,

If you are creating new cases and don’t provide an owner_id or owner_name, the cases are assigned to the user who did the upload. This is usually a web user, which typically means those cases doesn’t show up in reports unless you select “Unknown users”. You should be able to find those cases by filtering your reports by “Unknown users” or “[All Data]”, which doesn’t filter by owner at all. You can then reassign them to the proper owners via the “Case Reassignment” interface or with another upload which includes either owner_name or owner_id.

If you’re interested in getting to the bottom of what happened here, could you open a support ticket from one of those cases’ pages? Then our support team will be able to help track down this specific instance.

  • Ethan

Forgot to mention - assuming these are case updates (not creating new cases), I wouldn’t expect that behavior. That is, what you’re describing sounds unexpected to me.