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May 23rd, 2017 Cat: Bisnis Online

Because we have so much information right at our fingertips these days, we’re expected to be even more careful about the people we let into our lives. Whether we’re talking about a new employee, a new friend, or a new lover, we’ve probably run several Google searches to try to uncover more details about that person’s life. Some might view this approach as underhanded, but it’s a practical way to protect yourself from possible scam artists and criminals. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of the all the data available online?

But the problem with free searches is that they only go so far. What if your person of interest doesn’t have much of an online presence (no blog, Facebook profile, MySpace page, or Twitter account) or has a very common name? It will be practically impossible to turn up anything that way. But people can’t hide from a court records search, making this a great option for performing background checks on your own.

There are lots of services out there that will provide you with full background checks on someone, and if you have deep pockets, there’s nothing wrong with paying for the info. But you should know that those companies are likely just performing a court records search and combing through a couple other databases before giving you the results. You can often come up with the same information if you know where to look.

Most state courts in the U.S. now have online databases that make it easy for you to find out if someone has ever been involved in a civil or criminal proceeding. There are several different ways to perform a court records search, depending on what kind of information you already have. For instance, you can run searches based on a full name or a last name alone, a case/docket number, or a case name. The more information you have to begin with (such as a birth date or Social Security number) the more details you’ll likely get back from your court records search.

What kind of results will come back from your court records search? If your subject is in the system, then you’ll get information about criminal activity, traffic violations (such as speeding or DUI convictions), and civil lawsuits in which your subject is named as either the plaintiff or the defendant. This should give you a good starting point as you consider whether or not you should continue to associate with the person.

While a court records search won’t necessarily yield a complete portrait of someone’s background, it still can serve a good purpose. If you don’t have the money to hire a private investigator, then this is a terrific alternative that can help you screen potential employees, friends, or dates. Sure, the world would be a better place if we could trust everyone we meet, but that’s not the way things work. It’s better to be prepared than to be sorry.

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