This search will identify civil records filed in any jurisdiction (County Level) which are associated with a specific individual, just like county criminal records, we recommend conducting a social security trace on the applicant in order to identify which counties they have resided in.

All cases are separated by specific state law into “Upper” and “Lower” records search based on the dollar amount of each case. For example, civil cases in Los Angeles County, CA commonly filed at the lower court include Small Claims cases and cases where the dollar amount does not exceed $7,500. Instances of civil cases are law suits, paternity suits, domestic disputes, divorce, disputed contract, small claim, and temporary restraining orders (TROs).

This search is also valuable in identifying any court settlements that would indicate a risk when hiring an applicant. Civil Searches can also be useful in the Tenant Screening process, to determine if they have ever been evicted from a previous residence, otherwise referred to as an “Unlawful Detainer.”

 

In the event a civil case is reported at the county level, your organization will receive information regarding the plaintiff, defendant, style of case (collections, unlawful detainer, etc.), date the case was filed, date the case was disposed, disposition of the case, and case number. In civil cases, the only identifier (determines if the defendant in the case matches the applicant) is only a name match, unlike criminal cases that also include a date of birth match.

In order to truly verify if the hit reported belongs to the subject of the report, case documents would have to be requested from the court of record for review, which could delay the completion of this inquiry. This why it is imperative that a middle name be included when requesting this search. The reporting period for county civil searches is seven years from the date of disposition.

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