Monthly Archives: September 2008

New Public Records Finder Tool

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We’re pleased to introduce our new Public Record Finder tool for your iGoogle homepage. You can use this gadget to get to our Public Records Directory pages right from your own homepage.

Bloggers and website operators can easily publish an html version of this tool, just like the one above!

Drop us a comment when you install this on your site!… Read More

Using GIS Maps for Public Records Searches

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What can you learn from a GIS map? GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems, and these maps can be an excellent way to search for certain types of public records. The GIS is a way of capturing, storing, and displaying data. Users can perform searches based on certain criteria and interact with the GIS maps. These maps are usually composed of layers of data, one often includes information from an assessment office.

The map will consist of certain sets of criteria and a focus on certain subjects and layers. Each state and county will likely have their own way, but … Read More

Understanding the Trial Court Process

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If you are interested in researching court records from trial court, knowing how the court process works can be very useful.

In the US legal system, there are different levels of courts.  The trial court is the first level.  Although there are often different rules of procedure to be followed during trial depending on the type of case, there a few general principles that apply during a trial that will resonate through court records.

The trial will begin with jury selection.  Unless the parties involved choose a smaller number, most juries are made up of 12 individuals from the community.  … Read More

Military Records

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Military records can be useful for veterans, future employers, and can even be helpful resources for genealogy searches. One of the most important military records is called the DD214. This record is one that is officially recognized as proof of military service. The DD214 is the official discharge document for the US Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corp, and Coast Guard.

Military personnel records are not available for view online, as a federal law requires that these record requests be made in writing. Although the actual record is not available to view online, there is a downloadable form that you … Read More

What You Should Know About Eviction

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Eviction is a legal action from a court that is used by a landlord to remove a tenant from a rented property.  Depending on the jurisdiction, eviction may also be called unlawful detainer, summary possession, summary dispossess, forcible detainer, ejectment, or repossession.  However, whether you are a landlord, or a tenant, it is important to understand how an eviction process actually works.  Despite what some may think, a landlord cannot legally evict their tenant without the use of the court procedure. If a landlord tries to remove a tenant from property without following the correct procedures, they could be the … Read More

Changes to New York’s Freedom of Information Law

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Many of us are familiar with FOIA – the Freedom of Information Act which provides the general public with the right to access federal agency records or information. States have created their own FOIA laws and provisions and New York’s, known as the Freedom of Information Law, has recently been amended per legislation signed by New York Governor Paterson effective August 7, 2008. FOIA provisions generally require that an agency can charge a maximum of 25cents per photocopy when records are made available or the actual cost of those records that cannot be copied. Agencies reported financial hardships with the … Read More

Public Record and Social Security Numbers

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Identity theft could happen to any one of us at any time. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), about 9 million Americans become victims of identity theft every year. Identity theft is when someone steals your personal information and uses this information to commit further crimes. The type of personal information typically stolen includes social security numbers and credit card numbers. These thieves may use your stolen identity to write bad checks under your name, take out loans, apply for credit cards, get government benefits, or even get a job.

Identity theft is such a serious crime because it … Read More

Using Court Records for Background Investigations

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Background investigations are an interesting method for uncovering the truth about those we may or may not want to let into our lives.   Background investigation is the process of viewing records to find out the history of a person.   These investigations are commonly performed by employers, especially for jobs where there may be access to sensitive information.  However, private individuals may also be interested in running background investigations on certain people in their lives.  A thorough background investigation can produce information including full name, address, employment history, financial history, and criminal history.  It seems that as the world becomes a … Read More

Driving Records

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In today’s information age, we place a high value on the ability to access information. For this privilege, we can largely thank the Freedom of Information Act. This Act mandates that certain types of information and records be reasonably accessible. This allows us to check on the happenings of not only ourselves, but also of our government leaders, employers, business owners, and even neighbors. Among the records viewable are driving records.

A driving record includes the driving history of the person named on the record. This includes any speeding tickets, DUIs, or other moving violations. Viewing a person’s driving history … Read More

Service of Process

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“You’ve been served!”  Those are words that many people hope never to hear.  This begs the question: what does it mean to be “served.”

When someone has been served, this is actually referring to a legal procedure called Service of Process.  Service of Process is when someone is presented with documents that are a part of a legal proceeding.

Service of Process is one procedure that is required for the initiation of a lawsuit.  After one party, the plaintiff, files a lawsuit with the court, they are then required to serve certain legal documents onto the other party or parties … Read More