This article will help you:
- Understand what US County Civil Searches entail and why they’re an important part of a background report
- Decide whether to add County Civil Searches to a package
Civil courts settle disputes between two or more entities. “Entities”may be any combination of private citizens, businesses, government institutions, or other parties. Civil cases may include violations of contract agreements, divorce proceedings, or or compensation for damages.
Civil courts split into two types: upper, and lower. Civil records may be found for both upper and lower courts.
- Lower civil courts hear cases on family law, including divorce and child custody.
- Upper civil courts hear cases for nonpayment of goods, liability claims, and suits for damage or injury.
Because civil courts are not criminal courts, and do not handle the prosecution of a person accused of breaking a law, civil judgments result in financial penalties and not jail time. Civil cases are often filed after a criminal conviction if a victim suffered injuries due to the criminal conduct, but civil and criminal records remain separate.
Civil records may be useful in determining if a candidate is named in any lawsuits, either as a plaintiff or as a respondent.
County civil court files are searched by name, and in the counties of current residence, prior residence, and work. The Civil Record Search will cover a history of at least seven years from the date of request.
Note: Civil records often don’t contain personally identifiable information (PII)making it difficult to match records to a particular person.