- Inaccessible Jurisdictions
- COVID-19 Continuity Package Configuration
- Follow-Up Reports
- Candidate Experience
As states and counties move to remote operations and restrict public access to courthouses and government buildings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Checkr offers a package-level configuration to skip inaccessible court searches for customers who would like to have background reports completed notwithstanding court closures. This package configuration enables customers to continue with their screening and onboarding process, despite the inability to conduct all searches that otherwise would have been included in a package.
Selecting this option will cause Checkr to skip searches of inaccessible jurisdictions that would otherwise have been searched, with one exception. Checkr will not suspend searches in states and/or counties that are triggered by a severe felony returned from the National Criminal Database Check, regardless of whether those states and/or counties are inaccessible.
“Skipped” searches will be marked Suspended in the Dashboard, and will not be listed in the Candidate Portal, or in downloaded Report PDFs. Requested reports will complete when searches included in the package have searched accessible jurisdictions. Those county and state criminal searches that are included in your package but are inaccessible will not be conducted, and the details of these inaccessible searches will be made available to you.
Note: For customers who do not select to enable this Package option, Reports that include state and/or county criminal searches in inaccessible jurisdictions will remain Pending until every state and/or county required for the report is no longer designated as inaccessible.
Contact Checkr Customer Success if you wish to enable this option for your account. You will also be required to sign an addendum to your Master Service Agreement before this option will be enabled.
Note: This option is unavailable for use with Continuous Check reports.
Checkr’s Data Operations team maintains a list of impacted jurisdictions, which are states and/or counties in which access to courts and court records is restricted or limited. Relying on a network of on-the-ground researchers, Checkr will update the list daily. While Checkr will make best efforts to keep the list up-to-date, Checkr cannot guarantee the comprehensiveness of this list given the ever-evolving circumstances.
Please see our Checkr Status page for our most recent information.
Inaccessible jurisdictions are those states and counties that require in-court searches and/or the assistance of a court clerk and that have closed due to COVID-19. Checkr cannot access records in these courts while they are closed, as criminal searches require physical court access or court clerk assistance.
Accessible jurisdictions are those with no known disruption to our ability to complete criminal searches. Turnaround times may be longer than usual due to reduced staffing, court hours, or other limitations designed to limit social interaction.
COVID-19 Continuity Package Configuration
Checkr provides a new Package setting option, Skip criminal searches in inaccessible states & counties, that allows customers to opt out of searches of inaccessible courts included in the Package, which enables the completion of Reports during court closures due to COVID-19. This option may be enabled for any new or existing Package that includes County and/or State Criminal Search.
Because reports cannot complete if any included screening or search is pending, reports that include state and/or county criminal searches in inaccessible jurisdictions are likely to be significantly delayed. To avoid delays and allow reports to complete while some courts are inaccessible, Checkr provides the option to “Skip” state and county criminal searches for these inaccessible jurisdictions. When this option is enabled, any state and/or county criminal searches created for a report will be checked against the inaccessible jurisdictions list.
Once enabled, the Skip criminal searches in inaccessible states & counties logic will be applied to all state and county criminal searches in jurisdictions designated as “inaccessible”, including those that were created on or after January 1, 2020 and are currently “Pending”.
When the Skip criminal searches in inaccessible states & counties option is enabled, Checkr will not conduct state and/or county criminal searches in jurisdictions that Checkr designates inaccessible. The report will complete having skipped criminal searches in inaccessible jurisdictions.
As state and/or county criminal searches are created during the report lifecycle, they will be checked against the inaccessible jurisdictions list. Under the Skip criminal searches in inaccessible states & counties setting, states or counties designated inaccessible when the search is created will be immediately and permanently skipped (with the exception of those states and/or counties that returned a severe felony from the National Criminal Database Check). Searches in states and/or counties not designated inaccessible will proceed as usual.
As each county/state search completes, it will be listed as Clear or Consider, as defined by the account's Positive Adjudication Matrix. The report status will remain Pending until no screenings or searches are pending (once every screening or search is either Complete, Clear, Consider, or Suspended). A report will be complete when all accessible jurisdictions included within your Package have been searched.
Once complete, the Report will have a status of Consider or Clear, based on any settings you may have enabled under your Positive Adjudication Matrix.
- If any screening or search in the report is Consider, the report will be Consider.
- If any screening or search in the report is Suspended (excluding state and/or county criminal searches that were suspended because they were skipped), the report will be Suspended.
- If all screenings and searches in the report are Complete or Clear (excluding state and/or county criminal searches that were suspended because they were skipped), the report will be Clear.
State and/or county criminal searches that were skipped because they are inaccessible will have a “Suspended” status and will never be "unsuspended." As with all Checkr reports, once a report completes and has a status of Clear or Consider, you may adjudicate and initiate the Adverse Action process.
Reports that include skipped searches under the Skip criminal searches in inaccessible states & counties setting will display the above exception message, and be tagged with “includes-skipped-searches”.
After the courts have reopened, you may choose to order a new report to check states and/or counties that were skipped due to inaccessibility, or leverage one of the automated follow-up report options detailed in a later section of this document.
To further assist customers in their risk mitigation and recovery efforts post the COVID-19 emergency, Checkr will provide the ability to automatically initiate follow-up reports to cover county and/or state jurisdictions that were skipped in the original reports due to temporary inaccessibility.
Types of automated follow-up reports
Two types of automated follow-up reports are offered:
- Full follow-up report is a complete rerun of the original report, following the same Package settings and including all screenings and their scopes. New pointer searches will be run and no records will be carried over to the follow-up report from the original report.
- Partial follow-up report is a new report that includes only the county and/or state criminal searches that were skipped in the original report due to temporary inaccessibility. Screenings in the partial follow-up report will follow the same settings and scopes that applied to county/state criminal searches in the original report. No new pointer searches will be run and no records will be carried over to the follow-up report from the original report.
Both full and partial follow reports are standalone consumer reports that are separate from the original reports, and can be adjudicated independently.
Enrolling reports to receive follow-ups
Reports created under the Skip criminal searches in inaccessible states & counties setting can be tagged to receive automatic follow-ups using two standardized tags:
- To enroll a report to receive a full follow-up report, add the standardized tag “full-follow-up-report” to the report.
- To enroll a report to receive a partial follow-up report, add the standardized tag “partial-follow-up-report” to the report.
Customers can use the existing tagging functionality under the “Report information” section of the Checkr dashboard to add or remove these standardized tags, or leverage the Report Tags API endpoint to automate and scale such operations.
If you would like Checkr to automatically tag all reports that include skipped searches to receive full or partial follow-ups, please reach out to Checkr Customer Success.
Initiation of follow-up reports
A full or partial follow-up report will be automatically initiated when all of the following conditions are met:
- The original report has a “full-follow-up-report” tag or a “partial-follow-up-report” tag; and
- The original report includes at least one skipped (suspended) county or state criminal search; and
- All jurisdictions that were skipped in the original report have become accessible; and
- No pre or post adverse action has been taken on the original report; and
- There has not been an PII Removal request associated with the candidate; and
- An automatic follow-up report, full or partial, has not previously been created for the original report.
To differentiate follow-up reports from the original reports under the Skip criminal searches in inaccessible states & counties setting, all follow-up reports will be created within automatically generated package(s) that mirror the original package(s), with the following naming convention:
- Full follow-up reports will be created with the package name “original_package_name_ta_1”.
- Partial follow-up reports will be created with the package name “original_package_name_ta_2”.
An automatically generated mirror package will not inherit the Skip criminal searches in inaccessible states & counties setting from the original package. In the rare case that a court jurisdiction becomes inaccessible again, after a period of accessibility during which a follow-up report was initiated, the search of said jurisdiction in the follow-up report will remain in pending until it can be completed.
The following best practices can help ensure the success of automated follow-up reports:
- Customers should avoid having both “full-follow-up-report” and “partial-follow-up-report” tags present on a given report at the same time. If both tags are present at the time of follow-up report initiation, a full follow-up report will be created.
- Customers are responsible for and must maintain proper candidate consent to cover all follow-up reports.
- Customers should ensure proper spelling when creating tags; misspellings will prevent the tags from taking effect.
While the searches are being conducted, candidates who log into Checkr’s Candidate Portal will see a banner in their report that states:
“In response to COVID-19, many courts and DMVs across the country have temporarily closed. This may delay the completion of some reports.”
Neither the Candidate Portal nor the downloaded Report PDFs will list any searches as “Suspended” as a result of this Package option.