THE BEST WAY TO DO A COURT CHECK
After 35 years in the pre-employment screening and reference checking business, I would like to propose what I believe is the best way to conduct a court check. First, do a Social Security trace. It’s very quick, and you’ll get a listing of all the places your candidate has ever lived. Next, do a county specific court check based on those places of residence. In other words, do a court check in all the counties in which the candidate has lived. Next, just to be safe, do a Criminal National Data Base search. If the candidate has lived in only one county, the whole package should cost about $35.00 If the candidate has lived in more than one place, each additional county court check ought to cost around $13.00.
The point is that you, as the employer, will be able to demonstrate that you used reasonable care in the hiring process, in case an employee has future problems. Secondly, you will have done as thorough a court check as possible to help insure that you have a safe workplace.
The thing to keep in mind is that county specific court checks are where the original records are kept. There are other data bases that claim to be able to do a nationwide county specific check. Well, that just isn’t possible because not every county in the United States has put all of their court records into a larger data base. As a matter of fact, in many counties, the records are still kept in docket books. That means somebody has to go look at the actual book to make sure your candidate’s name isn’t in there.
So, in a nutshell, I recommend going to the primary source for court checks. Then rely on the Criminal National Data Base, just in case the candidate had a problem a couple of counties away from the one in which he lived – their records might be in the data base. That’s exactly how to do the best court check.