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Common Misconceptions About Court Records

A citizen of the United States of America can very easily get information about court records online. There are literally thousands of resources online with each of them claiming to provide authentic information on court cases. You can log on to individual State authority URLs or can simply follow the relevant link provided within a national web site. Knowledge about court records will help you to perform satisfactory background checks. The courts record may also help you to take adequate security measures against a criminal lurking in your neighborhood.

Searching for an online court record is by no means an easy task. If you believe the various promotional features claiming to provide you with super fast and free information, you are in for a rude shock. The commonest misconception that you are likely to harbor is that it is free of charge. Since most of the private sites invest time and effort into making the information available to you, it is only fair that they will charge you for services rendered. Government resources like the PACER also charge a nominal fee of 8 cent in exchange for certain vital information about court records.

You also need to stay alert when you access the court records online. Most of the sites do not provide you with accurate information. People convicted by the court often move from their state without informing the state authorities about their change of address. As a result, the knowledge you gain by searching through the court records is outdated and irrelevant.

Another common misconception about court records is that you can access all the records from a single site. Once you start your search you will find that you can access felony cases from one site, misdemeanors and other petty criminal records from another site, while the vital records can be found only by logging in to yet another site.

You also need some preparation before embarking on the search. The name and local address of the person in question are required parameters and it will be impossible to conduct a background check without them. Knowledge about the countries of travel and residence may make your search more effective. You will discover that you cannot download vital information without the social security number of your subject.

Online search of court records are often accused of jeopardizing the privacy of the subject whose information can is accessed. You can easily get to know the social security number of a person by conducting an online search. This is a serious breach of privacy and can form the basis of identity theft. United States Government Accountability Office (September 2008) has been asked to explain the steps being taken to protect the Social Security Numbers contained in these records. There have also been issues about court records with divorce and civil suits information. The 2005 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) now protects private information by following privacy principles. The NDMS database displays the medical information about the national disaster victims. It is easy to track the whereabouts of the patient from here. While the effort may be commendable, it does nothing to protect the privacy of the concerned person.