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Civil Records Search

Discovering Prior or Pending Litigations

Simply put, a civil case is a legal dispute involving two or more parties. Civil cases are those that we associate with terms such as “lawsuit” or “sue,” involving actions against wrongdoings among individuals, organizations, or a combination of the two. While civil cases can have criminal implications, they are not the same as criminal charges. In most cases, the court encourages that such disputes are settled among parties before going to trial.

two people sitting at lawyer's desk signing papers

Common Questions

When speaking about criminal cases, the state or government is ultimately the prosecutor, bringing the case against an individual. In civil cases, it is an independent party that levies charges against another. This means that most civil disputes can be resolved without involving the legal facilitation of a court.

Common examples of civil cases in business include breach of contract, libel/slander, malpractice, poor treatment of personnel, workplace injury, etc.

Common examples of civil cases among individuals include property damage, negligence resulting in personal injury, disputes over ownership rights, divorce, debt collection, liens and judgments, etc.

Most of the time, no. While often processed under the same roof as criminal cases, civil records fill an entirely separate bucket and are mostly kept apart from criminal records. However, if the civil case also has criminal implications, the information may be treated as both civil and criminal.

Civil cases can both be processed at a local and federal level. Many smaller civil cases are processed in the same courts as criminal cases. Therefore civil case information is often found in county courthouses. Federal civil cases are processed in federal courthouses. The most common form of a federal civil case is Bankruptcy.

Civil record information, whether processed locally or federally, is retrieved directly from the courthouse. The information provided within a civil records report is very accurate.

Determining Whether to Include Civil in Your Reports

For some industries and within certain departments, a civil records search can be very important, providing valuable insights for employers to use when filling key positions. For more information on whether or not it makes sense to incorporate civil information into your new hire screening reports, check out this article.