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A search of the civil courts, both at the county level and at federal level, will show if your candidate has been sued for any reason. The civil courts are where suits for collection of debts, for damages, for patent and trademark infringement, and for breach of contracts among many other cases are found. These searches do not show up in criminal court searches.
State/County Civil Courts
A search of the civil courts in a county will identify non-criminal litigation to which your candidate has been a party. It will identify suits filed by individuals or corporations, and include judgments for non-payment of goods and services, suits that arise from wrongdoing in business, fraud, product liability suits, violations of civil rights and, depending on the courts searched, litigation related to divorce, restraining orders, marriage, child custody and support. The civil court search can also uncover records pertaining to tax liens and other liens against business owners and principals.
Federal Civil Courts
A search of the federal courts can be an important addition to your background screening, as the federal courts cover matters that are not within the jurisdiction of the county courts. Federal Civil courts have jurisdiction over cases that cross state lines with dollar amounts in excess of $10,000, as well as federal statutes including the Department of Treasury, SEC fraud, EEOC, EPA and Civil Rights actions.