Criminal Background Checks in the Time of COVID-19

criminal background checks in COVID-19

Criminal background checks rely on information provided by the courts. Courts across the country have been closed due to COVID-19.

I, for one, never thought I’d see the day that the COURTS closed.

Many have heard only the most pressing of cases. Some resorted to Zoom hearings. Interesting times, my friends, interesting times.

We have seen many hearings from coast-to-coast that were “Delayed Due to COVID” and haven’t been rescheduled. People are waiting for everything from arraignment to sentencing, the judicial version of soup-to-nuts.

In California, even with the rise in COVID-19 cases we see the courts continue to re-open.

New Jersey was among the states most severely impacted by COVID-19, and the courts are just beginning to see the light of day (which could go dark as cases start to rise as of this writing). No court records have been available since mid-March. The good news is, while New Jersey was a hands-on clerk search, they made great efforts and records from New Jersey are now available electronically (for a fee, of course). The backlog is huge after nearly five months, but our searchers are making progress as quickly as possible.

Outside of this, most courts are open in varying degrees, although some have closed their public record rooms.

And as I tell my clients, states are not jurisdictions, counties are. Which means the availability of records varies not state-by-state, but county-by-county and this is reflected in criminal background checks.

We didn’t see a lag in records from Riverside County, California, but we did in San Joaquin County. You get the idea.

What can we count on? That tomorrow may be different, and we are doing everything we can to provide timely, accurate information. Things will get (are getting?) better and Cutting Edge remains dedicated to its clients.

If you have a particular need, let us know and we will move mountains to do everything we can for you. There may be an alternate to the court record we can research, and will gladly put boots on the ground to get it for you. Just call—(714) 587-9166 or email Ann@CEBackgroundChecks.com. We’re there for you.