Ann: “Cutting Edge, this is Ann.”
Customer (growls): “Where’s the results on Danny O’Toole?”
Ann (gulps coffee as though her life depended on it): “Let me take a look” (opens database). “We are waiting for the results of searches in San Diego.”
Customer: “That’s dumb. San Diego is big Metropolitan City. Why don’t you just get on that water-cooled CPU I know you have in your office and pull the records?”
Ann (wonders how he knows about her computer): “I can’t. San Diego has no automation.”
Customer: “Of course it does.”
Ann: “Does not.”
In the age of instant information, not all information is instant.
There are many jurisdictions in the country that aren’t automated, and have no online access, like Maine, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Cook County, Illinois, Tarrant County, Texas, Wyoming and Montana, parts of Arizona, and San Diego, Imperial and Monterey Counties, California. There’s a lot more, but I’m here to write a blog, not a book. You get the idea.
San Diego has no computer portals for public use. Searchers stand in line for a couple hours, get to the clerk’s window, and can submit five names for search. Then they go to the back of the line, and complete the process over and over and over again. If an applicant has more than five hits, the clerk pulls those five hits, and our searcher goes to the back of the line again until all the records are pulled.
That’s why San Diego takes so long. And if your subject has multiple hits, the wait compounds.
Some jurisdictions are simply far-flung and without automation. It just takes time for searchers to travel there.
And sometimes (speaking from a dreadful personal experience), in order to pull the records we go to the clerk because there isn’t sufficient information on the public portals. Usually when there are many records associated with a particular subject. And then we may be at the mercy of the court clerk. Who may not want to pull 10-15 cases. The clerks get to it when they want to.
If your searches are taking longer than you’d like, check with us. Chances are your applicant has criminal records in a tougher-than-usual jurisdiction to verify. We will do everything we can to make sure you get the results you want when you need them.