Civil Background Checks (Federal & County)

Civil Searches Help to Prevent Liability & Risk

Civil searches are conducted at the local county level and will help an employer identify if the applicant has any lawsuits brought against them by their former employer or any other person or entity.  Civil records can assist in hiring decisions. An employee’s civil records can reveal whether they were involved with wrongful termination lawsuits, harassment, and contract violations.  

Depending on the type of search conducted, civil court records may disclose the following:

  • Lawsuits
  • Judgments
  • Tax liens
  • Debt collection
  • Land usage
  • Interstate commerce (federal civil record search only)
  • Bankruptcy filings (federal civil record search only)

How Do Civil Searches Differ from Criminal?

1) Civil charges are filed by the wronged party, whereas criminal cases are by the federal, state, or local prosecutor.

2) Civil cases result in financial awards as opposed to incarceration.

3) Those who might not be found guilty in a criminal case might be held responsible in a civil case.

Civil searches will date back to seven years and include information regarding both the plaintiff and the defendant. Searches typically include the individual’s name, type of case, date opened and/or closed, date filed, case title, court location, and case number.

When the search returns, it will indicate whether or not the individual is ‘clear’ or ‘not clear.’ If there is nothing found, it will result in ‘clear,’ but if searching at just the county level, this does not mean the individual does not have records elsewhere. ‘Not clear’ will indicate that something has turned up, whether it’s still pending or already closed.

DISA offers background screening services to help ensure a safer hiring process. For more information on civil searches contact 1-800-752-6432.