Blog

 
     

What is Returned in a Civil History Background Check?

By Michael Klazema on 12/28/2018

Most pre-employment background checks focus on criminal history. In the course of conducting these checks, the employer—or, more accurately, the background check provider running the check for the employer—will often reach out to county, state, or federal courts. These court communications are a means of obtaining criminal records that pertain to the candidate. However, there is another type of court record check that background check companies can perform: civil court records.

A civil history check is fundamentally different from a criminal history check. Criminal charges or convictions are as viewed as crimes against the state and are brought by government prosecutors. Civil cases are different. A matter in civil court is brought not by the state but rather directly by the alleged victim or wronged party in the case. When someone sues another person for an alleged wrongdoing, that case is recorded as part of a civil court’s records.

What is returned in a civil history background check? The answer depends on the type of civil search. At backgroundchecks.com, we offer two types of civil history background checks: county and federal. Matters filed in a county civil court would show up on a county check, while matters heard at a higher level (a U.S. District Court) would show up on a federal civil history check.

The types of cases heard in county and federal civil courts vary significantly. A county civil court will typically have the authority to hear cases that pertain to matters of local or state law. Matters involving contracts, discrimination, eviction, car accidents, personal injury, nonpayment for goods, consumer rights, and product liability would typically be handled by a county civil court. The same is true for probate court cases or family law matters, including estate disputes, divorce, child support, and child custody. A civil history check run at a county court level would find any claims, suits, or judgments involving the subject of the background check report—whether the candidate was the plaintiff or the defendant.

Federal civil records include different types of cases. A civil history check looking at the federal level would pull records concerning the candidate that were heard in a U.S. District Court. Any case involving the government—including the federal government, state governments, or county and municipal governments—will be heard at this level.

If a job candidate previously sued the government over a violation of constitutional rights, that case would be returned through a search of the appropriate U.S. District Court. Similarly, if the government sued a business owner over a violation of federal regulations, that case would show up on a federal civil history check. Other matters involving civil rights, interstate commerce, tax disputes, financial institutions, government regulations, and civilian-government disputes would also show up on this type of background check.

Contrary to popular belief, bankruptcy information is not among the details returned in a civil background check. Bankruptcies are typically handled by U.S. federal districts in a separate court from civil cases. As a result, searching for this information will require a different type of background check.


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • October 29

    Employment discrimination doesn’t happen only at the hiring stage. Recent EEOC settlements showcase the importance of fairness in the workplace and the potential consequences of violations for business owners.

  • October 28

    What are teacher background checks? What about other school background checks? We look at the steps that schools take to ensure a safe environment for students and employees.

  • October 27

    Locksmiths are only sometimes regulated, depending on the county. We look at why locksmith background checks and contractor background screening matter.

  • October 22 Most states use a “ban the box” rule to prevent discrimination in hiring. Employers must stay up-to-date with changes to these rules—here’s the latest.
  • October 21

    COVID-19 and its fallout has reshaped recruitment, hiring, and work in profound and fundamental ways. Here’s what you should know about how the ongoing recovery of the economy and job market might transform your recruitment in 2020.

  • October 20 — We examine the new educational normal that COVID-19 is creating and what it could mean for the future of schooling.
  • October 20

    A new lawsuit from a recently-fired-executive within New York City’s Department of Education Office of Pupil Transportation alleges that the city’s school bus driving system has been mismanaged on multiple levels. Allegations in the lawsuit include fraud, breaches in ethics, and incomplete bus driver background checks. 

     

  • October 15 After decades of abuse allegations spilled out in the early 2000s, the Catholic Church pledged to do more to stop abuse. A new investigation reveals many shortcomings.
  • October 14

    Most landlords perform background checks on prospective tenants. What do those checks typically include? Learn all about tenant background checks.

  • October 13

    Criminal history checks and other background checks play a vital role in hiring, but they can also be a barrier to diversity and support employment discrimination (often unintentionally). Here’s what you need to know.