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Posts Tagged ‘Public Records’

Competative Intelligence Update September 2013

Posted by Bill on October 8, 2013

One of the most popular sites for many investigators, attorneys and researchers is Sabrina I. Pacifici’s fantastic Competitive Intelligence site. See Competitive Intelligence Guide – Updated as of September 2013.

Sabrina I. Pacifici is Founder, Editor, Publisher of LLRX.Com; (established in 1996), the free web journal consistently recognized as a publisher of comprehensive, meticulously documented, non-partisan guides and content-rich resources, commentary and actionable information on Internet research and web-related current awareness issues invaluable to legal, academic, corporate, government and public interest researchers. LLRX  is a great site to keep up with all the latest in legal and technology resources.

Good reading and keep investigating and pay no attention to the forced WordPress Ads that pop up.

Bill Lowrance
Lowrance Law LLC
Attorney, Investigator and Legal Consultant

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PIAVA, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, surveillance | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Competitive Intelligence Update July 2012

Posted by Bill on August 26, 2012

One of the most popular sites for many investigators, attorneys and researchers is Sabrina I. Pacifici’s fantastic Competitive Intelligence site. See Competitive Intelligence Update July 2012

Sabrina I. Pacifici is Founder, Editor, Publisher of LLRX.Com; (established in 1996), the free web journal consistently recognized as a publisher of comprehensive, meticulously documented, non-partisan guides and content-rich resources, commentary and actionable information on Internet research and web-related current awareness issues invaluable to legal, academic, corporate, government and public interest researchers. LLRX  is a great site to keep up with all the latest in legal and technology resources.

Good reading and keep investigating.

Bill Lowrance
Lowrance Law LLC
Attorney, Investigator and Legal Consultant

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, private investigations, private investigator, Research | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Competitive Intelligence & Internet Research-Update

Posted by Bill on May 5, 2011

Well, Sabrina I. Pacifici did another amazing job of updating her Competitive Intelligence resource at  Competitive Intelligence. If you want to have one resource that assists you in conducting thorough research, this site is for you. Sabrina is founder and solo Editor, Publisher of LLRX.com, a valuable site for research and resources. Check it out. Sabrina updated her guide in March of this year. The guide is a valuable resource for researching everything and anything. Private investigators, attorneys, researchers and the general public will find the guide a very useful tool.

The site has every type of search engine, people tracking resources, business resources and resources for search news, TV and radio news transcripts.

My one word explanation —- Wow!

Bill Lowrance
Attorney, private investigator, legal consultant
www.lowrancelaw.com

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Business Intelligence Online

Posted by Bill on April 11, 2010

A great online resource for business intelligence by By Marcus P. Zillman, Published on February 3, 2010, is on LLRX .com.  It lists hundreds of sites to conduct business research.  Go to http://tinyurl.com/ybm8yue and check it out.

Bill Lowrance
Attorney & Private Investigator
www.lowrancelaw.com
McLean, VA
703 506 1600

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

New and Revised Competitive Intelligence Resources–2009

Posted by Bill on October 19, 2009

From Be Spacific, news about Sabrina I. Pacifici’s “Competitive Intelligence – A Selective Resource Guide – Updated and Revised October 2009” research “master tool” to learn about companies, people and other things via free/lowcosts Internet sites. This is the “best of list” of the Internet. Great links, great research tools. See LLRX CIGuide 

Great investigative resource. Check it out.

Bill Lowrance

Lowrance Law LLC and Information Insights Inc

Posted in Investigations, Links, PI Chatter, private investigations, private investigator, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CIA World Fact Book 2010

Posted by Bill on October 14, 2009

The CIA published its new World Fact Book. Its available in paper or on Web.

See CIA World Fact Book

Bill Lowrance

Lowrance Law LLC

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, private investigations, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

VA Freedom of Information Advisory Council

Posted by Bill on June 8, 2009

Interesting public records activity in Virginia.

The Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council, FOIA Council , is having a meeting today the Personal Identifying Information Subcommittee of the FOIA Council. Meeting is today, Monday, June 8, 2009, 1 p.m., in the Speaker’s Conference Room, Sixth Floor, General Assembly Building, 910 Capitol St., Richmond, VA.  See Memo and agenda HERE

Agenda includes:

Review of bills referred by the 2009 Session for further study by the FOIA Council:

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; disclosure of official records; exceptions. Provides that records of the Department shall be subject to the disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, except that personal information, as defined in § 2.2-3801, of individual applicants for or holders of any hunting, fishing, boating, or trapping license issued by an agent of the Department shall be withheld from public disclosure, provided that such individuals have requested that the Department not disclose such information. However, statistical summaries, abstracts, or other records containing information in an aggregate form that does not identify individual applicants or licensees shall be disclosed. The bill provides, however, that such information may be released (i) in accordance with a proper judicial order, (ii) to any law-enforcement agency, officer, or authorized agent thereof acting in the performance of official law-enforcement duties, or (iii) to any person who is the subject of the record.

HB 2471 (Hugo); Freedom of Information Act; salary records of teachers. Provides that the disclosure of the names of individual teachers is not required under FOIA in response to a request for the official salary or rate of pay of employees of a local school board.

HB 2630 (Crockett-Stark); Law-Enforcement Officers’ Privacy Protection Act. Allows a law-enforcement officer to request that personal information about the officer be withheld from disclosure on public records. For purposes of the Act, “personal information” includes the officer’s name, social security number, address, phone number, and any other information that could be used to physically locate the officer. NOTE:  You will recall that Delegate Crockett-Stark was present at the April 27, 2009 FOIA Council meeting to discuss HB 2630.  She indicated that there is a similar law in place in Ohio that was enacted because a family member of a law enforcement officer was murdered after personal information about the officer was made available. She stated that her sheriff had requested a similar law in Virginia.  Staff noted that in Virginia personal information about public employees is exempt from FOIA; however, real property assessment records and court records are open to the public as a matter of law.   The Council noted that there are two competing policies at work in this instance– privacy versus a community’s awareness of the identity of its officers.  The Council asked Delegate Crockett-Stark to have her contact call Delegate Griffith to identify the specific issue of concern so that the scope of the bill could be narrowed to address the issue.

SB 1332 (Cuccinelli); Private entities operating, managing, or supervising any portion of the state highway system. Provides that a private entity that operates, manages, or supervises any portion of the state highway system and receives funding from the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions shall be considered a public body for purposes of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) of the Code of Virginia as it relates to that portion of the private entity’s business operations responsible for operating, managing, or supervising the portion of the state highway system. 

At the April 27, 2009 FOIA Council meeting, members of the Council agreed that the issue behind this bill was unclear.  Senator Griffith directed staff to re-invite Senator Cuccinelli to address the Council at its next meeting.  Therefore no action is required by the Subcommittee at this time.
 
Social Security Numbers and the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (GDCDPA):

Collection of SSNs: The Council has already indicated its intent to continue studying this area, which will coincide with the analysis of the results of last year’s survey regarding collection and use of SSNs.  This year’s study will focus on identifying and eliminating the unnecessary collection of SSNs by government. It is hoped that by limiting collection in the first instance, the need for additional protections to be added later will be reduced or eliminated.  In addition, because the SSN survey produced an unexpectedly large volume of responses that necessitated additional time for analysis, SB 1318/HB 2426 were passed in 2009 as recommendations of the FOIA Council to delay until 2010 the implementation date prohibiting the collection of an individual’s social security number unless collection of such number is (i) authorized or required by state or federal law and (ii) essential for the performance of that agency’s duties.  Note that in light of HB 2427 (May), establishing the Protection of Social Security Numbers Act, as discussed below, the Council needs to decide what further action, if any, needs to be taken

Disclosure of SSNs: HB 2427 (May) establishes the Protection of Social Security Numbers Act (the Act), which will become effective July 1, 2009.  In brief, the Act exempts from FOIA the first five digits of SSNs except under certain limited circumstances, and provides penalties for improper disclosure.  The final four digits of SSNs found in public records will remain open to public disclosure under FOIA.   In past meetings the Council has debated the merits of this and other protective schemes that would limit the disclosure of SSNs.  Again, the Act’s passage in 2009 raises the question of whether any further action regarding disclosure of SSNs is necessary at this time, and if so, what form should that action take.

Bill Lowrance

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Competitivie Intelligence Search Tools

Posted by Bill on March 31, 2009

Excellent stuff:

Competitive Intelligence – A Selective Resource Guide – Updated and Revised March 2009 — Click  LLRX

Sabrina I. Pacifici’s completely revised and updated pathfinder focuses on leveraging selected reliable, focused, free and low cost sites and sources to effectively profile and monitor companies, markets, countries, people, and issues. This guide is a “best of list” of web, database and email alert products, services and tools, as well as links to content specific sources produced by governments, academia, NGOs, the media and various publishers.

Bill Lowrance
McLean, VA
www.informationinsightsinc.com

www.lowrancelaw.com

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Public Court Records–Free

Posted by Bill on February 13, 2009

The New York Times has interesting story today about PACER the government run federal courts database. See Pacer Here  NYT Story

PACER is the US government site for federal court records.  Pending case information is available along with old, closed case information.  You need an account with them so that you can search the database.  Also, you have to pay 8 cents per page for downloading.  Almost all federal courts are on the system, and you can search by name, case number and in all or individual courts.

According to the NYT story Public Resource is taking the case information from the PACER system and making the information publicly available without charge.  It is a good site to check out if you are doing public record research.

Bill Lowrance

Check out new law firm Lowrance Law LLC

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

SEC Edgar No More

Posted by Bill on September 1, 2008

SEC Announces Successor to EDGAR Database“IDEA” Will Make Company and Fund Information Interactive

Washington, D.C., Aug. 19, 2008 — Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox today unveiled the successor to the agency’s 1980s-era EDGAR database, which will give investors far faster and easier access to key financial information about public companies and mutual funds.

Read whole story:  Click Here

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA www.piava.org

Posted in Investigations, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Virginia Courts Digitally Scanning Court Records

Posted by Bill on May 11, 2008

  Virginia Clerks of the Courts are scanning court records allowing electronic access to court documents normally seen only in the paper file in the clerk’s office.   Lawyers have expressed concern about their client’s personal information in the court records will be seen by anyone on the Internet. 

Read the whole story here: Virginia Lawyers Weekly

Bill Lowrance

President Piava

Information Insights Inc.

 

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Criminal Records Research

Posted by Bill on April 7, 2008

  One of the best public records online search systems is SearchSystems.net.  We have a link to Search Systems in the left column.   Search Systems says it has the “largest, most up-to-date and reliable directory of public records and best resource for background checks and criminal records on the Internet. Online since 1997 and ranked Number for public records since 2001, SearchSystems.net continues to be by far the best resource of business information, corporate filings, property records, deeds, mortgages, criminal and civil court filings, inmates, offenders, births, deaths, marriages, unclaimed property, professional licenses, and much more. Easy access to billions of records!”

Recently, Search Systems put up a Criminal Records Search Guide on its web site.  See Criminal Records Search Guide

The Guide contains a lot of good information about criminal records such as how and where you find them, catagories of records, searches for records and the truth about a national criminal records search.  If you need to search a lot of public records, sign up for a SearchSystems.net account.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc., McLean, VA

 

Posted in attorneys, fraud, Investigations, lawyers, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Public Court Records Access In Danger?

Posted by Bill on February 14, 2008

justice.jpg  From the Capital Blog, Ohio, Capital Blog, a view of public records and access to court records from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio.  Ohio’s Supreme Court has drafted rules for public access to court records.  See draft Supreme Court of Ohio Rules

Chief Justice Moyer writes a good explanation of issues facing courts today and how much “public” court information and filings should be available for access via the internet or at the courthouse.   The Ohio Supreme Court rules govern how the public accesses court records.  Before the internet, many, many years ago, anyone could go to the courthouse and comb through all public records filings.  

Public records are valuable resources for the news media, public and private investigators, genealogists and other researchers.  With advent of the internet and the availability of public record information on-line, private information contained in public records is for the taking by a click of the mouse.  Where is the line drawn for public access to public records and electronic access to private information contained in public records.  This is the issue the Ohio Supreme Court is addressing. 

I quickly read over the proposed rules, and the Court is trying to balance the access to public records while still protecting electronic access to private information contained in some public records.  While availability of public record information may be limited through internet access, it is important to maintain complete access to public records at the courthouse. 

The Virginia Supreme Court conducted a similar effort last year in proposing amended rules for accessing court records.  See Prior Post  The Virginia Supreme Court, as well as the Ohio Supreme Court, allows subjects of a case to request limited public access.  If a person is conducting research at the courthouse and the record is limited, the researcher will have to request the court’s permission to access the redacted information.  How is this accomplished?  No answer is available at this time.

Now, below is a quote Chief Justice Moyer emphasized, so true, so true:   

“Public records are the people’s records. The officials in whose custody they happen to be are mere trustees for the people . . .”  So wrote Judge Rufus B. Smith of the Superior Court of Cincinnati (a body that no longer exists) in 1901.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc.

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Research, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Want To Find Public Records Online?

Posted by Bill on February 14, 2008

forms.jpg  This is good site to start and look for basics of finidng public records online.  Check it out.  It is not the professional investigator, but for the “do it yourselfers” take a look.

A quote from the site:

A brief note

All of the following web sites and methods of discovery are absolutely free, unless stated otherwise. There are many sites out there that advertise themselves as being free, but charge for their services – and they are not providing anything that you can’t find yourself. If you do end up having to pay for something, it will most likely be at a physical location (i.e., a courthouse) in order to procure a copy of a particular public record

Where-to-find-public-records-online

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc.

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Vermont’s Public Records

Posted by Bill on January 6, 2008

books-2.jpg   According to the Burlington, VT, Free Press editorial, the Vermont legislature has at least two bills pending that would limit public access to court records and other public information.  Summary is below.  For whole story  Click Here

“This year, the assault on open government in Vermont is getting an early start.Even before the opening gavel falls on the legislative session, at least two bills that would limit public access to court records and information on death certificates await consideration. One bill seeks to delete Social Security numbers and causes of death from death certificates, information long available on the public documents. The other would prohibit the state judiciary from posting court documents on the Internet, something federal courts have been doing for some time.”

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Public Records On The Web–Interesting Site

Posted by Bill on December 29, 2007

public.jpg  Thanks to Abbie Mulvhill, Law Librarian, DC, AbsTracked Blog, for this reference to Public Records Wire, an open system for cataloging, sharing and discovering new public records databases. The system promotes the databases that are most used and voted upon with the goal of enhancing overall quality of public records databases.

You can find a lot of public records from this site–a good resource.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

 

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

IRS To Redact SSNs On Tax Liens

Posted by Bill on December 24, 2007

irs  The IRS announced recently that it will redact SSNs on Federal Tax Liens that are filed in public records.  Usually, if you search public records you will find Federal and State tax liens.  The liens usually contained the full SSN of the subject.  Well, not anymore.  IRS will redact SSNs starting with filings in January 2008. See See IRS Article Here.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Madison County’s Sheriff Weaver Violates VA’s FOIA–Pay Up Sheriff $$$$$

Posted by Bill on December 21, 2007

dollar  Madison County, VA, Sheriff Erik J. Weaver must pay a $250 fine and the plaintiff’s court fees for willfully violating the state’s Freedom of Information Act, a judge ruled this week in Madison County General District Court.

Experts say the fine may have set a precedent for punishing public officials who fail to comply with open-records requests.  See Richmond Times Story  The court ruled Sheriff Weaver has to pay up with personal funds.  Sheriff Weaver’s response to the news story was “Weaver described Purdum’s (requester) case as a personal attack veiled in an FOIA request from a “former disgruntled employee.”

I hope the various government entities realize that public records mean Public Records

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in FOIA, Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Virginia | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ohio Private Investigators Against Curbing Public Court Records

Posted by Bill on December 20, 2007

The Columbus Dispatch reports today that private investigators, among others, submitted comments to the Ohio Supreme Court opposing the Court’s proposal to limit access to public court records, see Dispatch Story

The comments on the proposed rules — which came from court officials, lawyers, police officers, media interests and private investigators — will go to the Supreme Court’s Commission on Rules of Superintendence. That panel, which is headed by Justice Judith Lanzinger, can revise the rules before sending them to the full court for approval.

As discussed before in a post, Here, the Virginia Supreme Court drafted similar rules to limit access to Virginia Court records.  As far as we know, public comments were not asked for by the Virginia Supreme Court.  Public records should remain public.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Virginia | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Removing SSNs From Public Documents

Posted by Bill on December 13, 2007

The National Association of Secretaries of State published a white paper about “developing policies for removing social security numbers and other sensitive information from public documents.”  The title is Privacy, Public Access & Policymaking in State Redaction Practices.  The paper is on their website Here 

A survey section of the report details redaction practices in nineteen states.  The paper also calls for states to educate the public about identity theft.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

president@piava.org

Posted in fraud, Investigations, law enforcement, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records, Virginia | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »