Glossary of Private Investigator Company Terms and Definitions
Civil Court Record
Records are available from any county in the United States. Records often include useful information such as lawsuits, restraining orders, divorces, name changes, automobile accidents, and injuries.

Many Websites will offer to get you these records for "$19.95," do not be fooled. They will merely give you a list of cases (with no case details) of files matching your subject's name, with no verification it is actually your subject.

Criminal Court Record
Records are available from any county in the United States and include a subject's criminal record dating back seven years (longer upon request — no additional charge in most cases).

As with Civil Court Records, many Websites will offer to get you Criminal Court Records for a low, flat fee; however, they will not provide the details of the case nor do they verify that the results actually belong to your subject.

DMV Record
A DMV Record will show height, weight, eye color, hair color, middle name, accidents, violations, actions, drunken driving arrests, tickets, vehicles, etc. This information is provided as part of either our Background Investigation service or commercial records review service.

Includes lower court civil judgments such as municipal and small claims actions not already included in a civil court search. Judgment information is included as part of either our Background Investigation service or commercial records review service.

County Government Center
The courthouse or city hall in the county seat.

Covert Camera
A covert camera is a hidden camera. Sometimes this means utilizing a small video camera in a discrete way, other times, it means filming with cameras hidden in objects that one would never assume held such a device. Bear in mind that other private investigators may boast about the gadgets they use; however, without an experienced investigator, the slick gear is useless—and so is their "investigation."

GPS Tracking
If your name is on the vehicle's title, we can track the vehicle and the subject's comings and goings. This is very useful in cases of Marital and Domestic Surveillance.

Sub Rosa
Translated from Latin, this means "under the rose" and is a term frequently used for surveillance but can also mean any type of undercover or discrete investigation. We provide sub rosa/surveillance services both to private parties and to commercial firms. Read more about our Surveillance Services or Undercover Operations.

Online Presence Canvass
Today, so much of our lives—public and private, plays out on the Internet. An Online Presence Canvass can be used to investigate a subject's Online activity, whether it is on social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. Or possible sources of income from Online marketplaces like Ebay, Craigslist, and Amazon. This service is offered with our Background Investigation, Pre-Employment Background Check, and Tenant Screening.

Pretexting is an effective tool in order to make contact with a subject without raising suspicion. For example, if we want to confirm the residence of a subject, we can use the pretext of a "missing dog" to knock on their door. Pretexting can be conducted in-person, on the Internet, or over the phone. Although it may sound simple, effective pretexting requires experience and a quick wit to avoid detection.

Skiptracing refers to the process of locating the whereabouts of a difficult to find individual. The reasons for utilizing skiptracing are as varied as the methods used to find them. In the past, we have located witnesses for court matters, collected debts, and located missing heirs. Read more about our Skiptracing Services.

Consumer Affairs
These records are updated monthly. California Professional License Index searches up to 38 occupational license types to provide the name and address of the licensee, license number, date of original issuance, and date of expiration. Status of license is also provided.

Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB)
The WCAB records cover any work-related injuries that are taken to court. Records are available from 1992 to present, and in many cases go back farther than that. For an additional fee, records can be retrieved from a specific region dating back to approximately 1970. WCAB records may not be used to deny employment to a prospective applicant.

A term that is used in reference to workers' compensation investigations. Did the injury "arise out of employment" or in the "course of employment," or in other words, did it happen at work and/or due to work? Contact our parent company, Western Limited for additional information regarding workers' compensation investigations.

Subrogation refers to the substitution of one person for another, giving the substitute the same legal rights and responsibilities as the original party. For example, a construction worker is utilizing a safety harness to perform his usual duties and a component on that harness breaks, causing him to fall and sustain an injury. There are several factors that come into play; however, the company that actually made the harness may be financially responsible for the employee's injury and time lost from work. Contact Western Limited if you believe you may have a Subrogation case.

A right to keep property belonging to another person until a debt is paid.

If you would like to proceed, please click on "Quote," provide request details on our secure and confidential form and a representative will contact you on the same business day with a free quote.


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California Department of Insurance / Bureau of Security and investigative services


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