Before filing a lawsuit in Maryland, or anywhere for that matter, you need to be able to find and serve the defendant. Usually, this is a breeze. But in a painful minority of cases, it can take real effort. Tracking down and locating defendants can get costly. In this economy, people are moving more quickly and leave less tracks when they move. Certainly, the most complete option is to hire a private investigator. Before jumping into that money pit, one effective weapon we use is Accurint which provides access to over 34 billion current public records that you can utilize to find your man or woman.
What is your next step….a Whitepages search? Perhaps the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation? Well, that will tell you if your Defendant sold his property, if he OWNED the property, but not where he went. Maybe a Maryland Judiciary Case Search? Let’s be serious, not everyone can be found….you may have a fresh defendant that has never been sued, and has never broken the law. And let’s not just pick on the Defendants. I have certainly had clients whose mail is returned as “moved – left no forwarding address”, that’s always appreciated, right?
In my office, Accurint gets used on a daily basis, probably hourly. Accurint provides information that allows users to quickly and easily extract valuable knowledge from huge amounts of data. You can access thousands of data sources, from phone directories to property records to motor vehicle registrations.
As with anything, the more information you have, the better. But, simply having the first and last name will get you started. A name like Robert Smith is clearly more of a challenge (which is where extra information comes in handy). For a relatively small fee ($2 to $11) per search fee, you have access to Accurint’s database of twenty-two years of address history. Accurint can instantly find people, as well as their relatives, associates, and even their assets.
Accurint requires a promise to use this information for appropriate uses. So don’t use it to track down your high school sweetheart or to get that number your got and lost from the club. But for Maryland accident lawyers trying to track down defendants, it is one of our first lines of attack.