A civil matter is usually defined as a dispute between individuals or between individuals and businesses or between two businesses. In contrast, a criminal matter is defined as an offense against the state, something that jeopardizes the welfare of the population as a whole. Examples of common types of civil investigations include the following:
Disputes between individuals or businesses that arise for a multitude of reasons over money fall into this category. Generally, a lawsuit is the outcome and the judgment-creditor must then try to collect on the judgment.
Neighbors disagree on property lines, individuals dispute ownership of a piece of property, verbal agreements without written contracts and many more scenarios.
Someone dies while in police custody. That person's loved ones sue the police department for wrongful death, among other possible charges.
Automobile accidents are the most well-known example of this type of civil dispute.
If someone is injured while operating merchandise they purchased, they may sue the manufacturer as having liability. Slip and fall cases usually try to prove negligence.
Should a doctor fail to diagnose a condition that he or she should have seen, and that condition later incapacitates the patient, the doctor likely would be sued for Malpractice. This is only one of myriad scenarios in which a physiciaan would be vulnerable to a malpractice charge.
Employees who feign an injury acquired on the job, and claim they are unable to work, stay at home and collect workers' compensation checks. Many times, they aren't badly enough injured to stay home. A good PI can usually obtain video of them doing something they claim to be "unable" to do.
These are a few examples of investigations that would be considered civil. Any of these might call for one of the investigative techniques listed on our Services page: an Asset Search, a Background Investigation, Surveillance and conducting Interviews and taking Statements, for example.
Businesses often need to assess the service patrons receive when visiting their establishments. They might also need to ascertain that their employees are following government mandated procedures. We visit such establishments as a customer and provide a written assessment to the business.
Out-of-state clients often ask us to obtain a copy of a Deed of Trust, Marriage Certificate, Evidence of Resident Status and the like.
Our license as private investigators allows us to obtain records that the average person does not have access to. Motor vehicle records are among these.
When an individual with assets dies without a will, some relatives may be known but not others. The state is required to conduct a diligent search for living heirs before assets become the property of Uncle Sam.