open-public-records

Can a Person Find Out If Their Records Are Being Requested?

Employers have guidelines to conduct a background check while others do not, with the assumption that all those records are public. Public records can be accessed by anyone looking unless the record has been sealed, expunged or removed. Employers need to provide notice or request authorization to conduct a background check per state law. In other instances, generally anyone can request, retrieve, view and obtain public records without any notice given to the person named in the record. Your records are openly available to the general public under state statutes.

Since public records can be found in a large variety of different places and sites, giving notice to the person named in the record may not even be possible. One of the most commonly searched records are from thousands of courts across the country. From bankruptcy to criminal filings, divorces to judgments, courts offer a wealth of public records. Many of these records are available online, some with fees and others are completely open to be searched by the general public anytime. This in turn, means that millions of records are regularly accessed by the public without the knowledge of the individual named in the record.

Can I protect or hide my public records from the public? With a court order, which includes expunging, sealing or a complete removal, ultimately, relying on whether you are granted the court's order/approval. Obtaining this type of court order is not always easy, the case must be made in line with the law. Without a court order, your records can continue to be provided to the public without your knowledge.

Are there restrictions or requirements to access my personal records? Yes, there are certain public records, such as vital records, that have restrictions, which vary from one state to another. You can sometimes find the statutes mentioned where the requests are made online.