The Role of Court Runners in Thorough Public Records Searches


What is a Court Runner?

Court runners are responsible for transporting documents to or from a court. These individuals can work for law firms or be independently contracted to deliver and pick up the documents promptly, given the time-sensitive nature of most use cases. These court runners are essential for retrieving documented information from counties that may not be otherwise accessible online for an investigation.

Court Runners in Due Diligence

With over 3,000 counties nationwide and many courthouses not digitized, relying solely on online sources can be perilously insufficient. In Q1, 12% of all criminal records Vcheck identified and reported were through court runners. This means these criminal hits did not appear in online sources or database aggregators that many firms rely upon to avoid the cost and time of using court runner services. Ensuring comprehensive public records due diligence is not merely about accessing databases and conducting research online; it’s about ensuring the research is as exhaustive as possible. This is where court runners play an essential role.

Court runners are critical in bridging the gap between digital records and those only available in physical form at courthouses. 30% of courthouses and records are not available online. This human element in data retrieval ensures complete coverage of a person or entity’s footprint. When deploying court runners, it is also essential that they search all places where there could be records. For example, many firms that use court runners fail to send them to the recorder’s office because it is a separate trip, and the office does not have litigation or criminal records. However, tax liens are filed at the recorder’s office, and Vcheck has uncovered tax liens via court runners at a greater frequency than criminal records. Due to the higher cost and upkeep required to maintain a network, some diligence providers are moving away from employing court runners altogether. Still, the investment significantly enhances the integrity and thoroughness of due diligence.

Risks of Forgoing Court Runners

Why should you ensure that court runners are being used? The potential risks of not utilizing their services are significant. Failing to use court runners can greatly increase the risk of not getting a full picture of a subject’s total liabilities. These omissions can lead to serious oversights, with a business or individual appearing legally and financially clear when substantial undisclosed liabilities linger.

Vcheck sees court runners as essential to offering peace of mind and ensuring that all stones have been turned in the search for truth. By ensuring comprehensive coverage, court runners protect against the risks of incomplete information, which can have far-reaching consequences. Their diligent work leaves no room for doubt, providing a sense of confidence in the thoroughness of the process.

Ask your provider if they are using court runners to conduct comprehensive searches. At Vcheck, we have court runners on the ground across the U.S. and internationally to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information when digital records fall short.

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