Court Diligence
Court Diligence, LLC
What we hope ever to do with ease, we must first learn to do with diligence.
—Samuel Johnson
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Frequently Asked Questions

What are your prices?
Our price for a full, two-part criminal record search of both District and Justice Courts is generally between $2.50 and $4.75 depending on the county ordered. (** The weighted average based on each county's population, is $3.44)

This price range assumes that names are not pre-screened prior to submission, and that hit rates are less than 12%.

Civil searches are priced the same as criminal searches, with the restriction that they are offered only to customers whose volume of criminal searches significantly exceeds the volume of civil record searches.

Orders for criminal searches are always treated as full 2-court searches, i.e., as "Felony+Misdemeanor"; we do not currently offer "felony" or "misdemeanor" as stand-alone products.

Similarly, Orders for civil searches are always treated as full 2-court searches, i.e., as "Civil Upper+Civil Lower"; we do not currently offer upper and lower as stand-alone products.
What is your turnaround time?
Turnaround time varies by county.  However, in general, approximately 75% of searches are completed in 6-72 hours.

There are 57 Justice courts in the 56 counties in Montana.  Forty-six of these Justice courts have No Public Access.  In other words, the turnaround time is at the mercy of the court clerks.  About a dozen of these these 46 Justice Courts claim that they are badly understaffed, and have been known to take as long as 4-7 business days.  
Do you search both felonies and misdemeanors?
Absolutely.  For felonies, we search District Court, where all felonies are filed.  For misdemeanors we search Justice Court.

In the majority of counties, we also often are able (at no extra charge) to search City Court, which also handles misdemeanor cases, so long as the clerk of Justice Court has access to the City Court's records.
Do you report infractions and traffic offenses?
We report any criminal case that is found in either District Court or Justice Court, regardless of how minor the charge, with the following exceptions:  

1. If the case is so minor that the defendant is granted the option of "bond forfeiture" as opposed to a disposition of "guilty," then the case will not be reported.  The most common example of this in Montana is Seat-belt Violation.

2. A simple Moving Violation (simple traffic) or parking offense is not reported unless these offenses are part of a case that contains at least one charge that is more serious than these.
Do you report dismissed cases and pending cases, or convictions only?
Our policy, by default, is to report all cases: Active cases, Dismissed cases and Convictions.  If the client instructs us to only report convictions, we can filter out non-convictions.
What information is reported if a record, or possible record, is found?
A. IDENTIFIERS: Typically we are able to obtain, and will report D/O/B, Y/O/B, or age on file;  Full Name on file; Alias(es) found on file.  Any discrepancies will be highlighted.  

Occasionally (especially if one of the above identifiers is missing or discrepant) we will report additional identifiers, provided they exist on the court file. Examples include, Address on file; SSN or partial SSN on file.  Driver's License number on File.

B. CASE INFORMATION: Typically we are able to obtain, and will report: Case number, File date, Disposition date, Offense/Arrest Date, Charge, Severity, Degree, Disposition, Sentence, Post-sentence actions, Active Warrants, and other notations found on file that are clearly pertinent to the case.
How many years back do you search?
Our default minimum is to search 10 years for felonies and seven years for misdemeanors.

FELONY - Extended Scope: In the 54 District Courts with a public access terminal (PAT) we will search for felonies back as far as the index goes, usually around 20 years, at no extra charge.  If the felony is older than 10 years, we will report it only if there was a conviction.  

MISDEMEANOR - Extended Scope: Obviously, a minimum of 7 years will be searched and reported.  We do not search further than that for several reasons: First, the clerks pretty much decide on their own whether they will report beyond 7 years (often they do at no charge, depending on the county).  Other courts have a "per-year-charge" beyond 7 years, so they limit it at 7 unless they are paid for more.  IN SUMMARY you can count on 7 years.  You will sometimes get more at no extra charge.  And if you REALLY need more than 7 years, it needs to be explicitly requested on your order, and you should be prepared to pay a per-year fee for each year beyond the 7th.

Do you use hands-on field researchers in each county?
No, though we have by far the largest network of field researchers in the state (currently 26 individuals).  Some of these researchers handle more than one county: Currently, we have covered 83% of the population of Montana.

The other 17% of the population is covered by our direct communication with the court, usually by mail with a pre-paid fee.  These tend to be the smallest, and most remote counties in entire country, where there simply is no researcher to be had (we know this because every 3 months we survey all 56 counties and ask if ANYONE, EVER comes into their court to do criminal record research).  Even in these cases, we have the advantage of being Montana-based, significantly reducing mail times compared to a provider or CRA who would be mailing from out of state.
Do you provide document retrieval services?
Yes, in any Montana District or Justice Court.  Our price for document retrieval is $5.00 to determine IF there are copies (i.e., if there is a record on the person in the county).  If there if it turns out the person has no record in the county, then the total charge to determine that fact is $5.00.

If in fact the person has a record in the court, the next step is for us to try to determine how many pages the court would be printing (and ask them to not to produce "irrelevant" pages).  We would then inquire with you as to whether you wanted to proceed with obtaining the copies.  If you do, the charge is a flat $20.00 plus $1.75 per page.
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