Product Spotlight: Federal District Court Search

(Last Updated On: October 3, 2023)


Product Spotlight written by Sarah and Jim Trusilo


Using the Federal District Court Search in Your Organization:  All companies that are concerned about their applicants having a criminal record would benefit from conducting the Federal District Court Search.

What the Federal District Court Searches are Used For: The Federal District Court Searches are used to locate crimes tried by a federal district in the United States of America.  The specific crimes included are classified as federal offenses.

Why should I use the Federal District Court Search: Companies need to run the Federal District Court Search because local counties and criminal databases that are easily accessible do not contain any federal level crimes.  Further, federal courts do not share information with the county and state courts.

What is included in a Federal District Court Search? The Federal District Court Search is a search of the Public Access To Court Electronic Records (PACER) system’s “Name Index”. This allows searching for a name within all 94 federal districts in the United States. Federal Courts have jurisdiction over federal crimes, which can include crimes that occurred on federal property, crimes that occurred while crossing a state or national border, or crimes deemed as federal offenses.  Federal offenses include bank robbery, credit card fraud, arson, drug trafficking, human trafficking, firearm offenses, identity theft, fraud against investors, money laundering, as well as many others.  The U.S. Department of Justice has an extensive list of federal crimes and the agencies that handle those crimes on their website.  The search includes a minimum of seven years in the district specified.

How Federal District Court Searches are Searched: Justifacts uses an integrated process for all federal court searches.  Once Justifacts receives the order that includes permission from the candidate to conduct the search, the request is automatically sent out to the PACER system.  Due to concerns surrounding the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which requires the reporting of accurate information as it relates to a consumer/applicant, Justifacts will only report cases in which there are at least 2 pieces of identifying information.  Identifying information may be the name, date of birth, address, signature, or employers, for example.

Average Turnaround Time:  If there is no match, the result is available within 1 to 3 hours.  If there is a match found, Justifacts personnel will search the specific Federal District Court to obtain available case information.  In those cases, the results will typically be returned in 1 to 3 days.

Tips for Success: Like all criminal records, it is important to identify the names the applicant has used as well as where the applicant has lived and worked in the previous 7 years.  Having the applicant’s signature on hand can be useful in the event of a criminal hit where the Justifacts personnel has access to a signature on the Federal court records and would need to match the signatures.  This match would then be used as a piece of identifying information.

Pair it With: It is highly advised that you pair the Federal District Court Search with our Address History Verification Search, also known as a Social Security Trace.   This will provide Justifacts with the candidate’s names and addresses that are associated with their Social Security number.  Additionally, it is recommended that you include state or county level searches in the jurisdictions in which the candidate has lived and a National Criminal Database Search to help locate crimes tried in the county court systems.