Over the past few years, Capitol Services has taken every opportunity through our newsletters, webinar offerings, and educational social media posts to promote the value of comprehensive searching when it comes to litigation and bankruptcy due-diligence. There are over 3,000 counties in the U.S., and within those counties there are multiple courts hearing civil cases. Because there is no nationwide search database, those hunting for cases and judgments must determine which courts need to be researched. Regardless of where an entity is domiciled, they may be sued in multiple jurisdictions across the states. Entities filing for bankruptcy may forum-shop to determine which jurisdiction will be most beneficial in regard to their situation. Researchers must have a firm grasp on the details of all courts available so they may make an educated decision on how deep they wish to dig.
It is our understanding that some other search providers in our industry are including state courts with general jurisdiction on their lien search estimates, but omitting some local courts that may be equally important to our customers. Though this might make a competitive estimate look great on its bottom line – what are you missing that could have dire consequences when details are later reviewed? Don’t forget the old adage you get what you pay for.
Superior and Chancery courts in Delaware with general jurisdiction are often searched, but we regularly see competitors omitting the Court of Common Pleas within the state of Delaware. Not only do these courts hear civil cases with damages up to $50,000, but Delaware’s popularity for incorporation means that a wide variety of entities would find a nexus for litigation here.
In Texas, our District courts have general jurisdiction, hearing civil cases with no limit to their damages. Our county courts at law hear civil cases up to $200,000 in total damages. Because we feel this is significant, we include these courts on our client estimates and give you the option to include or omit before proceeding with the search process.
Mississippi’s Circuit courts hear general jurisdiction cases, as do their Chancery courts. Are both included on the estimates you might be comparing? Because Mississippi’s county courts hear cases with damages up to $200,000, Capitol Services feel they are significant enough to include on our estimates to you. But our competitors are not offering nor searching these lower court jurisdictions.
With countless jurisdictions to keep track of across the nation, we want our customers to rest assured that we make it our business to know what is happening within each court’s purview and to put the power of choice into your hands when determining how robust you wish to make your lien and litigation search profile. Look beyond the bottom line when comparing competing estimates and give us an opportunity to share our valuable research with you so that you can make the most informed decisions possible.