Can I search a neighbor’s legal history if he claims to be a convicted felon?

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Can I search a neighbor’s legal history if he claims to be a convicted felon?

This guy moved in a month ago and has been a complete nightmare. He complains about his property line connected to our house and has gone as far as to cutting limbs from trees in our yard that he believes hang in his yard. He gets extremely mad at my husband whenever he has confronted him and threatened him numerous times while enraged. One police report has already been filed buy I fear for the safety of me and my husband.

Asked on August 27, 2016 under Personal Injury, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Anyone can search anyone's legal history for any reason. Sometimes records may be sealed, if there was expungement or it was a juvenile adjudication, but there is nothing illegal about the search, even in those cases (it's just that you won't turn up anything in the record is sealed). If you are willing to spend the money, hire an investigator to search for you--they know how to search criminal records. Otherwise, start with Google/internet searches; then, if you learn of potential criminal cases, you can search cases filings for those courts and/or send OPRA requests to the police or sheriff's, etc. departments involved.


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