Research Resources

The goal of a project determines the searches to be done, whether they be on computer databases or also requests for public records, such as to a government agency. 

 

The key to locating information is knowing how to search, and where to search. The following list provides some but by no means all the searches I frequently use.

 

  • AlaCourt, which is Alabama's excellent court system search service. This pay service allows subscribers to search for all manner of court records, from traffic tickets to civil and criminal cases and divorce cases, and in every county in Alabama. In most cases, the actual filings are available, in addition to the dockets.

 

  • PACER is the federal court database. It allows nationwide searches for criminal and civil cases brought in federal courts, as well as bankruptcy cases.

 

  • Secretary of State websites, both for Alabama and other states. Secretary of State searches include but are not limited to corporations, UCC filings (for debt searches), and campaign finance records.

 

  • Pay services that provide, among other information, location and contact information on individuals, and, usually, neighbors and family members.

 

  • Probate Court and county tax records, which allow searches for property, liens and judgements, and other records.

 

  • Searches for professional licenses, including possible infractions and disciplinary actions against a subject or company.

 

  • Databases, pay and free, that allow in-depth searches of non-profits, including political organizations (401c4 groups) as well as charities and foundations.

 

  • Searches of newspaper databases.

 

Other common searches include: Social media searches; locating and reviewing SEC disclosures for public companies; locating the tax returns of non-profits; and in-depth Google searches.

Curran Research Services LLC

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