Connecticut Background Check

What is a Background Check in Connecticut?

A background check or background investigation is the process of researching and compiling past information on an individual in Connecticut. This information is usually gleaned from public records held by government organizations and departments. They include arrest records (warrants, felony and misdemeanor charges, incarcerations, sex offenses), vital records (marriage and divorce records, birth and death certificates, civil court hearings), property records (owned property, estimated values, purchased goods used as collateral), and bankruptcy records.  

FCRA Compliance in Connecticut Background Checks

Employers and creditors can do background checks on persons of interest per the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Generally, federal law requires the entity conducting the background check to obtain the subject's written consent, full name, social security number, and birth date. Furthermore, the employer or creditor must state how the information acquired in the report will be used or risk facing legal liabilities. Similarly, federal law specifies what information background screening organizations are permitted to disclose in a report.

Meanwhile, the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act let interested persons obtain publicly available information on a subject. This public records search does not require FCRA compliance. Even though these public records searches offer the same results as the FCRA compliant background checks, the accuracy of the material in these reports is not guaranteed because public records searches are non-FCRA compliant. As a result, neither an employer nor a creditor can utilize a non-FCRA background check report. Performing a public records search for a person's public records for information such as criminal records, court records, tax liens, and bankruptcy judgments is only permitted for informational purposes.

County Infrastructure

In the United States, a county is a political and geographic subdivision of a state, usually assigned some level of governmental authority. Many counties are divided into smaller political or governmental units, which may provide governmental or public services. The importance of the county infrastructure lays on the court legal procedures and incarceration infrastructure. Most court cases in Connecticut courts begin in one of the 8 superior or trial courts located in each of the state’s 8 counties. Each county demonstrates a judicial power and legal power by its courts. All small claim cases are assigned to the county courthouses, leaving them with the executive power over the sentence of the case.

Incarceration Infrastructure

The Connecticut Department of Correction is entitled to govern the majority of the imprisonment in the state of Connecticut, excluding juvenile incarceration, federal prisons, and county jails. The state of Connecticut registers 15 state prisons held by the Connecticut Department of Correction, 1 federal prison including a Federal Correctional Institutions, and 3 juvenile facilities held by the  Juvenile justice system in the state.

Criminal Records

A criminal record is defined as an official document that records a person’s criminal history including arrest records, warrant records, felony records, misdemeanor records, and sex offender registration information. The information is assembled and updated from local, county and state jurisdictions, trial courts, courts of appeals as well as county and state correctional facilities. The standard for criminal record collection and storage varies from county to county, but the majority of Connecticut criminal records are organized in online record depositories that are available to the public in the form of a Criminal Background Report.

Civil Records

A civil record is defined as the documents which keep, administrate, and maintain all records regarding a person’s most important life events. These records compile such documents as birth certificates, marriage records, divorce records, and death certificates. All the available records are gathered and stored in a permanent central registry state entity that is used to develop statistical analysis of its population presenting it to the public in a report. The records are compiled from the information presented by the bureaus of statistics and vital records, civil court cases, and vital indexes.

Bankruptcy Information

Bankruptcy is a legal status of a person or other entity that cannot repay the debts it owes to creditors. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor. While bankruptcy cases are always filed in United States Bankruptcy Court, an adjunct to the United State District Courts, bankruptcy cases, particularly with respect to the validity of claims and exemptions, are often dependent upon State law. The United States Code signed six types of bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. The most common types of personal bankruptcy for individuals are addressed in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 which compromise straight bankruptcy and Wage Earner Bankruptcy.

Why are Background Checks Available to the Public?

In late 1975, the Connecticut State Legislature passed a law named the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act. The Connecticut Freedom of Information Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies in Connecticut. Every person throughout the state can request access to all public records through the assigned specialized offices within its determined terms. The availability of the records extends to vital records, court records, criminal records, and bankruptcy information as these cases are governed by the Connecticut District Courts.

What Does Background Check Access Mean to the Public?

The Connecticut open meetings law legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. According to the  Freedom of Information Act, members of the public are entitled to free access to public records that include any recorded data or information about the conduct of the public’s business and people.