Misplaced your keys? How about the key to winning your small claims case, or even moving forward with your claim. Often times a “misplaced” or “unreachable” defendant can make it difficult to proceed with your case since their cooperation (or at least their whereabouts) is necessary at many steps of the trial. For instance, it would be a good idea to know where your defendant is when: serving the defendant, collecting judgment from the defendant, and in general suing the defendant. Read on to discover how a skip trace can help locate your defendant and make your time at court a much easier one.

What is a Skip Trace?

The first word of the term “skip trace” comes from the phrase “skipping town,” or leaving your current address without leaving behind a forwarding one. Despite where the name comes from, it can be unintentionally done. For example, when someone relocates for a job or moves suddenly for personal reasons. At the same time, it can also be done intentionally as a way to avoid creditors, debt collectors, landlords, and even relatives.

The second element indicates what you are trying to do. Which is to trace their footsteps and ultimately find your “missing” or elusive person. Together, the term indicates a process used to find someone through gathering, organizing and analyzing large amounts of data on the individual.

How Can I Do a Skip Trace?

In order to do a skip trace, you must be willing to put in time looking up different sources.

Often times, people start with common sources including:

  • databases,
  • phonebooks,
  • Internet searches,
  • public service locations that house records (like the Post Office),
  • libraries and so on.

If the above sources don’t give you results, you can try more advanced methods that might take a little extra work or money such as looking through:

  • court files,
  • property and motor vehicle records, or
  • electronic databases held by law enforcement, government agencies, or other organizations

However, keep in mind that doing an amateur skip trace will most likely be hard, investigative work. In addition to that, each state has its own laws on who can look for certain people, and what licenses are required to do so.

Which is why most people hire a professional process server or attorney to locate their defendant. We here at SueYa offer the fastest services at the lowest prices. In addition to doing a skip trace, we can also do credit inquiries, asset discoveries, judgment collections, and much more. Click here to find out more.

To learn how to properly serve someone and file a proof of service, click here.

The Help When You Need It

Any time that you need help with your small claims case, reach out to us via LiveChat, on the phone at 1-888-SUE-YA-88.  Most clients successfully complete their small claims paperwork without issue.

Works Cited

Julia, Brooke. “What Is Skip Tracing?” EHow. Leaf Group, 14 Dec. 2008. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.

Lansing, Dan. “What Is Skip Tracing?” American Research Bureau | Skip Tracing Services. American Research Bureau, Inc., 12 May 2015. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.

“People Locate / Skip Trace.” PInow.com – Find Local Investigators. PInow,a Lawgical Company, n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.

ServeNow Staff. “What Is Skip Tracing?” ServeNow.com – Find Local Process Servers. ServeNow, a Lawgical Company, 24 Aug. 2011. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.

“What Is Skip Tracing?” WiseGEEK. Conjecture Corporation, n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.