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Courthouse Closures During The Pandemic

April 21, 2020

Backgrounds Online is leveraging every tool at our disposal to provide current, accurate reports despite challenges such as temporary court closures.

Temporary Courthouse Closures

Organizations and individuals throughout the country are doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Many businesses, schools and government agencies are temporarily closed to protect employees and the public. This includes multiple courthouses, particularly those in urban areas.

During this difficult time, many businesses must continue to operate. Numerous organizations are hiring rapidly to meet the needs of consumers. An essential part of this process is running comprehensive criminal background checks.

Background reports show hiring managers if a candidate has violent or other serious convictions that could make them ineligible for employment. They help accelerate the decision-making process. So how can employers proceed if a county court from which they need records is currently closed?

Accessing Criminal Records

Backgrounds Online is here to provide assistance and help our client’s navigate through unexpected obstacles that arise during the pandemic. If a county court closure is likely affect the turnaround time for a background check, our team will:
• Inform clients of a potential delay.
• Check for current, accurate records via a court-operated portal or other means.
• Consider alternative data sources such as statewide or nationwide criminal searches.

When Records Aren’t Available

The length of most court closures is unknown. Each county has their own timeline regarding when they will re-open. We anticipate courts in rural areas opening first but safety will remain a top priority in determining when that will begin.

If a background check cannot be completed due to a courthouse closure, employers can hire candidates based on results that are available now. Hiring managers should inform their new employees that a second screening will be requested when possible. It should also clear that the results may be used to help the employer decide if each person is eligible for ongoing employment.

As Courts Re-Open

Backgrounds Online is actively processing background checks. As courts re-open, we will work diligently to obtain records that were not previously accessible.

Some businesses may keep their background checks open until a particular court re-opens. Others might close reports and request follow-up screenings in the future. Backgrounds Online is staying up-to-date with court closures and providing updates in another blog entry. We are also watching for news about courts re-opening and will share this information as they do. This empowers employers to know when background checks can be completed or new reports can be run.

Running Background Checks During The Pandemic

Organizations that are bringing on new employees still rely on background checks to get data that helps them make informed decisions and maintain safe work environments. Backgrounds Online continues to operate and partner with our clients throughout their hiring process.

Our expert team is available Monday through Friday from 7am to 5pm PT. We can help your organization create custom screening packages for any position and make accommodations for courthouse and other closures. If you have questions about anything related to screening, please contact us.

We hope you are safe and continuing to operate during this challenging time. Stay tuned to our blog for information about background screening during the pandemic.

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