Those of you who have been following my musings over the past year on my prior blog, PI News Link, know the pitfalls of the California court indexes maintained by the data brokers. My posting, Court Records Site Surveys-Part Four, pointed to data gaps in the county indexes – even those that fall within the inclusive dates. I highlighted a comparative search of the Santa Clara County online government site index and that of a data broker.
Recently I performed a similar search of the San Francisco County online government site index. I searched the party name, which returned a half dozen cases from 1996 and 1997. I ran the same search at Merlindata. Its civil cases are indexed from 01/04/1988 to 09/20/2001. None of the cases appeared in their index. What’s going on?
Merlindata court records, as with any other vendor, are only as good as the data the court provides. The San Francisco Court hasn’t sold their court index information for 5 years and may have added older cases that weren’t included in prior years.
Have any of you noticed a similar problem? I’m wondering if non California court data is equally flawed.