FTC: Consumer Privacy Comments Concerning Sarkis Detective Agency--P974806
Lic. No.: PI 6564
July 12, 1997
Secretary - F.T.C.
Dear Mr. Secretary:
In response to the Commission's request for additional comments following the hearing held on June 10th, I, as a licensed private investigator and regular user of both public and non-public records, feel I must provide my input.
My clients are usually attorneys. In some cases I am hired directly by a client. In either case it is the injured parties who will suffer terribly by the closure of records. Service of process will be virtually impossible.
Here in Los Angeles County civil litigation usually takes more than five (5) years to get to trial due to the overwhelming back log of cases. Witnesses and alleged victims move. Criminal and civil records are mandatory for the successful investigation of a case if for no other purpose than "creditability". Corporate records are necessary to uncover fraud and/or embezzlement. The list goes on. It would be an absolute injustice to allow only plaintiffs and prosecutors the opportunity to access vital information and would put the scales of justice totally off-balance.
In California private investigators have strict rules to abide by. Our licensing agency, the State of California's Dept. of Consumer Affairs, readily revokes licenses when wrong-doings have occurred. We, as an industry, routinely regulate our own and have no problems about turning neer do wells over to the proper authorities. After all, we do not need our competition unethically or illegally conducting their investigations when such conduct usually gives them the upper hand. We SELF POLICE.
I strongly urge you to reconsider any proposals about sealing records or making us accountable to the subjects of our investigations. This would only lead to guilty parties being exonerated and the injured party without any recourse.
I thank you in advance for any considerations you might afford us.