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  • Dean Smith

ACCESS DENIED: Proper Authorization Needed

ICU Investigations is known for quick and effective investigations, as well as our customer service. But there are a few official documents that we cannot get our hands on without an official court order or written and signed authorization, no matter how much we pry. These documents are as follows:

Birth Certificates: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware laws vary, but generally speaking, access to a person’s birth certificate is granted only to the person it belongs to or immediate members of the person’s family.

Medical Records: According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), written authorization is needed to obtain a claimant’s medical records.

Bank Records: According to the Right to Financial Privacy Act, one of the five following qualifications needs to be met in order to obtain bank records: claimant’s permission, subpoena, court order, search warrant, or a formal order.

Travel Records: Without a claimant’s approval or court order, we cannot acquire travel history. Once the approval has been made, the U.S. Department of State can be contacted.

Credit Reports: Private Investigators can acquire a credit report with authorization, but three formal acts protect them otherwise (Fair Credit Report Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and Driver’s Privacy Protection Act).

Phone Records (landline or cell): If any telephone records are received without a claimant’s agreement, it is considered a felony charge. Claimants are protected by the Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act of 2006.

Some exceptions are made few and far between, but for general purposes, all of these documents need a form of consent before we can acquire.

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