PBSA Journal Interviews CHR’s Phil Bryer for its April Issue

This interview originally prepared for and published by PBSA in the March-April edition of the PBSA Journal. Read the full issue here: https://www.thepbsa.org/resources/publications/march-april-2021-journal. County House Research gratefully acknowledges PBSA Journal for permitting the reprint of this interview.

“Better Know A Researcher”

The Provider Advisory Group is focused on broadening the understanding of the Provider Community and highlighting both the well-known as well as the unknown aspects of our work in support of Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) and the customers they serve. Through a volunteer process, we select individuals to interview representing various provider disciplines. In this installment, we interview Phil Bryer, Operations Manager of County House Research Inc., and Provider Advisory Group co-chair.
  1. What are some attributes about the Criminal Research Provider process that may not be readily known to the CRA population?

It has been our experience that the most common misconception about the Criminal Research Provider process is that there is some sort of governing body within the court system that regulates the guidelines and practices for in-court research. In most states, the individual courthouses create their own policies regarding how access to the public index is administered. Each court having its own nuanced set of guidelines makes educating clients an ongoing process and changes can happen with little to no notice.

  1. Can you provide some ways that you have seen the background screening industry evolve over the past few years as it pertains to Criminal Research Providers, their processes, and their requirements? What may be coming in the future that we should be noting now?

The steady development and implementation of new technologies has had the largest effect on every aspect of the Provider experience. In the early 2000s, vendors were limited to bringing paper search lists to the court and generally submitted results via fax. In 2021, tablets and laptops are the most common and secure way to manage the day’s work (as long as electronics are permitted to be brought into the courthouse). Modern practice is to process results through integrations between software platforms and proprietary APIs, allowing for dramatically reduced turn-around from the time a request is received and when it is returned. The future is trending even further toward complete automation when managing and submitting completed searches. That’s the good developments. On a less exciting note, as more courts update their computerized indexes we are seeing an increase in the redactions of personal identifying information, making it significantly more difficult to confirm that a record matches the requested subject. This trend of limiting the amount of PII available to the public should be anticipated as a potential future challenge to our industry.

  1. What are some challenges that you experience that you would like to communicate out to the general population of the screening industry?

I’ll omit the obvious complications that COVID-19 has presented in terms of court access because this has been well documented, and will (knock on every piece of wood) be remedied in the not-so-distant future. Instead, I will acknowledge the somewhat paradoxical relationship that court researchers often have with clerks. As regulars at the courthouse our requests for file pulls, record questions, and sometimes even the need for general assistance is often deprioritized because “there’s always tomorrow.” This creates a delicate dynamic between vendors and courthouse staff and it can quickly become problematic if an applicant or CRA tries to circumnavigate the established process.

  1. How would you describe your company culture?

County House Research’s company culture is based on the principles of honesty, adaptability, and accountability. We regularly use the phrase “it’s our search too” to describe our philosophy when it comes to our approach at the courts and with our clients. We understand the services we provide enable companies to make informed hiring decisions, and this is a responsibility that is taken very seriously.

  1. If given the opportunity to communicate one item in front of all attendees at the PBSA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., Sept. 12-14, 2021, what would your message be?

As stated above, the lack of regulation in terms of researcher/vendor/furnisher rights is a consistent pain point. Providers would love to participate in any initiatives that would classify researchers as something other than me

We wish all our clients and colleagues a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Please take a moment to watch our video for some holiday cheer from the folks at CHR.

Courts and County House Research offices will be closed this Friday, December 25 for Christmas and on Friday, January 1, 2021, for New Year’s Day.

County House Research has been granted renewed access to the PROMIS/Gavel system by NJ Courts. CHR resumed processing requests in New Jersey effective Thursday, July 30. Clients can rest easy that this is the exact same system used previously. All requests previously submitted will be completed as soon as possible in the order they were received. Due to new court access fees, starting August 1, 2020, requests will be subject to a $3.50 surcharge. The surcharge reflects a best estimate at this time. Because of the newness of the system and the potential volatility in court access fees, the surcharge is subject to change. Our New Jersey research team will be monitoring the system closely over the next weeks to ensure that fees remain consistent with access costs.

County House Research is delighted to once again offer New Jersey service to our clients. Our more than 10 years of experience with the PROMIS/Gavel system offers clients tremendous added value. That means that clients can continue to rely on CHR for timely and accurate results, as well as our legendary customer service. We look forward to our continued partnership in New Jersey and any other jurisdictions we cover.

For questions or to request service, please contact our Director of Client Services, Prissy Hamilton, at (215) 717-7433, x.25, or email her at phamilton@countyhouseresearch.com.

We wish all our clients and industry colleagues good health.

Thank you,

County House Research, Inc.

Promising news out of Massachusetts. The Supreme Judicial Court has announced that starting July 13 courthouses will physically reopen for limited purposes. While it is unclear exactly how this will apply to criminal record checks, it is a step in the direction of pre-COVID 19 access.

According to the announcement, non-emergency business will continue to be conducted virtually unless it “can be done only in-person.” Persons accessing the courthouses will be monitored for signs of illness and subject to health and safety occupancy limits. Courthouses may at their discretion install drop-boxes for hand-delivered requests and pleadings. Courts may offer additional means of access but have not yet announced what those might be. Barring any changes, in-person access will be expanded further on August 10. In the meantime, County House Research continues to work with court officials and other resources on the ground to secure and maintain access to various jurisdictions. We are also working with the PBSA to restore full access to public records.

As we have done throughout our more than 20 years of service to the background screening industry County House Research remains dedicated to being a reliable partner to our clients. We will update you as soon as new information becomes available.

If you have questions or concerns or need information on any jurisdictions that we serve, please contact our Director of Client Services, Prissy Hamilton, at (215) 717-7433, x.25, or email her at phamilton@countyhouseresearch.com.

Wishing you good health during this challenging time.

Thank you,

County House Research, Inc.


Courts and County House Research offices will be closed on Friday, July 3 for Independence Day. We wish all our clients and colleagues a happy 4th of July and an enjoyable weekend.

The Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles (PennDOT) has reopened and is now accepting requests. PennDOT has announced new procedures to maintain social distancing. The restrictions include limiting the number of couriers that can enter the service center at any one time. Our couriers have tested the system and the new procedures are working efficiently. CHR team members on the ground are able to drop off and pick up requests. PennDOT is continuing to work through its backlog of requests but this does not seem to be a problem at this time. The health and safety of our CHR team members are top priorities. We have equipped staff with protective equipment to meet or exceed PennDOT’s requirements.

As we have throughout this crisis, we will continue to use our close contact with court officials and other resources to keep you updated on all developments.

If you have questions about CHR’s PA Driver History Courier Service or any of our other services, please contact our Director of Client Services, Prissy Hamilton, at (215) 717-7433, x.25, or email her at phamilton@countyhouseresearch.com. Please see our COVID-19 resources page for the latest information: countyhouseresearch.com/covid-19.

We wish all our clients and industry colleagues good health and safety during this challenging time.

Thank you,

County House Research, Inc.

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Contact us today for #court updates and how we can best serve you during this time!

215-717-7433
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#courtresearch #courtrecords #updates #researcher #researchimpact #pbsa #fcra #certified #vendor #Pennsylvania
County House Research
County House Research
As we continue to face this unprecedented time for our generation...as a nation and across the globe, we at County House Research remain committed to being your resource and providing you the best service possible during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

First and foremost, our deepest condolences go out to those friends and families who have lost loved ones during this time. May you know G-d's deepest peace and comfort as you continue forward.

With many courts closed to the public across the nation, we remain hopeful that this will soon be over, and businesses can start to heal.

If you have questions about jurisdictions that are still available or just want to say hello (!), please contact Prissy Hamilton at (215) 717-7433 x25.

We will continue to update you on changes as new information becomes available.

Thank you again to all of our industry partners for their support during these difficult and uncertain times.
We wish all our clients and colleagues safety and good health.

Blessing of peace on you all during this time!

Your family at CHR
County House Research
County House Research
County House Research remains committed to providing you the best service possible during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

We continue to provide full service in:
Cook County, Illinois
Delaware
New Hampshire
NH State Police
New Jersey
Philadelphia Civil
West Virginia

Other jurisdictions may be available.
If you need searches in a jurisdiction not listed above, or if you have questions, please contact Prissy Hamilton at (215) 717-7433 x25.

We will continue to update you on changes as new information becomes available.

Thank you to all our industry partners for their support during these difficult and uncertain times. We wish all our clients and colleagues safety and good health.

🙏🇺🇸🌎🙏🇺🇸🌎🙏🇺🇸🌎🙏🇺🇸🌎🙏

COVID-19 Information Resources:
Here are some resources to help you navigate the coming weeks.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

World Health Organization (WHO)
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

U.S. Department of State
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html

Stay safe!
Your team at
County House Research, Inc
www.CountyHouseResearch.com
County House Research
County House Research
Happy Saint Patrick's Day from CHR!

Saint Patrick was kidnapped from Britain when he was 16 and taken to Ireland, where he was enslaved and worked as a shepherd. He escaped and returned to Britain after six years. After becoming a priest, he was led back to Ireland by a dream and returned, sharing the love and hope of G-d in the land of his former captivity.

As we all deal with health protocols and navigate this situation together, may we find "gold" in the things we are grateful for, focus on solutions and keep pushing through! There is always a bigger plan.

We're here to assist in any way we can. Stay safe!

Your team at
County House Research
County House Research
County House Research
Dear Clients and Colleagues,

In the face of difficulties arising from the current outbreak of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus), we want to assure you that we remain deeply committed to our “It’s Our Search Too” philosophy. More than just a motto, It’s Our Search Too means that will do whatever we can to continue providing you with the best service possible.

Our Work Place
The best way to ensure that there are no interruptions in service is to take care of the people who make up the County House Research team. In keeping with recent health advisories, those CHR team members who are able to work from home are now doing so. We are also monitoring the situation in the courthouses to determine any health and safety considerations affecting County House Research employees. If we determine that there is a threat to the health and safety of our team members, we will communicate that information to you at the earliest possible time.

Courthouse Closures
We anticipate that over the course of the next few weeks, courthouses throughout the country will close sporadically in order to assess conditions and clean facilities. We will keep you updated on any courthouse closures or service interruptions as we learn about them. Our researchers are in continuous contact with the various courthouses we serve. If service is not available, we will communicate that information to you as soon as possible.

Current Closures
Currently, all Massachusetts courthouses will be closed on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Massachusetts courthouses are rescheduled to open on Wednesday, March 18. Will keep you apprised of conditions as information becomes available.

Information Resources
As those in our industry know only too well, good information is the best tool for making good decisions. Here are some resources to help you navigate the coming weeks.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
U.S. Department of State

We wish you all our clients and colleagues good health in the weeks ahead. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Prissy Hamilton at (215) 717-7433, x.25 or phamilton@countyhouseresearch.com.

Thank you very much.

B. Zimmerman, President
County House Research, Inc. | 1500 John F Kennedy Blvd, Suite 330 Philadelphia, PA 19102-1750
County House Research
County House Research
In light of the #Massachusetts Governor’s Declaration, #court leaders closed the Trial #Courts to the #public yesterday and today, March 16 & 17.

We will continue to keep you updated on court #delays and #closures as we are made aware.

As #business closures and #event #cancellations continue in an effort to #mitigate the spread of the #Corona #virus, be #safe, follow the recommended #hygiene protocol, stay #positive and enjoy this unexpected time with #family!
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#Massachusetts #delays #closure #coronavirus #safety
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