Orange County Register Interview

Orange County Register Interview with Robert Young, founder and owner of New Technologies Investigative Services

Robert Young is a licensed private investigator and has been in the industry since the mid-1990s, when he worked for a large firm in Northern California as an undercover operative. His work usually is linked to the legal milieu in some fashion. Sometimes he works directly for attorneys; other times, he works for private citizens, insurance companies or businesses. A PI’s findings often are presented to an attorney as a starting point for seeking some kind of legal redress. Because anonymity is a tool of his trade, we have not included his photo.

Q: How do private citizens or businesses use private investigators? A: For instance, a person might have obtained a judgment against another, and in an attempt to collect, they want to know if the person has any assets. That’s where the PI comes in. He can locate assets such as real property, monetary funds, vehicles, businesses and so on. A good PI will also run a background, to check for other judgments against the judgment debtor, as well as state and federal liens, which in most cases would take precedence. An asset search on a pre-litigated matter lets a person know whether it’s worthwhile to hire a lawyer to pursue collection. In other cases, individuals may want the PI to watch a possibly cheating spouse, or determine if the ex spouse who says they cannot pay the child support might actually be working. Perhaps a business will hire a PI to conduct surveillance to see if employees are engaging in theft or activities other than their job duties.

Q: How do attorneys typically use private investigators? A: Family Law attorneys request assignments for custody cases, to determine if a parent is abusing alcohol or drugs while that parent has custody of the children. They ask for “skip tracing investigations” to hunt-down people trying to avoid the court’s jurisdiction. Workers Compensation and other insurance lawyers use a PI to obtain evidence on potentially fraudulent claims. Lawyers and private citizens use us to serve process (such as subpoenas, and restraining orders) on people who’ll do extreme things to avoid being served, like hiding in the back seats of friends’ cars or disguising themselves so the server can’t recognize them. It can get pretty comical what people do to evade. We usually get them in the end, though.

Q: What should people look for in hiring a private investigator? A: Make sure the PI is licensed to operate in the state where he’ll be working. For example, if you need an investigation in Nevada the investigator must be licensed there or you can use a California PI to sub-contract your work to a Nevada PI, and the California PI can help you manage the case from here. Remember that PIs have specialties like any other profession. If you want someone to sweep for bugs, you want a specialist in tactical security counter measures, surveillance requires a PI who has a vehicle set up for this purpose. Make sure the PI knows the rules or the law in regards to the investigation they would be conducting. For example, you cannot put a GPS tracker on a vehicle without the authorization of the vehicle’s registered owner; otherwise, you and the PI could both be in trouble. Finally, this job is all about experience — no classroom can teach everything that a good PI needs to know about, say, asset location. Not many people or attorneys know how to locate assets, but I’ve learned how in on-the-job training over many years.

Q: What’s the most unusual thing you’ve done for a private citizen lately? A: I had a man in his 70s come to me who’d met a lady and wanted to marry her. The problem was he’d been quite a partier back in the 1960s. He told me, “I think I married a girl back then but I can’t remember!” So I did some record searching and sure enough, he was still married, but I went a step further and interestingly enough, the girl he’d married had already been married three times! He got it resolved with an annulment, and was able to marry his new fiancée — he was so happy.

Welcome to R.H. Young, Inc. - Licensed California Private Investigators (formerly known as New Technologies Investigative Services)
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