[APG Public List] Genealogical vs. Non-genealogical

Ray Beere Johnson II raybeere at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 20 17:03:41 MDT 2009

     Disclaimer: _I am not a lawyer._ If you want or need to know how the law affects you, you should talk to a qualified attorney.
     However, I do believe that in some states at least, searching for living individuals may be regulated by law. This type of search may require a private investigator's license, or it may require such a license in some circumstances but not others. In other states, it may not be as tightly regulated. The point is, _even if there is a genealogical purpose_, it is important to know any laws that might affect you.
     Further, there _are_ potential situations that are dangerous, even if you intend to act as an intermediary. Although I do not have a citation to hand, I recall reading of at least one case where one individual located a living person by having a dead ancestor researched, then having the descendants of that person traced. Even if you are complying with the law, if ethical considerations _or_ concern for your own protection are an issue, you should at least consider all possibilities.
     When I was taking clients, I turned down a couple of requests that struck me as odd. In one case, where I was "on the fence", I asked for a little supporting information - and never heard from that client again. In all those cases, I don't regret what I did.
                            Ray Beere Johnson II


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