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A private investigator is likely to receive “cold cases” from time to time and some of these cases require that surveillances be done.
A “cold case” is one where a significant amount of time has passed since the original situation that called for surveillance and a conscientious investigator will avail him or herself of time first spent in the office to make sure a surveillance will be beneficial.
The first step would be to take whatever time is necessary with the client requesting the surveillance to make sure that contact information for the defendant and any possible witnesses is still correct. It is also important to note whether or not an injury was involved and to find out whether the injury is still an issue.
An in-depth interview with the client should be undertaken and prior to the interview, the client should be requested to gather up and organize any data (names, addresses, dates of birth, physical descriptions—photographs, if possible, residence phone number, cell phone number, workplace phone number).
After the case has been discussed in depth with the client, the private investigator should take the time to undertake “due diligence” in checking out the information to make sure it is still viable. This can probably be accomplished from the office by using the computer and a telephone.
The private investigator should not even attempt a surveillance until the time has been spent to document information provided by the client.
Due diligence saves time for the investigator and this translates to less money spent by the client.