Nebraska Private Investigators
The Impact of a Private Eye in Court:
Comments on the use of a private investigator in Nebraska. First, if you are divorced from someone with plenty of disposable income then she/he may well hire or have already hired a private investigator. The investigators, with a few exceptions follow the law and will not help your ex gain information illegally. That said, I have seen cases where unscrupulous investigators will pull credit reports and collect other information that they simply cannot obtain legally. The bottom line is that if you aren't doing anything that endangers your kids then her use of a private eye will likely just show her to be an over the top control freak. I have seen judges get more than a little irritated when they find out that a former spouse has violated her ex's privacy. GPS tracking appears to really make judges mad. Legal or illegal, the real question is why is she/he so controlling that she/he needs to have you watched. The bottom line is who cares if they are watching you. Let them spend all the money they want.
How to know if a private eye is following you (non-gps):
As a general rule, if you have visitation with your kids, then be aware of your surroundings. The goal for a private eye is to establish your daily routine. Once that is done and assuming you are at home at around the same time or go to the gym at the same time, etc every day, they will likely only spot check at times you are more likely to go out on the town such as Friday and Saturday nights. The beauty about a routine is that you can and should mix it up from time to time. I caught one once by driving out from my gym parking lot and instead of going home, I pulled into the restaurant parking lot just next to the gym. I sat for a while and saw the eye kind of at a loss as to how to follow me to the adjacent lot without me noticing. He was used to me just pulling out and taking the same rout home every day. I drove by and said hello and all he did (or could do) was duck his head.
The easiest way to find out:
If you are currently in any form of litigation with your ex, have your lawyer amend your interrogatories or include the question about whether the other side or anyone acting on their behalf has ever used the services of an investigator. If they say no, then it doesn't matter because they cant use any info they may have received in court. If they say yes, then you subpoena the investigator for "ALL" documents including emails, letters to and from the client, work product, etc... This is important because you need to see what they have and if the eye did something wrong (like run your credit without your permission or similar criminal activity), you will have evidence for either a lawsuit of criminal complaint. Remember, if the eye provided gps tracking services then logins, device serial numbers, tracking account information, and other similar information would be something you are entitled to. a failure to provide that info would (at least in my non-lawyer mind) mean that the discovery was incomplete and therefore thrown out in its entirety. A smart eye will resist providing the information. In that case, a decent lawyer will file a motion to compel and will ask that if the info is not provided, any and all info from that eye should be excluded from trial or consideration at all. I have used this one and it works better than you might imagine. Remember; Just because the other side says that they haven't hired an eye in the past doesn't mean they will not starting the day after they answered your question. You might want to have your lawyer check with the other side from time to time to get a current status on the question of whether or not they have retained an investigator.
What about if you are out and about?
Just take note of anyone wondering in after you and positioning themselves in such a way that they can see you clearly. Then move spots so the person you suspect can't see you. If they realign then you are being watched. My advice: Don't confront them or run off. Remember, just sit there and let whoever is paying keep paying. If you blow his/her cover, then they will leave and can't very well bill their client for the time. Another trick I really like, especially if you know the owner of the establishment is to have them either put water in a labeled beer bottle or serve you near beer in a glass. Also, advise them that if anyone asks what you are drinking, just have them tell them it is bud lite or miller lite. I realize this is a little game playing but if you have 4 or 5 of them and leave, then the eye will probably call the police to have you pulled over. If you are lucky, you will be pulled over and blow a 0.00. That's going to look kind of stupid or at least suspicious when the eye takes the stand and claims you were driving under the influence. Not only that, its a little fun to watch when they figure out that you knew they were there but just kept your cool and let them spin their wheels.
There are lots of ways you can use this situation as a real opportunity. You could have a opposite-sex cousin from out of town spend the night. The eye will run their plates (because the car was parked in your driveway) and if your last name isn't the same and if your ex doesn't recognize the name in the PI's report, then they will latch on and probably claim you are having sex in the house. That's great when you have your cousin show up in court. Again, erodes the eye's credibility. You could have someone else drive away from your house and have the PI follow them thinking it's you (helps to have an attached garage for ingress of the vehicle and tinted windows so they don't see who is driving until you want them to see who it is. In cases of GPS tracking this is awesome because unless they have a picture of you driving at that time, it is virtually impossible to prove who was driving. How much fun would it be to sent a friend to a bar with your credit card and your car. You were tracked to the bar and your credit card was used (info they would have from subpoenaed bank records), right?. But, at the last moment, your friend shows up and testifies to what actually happened during the time in question. Again, it just further erodes the credibility of the testimony.
Since it is very expensive to pay a human being to follow you at all times, usually a PI will follow you in person for a while and establish your daily pattern. Then they will plant a GPS tracking device on your vehicle. These are devices that track your vehicle or you personally. They can find out your exact location or path (known as a breadcrumb), your speed, and even send email or text alerts when you enter into or leave a pre-defined location (called a geo-fence). Example. If your ex wants to receive a text message every time you visit your girlfriends house, the PI can easily set it up to do just that. This is actually illegal in most states unless your ex's name is also on the title of the vehicle being tracked. The question of whether this is criminal activity in Nebraska is up in the air. In fact, at least one state senator is currently looking into proposing legislation next year that would make this activity stalking and therefore illegal. That said, PI's do offer this service in Nebraska and they likely will until the law as made very clear.
Devices for vehicles are very easy to find. Companies such as RMT (Rocky Mountain Tracking, Inc) , UTraK GPS, and PIGear, will supply all the devices you need at a realonable price. The monitoring service is sold seperately. If you are looking for a one stop shop, look at youarethespy.com.
In addition, cell phones can be used for the very same purpose. Programs such as Comettracker or Xora make this very simple. The trick here is that they cannot do this unless your phone is on their account.
How can I find out if I am being tracked by GPS?:
There are professionals in Omaha who can search your vehicle for these devices. Again, the one I use only does this by personal referral. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your email and we will have him contact you directly. Another alternative is to install a system that will alert you if someone enters your driveway. Keep in mind that it is illegal to attach a device and tap into your vehicle's power supply. This means that these devices are battery powered and the batteries must be replaced frequently. The frequency depends on the ping rate (how many times per a given time period the device fixes your location) and the transmit rate (how often the device communicates with the tower to upload all of the location information). In theory, the device could take a fix every few seconds but only transmit the information a few times a day. This would save some battery life. A few years ago I was able to find such an alerting device at radio shack. It was a simple wireless motion sensor that sounded an alarm (in my bedroom in this case) whenever anyone got within a few feet of my car. At least it will tip you off that they are there and you will be able to get an idea of the battery life of the device they are using.
What should I do if I find a tracking device?:
Your choices are only limited by your imagination and your objective. 1). If you want them to use the information in court, or better yet if you find out you are being tracked, then just leave it alone and subpoena the information to show that you haven't been doing anything wrong. Just makes your ex look crazy and might irritate a judge a bit if his/her attorney suggested it in the first place. 2). Another favorite is taking a picture of the device in its installed state, then take it out and wire it to your vehicles interior. Eventually, the eye will wonder why the heck the battery is lasting so long. At this point the jig is up and they will probably have to charge their client for the lost device. I find it hard to believe that they will break into your car to retrieve the device. No point in going to jail when they have a credit card and agreement on file for their client. 3). An option that I find really funny is to remove the device and stick it to a semi. Let your ex and the PI watch "you" drive all over the country. This is funny but why lose an expensive piece of equipment that you might want to use yourself some day. 4). A nasty option I have heard of is to leave the device in place and carefully have it wired to your vehicle's power supply. then call the police when you "find" it attached to your car. True, the PI will be answering some questions and may face some jail time but I should point out that it is against the law to make a false statement to the police and should you take this tactic, you may also face jail time. Not only that, the PI's are simply providing a service. Information is and always has been the single most important weapon anyone can have. PI's simply provide that information to the person willing to pay for it.
My advice is not to take it personally and don't blame the PI, unless they have done something criminal (in which case you can report them to the police, then to the secretary of state's office to get their license jerked).
There are certainly times when hiring a PI is a great idea. If you suspect that your ex is truly endangering your kids or engaged in serious illegal activity (presumably activity that endangers your children) then you have a good reason and it will liikely pay devidends if you are correct. That said, please read the sections above. Use of a PI can be turned on you as pointed out above. You could also hire a GOOD PI to investigate another PI or to watch the people watching you. Another reason might be to build a really good case against a PI who has committed a crime against you. If, for example a PI performed and shared a credit check on you then you could hire another PI to send people posing as prospective clients in to the other PI and confirm his or her willingness to perform such criminal acts.