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Notice To Preserve Evidence: EFFECTIVE Evidence Gathering

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First, I should preface this post. This blog post is in the legal category of my blog, but I am NOT an attorney. Always follow the discretion of your attorney over what I say and/or write. Your attorney will understand things about your case that nobody else will, like the nuances of your case, the general attitudes that key people in your case have, and such. So, always listen to your attorney in your case, over anyone else.

Now, on to the topic of this blog post. This blog post is about the Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter, sometimes referred to as the Litigation Hold Letter. This has to be one of the most effective tools for gathering evidence that I have ever used, but yet one of the most overlooked tools that I know of. The Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter is very powerful, if worded correctly and explained correctly to the person it is being served to.

I have served these Notice To Preserve Evidence Letters for over 10 years, and although attorney’s seem to overlook using them, or at least seem to rarely use them, we have gotten evidence that we would not have gotten without using them. In one case we got video evidence that actually exonerated a client on drug trafficking charges, and in another case we got video evidence that assisted a client in securing a settlement from city government. 

Below is a photo of an old Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter that RMRI, LLC. used to get video evidence that resulted in our client obtaining a settlement from the city of Columbia, MO.

The benefit to the Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter is that it puts a burden on the person that it is being served to, that often times influences that person to turn over the requested evidence when they are being served rather than have to try to keep up with it and risk losing it. In the case mentioned in the previous paragraph, where our client was exonerated from drug trafficking charges, RMRI, LLC. served a Notice To Preserve Evidence on a local hotel for video footage in the time frame that the arrest and search of our client occurred, and we found evidence that the items that were found in the search did not belong to our client, nor did he have any knowledge that they were there. The evidence was compelling enough that the prosecution dropped all charges against our client. The hotel did not want to have to pull the video, store it, and be responsible for it, so the management decided to allow us to pull the video and process it the same day we served the the hotel with the Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter. We actually got key video evidence in this case before the local law enforcement agency that investigated this case did. In the other aforementioned case where our client got a settlement from the city, we also got that video evidence before local law enforcement did, the Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter in that case is pictured above.

Typically, Notice To Preserve Evidence or Litigation Hold Letters are used in civil cases, however I know of no case law, court rule, or procedure which bars them from being used in a criminal case. 

The Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter should be crafted by the Private Investigator in these criminal cases, since the Private Investigator should know what specific evidence to target, approved by the attorney, and then served by the Private Investigator. Serving the Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter is no different than process service, as a matter of fact it is process service. After the Notice To Preserve Evidence is served, the signatures are taken and the time and date are filled out, a copy of it should be put in the court docket. This allows the court to see that the party that was in possession of said evidence was put on notice to preserve that evidence in a legal matter. 

The Notice To Preserve Evidence Letter has been one of the most powerful tools that I have ever used in gathering evidence in criminal and civil cases.

RMRI, LLC. hopes to see this tool more widely used by attorney’s and private investigators to gather key evidence that may exonerate their clients in criminal cases or win judgments in civil cases.

Rick Gurley of RMRI, LLC.

RMRI, LLC. People Locates!

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RMRI, LLC.

Today I’d like to talk a little about locating people, which is one of the things that RMRI, LLC. does really well. Rick Gurley, the owner of RMRI, LLC. has over 28 years of history at locating hard to find people. Rick Gurley honed his skip tracing skills in the Bail Bonds Industry starting in 1989 by locating fugitives that were on the run and trying to avoid criminal prosecution from crimes ranging from petty theft to murder. Rick Gurley learned how to investigate the ‘old fashioned way” back in those days, by taking trips to the courthouse to review case files, going to the libraries to look in Cole’s Directories, interviewing people face to face, and spending long hours on surveillance watching locations.

As the technology evolved Rick Gurley knew that the Internet would be the wave of the future when it came to efficiently locating people. Rick Gurley knew that the Internet would be a place that all of the resources he had to physically travel to and spend so much time looking up in books and hard copy files could be packed into. So, Rick Gurley began to learn about the Internet, computers, and how this could enhance his ability to investigate fugitives and locate them. Rick Gurley spend hours and hours a day on the Internet researching site that housed personal information. Rick Gurley also learned how the Internet worked, what the Internet Tool Suite is, and how to use it to trace information on the Internet, becoming very proficient with Internet Investigations.

As technology progressed in the early to mid 90s, Rick Gurley started noticing that the new technology on the Internet was customized databases that were being privately developed for profit. customized databases that could house huge amounts of personal data. Rick Gurley knew that it would be imperative to learn about these new databases, how they worked, where the information in them came from, and how it could be updated. Rick Gurley gained access these databases, and started experimenting with the databases. Rick Gurley became very knowledgeable on where the information came from in these databases, which databases were the most up-to-date, and which databases kept their information the freshest. Later Rick Gurley would go on to consult to the private sector and to the government a little on how these databases could be used to locate and background people.

Now, Rick Gurley has the history behind him to feel confident in his abilities to locate even the hardest to find of people. Rick Gurley has amassed the tools and technology to be able to locate a person very quickly and without having to spend much in expenses, therefore economically to his clients. You know those people that are “shadows”? hard to find? Hard to know anything about? Well, that is what RMRI, LLC. does, we cast light on those shadows. We can find out where they live, what their phone number is, what their email address is, and who they are.  RMRI, LLC. can do this very affordably, in most cases under $1,00.00., and in a lot of cases under $500.00.

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When you need to know. When you have only a “shadow”, and you need to know more. Call RMRI, LLC. and let us bring those shadows out into the light for you. We can find that long lost relative, that Military buddy, that old college friend, that witness you may need on a court case, or that person that owes you money. This is what RMRI, LLC. has been doing for over 28 years! Call RMRI, LLC. today: (573) 234-4871

 

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Bail Bondsman Jason Sutton: A Public Service Post

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I have tried to stay away from “flame wars” on the Internet. I have also tried to work more towards marketing my company than having petty disputes with people on the Internet. But, sometimes one has to come to understand that some things are unavoidable, and one has to ask the question, can any good come out of doing this? The question becomes, will what I am about to do have any benefit to anyone? In this particular case, I do believe the public needs to know about a man that has abused his professional license, and by doing so has abused the very people in his own community.

JASON SUTTON BOONE COUNTY BAIL BONDSMAN, CRIMINAL AND THUG!

Jason Sutton Charges In Peoria Illinois

This picture above is a picture of Jason Sutton getting in trouble, as he usually does. Mr. Sutton has a Bail Bonds License through the Missouri Department of Insurance, and is known for abusing that professional license. One man named Steven Clark has stated that Jason Sutton threatened to rape his wife, because Mr. Clark missed a court date. Jason Sutton is known for making threats, below is a sound byte of him talking to me on the phone one night:

 

Yes, that is Jason Sutton bragging about his FBI Record, and his ties to organized crime. That is Jason Sutton trying to intimidate me with his “I’M A CERTIFIED, BONIFIED KILLER” line. If this man was not a criminal that has abused his professional license and harmed other people by doing so, he’d be comical. even though he is completely pathetic.

Jason Sutton is now going to court for beating up a lady named Kate Reller, when he had to pick her up for missing court. It was terrible, I saw the video footage. You could see Jason Sutton ‘s facial expression of pure pleasure while he was beating up on this poor lady. Jason Sutton beat this lady so much that he was charged with THREE (3) counts of assault on her.

Jason Sutton also set a man’s car on fire in the middle of the night when the man was asleep. Jason Sutton is about 6’4″ maybe taller and every bit of 300 Lbs, and the man who’s car he set on fire is 5’6″ and barely 150 Lbs. I also know that Jason Sutton did this because he admitted it to me the first night I met him, when we were on civil terms. I guess he thought this was something to brag about too. These types of incidents tell us a lot about a person’s character. I don’t want you to think that I am making allegations with no proof, below are Jason Sutton’s charges for the two incidents listed above:

Jason Sutton Current Charges

Anyone can access these charges on Missouri CaseNet, they are a matter of public record.

Jason Sutton has gotten by, by intimidating people. He has spread filthy lies about me, and I have told him that if he “kept lying about me, I’d start telling the truth about him”. There is one thing about what I am saying on this blog, there is evidence that I have provided to back up what I am saying here.

I do not like having to make blog posts like this. But the public knowing about this man is the lesser of two evils between any concern for this man’s ability to profit from his professional license. He has abused his license, and abused the people in his community by doing so. The public should have very grave concerns about dealing with him, or allowing him to bond them or their loved ones out of jail.

About seven years ago, a Bail Bondsman got charged with a weapon’s offense down in Springfield, MO. and the Department of Insurance immediately suspended his license, until the final disposition of his case. I have to wonder why Jason Sutton is getting special treatment here? Below is a copy of his current bonding license information and his General Agent’s bonding license information as of 08-20-2017:

Jason Sutton General Agent

 

If you wonder about this, please feel free to contact the MO. Department of Insurance and inquire:

Main Office Contact Information

  • Phone: 573-751-4126
  • Street Address: 301 W. High St., Room 530, Jefferson City, MO 65101
  • Mailing Address: PO Box 690, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0690
  • Correspondence with fees: PO Box 4001, Jefferson City, MO 65102-4001

 

Please, just beware of this man.  There are plenty of good, professional bail bondsmen out there. You don’t have to deal with someone like this.

This is a public service blog post bought to you by RMRI, LLC.

 

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Written by Rick Gurley

August 21, 2017 at 5:28 AM

Ethics? It’s the Private Investigation Business!

Ethics? It’s the Private Investigation Business!

By Ricky B. Gurley and Laurien Rose

Anyone interested in learning about the ethics of the private investigation industry should read Hal Humphreys’ article, The Dishonest Investigator as “Rational Fool.” Humphreys analyzes the trustworthiness of modern private investigators, focusing specifically on the use of GPS mapping systems. Although I agree with much of what Humphreys has written and believe his intent in writing the article is honorable, I would like to mention a few differences of opinion.

“Business doesn’t always have to be a zero-sum game,” Humphreys states.

This is the private investigation business we are talking about — not just any old business like selling used cars or bail bonds. Humphreys is right: this is not a “zero-sum game.” It is not a game at all. In this business, the quality of people’s lives depends on our work. Their freedom, liberty or life itself could be on the line. I believe private investigation work is a “zero-sum business” because anything the investigator loses during a case could be someone else’s gain.

“Case in point: Occasionally, clients will ask me to slap a GPS tracker on a subject’s car. That surely makes surveillance easier, but I’m not willing to do it. Bottom line—it’s cheating,” Humphreys writes.

I have a few ethical questions regarding this statement:

  • If you enter into a contract with a client in this business, covering topics like acceptable performance standard, is it ethical to forego using a GPS when it is legal to use one because you are worried about “cheating?”
  • If you can legally use the GPS in a case but refuse to because your personal belief is that this would be “cheating,” are you serving your client’s interests or yours?
  • Are you offering your client the best service possible if you refuse to use certain tools that are legally at your disposal?

The legality of GPS usage depends on the state you legally work in and circumstance. A private citizen can place a tracking device on any vehicle under his or her own name. Not using a GPS because it is illegal is one thing, but avoiding GPS usage because it violates your idea of fair play is a whole different bowl of fruit when you are contractually obligated to your client.

My observations expose a dilemma in the private investigation business: ethics. This business involves a certain amount of deception, comparable to bluffing in poker or diverting an opponent’s attention in chess by moving a certain piece. But there is one major difference: the private investigation business is not a game. The stakes are high and an investigator that doesn’t use every tool at their disposal doesn’t normally face the consequences — their clients do.

When determining what is ethical, perhaps one should ask: what is the motivation behind my ethics?

Are your ethics easy to justify, but also self-serving? Or do your ethics protect people other than yourself?

If your ethics dictate you will not “cheat” by using a GPS or other legal-to-use technology during a client’s contract case, are you:

a) being ethical by refusing to “cheat?”

b) putting your personal interests above your client’s that you are contractually obligated to serve to the best of your ability?

When I take on a case, my first obligation is to my paying client with whom I signed a contract stating I will perform a service to the best of my ability.

I think the ethical goal should simply be this: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. If you are not doing everything you legally can to bring favorable results to your client’s case, I don’t think you are giving your client an honest day’s work. Clients (and society) benefit from a private investigator that refuses to do anything illegal while working a case.

Ethics are a moral guideline. Good ethics will lead to honest business, protecting the business owner, clients and society from disreputable, dishonest and damaging acts. The way an investigator behaves in their business should be determined by their personal ethics.

I doubt many people in the private investigation business can even define the term ethics. Although they may throw the word around to get out of doing work or make competition look bad, they would be hard pressed to answer the question: why is it unethical for you to do this or for Investigator X to have done that?

Ethics don’t mean a thing without a clear definition and understanding of why they should be followed.

Written by Rick Gurley

July 7, 2014 at 12:35 PM

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