Q. What is Matrimonial Surveillance?
Matrimonial Surveillance is used to determine whether or not one spouse (or Girlfriend / Boyfriend) is cheating on the other. The investigator follows the suspected spouse and documents their activities using high tech camera equipment appropriate to the situation.
Q. I think my spouse is cheating on me. What should I do?
A. Statistically, the overwhelming majority of our cases prove that the Subject of the investigation is, in fact cheating on his or her partner. The cases that allow us to report to our clients that the Subject's activities are benign are enjoyable, but few and far between.
The first thing we do is talk to you about the circumstances of the matter. We can often give advice that allows the client to confirm their hunch without conducting surveillance. We also advise the client that most US states are "no fault", which means that the information developed in the investigation will not necessarily assist in the settlement of any subsequent divorce. A possible exception to that would be child custody issues, if the Subject is engaging in unhealthy or unsafe activities.
If the client wishes to proceed, we learn as much as we can about the Subject's normal daily activities, locations and schedule. This will assist us during the surveillance and allow us to stay a little looser. For instance, if the Subject is heading in a particular direction, one of the operatives can anticipate the destination (parent's house, the gym, etc) and can speed ahead to set up to film from an advantageous position.
Some surveillances can be accomplished with one operative, while others require two or more. The factors that determine how many operatives will be required include: the Subject's work location - is it in an office building with multiple exits? Is it possible he will leave by more than one form of transportation? We need to be prepared to cover any eventuality. For instance, if it is possible the Subject will leave by personal vehicle, taxi or on foot, we need to be prepared for each of those eventualities. If the Subject works in downtown San Francisco, where there are many one way streets, we need to be prepared for the Subject to walk against traffic on one way streets. That requires at least two operatives, one mobile and one on foot or motorcycle. A surveillance in the Richmond District or Sunset District of San Francisco may be able to be accomplished with one operative. It depends on the habits and activities of the Subject.
Q. What about airport surveillances?
Surveillances at airports provide many complications and can't be done with less than three operatives. We need a clear photo of the Subject's face and whatever further description may help - hair style, facial hair, clothing, hand-held bag, etc.
Q. How is communication with the investigator handled?
At the beginning of the case, the client is given access to a secure, online workspace for their matter, accessible only to the client and us. Status updates, video, photos and files are uploaded to the workspace as the case progresses and immediately available to the client. We understand that for some clients, it is important that there be no emails back and forth between the client and investigators, as the partner may have access to the computer, etc. With the workspace, all communication can take place on-line and in a secure environment, with no direct communication via email. Client can read updates, download video and photos and even communicate with the operatives contemporaneously, providing relevant information and photos. We find this tool to be especially invaluable for our domestic surveillance clients.
Q. Will my spouse ever find out about that I hired you?
Any work we do with you will be completely confidential and we will take all steps necessary to ensure the covert nature of the surveillance. If we ever feel that the person being surveilled is getting "hot" and that the covert nature of the surveillance is threatened, we will pull back and reconsider the surveillance plan with your input.
When we call you, we will always use a telephone number that you have identified as being safe and not used by the spouse. We will always ask, "Is it a good time to talk?" so that you can accept the call or decline, or say, "wrong number" if the spouse is present.
How do I hire you?
We require a four hour minimum when we conduct surveillance. This means that when we go out to conduct surveillance, it must be for a four hour minimum time period. We can't book one hour in the middle of the day to check an address, precluding that operative from being available for another matter during that time period.
There is a twenty four hour cancellation policy, which means that if you cancel the surveillance less than twenty four hours prior to the start of the surveillance, we may need to charge the 4 hour minimum. We will do everything we can to re-task the operative on another matter, but very occasionally we may need to enforce the twenty four hour cancellation policy. That said, we always bend over backward to be reasonable and fair.
We estimate the amount of time the case may require and ask that you sign a simple Client Agreement for return by fax. We ask for a 50% retainer to be paid prior to the start of the surveillance, with the remainder due upon completion. Any unused portion is completely refundable. You can pay by check, credit card, Paypal, bank transfer, cash or in-branch deposit. We understand that in domestic matters such as this, it is sometimes important that any payment be untraceable and not discoverable by the partner. We will work with you to make that work - whether it means a cash deposit into our company account at the branch, or a Paypal payment through a friend or relative.
You will authorize a certain amount of time. We will not exceed the amount of time you authorize without your further authorization.
Our operatives are experienced at surveillance and surveillance techniques. They are equipped with camera gear for most situations and have hidden, subrosa cameras, as well as distance and low light cameras in their camera kits. Vehicles that match the Subject location and situation are used and swapped out for fresh vehicles as needed. We have conducted surveillances at many, if not most of the hotels, restaurants and clubs in the areas, where we operate. Our operatives are usually familiar with the environment, which helps with the flow of the investigation.
Q. Can you find my long-lost sweetheart?
A. Our wide variety of sources and location techniques allows us to have a great deal of success in locating people. For this type of locate, due to invasion of privacy issues, we will make contact with the person and give them the choice to be contacted by you or not. This is because there is no way for us to be sure of the client's motives in these matters. There may be restraining orders of which we are not aware and conducting a background check on the client would be cost prohibitive.
We are happy to deliver or forward a letter and to pass on a message to the Subject. We can make the contact with the Subject more benign, by introducing ourselves as a friend of the client's, who is trying to get in touch with them. For instance, we may say, "Hello, my name is John Smith, I am a friend of (client) and am helping him try to find (Subject), a friend of (client) from University of San Francisco. Is this (Subject)? Do you mind if I give him your telephone number? Or I can give you his contact info? Whichever is best for you."
Q. Should I go into business with, or hire, or marry this person?
A. You can intelligently decide after we provide the facts regarding: