A personal investigators (often abbreviated to PI), non-public detective or (informally) non-public eye, could be a person who can be hired by people or teams to undertake investigatory law services. Personal detectives/investigators usually work for attorneys in civil cases. Many work for insurance companies to investigate suspicious claims. Before the appearance of no-fault divorce, several personal investigators were hired to search out proof of adultery or alternative conduct at intervals marriage to establish grounds for a divorce. Despite the lack of legal necessity for such proof in several jurisdictions, in keeping with press reports collecting evidence of adultery or alternative "dangerous behaviour" by spouses and partners continues to be one in every of the foremost profitable activities investigators undertake, because the stakes being fought over currently are kid custody, alimony, or marital property disputes.
Many jurisdictions need PIs to be licensed, and they will or may not carry firearms depending on native laws. Some are ex-law enforcement officials, some are former law enforcement agents, some are ex-spies and a few are ex-military, some used to figure in a very personal military company, some are former bodyguards and security guards, though many don't seem to be. While PIs could investigate criminal matters, most do not have police powers, and as such they can't arrest or detain suspects. They are expected to keep detailed notes and to be ready to testify in court regarding any of their observations on behalf of their clients. Great care is needed to stay at intervals the scope of the law, otherwise the investigator could face criminal charges. Irregular hours may also be required when performing surveillance work.
PIs also engage in an exceedingly giant selection of work that is not usually related to the industry within the mind of the public. For instance, many PIs are involved in method serving, the private delivery of summons, subpoenas and different legal documents to parties in a legal case. The tracing of absconding debtors can also type a massive half of a PI's work load. Many agencies focus on a particular field of experience. As an example, some PI agencies deal only in tracing. Others may focus on technical surveillance counter-measures (TSCM), sometimes referred to as electronic counter measures (ECM), that is that the locating and managing unwanted kinds of electronic surveillance (for instance, a bugged boardroom for industrial espionage functions). Other PIs, additionally called Corporate Investigators, specialize in corporate matters, as well as anti-fraud work, the protection of intellectual property and trade secrets, anti-piracy, copyright infringement investigations, due diligence investigations and pc forensics work.
Increasingly, trendy PIs prefer to be known as "skilled investigators" or Licensed Private Investigators (LPI's) instead of "personal investigators" or "non-public detectives". This may be a response to the image that's sometimes attributed to the profession and an attempt to ascertain and demonstrate the industry to be a correct and respectable profession. However, in 2009 a Toronto Star journalist obtained a non-public investigator's licence in Ontario with no training, and reported that alternative Ontarians had done the identical.