You didn't trespass.Steve feels the same concept applies to crossing State Lines. Stop at the border, unless you are licensed there. Many licensing authorities mirror this sentiment. However, this does not make it right...or wrong.Your driver's license is accepted in all states, temporarily, as long as you are just passing through and not living there. Your marriage license is accepted permanently. Why not your PI license?Licensing Agents here in New England seem to subscribe to the philosophy that a license is required to cross the line to do any part of an investigation.One New England licensing agent recently stated, to a licensed PI, that crossing the line and having a "conversation" with a witness was not an investigation, but if you "interviewed" the witness, you were "investigating." I would explain this further, but I don't quite grasp it.There are several scenarios possible: A mobile surveillance where the person unexpectedly crosses the State line. What about a case for a NH attorney? A case in NH Court and one witness lives over the border? Or the witness lives in NH but his wife tells you he is at work, in a bordering state, close by. He does have time to see you today. Do you go?There are a myriad of opinions and possible solutions. I network with a lot of PIs in neighboring states. I can pick up a phone and get it done. But this does not answer the question. When can you cross a State line?DISCUSSIONSome interesting data can be found in American Law Reports, 93 ALR 2nd.According to this compendium of cases, a licensed individual who performs a single act, or isolated transactions, in a foreign State, willnot be considered as engaging in that occupation, within the purview of the law requiring licensure of that occupation.
The Courts look at the intent to engage in these activities with any permanency: In other words, holding themselves out for hire, or "do business" in the foreign state.A foreign (out of State) Corporation/individual, by doing a single isolated act of business, with no purpose of doing any other acts there, does not come within the provisions of a statute requiring foreign companies to comply with specified conditions before they are permitted to do business within the state.To "do business "is to carry on any particular occupation or profession.According to data in 93 ALR 2nd: when confronted with a single or some isolated transactions, the Court, in reality, determines the intent of the individual. This is, it seems, to differentiate the intent to complete an assignment from the intent to "do business" or hold oneself out to do business in the foreign state.STATE BY STATEThe Dept. of Safety in New Hampshire has stated that one must be licensed in New Hampshire, period, to enter the state on any investigation.Iowa is a bit more flexible. In order to determine jurisdiction they apply a more flexible approach:"The Department
will consider the following factors in determining jurisdiction. Types of activities that are not, by themselves, viewed as demonstrating jurisdiction in Iowa include, but are not limited to the following:(1)A non-Iowa based private investigation business works on a criminal, civil or administrative case that that originates and is filed in another state, but contains some investigative elements in Iowa."In North Dakota they have not had to review this type of scenario, having to cross a state line to finish an assignment. The PI was not "doing business" in Vermont.Closer to home is the experience of my connecticut concealed carry
colleague Jim Collins from Massachusetts.