Private Investigator Frequently Asked Questions

It is crucial to have the information you need before, during, or after legal proceedings, whether you or your client are involved in a criminal or civil case. In order to obtain the information you need for your case, it is important to have a licensed and fully bonded and insured private investigator. And in the event your case crosses state lines, John Cutter Investigations should be your first choice as our private detectives are licensed in the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.Our full-service private investigations agency provides experienced PI’s who can take on any case, big or small.

Unsure about hiring a private investigator? Browse some of our most frequently asked questions:  

What is needed for a PI to begin surveillance on a subject?

We will ask you to describe and provide a photo (if you have one) of the subject to be surveilled, as well as any information regarding their location, including home address, their place of employment, the last place you know of that they worked, and any information about their vehicle will allow us to get started.

Once one of our private detectives gather the information you requested, they will deliver in a written report, often including video. Our PI can also testify, if needed, in a court of law.

How much do you charge for your investigative services?

While we would love to be able to provide general estimates, the cost of the investigation depends heavily on the assignment. The fees will be determined mostly by the amount of time spent on your case. There are sometimes additional charges for surveillance, so contact us for our pricing schedules.

While our agency has reasonable rates, we will always endeavor to work within your budget to get you the results you need. Your initial consultation is free and beginning at this point, all of your case details will remain confidential. We are always happy to answer questions and talk through your best options with no obligation. 

How fast can a private investigator start working on my case?

We prefer at least 24 hours notice before beginning investigations in order to properly prepare. However, in certain circumstances, we can start an investigation in one to three hours if the situation is truly urgent. 

Weekends are usually the busiest time for our private detectives in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida; therefore, 24-hour notice is generally needed for weekend assignments.

Keep in mind that we can’t begin the actual investigation until we have collected all of the information we need from you, along with a few forms required by the state. Your investigation can begin much more quickly if you work closely with us to get us what we need to start working on your case in a timely fashion. 

We do not except payments online, however we can process major credit cards over the phone. You can call our offices in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey or Florida for further details about hiring and paying for investigative services.

How committed is your firm to my case’s confidentiality? 

Information we gather during an investigation is kept strictly confidential. The police are not even allowed to retrieve any of our clients’ confidential reports and evidence, or any of your personal information. However, you can give your consent for us to release details to the authorities or testify in court if you wish.

Is surveilling, following and locating a subject legal?

Yes, when a legitimate reason exists, it is legal to hire a licensed private investigator in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or Florida for surveillance. You can also use a private detective if you need to locate someone or gather evidence in a legal proceeding.

Our private investigators will also appear in court on your behalf if you would like, and testify about the details of your investigation. However, we strongly recommend seeking the counsel of an attorney to coordinate all activities and testimony of our investigators if you plan on using the information that we gather in a legal matter.

How do you accept payment?

We accept MasterCard, Visa and Discover.

If making a payment at one of our investigations agencies in person, we will only be able to accept payment as follows:

  • Cash (Only US Currency)
  • Cashiers Check (U.S. Banks Only)
  • Money Order (Only US Currency)
  • Western Union
  • Personal Checks
  • Bankwires

We also accept PayPal.

Missing Persons Cases

How do you locate people?

Because we are licensed New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Florida as private investigators, we utilize and have access to scores of unique proprietary databases only available to licensed private investigators. We also implement modern and ethical investigative techniques to insure that we can find your witness within hours, not days or weeks.

If the person you are investigating has unknowingly at some time or another released any information, and it ended up in one of these databases, our PI will gather this data, and it will be in the report that you receive when the investigation is complete.

You have to have a permissible reason to search for an individual, and you also have to check that reason on the order form. Furthermore, the report is only to be used as a means to locate this person.

What should I provide to aid you in locating a missing person?

First, we will need the name that the person is currently using. If we are investigating a male it will be easier than if it were a female as the female could marry and change her name.

If the missing person is a female, it would be helpful to supply both married and a maiden name(s) if known. It is possible to search using the female’s first name and date of birth as well.

The last known address, last known state, SSN#, and approximate range of their age. These are some of the things that would be most helpful in our investigation.

Any other information will help us to be more successful in locating the person.

Does your agency locate people nationwide?

Absolutely, we have access to databases nationwide, and are allowed to search and cover any state. The information and data available may vary in different states, and the information that may be available.

Feel free to contact one of our NY, CT or NJ agencies for additional information. We can help in locating individuals, skip-tracing, missing persons investigations, and many other investigative services such as witness locates.

Will I get refunded if the individual of interest is not successfully located?

We immediately initiate a search once we receive the necessary information from you, along with payment, but unfortunately you we cannot refund money after the report has been ordered.

However, our people locate investigations have well beyond a 95% success rate. This means if you have given us the correct information needed, and it is up to date and accurate, we most likely are going to locate the person of interest.

Will the person I am trying to find be notified?

Our job is only to gather information regarding the individual in question. We will not contact the person of interest.

What you decide to do after you obtain the information from us is entirely up to you, but you must wait until the investigation has been completed and closed.

Questions About Marital Infidelity, Cheating Spouse and Divorce Investigations

How much does a cheating spouse investigation cost?

The costs of surveillance vary. When hiring a cheating spouse private investigator in NY, CT or NJ to gather information in a case of infidelity, there may be a need to conduct surveillance on several different occasions.

It is important to have adequate evidence before beginning divorce proceedings. By collecting enough evidence through video and photo surveillance, proving your spouse is unfaithful will be less challenging in court.

I believe my ex-spouse is being neglectful to my children. How can you help?

Our private detectives in NY, CT and NJ can provide surveillance on your ex-spouse and conduct a child neglect investigation. They will be able to travel to any city throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to conduct the investigation. Our private detective will document and record the activities of your spouse and child. Should there be evidence and clear proof that there is negligence involved, you, along with your attorney can make efforts to have visitation rights amended.

I would like to know more about my Fiancée/Fiance before getting married. How can you help? 

Marriage is a big step, so if you are having doubts of his or her faithfulness already, then by all means, you should definitely hire us to conduct a cheating spouse investigation. Our agency has PI’s with experience in cases of infidelity, and would be more than happy to assist you with an investigation.

In addition, we offer comprehensive pre-marital investigations, which consist of a search into his or her background. There would also be a search into his or her past criminal records; this is sometimes helpful in a situation such as this. This could give you better knowledge about his or her trustworthiness.

I am owed child support from my ex-spouse. Can you discover whether they have any hidden assets?

There certainly is, as long as you received a court order that has been issued in your name stating he or she in fact owes child support to you, that will give us the ability to search for all of his or her assets, especially the ones that are hidden.

The assets search will also include any corporations or entities that they are associated with.

I currently have custody of my children. However, my ex-spouse is filing for custody of them. I know that my ex-spouse is not a fit parent. How can you prove this?

For child custody investigations, our private detectives record, document, and also use surveillance for your case. The investigator will report back to you with the information regarding the time spent with your children, and may even be able to document individual instances of neglect and abuse.

There is always a possibility that during the investigation, our agency could discover other pertinent information that you were not aware of as well.

Will your agency be able to work with my attorney?

Absolutely. Our investigators in NY, NJ and CT are accustom to working with the attorneys of our clients when it is necessary.


Feel free to call any of our offices below, or to send us any questions through out secure form.

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Connecticut Private Detectives:

Bridgeport CT
Danbury CT
Hamden CT
East Hartford CT
New Haven CT
New Britain CT
Fairfield CT
Middletown CT
Hartford CT
Greenwich CT
Manchester CT
Enfield CT
Stamford CT
West Hartford CT
Milford CT
Wallingford CT
Waterbury CT
Bristol CT
West Haven CT
Southington CT
Norwalk CT
Meriden CT
Stratford CT
Farmington CT


New Jersey Private Detectives:

Newark NJ
Camden NJ
New Brunswick NJ
Jersey City NJ
Passaic NJ
Hoboken NJ
Paterson NJ
Union City NJ
Hackensack NJ
Elizabeth NJ
East Orange NJ
Atlantic City NJ
Trenton NJ
Bayonne NJ
Linden NJ
Clifton NJ
Vineland NJ
Garfield NJ


New York Private Detectives:

New York City
Albany NY
New Rochelle NY
Hempstead NY
Rome NY
Buffalo NY
Mount Vernon NY
Niagara Falls NY
Long Beach NY
Rochester NY
Schenectady NY
Troy NY
Poughkeepsie NY
Yonkers NY
Utica NY
Binghamton NY
Ithaca NY
Syracuse NY
White Plains NY
Long Island NY
Elmira NY