Patterico's Pontifications


Bleg for Help on a Story

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:14 pm

I’m looking for help with a story we’re working on. It could be a big story, or it could be nothing.

What we need is someone with the ability to check property records, particularly in Alabama.

Maybe you have LEXIS access; maybe you live in Alabama and could drive to the courthouse.

If you’re a trusted regular reader who’s willing to help, write me at patterico AT gmail DOT com. If I don’t know you, I’ll need some way of checking your bona fides.

Yeah, I have LEXIS access at work — but I’m obviously not using it for blogging purposes. Hence the bleg.

Let me know if you can help! If this turns into something big, you’ll get all appropriate credit, if you want it.

UPDATE: We may have already found what we need; I’m still checking to make sure. Thanks for all the responses — seriously. I got more than I expected.

UPDATE x2: Here is the story. Thanks again for the responses.

18 Responses to “Bleg for Help on a Story”

  1. Don’t all jump in at once!!

    Patterico (4bda0b)

  2. Alabama? Apparently, you don’t have enough gun toting, Bible thumping, bitter, inbred hick readers.

    Pablo (99243e)

  3. Hmm…I have lexis access at school–though I live in Portland, OR. I could help you out in a week or so after I turn in my thesis, if no one else is forthcoming.

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  4. The property records may be on line, have you checked that? The reason I say this is that in Cook County, IL where I live, tax records, deeds,etc. are all available on line, some are free, some cost a few bucks. Many localities have gone this route in the last 5 years but I cannot speak for Alabama. Also if you can get a realtor or appraiser in the area, check the local multiple listing service (MLS) that will give you any recent sales or listing history as well as tax records. I wish I could do more. I hope that helps.

    BT (78b929)

  5. Just to be a little more specific, check for on-line resources for the county that your property is in and then the town or city and then also the township. For example Cook Couty has the Treasurer’s Office (free), Assessors Office (free)and Recorder of Deeds (paid) as well as the Clerk’s office which I have never used so I don’t know if it is free or paid. Addtionally the City of Chicago has a building department and a web site for zoning which is free. What the county in Alabama has obviously I don’t know, some are sophisticated, some are not. Also Patterico, I notice that you are a little anxious. Hey man, you posted this at 10pm on a saturday night!! You may have to let this soak awhile as the guys who fish the Bering Sea say. Oh, the county assesors office will even give you a photo of the property in question which is a nice feature. Good luck.

    BT (78b929)

  6. Pat,

    There are a number of on-line sites that will do record searches. Think they charge too much, but that’s my option. Just google it.

    A cheaper path. A number of genealogy sites have links to the local county records if available on-line, at the least, address and phone number to call.

    And you always try the counties web site.

    Gerald A (d067f0)

  7. Google Map will give you an aerial view and in some cases a street view of the property.

    Hazy (d671ab)

  8. provides free real estate property info with maps and also often aerial photos.

    I know the county clerk’s office has property records, liens, marriage info all online here in Palm Beach county, Fl.

    madmax333 (fb7809)

  9. Research?
    Just make it up like the professionals at the NYT and LAT.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  10. Where in Alabama? I live near NE Alabama and have friends in state.

    DrT (340565)

  11. Patterico, some Alabama counties have land records online. List with clickable links.

    And I can help in Cook, DuPage, Lake and Kane Illinois.

    nk (1f1707)

  12. I’m retired and live just south of Birmingham. Let me know what you need and I’ll try to help. Email on the way.


    arch (8e2b13)

  13. If nothing else, some of us would Paypal you some small unmarked bills to pay for a Lexis search.

    MamaAJ (788539)

  14. I’m in NW Alabama (more north than nw atm); if you still need help, let me know (didn’t see this earlier)

    Lord Nazh (899dce)

  15. Can you give any clues as to what you’re up to?

    Saul Goode (fcf819)

  16. i’ve never been to alabama in my life. let me know if you ever need help in oregon. what kind of big story could happen in alabama anyway?

    assistant devil's advocate (3fe451)

  17. It was just posted. Check it out.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  18. ok drj, i will, but i got yer top ten alabama stories from yesterday right here:

    10. 1200 pound “hogzilla” shot.
    9. warehouse full of moonshine burns to ground.
    8. birmingham high school player selected in 4th round of nfl draft.
    7. two baptist preachers surprise each other in gay craigslist tryst.
    6. plymouth voyager runs over shopping cart full of eskimo pies.
    5. tournament-winning 22 pound bass revealed as plastic.
    4. suitcase full of water moccasins found in bus station.
    3. face of jesus appears on cornbread pudding.
    2. newly dug privy hole yields confederate relic trove.
    1. noise awakens man at night, he finds two alligators making love in truckbed.

    assistant devil's advocate (3fe451)

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