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Hire a proven professional to secure admissible evidence of cohabitation

You only get one shot at your cohabitation/alimony investigation. Ensure success, hire the right New Jersey private investigator!

Bob Cowan - Owner of Cowan Investigations, a New Jersey Private Investigator

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Work With A New Jersey Private Investigator You Can Trust For Your Alimony Cohabitation Investigation, Contact Former Jersey City Police Chief Bob Cowan For A free 30 minute consultation

The best time to gather enough evidence of cohabitation is during the “first investigation” by a New Jersey Private Investigator. Once the recipient of alimony gets “raised up” there is an cohabitation/alimony investigation into their living arrangements it will be much harder to obtain evidence of the cohabitation. The ex-spouse will begin to take more precautions with their living arrangements to conceal their continuing fraud. As you know, knowledge of the involvement of a private investigator is never good for an investigation. Because of the need to protect the integrity of its investigations, Cowan Investigations owns and deploys three surveillance vehicles that are a fit in most any environment. These vehicles include a surveillance van in which investigations can be conducted from the rear of the parked vehicle without the investigator being being detected while the van appears to be unoccupied. In addition, Cowan Investigations deploys state of the art surveillance equipment both video and audio.

You no longer have to sit back and be the victim of paying fraudulent Alimony Payments!!! Call Cowan Investigations and if feasible we will deploy long term 24/7 Private Investigator Concealed Cameras to track activity act the Subjects Home. The potential for the collection of voluminous amounts of damning evidence of cohabitation is possible!!! Re; the attached link (Hidden Camera Surveillance Private Investigator New Jersey)

During my investigations I will do anything for my client that is legally permissible in order to gather evidence of cohabitation. I will utilize my background, knowledge and the investigative experience acquired during my thirty four plus years rising through the ranks of the Jersey City Police Department.


California V. Greenwood And State Of New Jersey V. Hempele Federal And State Case Law Concerning Seizure Of Garbage

Under a concept known as New Federalism States are permitted under their own State Constitutions to provide more rights to their citizens then the base-line rights provided for under the United States Constitution. However, States may never provide less rights then provided for under the United States Constitution the Greenwood/Hempele Line Of Cases is an on point example of New Federalism. It is important to keep two things in mind when considering these two cases, cases in which decisions were made by both the Federal Courts and the New Jersey Courts;

1. The decisions were made under the rights of individuals under the fourth amendment to be free from unreasonable “Government Intrusion” (search and seizure),

2. Private Investigators are not “Government Actors” so Private Investigators are not governed by the fourth ammendment

The Supreme Court of The United States held that the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the warrantless search and seizure of garbage left for collection “outside the curtilage” of the home.,

In Contrast, the New Jersey Supreme Court in State V. Hempele has ruled that although police can seize garbage left at curbside under the concept of abandonment New Jersey Police would need a search warrant in order to search the seized garbage

First and foremost, this case applies to “Police Seizure” of a person’s garbage. It is important to realize the fourth amendment applies only to government actors (police) not private citizens (private investigators). Stated another way, if the police can seize a person’s garbage taken from outside the curtilage of a person’s home, so can a private investigator. In cohabitation/alimony investigations I have conducted where the targets trash was left at curbside, I will often utilize this investigative procedure. The best time to conduct garbage pulls is the very early morning hours. Dependent on the circumstances I will often wait to the latter part of an Alimony Investigation before risking the trash pull. Potential evidence acquired from the trash is taken and searched for signs of cohabitation. This “garbage pull” investigatory procedure often yields compelling evidence of cohabitation which will assist your attorney in addressing alimony responsibilities.

With all of this said, this is an investigative procedure that as a New Jersey Private Investigator I will often employ. However, the trash pull could be open to interpretation in New Jersey Family Courts. As in any analysis a Court will conduct there is always a potential the evidence collected could be inadmissible. Be careful of a New Jersey Private Investigator who tells you the seizure and search of a targets garbage left at curbside will be absolutely admissible. There are no absolutes in New Jersey Court Rooms.


The Plain View Doctrine:

The Plain View Doctrine is an exception to the warrant requirement which allows “officers” to seize items of evidence which they observe and immediately recognize as evidence or contraband while they (police) are lawfully present in an area protected by the fourth amendment”.

Keep in mind the earlier discussion where I explain how the fourth amendment applies to government actors (police), not private citizens (private investigators). Essentially, in cases of searches, if the police can do it a New Jersey Private Investigator can certainly do it. There is currently established Case Law where police officers posing as a couple entered a home on an investigation without a warrant where a real estate agent was conducting an open house for prospective buyers. The officers in search of evidence walked through the house and looked into closets just as any prospective purchaser would do. During this search the officers observed evidence that they were able to include in an affidavit for a search warrant of the home. The targets of the search warrant subsequently objected because they perceived their right to an expectation of privacy had been violated by the officers walking around their house looking for evidence of wrong doing. The court sided with the police finding that the residents had a diminished expectation of privacy because they had opened their home for inspection, the police were lawfully present in the home when they observed evidence to include in their affidavit to obtain a search warrant. It was of no consequence that police utilized a pretense to enter the home.


Holding this thought and analysis in regard to the Plain View Doctrine; some time ago I was retained by a client who had previously retained another private investigator to investigate an issue of cohabitation. Upon being retained and taking over the cohabitation investigation I subsequently discovered the target of the investigation had his/her home listed for sale for a period of time when the cohabitation/alimony investigation was in the hands of the previous investigator. I was astonished to discover the previous investigator had not embraced this home sale as an opportunity to legally gain access to the home in order to legally observe and record potential evidence of cohabitation; more importantly, the investigator could have had an opportunity to have engaged the target of the investigation in conversation and/or the real estate agent (who might have had some useful background information); and of course all conversations could have been legally recorded and entered into evidence because the investigator would be party to the conversation. In a cohabitation/alimony investigation it is essential the investigator you retain is willing to ‘think outside the box’ rather than take the standard course of action of sitting in a car on their butt taking photographs.

It is my hope after you have read this, you come away with the understanding that there is a lot more to a cohabitation/alimony investigation than just taking photographs of a parked vehicle which is suspected of belonging to your ex-spouses house mate. It is shocking how many people will not conduct their due diligence research on a potential investigator and just click on the phone number of a private detective who runs a fancy advertisement.

At risk of being corny I am going to plagiarize one of my favorite advertisements from Sy Syms, “An educated consumer is our best customer”.


“I engaged Robert Cowan to conduct an investigation to document my ex-wife’s cohabitation for the purpose of filing a motion with the family court to terminate permanent alimony. Mr. Cowan formulated and executed a comprehensive investigative plan, which included: social media analysis, background research, early morning and late evening camera and video surveillance conducted in a difficult-to-access rural setting, vehicle registration searches, refuse and recycling pulls, vehicle sighting reports, and even a visit with my ex-wife under the guise of a potential customer responding to a Craig’s list ad. All of these activities were professionally conducted with an acute awareness and strict adherence to admissibility of evidence rules. Mr. Cowan summarized all his findings in concise reports that included photographs and videos of his activities. I highly recommend Robert Cowan to lead your investigation. He was so much more than a hired expert. He was my partner in the legal search for the truth….and his determination to WIN “our” case could not have been greater! “

Thank you,
Robert D.- Sept 2017, 5 Star Google Review

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