Minnesota Court Records Lookup
The following is for information purposes only
Minnesota Court Records
What types of courts are in Minnesota?
Minnesota has a fairly small and relatively simple justice system that is made up of just three branches. They have trial courts that consist of district courts with different branches within each one that handles different types of cases. Federal courts deal with federal cases in the state and represent all of the counties within Minnesota. There is also a federal bankruptcy court that handles cases within the state that deal with bankruptcy cases too.
All of the judges that govern in the state of Minnesota are elected instead of appointed by the state's governor and his council. The judges that serve at the district level, as judges that serve on the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are appointed similarly to other states, though they go on to serve lifetime terms. They are allowed to serve until the age of 70, after which they must retire.
There is also one Court of Appeals, which hears appeals from district courts and sometimes helps to lessen the number of cases that go to the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals hears, on average, 2,000 to 2,400 cases a year, with the Supreme Court hearing only about 5% of them.
How are court cases in Minnesota managed?
All courts are governed by the Minnesota Supreme Court. They are responsible for hearing appeals that are approved by the Court of Appeals and handle cases that deal with federal income taxes and workers' compensation. Some cases of higher degree go straight to the Supreme Court for appeal instead of passing through the Court of Appeals.
There are seven judges appointed to the Supreme Court and one chief judge that oversees them all. All of the courts are overseen by the Supreme Court including cases and appointed judges. If judges are deemed unjust, the Supreme Court could overturn their position and cause them to lose their position. Judges who are voted off of the panel for any court are not able to return under any circumstances and will not be able to serve in any other state.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals is a step above the District Courts, helping the Supreme Court handle appeals. It is their main job to review the decisions made among all district courts, deciding whether or not justice was served. Depending on the case, the judges of the Court of Appeals may hear a case or may not, in which case they have to decide the verdict within 90 days. Though the court of appeals oversees many of the district courts, they are not the final governing body.
Minnesota Courthouses, Sheriff's Offices, Police Departments, Jails, & Prisons
- Big Stone
- Blue Earth
- Crow Wing
- Lac Qui Parle
- Lake Of The Woods
- Le Sueur
- Mille Lacs
- Otter Tail
- Red Lake
- Saint Louis
- Yellow Medicine
Which trial courts are in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, there is only one trial court with branches that handle all types of court cases in the state. The Minnesota District Court serves all of the 87 counties that make up Minnesota, each one divided into 10 districts. They deal with cases both civil and criminal and have jurisdiction to hear cases that require a jury and those that do not.
Most of the district courts around Minnesota are divided into departments, while some deal with motor vehicle violations and others with first-degree murder. There is also a branch dealing with family cases, which hears cases that involve juveniles and family matters such as divorce and estate hearings.
There are over 280 judges in the District Court, some of which are able to hear cases that deal with serious cases and others that deal with only minor crimes. Most judges are able to hear a wide range of cases, taking some that involve serious cases and others that involve only minor crimes. All of the ten judicial districts are overseen by a chief judge. This chief judge has help from the assistant chief judge and a judicial district administrator.
What are the federal district courts in Minnesota?
There is one federal court in Minnesota, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. The judges for this court are appointed by the president of the United States and verified by the United States Senate. Apart from the judges appointed to the district court of Minnesota, their magistrate judges at the federal level. These judges are appointed by the governor and his committee and do not serve life terms.
The District Court in the state of Minnesota has jurisdiction to hear cases that include both civil and criminal crimes, though they have to fall under federal law. All of the counties in the state are covered by the court and appeals from these districts go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.
How to find electronic court records in Minnesota
In the state of Minnesota, not all records for court cases are made public. The public can request information and access to court cases by having the record they wish to access along with the case number or the name of one of the parties involved in the suit. To find electronic records, individuals can visit the Minnesota Trial Court Public Access Remote View Portal, searching for cases by the case number, parties involved, or the name of the attorneys involved.
When records are public, the search is simple, accessible via a number of ways including both state and third-party search engines for court records. Those that have been sealed from public view do are not accessible and require special permission upon request.
There are a few other ways that those looking for court records in Minnesota can get their hands on them, one of which includes visiting the courthouse where the case was heard. After finding the court where the case was heard, individuals can either stop by or write for permission to access cases, waiting until approval before they can see and obtain copies for a fee.