News Item
eCharging to become mandatory in 11 pilot counties July 1

Posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Under recent amendments to the Minnesota Rules of Court, effective July 1, 2015, prosecutors filing a criminal complaint in the 11 eCourtMN pilot counties will be required to electronically file the complaint through the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) eCharging system. The 11 pilot counties include: Cass, Clay, Cook, Dakota, Faribault, Hennepin, Kandiyohi, Lake, Morrison, Ramsey, and Washington counties.

Filing criminal complaints through the eCharging system will become mandatory statewide on July 1, 2016.

In addition, beginning July 1, 2016, law enforcement statewide will be required to electronically file citations and tab charges with the court through an eCitation system that has been approved by the State Court Administrator.

At this time the mandatory use of eCharging and eCitations by prosecutors and law enforcement applies only to the filing of adult complaints and adult citations. The amended court rules require that juvenile citations and petitions be filed electronically when the technology authorized by the State Court Administrator is available.  Currently, the technology is available only for juvenile citations in Hennepin County.  Until authorized electronic means are available elsewhere, juvenile citations and petitions will continue to be filed on paper. The amended rules also provide that search warrants may be sent and signed electronically under a method approved by the State Court Administrator’s Office.  This technology is also not yet available.  It is anticipated that the technology for juvenile petitions and citations and for search warrants will be developed within the BCA’s eCharging application.  When the technology is available, the BCA and the State Court Administrator’s Office will facilitate the statewide rollout.

The mandatory use of the eCharging and eCitation systems for prosecutors and law enforcement is part of a broader move to electronic case records within the Minnesota Judicial Branch. Through the eCourtMN initiative, the Minnesota Judicial Branch is implementing technological advances that will give court users the ability to submit documents to the court and serve documents to opposing parties electronically. The eFile and eServe system is being implemented across the state in 2015, and will become mandatory for attorneys, government agencies, and guardians ad litem in the eCourtMN pilot counties on July 1, 2015, and statewide on July 1, 2016. While the eFile and eServe system will be used for most court documents, charging documents - such as criminal complaints, citations, and tab charges - will be filed through the eCharging and eCitation systems.

About the BCA’s eCharging and eCitation Service

For the past several years, the Minnesota Judicial Branch has worked with the BCA, prosecutors, and local law enforcement agencies to promote the use of eCitations and eCharging. The eCharging system allows prosecutors to file complaints electronically, speeding case processing and reducing staff time needed for data entry. The eCitation system automatically transfers citation information entered into a squad car computer to law enforcement and court databases. Additionally, the BCA has developed a web-based interface within its eCharging application which provides law enforcement agencies with another option for electronic submission of citations; agencies already in eCharging will be able to use the interface to submit citations electronically with no additional costs involved.  The BCA plans to begin a pilot this summer to test the new interface; the goal is to begin deployment in late summer or early fall of this year.  Both of these tools increase efficiency within the justice system, and improve the accuracy of data provided to the courts and used by law enforcement. By the end of 2014, 258 law enforcement agencies in the state were using eCitations, and 75 of Minnesota’s 87 counties were using the Minnesota BCA eCharging application.  If you have questions about the BCA eCharging application, please contact BCA eCharging Product Manager Kent Therkelsen at  or 651-793-2446.