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Minnesota Judicial Branch launches Minnesota Court Records Online

Posted: Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Minnesota Judicial Branch launches Minnesota Court Records Online

The Minnesota Judicial Branch now provides online access to many Minnesota district (trial) court public documents. Minnesota Court Records Online (MCRO) is an application, that once fully implemented, will replace Minnesota Public Access (MPA) Remote as the online platform for public access to state district court documents.
“Public access and transparency is key to ensuring trust and confidence in the courts. Increasing remote online access to public court documents is the next step forward in the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s commitment to create a more universal electronic environment that ensures greater access, convenience, and transparency in judicial proceedings,” said Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea. 
MCRO provides the public with the ability to search for and retrieve appropriate public court documents without having to go to a courthouse or the State Law Library. The new application features a modern design, and increased usability and reliability over MPA Remote.
The Minnesota Judicial Branch is rolling out MCRO in three phases. During this first phase, appropriate public documents filed in a case are accessible when searching only with the case number. Future phases of MCRO will include access to Registers of Actions, the ability to search for cases using party and attorney names, and the use of advanced search features that includes calendar and judgment searches. MPA Remote, the current online platform, will remain available until MCRO is fully implemented.
As MCRO is being rolled out in phases, and not all functionality will be available until its full implementation in 2022, the fee for documents accessed via MCRO will not be implemented until court customers have complete access to the system. The statutory fee for purchasing copies of documents at courthouses and the State Law Library remains in effect.
“Public access to court records and documents is a complex issue. The increased use of the Internet to access court documents required an extensive and deliberative process to ensure the courts were balancing privacy with public access to appropriate court documents available online,” said State Court Administrator Jeff Shorba.
The Rules of Public Access to the Records of the Minnesota Judicial Branch determine which case types and documents in those case types are public information, as well as whether that information can be accessed and retrieved remotely.
Users can now access and download the following types of public documents through MCRO:

Documents Filed on or after July 1, 2015:
  • All public documents in all Major and Minor Criminal case types.
  • All public documents in all Major and Minor Civil case types.
  • All public documents in all public Formal Probate, Other Probate, Guardianship and Conservatorship, and Trust case types.
  • Public orders, appellate opinions, and notices prepared by the court in public Family case types and post-adjudication paternity proceedings.
Additional Documents:
  • Judgments, orders, appellate opinions, and court-generated notices to parties filed from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2015, in case types that were publicly and remotely accessible at the time of filing. 
  • Access to documents in MCRO filed prior to July 1, 2015, is very limited. It depends on when the document was imaged, and if the case type was publicly and remotely accessible at the time of filing.
Not Accessible through MCRO:
  • Registers of Actions and the ability to search for cases using party names. These will be accessible during Phase 2 of the MCRO rollout, currently anticipated for later in 2021.
  • The use of advanced search features, including calendar and judgment searches. These will be accessible during Phase 3 of the MCRO rollout, currently anticipated for 2022.
  • Public documents in public Civil Commitment, Domestic Abuse, Harassment, Delinquency Felony, and Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPs) cases.
  • Search warrants.