Minnesota Public Records – Review And Use Guide

Minnesota is located in the North of the United States. More than half of its population lives in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area.

This area – called the Twin Cities – is among the largest metropolises in the US. In this article, we are going to give you all the information about Minnesota Public Records.

Minnesota Public Records
Minnesota Public Records

The Minnesota Constitution was adopted in 1857 and has – just like any other federal state – a republican system with power divided into legislative, executive, and judicial.

The Judiciary system in Minnesota has three levels with most cases starting in the district courts.

The second level consists of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and the third is the Minnesota Supreme Court.


About Minnesota Public Records

About Minnesota Public Records
About Minnesota Public Records

Access to public records in Minnesota is regulated by the Minnesota Data Practices Act.

It guarantees the right to view and get copies of public records to any citizen who makes proper requests The public can therefore have access to most government agency records unless it is otherwise specified by law. 

The different government agencies generate, collect, and store the public records connected to their activities; for this reason.

When you need access to some official documents, you need to know who to turn to, as there is no central agency in Minnesota responsible for public records.

Requests can be made in person, by mail, or online through the proper web platforms that the agencies put at the public’s disposal.

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What are Public Records in Minnesota?

What are Public Records in Minnesota?
What are Public Records in Minnesota?

According to the State’s Data Practices Act, public records consist of any and all data collected, created or received, and stored by any government entity.

They can have a physical (paper) form or be in an electronic format (data files, PDFs, databases, video, or audio files…). 

The same Act establishes that not only the public has the full right of accessing public records, but they also have the right to receive an explanation of the data if they don’t understand it.


How can I access Minnesota Public Records?

How can I access Minnesota Public Records?
How can I access Minnesota Public Records?

The first thing you need to do when you need access to public records in Minnesota is to identify the entity, agency, or department responsible for that specific type of record.

Wait to receive all the documentation you’ve requested. Time and costs can vary depending on the number of copies you request.

Costs are related to the printing process so that the more pages you need the higher the due fee.

The same goes for time: the more requests you make and the more complex they are, the longer the time.


Criminal Records

 Criminal Records
Criminal Records

These records in Minnesota are official documents that regard information about courts and dates of conviction, sentencing information, offenses but also arrest data, federal data, felony or misdemeanor records, police records, and jail and inmate records.

How can I have access to these Records in Minnesota?

How can I have access to Criminal Records in Minnesota?
How can I have access to Criminal Records in Minnesota?

The Department of Public Safety and in particular its division called Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is the agency that is responsible for the storing of public records.

To have access to criminal records, therefore, you need to contact them. There is also an online portal available for a quicker and more convenient search.

If you’re looking for arrest records, however, you may also want to make your request to local law enforcement as they are also responsible for the generation and keeping of arrest records in their jurisdiction.

Arrest records could be related to drug charges, murder, trespassing, theft, possession of narcotics, sexual abuse, and also arrest warrants.

Are all Criminal Records in Minnesota public?

Are all Criminal Records in Minnesota public?
Are all Criminal Records in Minnesota public?

These in Minnesota are public if not otherwise specified by law. Some records or some information within the records can be made confidential to protect victims or minors.


Court Records

Court Records
Court Records

These records in Minnesota include:

  • Financial court records, regarding bankruptcies, corporate financial reports, and also liens.
  • Court records like bench warrants, arrest warrants, traffic tickets, and also other traffic violations, judgments…
  • Criminal court records: official documents regarding criminal filing for misdemeanors, felonies, or other like any type of paperwork, but also sentencing, prisoner transfers, and also evidence related to court cases.
  • Civil court records: official documents related to marriages and divorces, paternity lawsuits, custody, child support cases, and also wills.

How can I get access to these Records?

How can I get access to Minnesota Court Records?
How can I get access to Minnesota Court Records?

The Judicial Branch of government in Minnesota is the one responsible for court records, their creation, and storing.

However, they provide a web platform on their website through which you can search, view, and print all the public court records. 

Just like it happens for criminal records, all court records are public unless it’s otherwise specified.

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Are confidential records not accessible in any case?

Are confidential records not accessible in any case?
Are confidential records not accessible in any case?

Confidential records could be accessible after proper request, for example, to attorneys working on cases.

They can only have access to the confidential information that is related to their cases and they have to make a proper request in which they specify who they are and which cases are they working on.


Other types of Public Records in Minnesota

Other types of Public Records in Minnesota
Other types of Public Records in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health is responsible for the keeping of vital records, and these include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Death certificates
  • Adoptions
  • Marriage certificates
  • Divorce certificates

Other than vital records, public records in Minnesota also include:

  • Driving records
  • Government’s budget reports
  • Government annual reports
  • Health and wealth statistics
  • Library research
  • Permits, Licenses, and Certification
  • Property Records
  • Home Phone Numbers
  • Company Incorporation Records
  • Police Accidents Reports
  • Pollution Reports

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Minnesota public record?

You may have heard the term a thousand times before but not really understand what “public records” in Minnesota means. In Minnesota and in all other American states, public records include any document or data that is created and stored by public service or government agencies.

Can you find court records online?

Federal case files are maintained electronically and are available through the internet-based Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. PACER allows anyone with an account to search and locate appellate, district, and bankruptcy court case and docket information.

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