What Are the Rules Regarding Court Access for the Public in Minnesota?


Quick Answer

The Minnesota rules of public access to records of the judicial branch state that most records are open to the inspection and copying by the public during business hours, as of amendments effective Sept. 1, 2012, according to Minnesota Judicial Branch. The rules note that certain records are excluded from public access without first obtaining a court order.

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Full Answer

In the rules, records generally refer to case records, administrative records and vital statistics records, explains Minnesota Judicial Branch. Domestic abuse records in accordance with the domestic abuse act are not available for public access. Court services records, meaning records on people that have not been admitted into evidence, may be restricted depending on the nature of the record. Other case records that require a court order for access include judicial work product and drafts, juvenile appeal cases, race records, genetic information and any case records specifically made inaccessible by state statute, court order or any other applicable law.

Certain types of administrative records are restricted, including personnel records, correspondence between individuals and judges not explicitly made public, schedules, security records, copyrighted material, passport records and other records defined in the rules. Requests for access to records are made to the custodian of the records, either orally or in writing. Of note, Minnesota courts offer online records requests, according to Minnesota Judicial Branch. Requests may be delayed or denied, but an explanation must be given to the requesting person.

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