Minnesota Court Records
Since the Internet has made court records so easily accessible to the public, there is little reason to physically travel and request them anymore. Today, you can conduct a quick search online to find the genealogical clues, criminal and civil court records or recent court opinions and decisions. Most of these records are available through the Minnesota State Law Library and the court system, and they both offer the ability to search their records online. Divorce records, property records, probate records and small claims files can all provide insight to the daily lives of past generations.
History of Minnesota Court Records
Minnesota court records began to accrue at the Minnesota State Law Library in 1849, when it and the territory were officially created on March 3. There was originally a $5,000 allowance to help establish the library and pay for its contents. The Supreme Court then took over the library in the 1870s and ensured the collections housed there centered on the law. In the course of history, the library has been located in a hotel, market, log tavern, former Ford Motor company factory and three different capitol buildings. Since 1990, it has been located at the Minnesota Judicial Center in St. Paul.
Minnesota Court Records Availability
Minnesota Court Records are largely available at either the Minnesota State Law Library or the Minnesota court system online. The library holds legal periodicals, Supreme Court decisions, oral arguments, and historical documents, copies of state and federal statutes, law reviews and legal journals.
In addition, the public can access court records through a trial court case search online if they know a party’s name, court date, attorney name or case number. Many civil and criminal court cases are found online in this manner. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court records are also searchable online.
Copies of court rules, procedures and forms necessary to defend yourself in the court of law are found online as well as in the library. Other documents of interest include divorce records, small claims and property disputes.
Main Court Information
The Minnesota Supreme Court is the court of last resort in the state, and there are seven justices serving six-year terms. There are elected in nonpartisan elections, and the court sits at the Minnesota Judicial Center and the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. This court hears appeals from lower level courts including the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals, Minnesota Tax Court, Board of Judicial Standards and Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board.
Other cases that the court exercises mandatory jurisdiction over include election contest appeals and first degree murder appeals.
The Minnesota Supreme Court receives very few appeals on an annual basis. In 2007, there were 132 filings and 126 dispositions. In 2014, there were 115 filings and 99 dispositions.