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Criminal Court Records


MNCIS - MPA Remote is the public, online version of the MN Court Information System (MNCIS), where you can search court records online. NOTE: There are limits to case information online which are described in the MN Rules of Public Access to Records of the Judicial Branch. Online records do NOT include street addresses for parties, or information on pre-conviction criminal, traffic, and petty misdemeanor cases. Pre-conviction criminal information is only available at the courthouse or by calling the Hennepin County Criminal Court at (612)348-2040.

At the Courthouse

Most Hennepin Court records are available electronically at the courthouse. To request copies of a document from a court file, you may visit the District Court Records Center on the B-Level of the Hennepin Co. Govt Center, or one of the Suburban Courthouse locations. There is a $10 fee for a copy of a court document, and a $16 fee for a certified copy of a court document. People can also search records online using MNCIS computers at the suburban courthouses and at the B-Level District Court Records Center.

By Mail

You can request a copy of a Hennepin County criminal court record (e.g, case history) through the mail for a fee (see criminal and miscellaneous fees). To submit a record request, please fill out a Court Document Copy Request Form and send it to the court along with the fee to the court address listed on the form.

Records Center Please visit our main Records Center page for more details on how to find Hennepin Court Records, get copies, and for hours and court locations.

FAQs on Criminal Records


Q: What is on my Minnesota criminal court record and where is it kept?

Your Minnesota criminal court record is a combination of all of the files and records of any felony, gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor, or petty misdemeanor(s) ever charged against you in Minnesota; as well as the sentences served for those charges. All District Courts, city, county and state law enforcement agencies, and prosecutor's offices keep their own records.

Q: How do I get a copy of a criminal court record from a Minnesota court?

Contact the District Court in the county where the person was charged with a crime. You can ask court staff how to get a copy of a Minnesota criminal court record for that county. If you are interested in certified copies of criminal court records in more than one Minnesota county, contact each County Court for information about their criminal court records.

For a statewide background search, you could contact the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) to get a printout a criminal record information for the entire state. Law enforcement agencies are required to report certain details about crimes to the BCA. However, the BCA report may not include all of the criminal records that are available at the courthouses. Contact the BCA in person, by mail, or via the Internet at www.dps.mn.gov/divisions/bca. The BCA mailing address is:

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
1430 Maryland Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55106

Q: How do I get a copy of a criminal court record that covers the United States?

If you had criminal cases in other states, contact those courts directly about your criminal record information. You may also want to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) if you are not sure of your complete record in other states. Their mailing address is:

FBI-CJIS Division - Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, VA  26306
(no contact via phone)

Q: Does my criminal court record include my driving record?

No, not unless you were charged with a crime at the level of misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony--for example, criminal vehicular manslaughter. See MN Statutes § 609.02 Criminal Definitions for details. A basic speeding ticket is not considered a crime under Minnesota law.  The Driver & Vehicle Services Division of the MN Dept. of Public Safety is the agency that issues and regulates driver's licenses, so they may have a record of the driving offense in their system.

Q: How do I get a copy of a driving record?

Driving records are maintained at at the Driver & Vehicle Services Division of the MN Dept. of Public Safety. Please contact them for more information.

Q: What criminal court information is public?

The type of crime charged, the name of the court that convicted or dismissed the charges, the date of conviction or dismissal, a description of the sentence served, if any, and other details of the crime and court process.

NOTE: If you are filling out expungement forms, do NOT rely on information from records viewed online through MPA Remote.

Q: Can employers and landlords check my criminal court record?

Generally, yes, unless the record is expunged. In Minnesota, any person can search District Court criminal court records at the county courthouse. An employer or a landlord will most likely search the court records of the county where you live or work. Whichever county (or counties) is searched will have only the criminal court records for that particular county.

Another place that the public, including employers and landlords, check criminal records is at the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) in St. Paul. Law enforcement agencies throughout Minnesota report information in their records to the BCA. The BCA has a "statewide" computerized record of criminal cases, part of which is accessible to the public and part of which is private. An employer or a landlord can access the public records, and if he gets your written permission before doing the search, he may also see your private criminal record at the BCA. The BCA private records include juvenile criminal history, and may also include details about being arrested. Contact the BCA for more specific information on their policies and procedures on records.

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Q: My criminal court case was dismissed, so I don't have a criminal court record, right?

Wrong. You most likely have a public criminal court record that says you were charged with a crime and that your charge was later dismissed.

Q: My arrest and conviction happened 10+ years ago. When does this information drop off my criminal court record?

Minnesota Courts retain some type of record of court cases forever. Just because a case is old does not mean the record is no longer available to be viewed by the public. Older paper files may be archived (in storage), saved on microfiche, or saved in a digital format, but information about court cases will always be saved; information never automatically "drops off." Court records are viewable by the public unless sealed by law or court order.

Q: How long does the Hennepin Court keep criminal court records?

The Hennepin County District Court maintains records according to the Records Retention Schedule for the MN Judicial Branch. The management of court records is subject to the law at MN Statutes § 138.17 on keeping and destroying public records.

Q: Is there anything I can do to clear my court record?

You can ask the court to seal one or more criminal cases. This is called "expungement." This action does not erase your criminal case record, but it does limit who can see it. Read about Criminal Expungement at our Self-Help Center for more information about sealing criminal court records.

Q: Will the judge grant my expungement request?

While it is easier to expunge a dismissed case than a conviction case, no one can predict how a judge will decide your request for expungement.

Q: How do I request an expungement of a criminal court record?

There are many steps involved in asking for an expungement. Please read about Criminal Expungement at our Self-Help Center. There you will find forms, instructions, video tutorials, and more.

Q: How long does the expungement process take?

At least 4 months, or more. By law, at least 63 days must pass from when your paperwork is mailed to the government agencies to when a judge holds the hearing to consider your request. If the judge grants the expungement, another 60 days must pass before the court actually seals your record.

Q: If my criminal case is expunged, what happens to my court record?

A sealed state court record still exists but the public cannot view it. If the expunged crime was the only crime on your record, you will not have a court record that the public can see. Employers and landlords cannot see sealed (expunged) records, BUT law enforcement and immigration agencies CAN see them.

Q: What about sealing the BCA and other agencies' records?

Under current Minnesota law, a state court judge can order the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and other agencies to expunge a dismissed case. However, if you were convicted or pled guilty, the judge generally cannot order the BCA and other agencies to expunge or seal their records. If you want to try to expunge all conviction records kept by any agency, you should talk with a lawyer to get advice.

Q: The MN Dept. of Human Services told me that I cannot work in a direct care job. What can I do?

For details on this issue, read the Legal Fact Sheet: Disqualification by MN Dept. Human Services published by the MN Legal Services Coalition.


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