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Enhancements to Minnesota Court Records Online (MCRO) Increase Access and Transparency

Posted: Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Enhancements to Minnesota Court Records Online (MCRO) Increase Access and Transparency

The Minnesota Judicial Branch today announced several new enhancements to Minnesota Court Records Online (MCRO), including a new Register of Actions that will improve how people view court case information and search for public court documents online.  
 
“Access to justice is not just defined by a physical location, but also by how services are provided, the means by which resources are accessed, and how information is shared,” said Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea. “The ability to access public documents online is important to the people we serve and helps build trust in our justice system.”
 
MCRO provides the public with the ability to search for and retrieve public court documents without having to go to a court facility or the State Law Library. Since its launch in March 2021, more than 2 million district court case documents have been downloaded through the application.
 
When it first launched, MCRO users could only find documents when searching by case number. The new enhancements to the application include the ability to search for cases using a person’s name, a business name, or an attorney name or bar number, as well as by case number or citation number. Users also now have access to redesigned Registers of Actions with details about each case, including case events, document index numbers, hearings, parties, and financial information, in addition to appropriate public documents. These enhancements are moving the Minnesota Judicial Branch one step closer to providing a fully-functional remote access product per Court Rules and statutes.
 
The final phase of MCRO implementation, which is anticipated to take place in 2022, will provide improved search functionality for judgments and hearings. Once the final phase of implementation is complete, the Judicial Branch will also implement a fee for documents accessed via MCRO. User will be able to view the first page of documents as a preview, and then have the option of paying an access fee to view subsequent pages and download or print entire documents longer than one page. The access fee will be the same amount as purchasing a document at a courthouse. That fee is currently $8, and is set by Minn. Statute § 357.021, subd. 2(2). As with paper copies, the revenue from those fees will go to the state General Fund.
 
Once fully implemented, MCRO will replace Minnesota Public Access Remote (MPA) as the online platform for public access to state district court records and documents. 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. Visit Minnesota Court Records Online (MCRO) for more information.