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Minnesota Judicial Branch Launches Digital Exhibit System

Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Minnesota Judicial Branch Launches Digital Exhibit System

The Minnesota Judicial Branch is implementing a new web-based application that puts users in control of managing their digital exhibits. The Minnesota Digital Exhibit Management System (MNDES) provides a secure tool for users to upload digital exhibits and then access and review their uploaded digital exhibits without visiting a courthouse or relying on court staff.

“The Minnesota Judicial Branch is committed to leveraging technology and innovation to provide a secure, consistent, and quality experience for people to interact with the courts and to improve court efficiencies,” said Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea. “MNDES is one example of the advancements our courts are making to operate in an increasingly digital environment.”
 
MNDES accommodates most modern evidence formats, including audio and video files, images, and documents. The exhibits are stored in a secure platform and are not directly accessible by or visible to the public. The new application provides many benefits to external court users, judges, and court staff, including:
 
  • Attorneys and self-represented litigants can upload and manage their exhibits from anywhere.
  • Parties can display exhibits during remote and in-person court hearings.
  • Court clerks can manage exhibits virtually.
  • Judges can access exhibits and make notes as needed within the platform.
  • Courts can utilize chain-of-custody tracking and other features to securely manage exhibits.
  • In the near future, jurors will be able to view digital exhibits during deliberations.
 
A pilot test of MNDES in four counties resulted in a positive response from users. Users cited the application’s accessibility, ease of use, and ability to upload multiple files simultaneously. During the pilot test, the courts efficiently displayed exhibits from MNDES during both remote and in-person hearings and trials.
 
MNDES was successfully piloted and is currently available in Ramsey, Sherburne, and Washington counties. Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Pine, and Wright counties will launch MNDES on May 31. Statewide expansion of the new application will be phased in throughout 2022. An implementation timeline, recorded training, and instructional documents on the new application are available on the MNDES page of the Judicial Branch website.