Copy Requests

Overview

Many records from court cases are open and accessible to the public. Some records are not accessible to the public for different reasons. For more information on what it and is not publicly available, review the MN Rules of Public Access to Records of the Judicial Branch. You may be able to get copies of records from a confidential or sealed case, but more paperwork may be required for you to be allowed access. See the Ways to Get Copies tab for more information.

There are several types of copies of court records that are commonly requested:

  • Uncertified copies are plain photocopies that do not have a court seal, so they cannot be used for official purposes (for example, updating your name on a driver’s license after a name change). It is a good idea to keep plain copies of documents from your case for your own records. Uncertified copies generally cost $8, unless the judge has waived your fees in the case.
  • Certified copies are photocopies that have a court seal or an image of a court seal that allows them to be used for official purposes (for example, updating your name on a driver’s license after a name change). Certified copies generally cost $14, unless the judge has waived your fees in the case.
  • Exemplified copies are photocopies that have the signatures of the judicial officer and court administrator verifying the validity of the document.  Exemplified copies generally cost $14 ($28 if requesting an exemplified and certified copy), unless the judge has waived your fees in the case.
Be aware that some records are not available from court administration. This includes, but is not limited to, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, immigration records, real estate records, and Recognition of Parentage (ROP) forms.
 
MN Court Records Online (MCRO) is a new application that provides online access to MN state district (trial) court records and documents. Currently in Phase 2 of its rollout, MCRO provides online access to many public district court documents. Documents that are available in MCRO are free of charge until the application is fully implemented, at which point there will be a charge per document. Access to documents filed prior to July 1, 2015 is very limited in MCRO. Review the MCRO page for more information.
Visit the court administration counter at the courthouse in the county where the case is located. Most requests can be completed on the same day. However, due to space limitations and other storage consideration, many counties keep some court records off-site. If the record you need is not on-site, court administration staff may not have immediate access to the court file and may not be able to provide a copy the same day. Payment can generally be made by credit card, or a check or money order made payable to “District Court Administrator.”
Complete the copy request form (see the Copy Request Forms tab) for the county where the case is located. If no county form is available, you can use the statewide copy request form or you can write a letter to the court. Mail the completed document to court administration in the county where your case is located. You can find address information for court administration in all MN counties by going to the Find Courts page. Payment must be sent with your copy request document, unless the judge has waived the fees in your case. Payment can be made by a check or money order made payable to “District Court Administrator.”
Complete the copy request form (see the Copy Request Forms tab) for the county where the case is located. If no county form is available, you can use the statewide copy request form or you can write a letter to the court. File the completed document electronically through the eFile and eServe System. If you are a party in the case you are requesting records from, you can file your copy request document directly into the case using the court file number. If you are not a party in the case, contact court administration to ask for an administrative court file number you can use. You can find contact information for court administration in all MN counties by going to the Find Courts page.

Named parties in a confidential (not sealed) case may get records from the case by verifying their identity with court administration.

If you are trying to get records from:

  • A confidential case where you were not a party;
  • A sealed case where you were a party; or
  • A sealed case where you were not a party,

You will need to complete and file the forms for either the:

If the judge grants you access to the records, you can then request copies in person, by mail, or by eFiling.
Copy Request FormsYou can find county-specific copy request forms and more information about requesting copies for the following counties at the links listed below. If your county is listed below, please use the form that is linked to for your county. 

Anoka
Blue Earth
Brown
Carlton
Chisago
Cook
Cottonwood
Dakota
Faribault
Hennepin
Isanti
Jackson
Kanabec
Lake
Lincoln
Lyon
Martin
Murray

Nicollet
Nobles
Pine
Pipestone
Ramsey
Redwood
Rock
Scott
Sherburne
St. Louis
Washington
Watonwan
Wright

If you need a copy of a court record from a county that is not listed above, you can complete and file the statewide copy request form or you can write a letter to the court. Use of the copy request form is not required, but it may help your request be processed correctly and more quickly.