Upon request to a custodian, a person shall be allowed to inspect or to obtain copies of original versions of records that are accessible to the public in the place where such records are normally kept, during regular working hours. However, copies, edited copies, reasonable facsimiles or other appropriate formats may be produced for inspection if access to the original records would: result in disclosure of information to which access is not permitted; provide remote or bulk access that is not permitted under this rule; jeopardize the security of the records; or prove otherwise impractical. Unless expressly allowed by the custodian, records shall not be removed from the area where they are normally kept.
(1) "Register of actions" means a register or list of the title, origination, activities, proceedings and filings in each case [Minnesota Statutes, section 485.07, clause (1)];
(2) "Calendars" means lists or searchable compilations of the cases to be heard or tried at a particular court house or court division [Minnesota Statutes, section 485.11];
(3) "Indexes" means alphabetical lists or searchable compilations for plaintiffs and for defendants for all cases including the names of the parties, date commenced, case file number, and such other data as the court directs [Minnesota Statutes, section 485.08];
(4) "Judgment docket" means an alphabetical list or searchable compilation including name of each judgment debtor, amount of the judgment, and precise time of its entry [Minnesota Statutes, section 485.07(3)];
(5) "Remote access" and "remotely accessible" mean that information in a court record can be electronically searched, inspected, or copied without the need to physically visit a court facility. The state court administrator may designate publicly accessible facilities other than court facilities as official locations for public access to court records where records can be electronically searched, inspected, or copied without the need to physically visit a court facility. This access shall not be considered remote access for purposes of these rules.
(6) "Appellate court record" means the case records of the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court, including without limitation opinions, orders, judgments, notices, motions, and briefs.
(b) Certain Data Not To Be Remotely Disclosed. Notwithstanding Rule 8, subd. 2 (c), (e), (f), and (g) for case records other than appellate court records, the public shall not have remote access to the following data fields in the register of actions, calendars, index, and judgment docket, with regard to parties or their family members, jurors, witnesses (other than expert witnesses), or victims of a criminal or delinquent act:
(1) social security numbers and employer identification numbers;
(2) street addresses except that street addresses of parties may be made available by access agreement in a form prepared by the state court administrator and approved by the Judicial Council;
(3) telephone numbers;
(4) financial account numbers; and
(5) in the case of a juror, witness, or victim of a criminal or delinquent act, information that either specifically identifies the individual or from which the identity of the individual could be ascertained.
Without limiting any other applicable laws or court rules, and in order to address privacy concerns created by remote access, it is recommended that court personnel preparing judgments, orders, appellate opinions, and notices limit the disclosure of items (2), (3), and (5) above to what is necessary and relevant for the purposes of the document. Under MINN. GEN. R. PRAC. 11, inclusion of items (1) and (4) in judgments, orders, appellate opinions, and notices is to be made using the confidential information form 11.1. Disclosure of juror information is also subject to MINN. GEN. R. PRAC. 814, MINN. R. CRIM. P. 26.02, subd 2, and MINN. R. CIV. P. 47.01.
(c) Pending Criminal Records. The Information Technology Division of State Court Administration shall make reasonable efforts and expend reasonable and proportionate resources to prevent records of pending criminal matters from being electronically searched by defendant name by the majority of known, mainstream electronic search tools, including but not limited to the court's own electronic search tools. "Records of pending criminal matters" are records, other than appellate court records, for which there is no conviction as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 609.02, subdivision 5 (2014), on any of the charges.
(d) District Court Case Types With No Remote Access. There shall be no remote access to publicly accessible district court case records in the following cast types:
(1) Domestic abuse (proceedings for orders for protection under Minnesota Statutes, section 518B.01);
(2) Harassment (proceedings for harassment restraining orders under Minnesota Statutes, section 609.748);
(3) Delinquency felony (felony-level juvenile delinquency proceedings involving a juvenile at least 16 years old under Minn. R. Juv. Del. P.);
(4) CHIPS, CHIPS-Permanency; CHIPS-Runaway; CHIPS-Truancy; CHIPS-Voluntary Placement; and Child in Voluntary Foster Care for Treatment (encompasses publicly accessible records of all child protection proceedings under the Minn. R. Juv. Prot. P.).
(e) District Court Case Types With No Remote Access to Documents. To the extent that the custodian has the resources and technical capacity to do so, the custodian shall provide remote access to the publicly accessible portions of the district court register of actions, calendars, indexes, and judgments dockets, but excluding any other documents in the following case types:
(1) All Commitment case types (encompasses all proceedings under Minn. Spec. R. COMMITMENT & TREATMENT ACT).
(f) District Court Case Types With No Remote Access to Party/Participant-Submitted Documents. To the extent that the custodian has the resources and technical capacity to do so, the custodian shall provide remote access to the publicly accessible portions of the district court register of actions, calendars, indexes, judgment dockets, judgments, orders, appellate opinions, and notices prepared by the court, but excluding any other documents, in the following case types:
(1) Custody, Dissolution With Child, Dissolution Without Children, Other Family, and Support (encompasses all family case types);
(2) Post-Adjudication Paternity Proceedings.
(g) District Court Case Types with Remote Access to Documents. To the extent that the custodian has the resources and technical capacity to do so, the custodian shall provide remote access to the publicly accessible portions of the district court register of actions, calendars, indexes, judgments dockets, judgments, orders, appellate opinions, notices prepared by the court, and any other documents, in the following case types:
(1) All Major and Minor Civil Case Types (Torrens, Tort, Consumer Credit, Contract, Employment, Forfeiture, Condemnation, Civil Other/Miscellaneous, Other Major Civil, Personal Injury, Conciliation, Implied Consent, Minor Civil Judgments, and Unlawful Detainer);
(2) Formal Probate, Other Probate, Guardianship and Conservatorship, and Trust;
(3) All Major and Minor Criminal Cast Types; and
(4) All electronic case records that are accessible to the public under Rule 4 and that have been in existence for more than 90 years.
(h) Remote Access to Appellate Court Records. The Clerk of the Appellate Courts will provide remote access to publicly accessible appellate court records filed on or after July 1, 2015, except:
(1) The record on appeal as defined in Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 110.01;
(2) Data elements listed in clause (b)(1) - (5) of this rule contained in the appellate court records case management system (currently known as "PMACS");
(3) Appellate briefs, provided that the State Law Library may, to the extent that it has the resources and technical capacity to do so, provide remote access to appellate court briefs provided that the following are redacted: appendices or addenda to briefs, data listed in clause (b)(1) - (5) of this rule, and other records that are not accessible to the public.
To the extent that the Clerk of the Appellate Courts has the resources and technical capacity to do so, the Clerk of the Appellate Courts may provide remote access to appellate records filed between January 1, 2013 and June 30, 2015, and shall, along with the State Law Library, provide remote access to an archive of current and historical appellate opinions dating back as far as resources and technology permit. Public appellate records for which remote access is not available may be accessible at public terminals in the State Law Library or at any district courthouse.
(1) Particular Case. After notice to the parties and an opportunity to be heard, the presiding judge may by order direct the court administrator to provide remote electronic access to records of a particular case that would not otherwise be remotely accessible under parts (b) through (h) of this rule.
(2) E-mail and Other Means of Transmission. Any record custodian may, in the custodian's discretion and subject to applicable fees, provide public access by e-mail or other means of transmission to publicly accessible records that would not otherwise be remotely accessible under parts (b) through (h) of this rule.
(3) E-filed Records. Documents electronically filed or served using the E-Filing System designated by the state court administrator shall be remotely accessible to the person filing or serving them and the recipient of them, on the E-Filing System for the period designated by the court, and on the court's case management system to the extent technically feasible.
A custodian shall, to the extent that the custodian has the resources and technical capacity to do so, provide bulk distribution of its publicly accessible electronic case records as follows:
(a) Records subject to remote access limitations in Rule 8, subd. 2, shall not be provided in bulk to any individual or entity except as authorized by order or directive of the Supreme Court or its designee.
(b) All other electronic case records that are remotely accessible to the public under Rule 8, subd. 2 shall be provided to any individual or entity that executes an access agreement in a form approved by the state court administrator that includes provisions that: (1) mandate periodic updating of the recipient's data no less often than the state court administrator's office updates its bulk records; (2) explain that records are valid only as of a certain date; and (3) address compliance, verification of records, and indemnification of the court.
(c) An individual or entity that does not execute the agreement required under clause (b) of this rule may receive electronic case records that include a case number as the only identifier.
(d) The state court administrator may also permit the release of bulk records without periodic updating provided that the recipient: (1) is an educational or noncommercial scientific institution whose purpose is scholarly or scientific research, or a representative of the news media; and (2) executes an agreement in a form approved by the state court administrator including provisions that limit use of the data.
Notwithstanding other rules, access to non-publicly accessible records and remote and bulk access to publicly accessible records by criminal justice and other government agencies shall be governed by order or directive of the Supreme Court or its designees.
(a) General. Except for medical records under part (b) or this rule, or where access is restricted by court order or the evidence is no longer retained by the court under a court rule, order or retention schedule, documents and physical objects admitted into evidence in a proceeding that is open to the public shall be available for public inspection under such conditions as the court administrator may deem appropriate to protect the security of the evidence.
(b) Medical Record Exhibits. Medical records under Rule 4, subd. 1(f), of these rules that are admitted into evidence in a commitment proceeding that is open to the public shall be available for public inspection only as ordered by the presiding judge.
(c) No Remote Access to Trial or Hearing Exhibits. Evidentiary exhibits from a hearing or trial shall not be remotely accessible, but this shall not preclude remote access to full or partial versions of such records that are or were otherwise submitted to the court as a publicly accessible record.
When copies are requested, the custodian may charge the copy fee established by statute but, unless permitted by statute, the custodian shall not require a person to pay a fee to inspect a record. When a request involves any person's receipt of copies of publicly accessible information that has commercial value and is an entire formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, process, data base, or system developed with a significant expenditure of public funds by the judicial branch, the custodian may charge a reasonable fee for the information in addition to costs of making, certifying, and compiling the copies. The custodian may grant a person's request to permit the person to make copies, and may specify the condition under which this copying will be permitted.
(Amended effective July 1, 2005, except as provided in Rule 8, subdivision 2, paragraph (f), regarding remote access; amended effective July 1, 2007; amended effective March 1 2008; amended effective September 1, 2012; amended effective July 1, 2015; amended effective October 1, 2016.)