District/County Court Case File Research Request
For this research service, Library Staff will search for one specific court case file and send a copy of the case file's full contents.
Price: $10 (if exact case file citation information is provided)
$20 additional (if staff research is required to find the case file citation)
Digital delivery via email and scanning fees are included in the price
MNHS Members receive 10% discount at checkout
Turnaround: Research is usually completed and sent within 60 business days.
About This Research Service:
The standard delivery for this service is to email digital scans, however we can send physical copies if needed. If you need this done, make a note in the "Additional information for this research request" box and staff will contact you about mailing the copies.
Please provide as much information as possible about the case file in question to help make the search successful. Finding a case file without knowing the file number can be difficult and time consuming; requests lacking a specific file number will cost $20 more.
The majority of the county District Court civil and criminal case files usually date from the first year of the county’s establishment until approximately 1950; the ending dates for files held by MNHS vary for each county. In addition, MNHS holds probate case files for about 20% of the counties of Minnesota; the other counties' records are still held by those counties.
Court case file holdings at the Minnesota Historical Society can be found in the library’s online catalog. Search by the name of the county plus the terms “district court” or "probate court" (e.g. Anoka County District Court).
MNHS does not do not have all the court records for all counties; case files not available from MNHS should be available from the respective county court. If we do not hold the records that you request, we will cancel your order and refund the cost (minus the additional $20 fee if the staff had to significantly research the case before determining that we do not hold it). We will also provide any available information on who to contact for next steps in a records search.
Some files contain restricted, private information or are closed in their entirety. In these cases, staff will contact you with more information and/or next steps.
Cases heard in District Court can be appealed up to the Court of Appeals/State Supreme Court, but the original and appeal case files are separate records. If you are interested in ordering the Supreme/Appeals case file, please use our Supreme/Appeals Court Case File Research Request service.
Criminal case files may include information about sentencing and incarceration, but this service does not cover the records of the state prisons. If you are interested in ordering the case file for an inmate, please use our State Correctional Institution (Prison) Research Request service.
Note: The Gale Family Library at the Minnesota Historical Society is not engaged in the practice of law. Any materials purchased or otherwise provided in any way by the Library do not constitute legal opinion or legal advice. The Library assumes no liability for errors or omissions, and is not responsible in any manner for direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, or punitive damages, however caused, arising out of the use of materials requested.
For Assistance with Ordering:
Contact Gale Family Library staff at 651-259-3300