Minnesota Courts Overview
It helps to understand how the Minnesota state court system works when you’re trying to find court records. The Minnesota trial court system consists of District Courts, Tax Court, and Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals.
Minnesota has a unified trial court system that grants general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases to District Courts. District Courts are generally organized into several divisions based on case type, including Civil, Criminal, Family, Juvenile, Probate, Housing, Misdemeanor, Conciliation and Traffic.
If you prefer, you can start your search by going to Minnesota courts by county.
Minnesota District CourtsDistrict Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases and are generally organized into several divisions based on case type, including Civil, Criminal, Family, Juvenile, Probate, Housing, Misdemeanor, Conciliation (Small Claims) and Traffic. Some divisions share jurisdiction over certain types of cases.
A District Court may also have Specialty or “Problem Solving” divisions, such as Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Truancy Court, Community Court, Teen Court or Peer Court.
Conciliation divisions handle most general civil cases with less than $7,500 in dispute. Jurisdiction is limited to claims for $4,000 or less if a case involves a consumer credit transaction. Conciliation divisions do not handle certain types of cases, including disputes about title or boundary of real estate, defamation by libel or slander, most cases requesting specific performance, class actions, requests for prejudgment remedies, most requests for injunctive relief, eviction and medical malpractice.
Minnesota Tax CourtThe Minnesota Tax Court hears appeals of orders issued by the Commissioner of Revenue and appeals of local property tax valuations, classification, equalization, and exemptions. Tax Court is located in the Minnesota Judicial Center in St. Paul, but judges travel throughout the state to conduct trials.
Minnesota Workers' Compensation Court of AppealsThe Minnesota Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals hears appeals of workers' compensation cases decided by compensation judges at the Office of Administrative Hearings and by the Workers' Compensation Division of the Department of Labor and Industry.
Where to Find Court Cases in Minnesota
The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of Minnesota court.
|Case Type||Court Type|
|General Civil - Unlimited|
|General Civil - Limited|
|Foreclosures and Liens|
|Real Estate Title and Boundary|
|Landlord / Tenant|
|Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders|
|Administrative Agency Appeals|
|Felony Preliminary Hearings|
|Traffic and Infractions|
|Domestic Relations||District Courts|
|Child Custody and Visitation|
|Domestic Violence Protection Order|
|Child Abuse and Neglect|
|Termination of Parental Rights|
|Children in Need of Supervision|
|Mental Health||District Courts|
|Other Mental Health Cases|
|Wills & Estates|
|Guardianships and Conservatorships|