Finding court records

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Trying to find out how many people were arrested, and how many have been charged in RNC-related cases is a challenge. The daily morning briefing by police offers some numbers — 283 arrested on Monday and 10 or 11 on Tuesday. All of those arrested between Friday night and Monday night should have had a day in court by noon on Wednesday. (Unless the 36-hour rule was extended to 48 hours, which may be allowed in some cases, but not in others … but we are not going to get into that mess here.)

To find out how many people had been charged, I did name-by-name counting, the old-fashioned way. Of course, I used on-line court records, the new-fangled way. Here’s how you, too, can use your computer to find information on criminal or civil cases, anywhere in the state. (Caveat: some exceptions apply, but it is still a very useful tool.)

Begin by going to the Minnesota Courts Web page. (If you are specifically interested in RNC cases, go directly to the RNC court page.. Write down the name(s) of the judge(s) whose calendar you want to see. )

In the black title bar at the top of the page, click on “access to trial court records.”

Scroll down to the bottom of the page, reading terms and conditions, and click to accept the terms and conditions.

Now you are on the search page. You can search by:

• judge’s name (Click on court calendar, if you are searching by judge’s name.)
• defendant’s name (but this needs to be the exact name under which they are charged)
• case number

If you search by judge, you will select a date or date range, and then click to find the cases on the judge’s calendar for the day or days that you select. Click on any defendant or case listed on that calendar to see a record of proceedings. If you write down the number of the case, you will be able to search by number in the future.