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Minnesota Court Case Search — Find Your Lawsuit

Dena Standley | August 04, 2023

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Summary: If a debt collection agency is suing you in Minnesota, knowing how to find your court case records will help you prepare for court and increase your chances of winning. Minnesota courts make it easy to access your records with an online portal, and SoloSuit can help you draft and file an Answer to the lawsuit in minutes.

Most Minnesotans who have received a lawsuit from a debt collection agency feel helpless—mainly because they do not know their consumer rights. Additionally, they may not be aware they can follow up on the accuracy of their case by accessing their court records.

Minnesota allows its citizens to access their case records after being sued by visiting the courthouse where the lawsuit was filed or using their online portal. To help you have a fighting chance in your debt collection lawsuit, we will look at how you can access your court records. But first, let's discuss how the Minnesota court system works.

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Minnesota court structure explained

When you understand what type of court has jurisdiction over your case, it will make locating your courthouse and court clerk information much easier. Since debt collection lawsuits are considered civil cases, we will focus on Minnesota’s civil court structure in this section.

The Minnesota judicial system is simple to navigate because it comprises three court levels that handle civil matters: the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and District Courts. Understanding how these courts operate will help you figure out where your case is filed and how to reach the court clerk, should you have any questions. Below, we break down each court and its responsibilities in detail.

  • Supreme Court: Known to be the Court of Last Resort, this court gives the final decision regarding all cases in the state. It hears appeals from the lower courts, and its decisions serve as a precedent of how the other courts should operate. The judges do not allow new witnesses, evidence, or testimony when they accept an appeal. If you disagree with the outcome of your case at the Court of Appeals level, the Supreme Court will take over.

  • Court of Appeals: These courts have appellate jurisdiction over most cases filed in Minnesota. As with the Supreme Court, they do not examine witnesses or allow the presentation of evidence or testimonies. Instead, the judges make decisions using the records of the previous trial and the submitted briefs by both parties. They also allow oral arguments. If you disagree with the outcome of your case at the District Court level, the case will be transferred to the Court of Appeals.

  • District Courts: These trial courts are Minnesota’s courts of general jurisdiction, and all civil cases with no monetary limits and small claims of $15,000 or less. Each District Court has several divisions based on the case types being presented. They include family, traffic, probate, conciliation (small claims), and criminal division.

The graphic below further illustrates the Minnesota court structure for civil cases:

MN court structure

Your debt collection case will most likely be heard in the District Court under the small claims division, also referred to as Conciliation Court, depending on the amount of money in question. The Conciliation Court division handles claims that do not exceed $15,000. Notably, if the case involves a credit card transaction, the amount should not exceed $4,000. Any amount higher than that will be heard in the District Court.

Unlike other courts, the Conciliation Court is simple and informal. You can represent yourself but ensure you do not jeopardize your chances of winning by appearing unprepared.

You might feel overwhelmed at the thought of representing yourself in court without an attorney’s help. Luckily, SoloSuit makes it easy for you to respond to a debt lawsuit without needing to hire a lawyer. In fact, you can draft and file your Answer document with SoloSuit in just 15 minutes. Check out the video below to learn more about how to respond to a debt collection lawsuit in Minnesota:

How to find your case number in Minnesota

Minnesota courthouses keep their records organized by assigning each matter a case number. The court custodian manages to create this unique identification of court documents using letters, numbers, and characters.

To access your case number, visit the courthouse after finding your Minnesota courts location. The court clerk will ask for basic information about your case and retrieve it for you. Another option is through the Minnesota Courts Records Online (MCRO) portal. Enter the details required, such as your name, date of birth, and case filing date, then click search. Your case details will appear together with your case number.

Let’s look at an example.

Example: Becky had a credit card debt of $2,900 with the Consumer Credit of Minnesota (CCM). She failed to keep up with the payments for 6 months. As a result, a CCM agent called and gave her a month to restart payments, but Becky had no means of repaying. A week later, she received a lawsuit letter that quoted a debt of $3,250. Becky used SoloSuit to draft and file an Answer stating the incorrect debt information as one of her defenses. From her research, Becky knew she had to keep track of her case to avoid getting into a worse financial situation. She went to the MCRO portal and searched for her case number using the name search option. She got her case number and saved it for quick online access to the records as the case proceeded.

How to access your case records in Minnesota

Case records can help you prepare well for court and also confirm the information your creditors submitted was factual. Minnesota courts provide two methods to access your case documents: online and in person.

Access your Minnesota court case records remotely

Accessing your case records online is the most viable option if the courthouse is not close by or you want to avoid the hustle of taking a trip to the courthouse. The Minnesota Court Records Online tool gives your four options for searching your case records:

  • Name search: Enter your name, date of birth, the date the creditors filed the case, case status, case category, and court location
  • Case number: Enter the case number only
  • Citation number: Enter the citation number only
  • Attorney: Enter the collection agency's attorney's name and bar number

These options will take you to your case records. Above the documents to your right, you’ll see the print button. Press the button if you want to make copies.

Back to Becky's example above, she could easily go to the MCRO portal, type her case number and confirm that the Answer document was included in the court records, check the court date, and access other vital information she may need to prepare for court.

Access your Minnesota court case records in-person

If the courthouse where the collection agency filed your case is easily accessible, you can walk into the court with your details, and the court clerk will retrieve the records for you. Some courthouses have public terminals to search the records. You may be required to pay a small fee to make copies.

To find your case location, visit the Minnesota courts directory, use the drop-down option to locate your county, and click go. The site will take you to another page where you’ll find the court address and other contact information.

Let SoloSuit help you win your case

At SoloSut, we understand how involving a debt collection lawsuit can be if you do not have a legal background. Our documents and resources have helped thousands of consumers manage their debt situation and lawsuits. Check out our document calculator to discover which resource would be most appropriate for your case and circumstance.

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