Mark Ford, project manager for the State Court Administrator's Office, speaks via Zoom to the Judicial Council on Oct. 14. (Webcast screengrab)


Vastly updated court records system likely will arrive by year's end


When the state’s Judicial Branch unveils its updated online court records system sometime around the end of the year, users looking for legal documents will get an eyeful. And they'll likely be content to leave those car keys hanging on the hook rather than heading off to the courthouse.

Minnesota Court Records Online (MCRO), which has been around since March, has been a useful but moderately clunky affair, mainly because it often must be used in tandem with another online application.

On the one hand, it retrieves a ton of court records—everything from civil and criminal complaints to memos, orders, motions, stipulations and transcripts. But on the other hand, unless you already have a case file number, you can’t really use MCRO unless you pair it up with the outmoded Minnesota Public Access (MPA) Remote interface on a separate browser tab. Not so great. 

But that’s all going to change when MCRO Mach II gets released, possibly in late December. We know that because Mark Ford, MCRO’s project manager, walked the Judicial Council through a demo at the council’s last meeting earlier this month.

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Logo by Kirk Anderson