Welcome! You have reached the media page for the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, this is the federal court system for the entire state of Minnesota. This court is within the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers all federal courts in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
In Minnesota – completely separate from this court – are ten divisional state courts, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and the Minnesota Supreme Court. Matters concerning state crimes are heard at the state court level; please ensure you are looking for information within the correct court system before emailing the Public Information Office.
Public Access Guidance for Media in Higher Profile Cases
Public access to all court proceedings in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota is vitally important and the Court provides public access to the fullest extent possible. However, proceedings held in the Court are subject to the rules mandated by the U.S. Judicial Conference, which prohibit broadcasting in any form. This means that streaming, either live or after the fact, photography, or audio recording are strictly prohibited, including in virtual proceedings.
Streaming cannot be offered by the Court in any case and streaming or recording by case participants and members of the media or sharing of virtual log in information to others is strictly prohibited.
Additional questions can be directed to Public Information Officer Rebeccah Parks at Rebeccah_Parks@mnd.uscourts.gov.
Whom to Contact
The Court's Public Information Officer, Rebeccah Parks, can be reached at (612) 664-5124 or Rebeccah_Parks@mnd.uscourts.gov.
Courtrooms are generally open to the public, so journalists do not need special credentials, other than government-issued photo identification - such as a driver's license - to enter facilities in the District of Minnesota.
Members of the media wishing to access the secured Media Room and/or use cell phones in the courtrooms must obtain credentials by completing the application here.
For high profile hearings or trials that are expected to attract a large number of journalists, the court may issue a Decorum Order with specific restrictions or requirements for courtroom access, seating, and other logistical issues.
Information on initial appearances will be posted in the morning on the day of the appearance to the Court’s calendars. Due to the nature of initial appearances, the Court does not have advanced notice of appearances, so calendars are updated as soon as the schedule is finalized. Virtual access may not always be possible; in the event video access is unavailable, credentialed media should join the proceeding via the dial-in information listed in the “General Public” section above. Additional information on initial appearances may be obtained from the U.S. Attorney’s Office
Because there is no courtroom in which the media can sit and observe, members of the media who have received their credentials from the Court may request to observe proceedings virtually by completing the form on the Court’s website by 12:00 p.m. the business day before the proceeding. Media interested in following cases within the District of Minnesota are also encouraged to obtain an ECF Media Account, which is independent from being credentialed and will allow them to sign-up for alerts in any case.
Rules for Cell Phones, Laptops, Digital Notebooks, Cameras, and Tape Recorders
The requirements and restrictions set out in the Policy on the Media’s Use of Cameras and Electronic Recording Devices apply to journalists who wish to cover cases being heard in any of the four courthouses of the District of Minnesota. Journalists are expected to familiarize themselves with and abide by the guidelines. Failure to do so may result in removal from the courthouse and other penalties.
Cameras in the Courthouse
Unless otherwise invited by the Court to cover an event, such as a courthouse renaming, photographs and videos are strictly prohibited in all courtrooms, this includes from cell phones, tablets, and cameras. Cameras may be used in the first floor lobbies of the Diana E. Murphy United States Courthouse in Minneapolis and the Warren E. Burger Federal Building and United States Courthouse in St. Paul for interviews, attorney statements, and general news coverage, so long as the recording does not capture the screening areas in any way. For clarification, please contact Rebeccah Parks.
Court Records and Case Information
Members of the media are eligible to register for a Media CM/ECF account. This account allows a user to receive notices of electronic filing (NEFs), using PACER to view documents. To access the registration form, click here.
Information on configuring a Media CM/ECF account is accessible here.
Follow the Court on Social Media
Click here to access the Court’s social media page for occasional press releases, news alerts, and photos from Court events.
Covering Federal Court
The Administrative Office of the United States Courts has developed the following resources to introduce the media and public to the federal judiciary:
The Federal Judicial Center's website also has helpful information for journalists, including judges' biographies, reports and studies, and historical timelines.
For More Information
Contact the U.S. Attorney's Office for information about criminal arraignments and appearances.