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Law Enforcement Overview

Under Minnesota Statutes, section 13.82, law enforcement data are data created, collected, or maintained by entities which carry on a law enforcement function, including municipal police, county sheriff and fire departments, the Minnesota State Patrol and the Department of Public Safety. Data collected by other agencies that merely work with law enforcement, such as prosecutors or probation authorities, are not covered by the provisions of section 13.82.

Classification of certain law enforcement data*

Data Classified as Public Data Classified as Private or Nonpublic Data Classified as Confidential or Protected Nonpublic
Data Part of Inactive Investigation or No Criminal Investigation

All data not otherwise classified as not public

Protected Identities (Subd. 17)
Certain Active and Inactive Child Abuse Data (Subd. 8 & 9)
Certain Vulnerable Adult Data (Subd. 10 & 11)
911 Call Audio Recording (Subd. 4)

Real Property Complaint Data (§ 13.44)

Data Part of Active Investigation (Under Subdivision 7)

Arrest Data (Subd. 2)
Request for Service Data (Subd. 3)
Response or Incident Data (Subd. 6)
Booking Photographs (Subd. 26)
Data presented in court (Subd. 7)

Certain Active and Inactive Child Abuse Data (Subd. 8 & 9)
Certain Vulnerable Adult Data (Sub. 10 & 11)

All data not otherwise specified as public, private, or nonpublic

*Section 13.82 classifies other data not listed in chart above.

Active Criminal Investigative Data

Active criminal investigative data that are classified as not public may be released by a law enforcement agency under certain conditions:

  • To another law enforcement agency to initiate or aid in an investigation (Subd. 24)
  • To the public to aid law enforcement process, promote public safety, dispel widespread rumor/unrest (Subd. 15)
  • To crime victims/legal representative (Advisory Opinion 11-015)

When Investigation Becomes Inactive

Most active criminal investigative data become public when the investigation becomes inactive.

A criminal investigation becomes inactive when any of the following occurs:

  • A decision is made not to pursue case
  • Time to bring a charge expires (i.e. statute of limitations reached)
  • Appeal rights become exhausted, or a not guilty verdict reached


The following data retain a not public classification, and require redaction prior to public release, even when part of an inactive investigation:

  • Images clearly offensive to common sensibilities
  • Data that would jeopardize another ongoing investigation
  • Certain financial account or transaction information
  • Protected identities: Advisory Opinion 01-069, Advisory Opinion 03-042
  • Undercover officers Advisory Opinion 12-013
  • Criminal sexual conduct victims
  • Informants if threat to personal safety
  • Adult witness/victim, upon request, unless no threat to safety
  • Mandated reporters
  • Juvenile victim, upon request, unless no threat to safety
  • Juvenile witness where subject matter justifies protection
  • Delinquent/alleged delinquent juvenile
  • 911 caller if agency believes would threaten personal safety or property; or reason for call is mental health emergency Advisory Opinion 01-050, Advisory Opinion 05-031 
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