You have the right to access the county’s data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. You can look at the data for free or get copies for a charge.
State law treats government data as public data unless another state or federal law specifies it is not public data. "Government data" is all data collected, created, received, maintained or disseminated by any government entity regardless of its physical form, storage media, or conditions of use.
How to request data
Request data using Hennepin County’s online data request portal.
The county cannot require you to identify yourself or ask you to explain why you are requesting data. While the online data request portal allows you to submit an anonymous request, the county will not be able to contact you directly if there are questions regarding the request.
For all requests containing private data, submit a signed consent form. If you do not have one, you may download the county's Consent for Release of Information form (PDF). Complete, sign and submit it along with your data request.
To make a request without using the data request portal, visit Submit a data request without using the data request portal.
Requests for Human Services and Public Health data to conduct research
Researchers must get approval to use, obtain, or access Human Services and Public Health Department data before conducting these types of research studies. Learn more about HSPH data requests.
Kristi Lahti-Johnson, responsible authority and data practices compliance official
Hennepin County – Compliance
Lucie Passus, responsible authority designee
Hennepin County – Compliance
Hennepin County Attorney's Office
Lacey Severins, media coordinator
Hennepin County Attorney’s Office
Human Services Department
Jesse Winsell, Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer
Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health
For Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office requests
Lieutenant Jennifer Johnson, responsible authority designee
Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office
How the county responds to your request
When the county receives your request, it immediately begins to process that request. If the county does not have the data or the data is not public, county employees will notify you as soon as possible and give you the reason why the data is not public. State law does not require the county to create or collect new data in response to a data request.
When the county has the data and it is public
- If you want to look at the data, county employees will arrange a date, time, and place for you to do so, at no cost.
- If you want a copy of the data, county employees will provide copies as soon as possible. You can pick up your copies or have them sent to you. You must give the county an address or fax number.
- If you want an electronic copy of the data, county employees will provide it if the data is in an electronic format, like email or CD-ROM.
- If you do not understand some of the data, like technical terms, abbreviations, or acronyms, county employees will explain it.
- The county is not required to provide the data in a specific format or arrangement if it does not already keep the data in that format or arrangement. For example, if the data exists only on paper, the county is not required to create electronic documents.
- The county is not required to answer questions that are submitted as a data request.
When the county has the data and it contains private data
For all requests containing private data, you must submit a signed consent form. If you do not have one, you may download the county's Consent for Release of Information form (PDF). Complete, sign and submit it along with your data request.
Requests for summary data
Summary data are records that are specially prepared to leave out private or confidential information about individuals. To request summary data, you must make your request using Hennepin County’s online data request portal. If there are charges associated with preparing summary data, state law allows the county to pass those charges on to you. It is always best to ask about summary data charges in your request.
You can look at the data for free or get copies for a charge. State law allows the county to charge the public for copies of government data.
- For 100 or fewer paper copies, the charge is 25 cents per copy.
- For most other types or amounts of copies, the charge varies. It depends on whether a charge is set by rule or law, or the cost of searching for, retrieving, copying, or transmitting the data.
The county factors employee time, cost of materials and mailing costs in determining a charge. If the county hires an outside party to make copies of items it cannot reproduce, like photos, the county passes that charge on to you.
Copy charges vary by county department and in some cases may be waived. If your request is expected to go above $50, the county may ask for half the payment prior to beginning to process your request. It is always best to ask about copy charges in your request.