Iowa State Courts
Iowa has a very simple and flat judicial system structure compared to other states. It has federal district courts as well as trial courts. They also offer a state court of appeals for referrals from these lower courts, and a supreme court for the state of Iowa.
Iowa also has courts with limited jurisdiction. For example, there are two different bankruptcy courts which deal with subject-matter cases related to bankruptcy laws. These are as follows:
- United States bankruptcy court, Northern District of Iowa
- United States bankruptcy court, Southern District of Iowa
Iowa’s trial courts are also known as the district courts, divided up into the areas of the state of Iowa, trials which take place here and are contested can be referred to the courts of appeal. There are 99 trial and superior courts, one for each of the counties within the state.
Another court with a subject-matter jurisdiction is the Juvenile Court. Iowa has just one of these. A small claims court can also deal with cases where the monetary value of the appeal is under $4,000
|Iowa Supreme Court
|Iowa Judicial Branch Building 1111 East Court Avenue Des Moines, IA 50319
Intermediate and Supreme Courts
The higher courts in Iowa include the Iowa court of appeals, this is an appellate court. Cases that are contested from the lower district courts are referred here by the Supreme Court. Decisions that are made in the Appeal Court of Iowa are normally final, but they can be referred further up the chain to the Supreme Court.
Iowa’s Supreme Court was founded in the 1840s. It is the court of last resort, meaning that appeals that are heard here should be final. This court is also responsible for all of the state’s judicial system. It has the powers to implement laws and regulations in the state.
How to Find Iowa Court Records Online
You can use our search function to look through specific Iowa court records online. You can find everything from mugshots to plea and sentencing details and even police reports. It is deemed the right of citizens to access this information.
The Iowa Open Records Act dates back to the 1960s and operates in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The public records that are created by the courts and other aspects of state government can be seen and copied by the citizens as long as not otherwise protected by law.
Most records have now been digitized, but over the years there have been a number of cases which are yet to be put onto the system. If you can’t find the information you are looking for, you can contact the Iowa Judicial Branch Building who may also be able to help you to track down records you need to access.