November 20, 2017, 3:13 pm
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General Information About Iowa Court Records and Laws
 “Administering justice under the law equally to all persons” is the motto for the Iowa judicial system. Close to two thousand judges and employees of the court work hard to pursue that goal, operating within a system with a yearly budget of only around $130 million. If you need Iowa court records, these hard-working men and women are the people you need to see.
As with any public records search, the more information you have in the beginning the better off you will be. The more details you know about the Iowa court records that you need, such as the names and addresses of the people involved, where and when the case took place, etc., the easier it will be to find the information that you need.
For this reason, you should take the time to learn a little more about the way the Iowa court system works. Then, you will know exactly where you need to go and who you need to talk to in order to find the Iowa court records that you want.
 The District Court System in Iowa
The district court system in Iowa is responsible for all probate, criminal juvenile and civil matters within the state. This is where you will most likely find the Iowa court records that you seek.
The district court system is divided up into eight different judicial districts, each serving the ninety-nine counties within the state of Iowa. As you can imagine, the services that the district courts provide are varied and plentiful.
 The Court of Appeals in Iowa
Iowa's intermediate appellate court is the Court of Appeals. This particular court is responsible for the review of appeals from decisions made by the trial courts, as transferred to this jurisdiction by the Supreme Court. Unless the decision of the Court of Appeals is reviewed by the Supreme Court, that decision is final.
You should be able to find Iowa court records related to an appeal quite easily, as a number of the opinions of the court are published and used as referenced in subsequent court cases.
 The Supreme Court in Iowa
The other appellate court in Iowa is the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is responsible for the review of decisions made by the trial courts when appeals are allowed.
In the Iowa Supreme Court, there are no trials, no witnesses, no new evidence and no juries. Instead, the Supreme Court makes a decision based on the review of official records from the previous proceedings, hearing oral arguments and reading attorney briefs.
 Easy Access
Before Iowa court records became available for review online, you would have to travel to the location of the courthouse where the proceedings to place to track down court records. You had to make a request at the courthouse to search for the records that you wanted.
Like in many other states, Iowa court records are becoming easier to find due to the access granted to the public to court databases all across the country. It is quicker and easier to find the information that you need than it has ever been in the past.
Iowa Court Records
  • Legislation Records

    Legislative Information Office G-16
    State Capitol
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    p (515) 281-5129
    f (515) 281-8027
  • Statewide Court Records

    Judicial Branch Bldg
    111 East Court Ave
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    p (515) 281-5911
    f (515) 242-6164

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