Iowa State Courts

Courts – State Courts – Iowa

Highest Court

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court consists of 7 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Appeals as of right in all cases from District Court except real estate under $3,000 or decision on small claims appeals.

Intermediate Courts

Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals consists of 9 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Appeals and original proceedings transferred by the Supreme Court.

General Courts

District Court
The District Court consists of 116 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) General and original civil probate. (2) General and original criminal. (3) Juvenile.
Appeals de novo and on record.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

District Court
The District Court consists of 54 district associate judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) City actions $10,000 or less, small claims $4,000 or less, forcible entry, and detainer exept to title to property. (2) Misdemeanors, indictable misdemeanors, non-indictable misdemeanors, including traffic and ordinance violations. (3) Preliminary hearings. (4) Juvenile.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

District Court
The District Court 134 part-time magistrates. It has jurisdiction over (1) Small claims $4,000 or less, forcible entry, and detainer except title to property. (2) Non-indictable misdemeanors including traffic and ordinace violations (fines not to exceed $500 or sentence not to exceed one year imprisonment). (3) Emergency hospitalization hearings. (4) Search warrant and seized property hearings.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

Personal Conferences
The chief justice retains the right to hold conferences involving the judicial officers or court employees of matters of the administration of justice or of the judicial branch. Concerning judges and court employees who are involved in child and family law, the chief justice shall require regular training sessions concerning the mental and emotional of children under such trauma and situations. (Iowa Code 602.1203)

Rules for Judges and Attorneys
The Supreme Court retains the power to provide rules to supervise the conduct of attorneys and judicial officers.  These rules shall be carried forth by the chief justice and published as provided in section 2B.5. (Iowa Code 602.1206)

Report of the Condition of the Judicial Branch
The condition of the judicial branch will be reported to the general assembly by the chief justice by message.  The chief justice may recommend matters as the chief justice sees fit. (Iowa Code 602.1207)

Removal for Cause
A public employee of the judicial branch may be removed for inefficiency, insubordination, incompetence, failure to perform assigned duties, inadequacy in performance of assigned duties, narcotics addiction, dishonesty, unrehabilitated alcoholism, negligence, conduct which adversely affects the performance, unbecoming conduct, misconduct, or any just and good cause.  (Iowa Code 602.1218)

Permissible Act for Sunday
Court and judicial business shall not be conducted on Sunday, except to give instructions to a jury then deliberating on its verdict, receive a verdict or discharge a jury, exercise the powers of a magistrate in a criminal proceeding, or to perform other acts as provided by law. (Iowa Code 602.1602)

Law Clerks
Legal assistants to the court of appeals may be attorneys or graduates of a reputable law school. (Iowa Code 602.5203)

Physicians and nurses
A county having a population of 136,000 or more may have a physician and a nurse appointed by the judges of the juvenile court.  The juvenile court judges retain the authority to assign their duties and to remove them.  The physician and nurse shall receive their salaries and reimbursement for their expenses as judged by the supreme court. (Iowa Code 602.7104)


Inside Iowa State Courts