Iowa Court Records Search

What is Included in Iowa Public Court Records

Criminal Court Cases

Assault & Battery, Domestic Violence, Parole Violation, Probation Violation, Sexual Assault, Robbery, Manslaughter, Murder, Drug Offenses, And More...

Civil Court Cases

Bankruptcies, Legal Judgments, Lawsuits, Tax & Property Liens, Contract Disputes, Probates, Family Law, Small Claims, Evictions, And More...

Traffic Court Cases

Driving Under Influence, Driving While Intoxicated, Speeding Tickets, Traffic Citations, Reckless Driving, Driving Without a License, License Suspensions, Criminal Driving Violations, Accidents, And More...

Iowa Court Record Lookup

Iowa IA Court records may be necessary for a number of purposes, from proving a fine has been paid or probationary period served to enforcing a financial judgment or custody order. Iowa court records online are public documents can be found by performing an Iowa court records search by anyone, with some limitations. Getting documents is a matter of locating the correct source.

Trial Courts

There are eight judicial districts in Iowa, each comprised of multiple counties. Each of the state’s district courts has jurisdiction over trials in more than one county. These courts are divisions that handle family issues, juvenile, probate, small claims, and other limited matters. Magistrates or associate justices are authorized by the district court judge to preside over many of these cases.

Access to some records, particularly those involving juveniles, is restricted by confidentiality.

Intermediate Courts of Appeal

Disputed decisions from lower Iowa courthouses are assigned to state appeals courts by the Iowa supreme court. At this level, nine justices sit in three-judge panels to hear cases.

The court of last resort is the supreme court, which is occupied by seven justices. This court hears selected cases appealed from lower courts to determine correct application of state law, and assigns cases to the intermediate court of appeals. It also hears appeals of state administrative agencies and oversees the state bar. These cases can be accessed via Iowa court case lookup. 

Bankruptcy Court

When an individual from Iowa declares bankruptcy, he files in the U.S. District Court with jurisdiction. Bankruptcy records can be viewded by performing Iowa court record lookup. Each state has at least one such federal court that also handles class action suits, violations of federal law, and other cases that cross state lines. 

Iowa Notable Court Cases

A 17-year-old convicted of the premeditated shotgun murder of his grandparents will not spend his life in prison because the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that sentencing a juvenile to life in prison constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. State Supreme Courts are responsible for determining the constitutionality of laws in their states. A district court judge had sentenced the teen to two life terms for the murders but Supreme Court justices decided that a teen's still-developing brain allows the potential for rehabilitation later in life.

In a minor case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, an Iowa man stopped for speeding had his conviction for drug possession thrown out by the top court in the land. In 1998 the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the conviction of a man whose car was searched after he was cited for speeding. Although Iowa courts upheld his conviction for drugs that were found after he received the speeding ticket, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the police investigation (searching the car) had concluded when the man received the speeding ticket.

Iowa Civil Case Statistics

Civil Caseload
Civil Caseload 117,282
Caseloads per 100.000 Population
Caseloads per 100.000 Population 3,741
Clearance Rate
Clearance Rate 100%
Small Claims Caseload
Small Claims Caseload 50,171

Civil Caseloads for Iowa, the sum of all civil cases reported by the state, account for 625,237 total cases at the year end of 2016, which makes it 3,741 cases per 100.000 population.

The clearance rate for the state is about 100% which makes up by dividing the outgoing to incoming civil cases and expressing the result in a percentage.

Civil Court Incoming & Outgoing Cases 2012-2016

The number of civil court caseloads in 2016 has decreased since 2012, being 117,282 vs. 134,493, which is by 12.8 % lower than 5 years ago. The same picture is seen with clearance rates, it’s lower compared to 2012, by 13.5% being 117,110 compared to 135,451.

State Small Claims & Rates Timeline

Year: Small Claims Max. Limit Small Claims Caseload per 100.000 Population Percent of Total Civil Caseload
2012$500062,1282,02146%
2013$500059,1851,91545%
2014$500056,2011,80945%
2015$500048,6541,55741%
2016$500050,1711,60143%

The caseload for small claims has decreased since 2012, going from 62,128 cases a year to 50,171 of 2016. The maximum limit of small claim charges has stayed the same at $5,000 in 2016 compared to the $5,000 that was registered 5 years ago.

Accordingly the small claims rate has decreased- 1,601 cases per 100 000 population compared to the 2,021 of 2012. The total percentage of civil caseloads accounts 16.6% for the state of Iowa for 2016.

Criminal Caseloads by Type

Criminal Caseloads for Iowa sum in 122,430 cases at the year end of 2016 which has a share of 84% of misdemeanor and 16% of felony charges. Total criminal cases have decreased in Iowa compared to the criminal caseload of 2012 - 135,802 cases. Felonies and misdemeanors have changed since 2012 by -14% and +2% accordingly.

The Proportion of Felony and Misdemeanor Caseloads

Criminal Incoming Court Cases by type 2012-2016

Criminal Caseloads Timeline

Domestic Relations Caseloads & Clearance Rates

The state’s domestic relations caseload has counted 34,221 cases which is 1,092 court cases per 100.000 population. It has decreased since 2012, the difference in caseloads is 3,287 for the last 5 years, being 37,508 in 2012.

Find Iowa Courthouses

State Court Holidays

Holiday: Date:
New Year's Day Monday, January 1, 2018
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s BirthdayMonday, January 15, 2018
Memorial DayMonday, May 28, 2018
Independence DayWednesday, July 4, 2018
Labor DayMonday, September 3, 2018
Veterans DayMonday, November 12, 2018
Thanksgiving DayThursday, November 22, 2018
Friday after ThanksgivingFriday, November 23, 2018
Christmas DayTuesday, December 25, 2018

Supreme Court Caseloads & Clearance Rates

Court of Appeals Caseloads