Iowa maintains updated public records for online viewing. One can view them on the official website of the Iowa Judiciary Branch via an extensive search feature available on the site itself.
On the website is information from the Iowa Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and District Courts. Additional information on current court proceedings, and crime statistics up to each court's location are available on the site as well.
If you wish to view case records, navigate to the Online Court Records page to make use of the Online Docket Records Search. The Online Court Docket is an extensive search feature of Iowa cases from 1997 up to the present. Although, a few counties have encoded cases on their systems even prior to this year and such are entered as well on the system. Clicking the highlighted "County Start Date Index" will direct you to a pdf file containing the summary of dates the District Counties started using the automated record keeping.
With this search feature, you may access basic public records such as:
You may obtain this information for free.
If the information you are looking for is not one of those above, you may also use the "Advanced Search" feature. A registration fee of $25 on a monthly basis will give you access to:
You may need to register to start using the options. A "register" button at the bottom of the Online Docket Record Search page will link you to the registration page.
Appellate and district court clerks are diligent about entering and posting their most recent cases to the Iowa Court Docket. Some latest cases though, if not found on the Court Docket may be on the process of encoding to the Iowa Court Information System.
You must identify if the case you are probing is under a trial court or an appellate court. Trial courts are principal courts where suits are filed and cases proceed to a trial, while an Appellate court reviews the decision of the trial court if one of the litigants is unsatisfied with it.
Upon identifying, you may begin the search by choosing the appropriate search option. Whatever information you have on hand may be useful to your search.
Under the appellate court are search options of Case Search and Advanced Case Search which are both free of charge. Case Search and Schedule Search under the trial courts are free while Payment Search and Advanced Search have charges (both have the same fee).
The Online Court Docket is unavailable from 2 am to 5 am as this period is allotted to backup of files and maintenance of the system. If you have trouble searching for a particular case, four links under the "FAQ, Search Tips, and Help" at the bottom of the Online Court Records page may help.
Please note that full access to case records is not available online. You may visit the court where the case is filed to get a full copy of the record. Public records, taken from its name, are supposed to be free of charge for public viewing. Additional fees though will be charged for photocopying.
To lookup Iowa public records information, contact:Iowa Office of the Attorney General
There are many different methods that you can use to contact the Office of the Attorney General in order to hold an Iowa public records search. All you need to do is choose the one that is most convenient for you depending on your preferences and the amount of time you have. You can reach them by mail, phone, fax, or email.
Iowa public records are defined as "all records, documents, tape, or other information, stored or preserved in any medium, of or belonging to this state or any county, city, township, school corporation, political subdivision, nonprofit corporation other than a fair conducting a fair event as provided in chapter 174 , whose facilities or indebtedness are supported in whole or in part with property tax revenue and which is licensed to conduct pari-mutuel wagering pursuant to chapter 99D , or tax-supported district in this state, or any branch, department, board, bureau, commission, council, or committee of any of the foregoing." These records also include "all records relating to the investment of public funds including but not limited to investment policies, instructions, trading orders, or contracts, whether in the custody of the public body responsible for the public funds or a fiduciary or other third party."
Under the 2007 Iowa Merged Code Title I, Subtitle 9, Ch. 22, public records in Iowa are available for inspection and copying by members of the public. However, the Code can be somewhat confusing with regard to Iowa public records and is full of references to other portions of the Code. It also includes quite a long list of confidential records that are not available as public records in Iowa.