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Iowa Supreme Court allows new court procedures to slow the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19


This news story was published on March 18, 2020.
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Iowa Supreme Court

DES MOINES – Following Governor Reynolds’s State of Public Health Emergency Declaration earlier today, the Iowa Supreme Court issued an order permitting new ways to access courts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  The court’s March 14 order postponed all jury trials. Today’s order expands on that order by allowing any party, including the prosecutor, defense counsel, defendant, victims, and/or witnesses, to appear remotely by videoconference or telephone for many court procedures. It also postpones all non-jury criminal trials until April 20 or later and all non-jury civil trials until May 4 or later.

“Maintaining public trust and confidence is of utmost importance to the judicial branch, and Iowa’s judges stand ready to fulfill their duties,” Chief Justice Susan Larson Christensen said.  “However, in this time of crisis, the form in which this public service is provided must be modified in a manner that allows services to continue. We must keep our courts open to the fullest extent for abused and neglected children, victims seeking protection, troubled youths, law enforcement, and families in crisis. Today’s order balances those needs with our concern for the health and wellbeing of our communities.”

District courts will continue to conduct in-person trials and hearings already in progress. For criminal and emergency cases that cannot be conducted by videoconference or telephone, they will be conducted in-person.  These emergency matters may include proceedings such as:

  • substance abuse treatment proceedings
  • hospitalization proceedings
  • child removal proceedings
  • elder abuse proceedings
  • dependent adult proceedings
  • protective orders
  • motions to quash garnishments
  • landlord tenant proceedings in which the tenant poses a clear and present danger

Today’s supervisory order also extended the speedy indictment deadline from 45 to 60 days, allows landlord tenant proceedings to be conducted telephonically, and allows initial appearances remotely by videoconference or telephone.

The full order is posted on the Iowa Judicial Branch COVID-19 Information and Updates webpage at: https://www.iowacourts.gov/iowa-courts/covid-19-information-and-updates/ . The Iowa Judicial Branch continues to monitor the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for responding to coronavirus/COVID-19.

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11 Responses to Iowa Supreme Court allows new court procedures to slow the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19

  1. puru Ntuli Reply Report comment

    March 19, 2020 at 4:35 am

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  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 18, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Some are saying no release for: violence against police officers, domestic violence, and sexual stuff. Thieves, druggies, jaywalkers, etc. are let out. Courts are closing too. What if an office has it. Quarantine for 14 days. Doctors too. So you see the national guard is inevitably going to be called up. Hotels can be commandeered by Ms. Reynolds, the Governor. She can make you house those infected. She can pretty much do whatever she wants. Anyways, the jail area would make a perfect place for testing tents to be erected.

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 18, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    They got the “illegal” part right this time. Look! Somebody else got it right by saying they are already isolated. It seems to me that those who oversee these facilities can keep them safer where they are. They can all work together to sanitize these places.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 18, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    I’ve come to a conclusion that we are deporting the wrong people, we should be deporting the liberal democratic lawmakers. They are the cause of all our problems.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 18, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    This whole panic crap is caused by liberal media and politicians so they can trial run socialism. Never did this with the flu that kills thousands every year. Didn’t do it with SARS. Didn’t do it with swine flu.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 18, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Where are they going to release them so they don’t get the virus? They gonna tag them so they know where they are? When will they come back to the prison when this virus is over? Are you stupid?

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 18, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    And yet…the decision is left up to the county. And yes, some state counties are doing it. #freebird There is also a spike in people of the criminal mind going door to door and offering free testing for the virus. But instead of testing they’re robbing. Strange times. Be safe.

  8. Handsome Johnny Reply Report comment

    March 18, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Some states are letting people in jail out early to save money. Can we count on Cerro Gordo’s finest to do the same. This virus could be costly. Imagine the jail house under quarantine. You don’t want that do you? #Freebird.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 18, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      Bullshit. Can you imagine the cost of letting criminals back on the street and the danger to the honest public. They are in jail for a reason. If they die it is money saved.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 18, 2020 at 1:48 pm

      They wouldn’t have had to worry about it if they were not here to begin with, so to bad.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 18, 2020 at 1:51 pm

      Where are they going to release them so they don’t get the virus? They gonna tag them so they know where they are? When will they come back to the prison when this virus is over? Are you stupid??