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Visit a Courthouse  


Do you want to learn more about the courts?  We encourage you to visit a courthouse and watch your courts at work.    


There is a courthouse in every county.  County courthouses are used for trial court proceedings.  As a general rule most trials and hearings are open to the public.  Some types of hearings are confidential; when in doubt check with a court official about attending a hearing.  In addition, in many counties court is in session only one day every week or two weeks.    


The Judicial Branch Building, located near the State Capitol in Des Moines, houses the state's two appellate courts—the Iowa Supreme Court and the Iowa Court of Appeals.  Appellate court proceedings, called oral arguments, are always open to the public.  Appellate court schedules are posted on this site under the supreme court section and the court of appeals section.    


When attending court proceedings, please show respect for others and for the work of the court.  Please be quiet, turn off pagers and cell phones, and refrain from behavior that might disrupt the proceedings or distract court participants.  Recording proceedings and taking photographs are prohibited. 






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