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eFile Changes

3/28/24 New cases:  Restrict access to materials deemed confidential by statute or rule

The Iowa Judicial Branch now offers Remote Access to New Pre-Processed Civil Petitions.  This service involves case initiation documents on a limited number of civil case types. 

After a new case has been filed, there is a period when the filing has been submitted but has not yet been reviewed by the clerk.   During that period, certain public documents and case types may be viewed by certain members of the news media.  

If a filer wants to temporarily restrict access to a document or case type that is not automatically held confidential, the filer should select the Confidential box on the Electronic Cover Sheet page.  The confidential box will be available for a new case initiation filing.

Image of the Electronic Cover Sheet page with Confidential checkbox emphasized

Please note that documents and case types automatically held confidential cannot be viewed through this service.

After the clerk has approved a filing, the links to the documents will be removed from the service. 

NOTE: This confidential designation is temporary.  Once processed by the clerk, documents that are not automatically restricted may become public unless the filer receives an order restricting access.  See Iowa R. Elec. P. 16.405.

For more information

Documents and case types automatically held confidential (PDF)

Iowa Rules of Electronic Procedure 16.405 – Restricting access to filings 

Protect Personal Information | Iowa Judicial Branch (iowacourts.gov)

Access to new pre-processed civil petitions (PDF) 

4/27/23 Multiple Changes

New document type for attorneys

APPEARANCE FOR NON-PARTY

  • Attorneys filing on behalf of clients who are not parties to the case should use the document type APPEARANCE FOR NON-PARTY (bonding co, victim, witness).
  • Examples of roles were included in the title to help determine when this document should be used.
  • This document type allows public access.
  • This document type is unavailable on Dissolution, Juvenile, Mental Health, Adoption, or Probate case types.

Updated document type for filers

LIMITED APPEARANCE (for case parties defined in 16.201(24))

Added “(for case parties defined in 16.201(24))” to help determine when they should use Limited Appearance.

16.201(24) Party. “Party” means a person or entity by or against whom a case or part of a case is brought, including a plaintiff, petitioner, defendant, third-party defendant, or respondent.  “Party” also includes a court-approved intervenor, or any other person or entity defined as a party to a case by a statute, rule, or court order.

4/27/23 Docket Sequence Number Enhancement effective 4/30/23

This change affects all filers statewide. 

  • A docket sequence number will be assigned to each docket event within a case. 
  • The sequence number will be assigned when the event writes to the docket, not the filed date and time of the event.
  • If a docket item were to be removed by court order, its docket sequence number will be removed. The reference to the docket item and docket sequence number will remain.
  • The exhibit submission ID has been removed. The exhibit number is indicated on the docket as (1), (2), (3), etc.
  • Admitted exhibits will have a docket sequence number and an exhibit number.

4/18/23 Docket Sequence Number Enhancement effective 4/20/23

This change affects filers in Cedar, Clinton, Jackson, Muscatine, and Scott counties.

  • A docket sequence number will be assigned to each docket event within a case. 
  • The sequence number will be assigned when the event writes to the docket, not the filed date and time of the event.
  • If a docket item were to be removed by court order, its docket sequence number will be removed. The reference to the docket item and docket sequence number will remain.
  • The exhibit submission ID has been removed. The exhibit number is indicated on the docket as (1), (2), (3), etc.
  • Admitted exhibits will have a docket sequence number and an exhibit number.

The column for the docket sequence number will only display docket information for cases in Cedar, Clinton, Jackson, Muscatine, and Scott counties.

12/20/22 New document types for Juvenile court proceedings

A filer should use these new document types as appropriate in Juvenile court proceedings

Document Type

Example

BHIS REPORT

Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS) Reports

CASE PERMANENCY PLAN

Case Permanency Plans

CHILD CUSTODY REPORT

Child Custody Reports Under § 232.78(6)

CHILD PROTECTIVE CENTER REPORT

Child Protective Center (CPC) Reports

CHILD’S REPORT

Child’s Report

FAMILY CENTERED SERVICES REPT

Family Centered Services (FCS) Reports

FAMILY INTERACTION PLAN

Family Interaction Plans

FAMILY SERVICES PLAN

Family Service Plans

FAMILY TREATMENT COURT

Family Treatment Court Updates and Progress Notes

ADJUDICATION HEARING REPORT

HHS Reports to Court for Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) Adjudication

HHS REPORT – OTHER

HHS Reports to Court for Other Hearings

REMOVAL HEARING REPORT

HHS Reports to Court for Removal

TERMINATION HEARING REPORT

HHS Reports to Court for Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) Hearing

HOME STUDY

Home Studies and Adoptive Homes Studies

QRTP REPORT

Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP) Reports and Updates

SOLUTION-FOCUSED MEETING REPT

Solution-Focused Meeting (SFM) Reports

YTDM REPORT

Youth Transition Decisions Making Meeting (YTDM) Reports

9/19/22 Multiple Changes effective 9/19/22

New document types for Juvenile court proceedings

A filer should use these new document types as appropriate in Juvenile court proceedings.  They are available under Juvenile Common Filings.

  • DISPOSITIONAL REVIEW REPORT - JV
  • APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY REMOVAL - JV
  • DISPOSITION REPORT - JV
  • MOTION TO FILE CHILD ABUSE ASSESSMENT - JV
  • PROVIDER REPORT - JV
  • SOCIAL RECORD OTHER – JV.  Used for social record filings that do not have a designated document type.

New Juvenile self-represented parent role

A new parent role has been created for self-represented parents in certain Juvenile cases.  The SELF-REPRESENTED JV PARENT role allows parents higher case access.  It is granted by court order.

  • Security level 3 on Child in Need of Assistance, Involuntary Termination of Parent Rights, and Voluntary  Termination of Parental Rights.
  • Security level 0 on all other case types.

7/13/22 Change to Criminal History Access

Per Iowa Code Section 692, access to and dissemination of criminal history records is limited.

Requests for criminal history records should be made to the Department of Public Safety.  Please note that this affects county attorney access.

4/14/22 New Document Type for Guardianship and Conservatorship Cases

This document type has been created to use with Adult and Juvenile Guardianship and Conservatorship case types.

The COURT VISITOR REPORT is used by a Court Visitor to file a confidential report.

3/25/22 New and Updated Domestic Abuse Forms 

These forms are for self-represented litigants.

3/25/22 New and Updated Sexual Abuse Forms 

These forms are for self-represented litigants.

2/14/22 New and Updated Elder Abuse Forms

These forms are for self-represented litigants.

2/7/22 New Email Address for Courtesy Notifications

Effective 2/9/22, email notifications that formerly came from [email protected] will now come from [email protected].

1/26/22   Multiple Changes Effective Wednesday, 1/26/22

New and updated document types for abuse cases

Three new document types have been established for use with civil and criminal abuse cases:

  • APPLICATION TO MODIFY SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY – 692A.128
  • FIREARMS COMPLIANCE AFFIDAVIT
  • FIREARMS TRANSFER AFFIDAVIT

A new document type was created for use with civil abuse cases:

  • APPLICATION/INITIATE CONTEMPT – ABUSE

A document type was renamed because it could be used in any case type where a protective order was issued:

New name:  INFO SHEET PROTECTIVE/NO CONTACT ORDER REGISTRY/SERVICE

Old name:  DOMESTIC & SEXUAL ABUSE REGISTRY & PROTECTIVE ORDER INFO

Juvenile parent security level changes

Changed the security levels for JUVENILE MOTHER and JUVENILE FATHER roles:

  • Security level 1 access on Juvenile and Juvenile Guardianship.
  • Security level 0 on all other case types.

Read more about the changes (PDF).

12/30/21 Changes to Probate Petition Document Types

Effective January 1, 2022, House File HF711 removed the $15.00 filing fee for small estates.

  • Use PETITION IN PROBATE – ESTATES CONSERVATORSHIP OR TRUST.
  • PETITION FILED – SMALL ESTATE is no longer available.

11/30/21  New Family Law Mediation Report Document Type

A filer should use FAMILY LAW MEDIATION REPORT ON TEMPORARY MATTERS when updating the court on Family Law mediation matters other than settlement status,  Read more (PDF) 

 9/7/21 Multiple Changes Effective Wednesday, 9/8/21

New case type for sheriffs seeking room and board fee reimbursement

  • Effective July 2020, Senate File SF457 establishes that sheriffs who are seeking reimbursement from a defendant for jail room and board fees must file those claims as a separate civil case. 
  • Use  Small Claims – Original Notice Sheriff Claim; the filing fee is $0.
  • If certified mail or Secretary of State service is selected in conjunction with the ONSC, the filer will be charged for the service fee.

Counties added for simple misdemeanors

Counties have been added to the City dropdown list for these case sub types: 

  • Simple Misdemeanor – Drugs (City/County)
  • Simple Misdemeanor – Other (City/County)
  • Simple Misdemeanor – Traffic (City/County)

Amended rule for filing agents

The Iowa Supreme Court adopted amendments to chapter 16 so that filing agents can file on behalf of individuals on small claims QF (Forcible Entry/Landlord Tenant) & QD (Landlord/Tenant Money Judgment) case sub types.

16.201(13) Filing agent. “Filing agent” means an officer, employee, or nonattorney representative of an entity, —such as a partnership, association, corporation, or tribe, —or representative of an individual property owner in a landlord–tenant matter, who is authorized by Iowa law to appear on behalf of that entity or individual property owner because of the nature of the proceeding. See rule 16.201(34) (definition of “self-represented”).

2/15/21  New Email Address for Courtesy Notifications

This change affects filers in Judicial Districts 1, 2, 5, and 6. 

The email address from which some courtesy notifications are sent has changed for all filers statewide.

  • Courtesy notifications for court orders, clerk notices, and pre-sentencing investigations are sent from [email protected] (new).
  • Courtesy notifications for filings continue to be sent from [email protected].

This change was previously implemented in Districts 3, 4, 7, and 8.    

1/5/21  New Email Address for Courtesy Notifications

This change affects filers in Judicial Districts 7 and 8, which include Appanoose, Cedar, Clinton, Davis, Des Moines, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee North, Lee South, Louisa, Mahaska, Monroe, Muscatine, Poweshiek, Scott, Van Buren, Wapello, and Washington counties.

The email address from which some courtesy notifications are sent has changed.

  • Courtesy notifications for court orders, clerk notices, and pre-sentencing investigations are sent from [email protected] (new).
  • Courtesy notifications for filings continue to be sent from [email protected].

This change was implemented in District 3 counties on October 9, 2020.   

Review older posts (PDF)

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