For general information on legal subjects such as small claims, family law, collecting a judgment, mental health, and substance abuse disorder, name change, and others, click on the Representing Yourself link in the menu on this page.
Iowa Interactive Court Forms
The Iowa Judicial Branch offers a free program designed to help persons without attorneys create court forms.
Iowa Interactive Court Forms are specifically designed to improve access to justice for individuals who may not be able to afford legal representation. The program provides helpful information about the court process in plain language and uses a question and answer format to prepare approved court forms.
The program can be used on any computer or smartphone. You can save your answers to use in subsequent forms. Once the questionnaire is completed, you are given instructions on how to print, sign, and file the forms with the court.
To access this new program, visit www.iowacourts.gov/for-the-public/representing-yourself/iowa-interactive-court-forms/
Online Dispute Resolution
Online dispute resolution (ODR) is a method of resolving court actions through an online platform on a phone, tablet, or computer.
Parties can negotiate online directly with each other. If negotiations are successful, parties do not have to appear in court. If negotiations are not successful, parties can still have their day in court.
Pilot programs are planned for small claims actions in several counties across Iowa. The Iowa Judicial Branch is working with the Access to Justice Lab at Harvard Law School to evaluate if this method increases access to justice and results in better outcomes for users and the court.