On this page, you will find information and the forms you will need to file a complaint alleging unethical conduct by a judge, an attorney, or a court employee. Please review the relevant code of ethics before you file a complaint:
- For judges and magistrates: Code of Judicial Conduct (PDF)
- For attorneys: Rules of Professional Conduct (PDF)
- For court employees: Employee Code of Ethics (PDF)
When preparing your complaint, please:
- Provide facts about the incident or conduct that is the basis for your complaint.
- If possible, refer to specific ethical rule you believe was violated.
Please Note: If the sole basis of your complaint is that you disagree with the outcome of a case, filing a complaint is not the way to proceed. Complaint forms and procedures are not a substitute for an appeal and they will not alter the outcome of a court order or judgment. If your purpose is to have a higher court review the merits of an order or decision, you should file an appeal.
If you have a complaint of unethical conduct by a judge, visit the Iowa Judicial Qualification website for complaint forms and information on the complaint process.
If you have a complaint about an attorney, visit the Complaint Against a Lawyer page for complaint forms and information on the complaint process.
Complaints about Court Staff
If you want to complain about the conduct of an employee of the court who is not a magistrate or judge, first direct your complaint to the employee's immediate supervisor such as the clerk of court, chief juvenile court officer, or district court administrator.
If you have done this and you are not satisfied that the complaint was properly addressed, contact the local district court administrator or the chief judge of the judicial district.
In addition, the Judicial Qualifications Commission has authority to review allegations of unethical conduct asserted against court employees.