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Iowa Judicial Branch
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Supreme Court

Iowa Judicial Branch Building
1111 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 348-4700 (Clerk of Court)

Iowa Supreme Court justices in the supreme court courtroom

The Iowa Supreme Court is an appellate court.  An appellate court reviews decisions of trial courts in which appeals have been allowed.  An appellate court does not preside over trials.  Appellate court hearings do not involve witnesses, juries, new evidence, or court reporters.  Instead, an appellate court reviews the written record of the trial court to determine whether any significant legal errors occurred.  The Rules of Appellate Procedure  list the requirements for filing an appeal.   

As the constitutional head of the Iowa Judicial Branch, the seven-member Iowa Supreme Court has many important responsibilities. 

  • The court is the "court of last resort" or the highest court in the Iowa state court system. Its opinions are binding on all other Iowa state courts.  
  • The Iowa Supreme Court has the sole power to admit persons to practice as attorneys in the courts of Iowa, to prescribe rules to supervise attorney conduct, and to discipline attorneys.    
  • The court is responsible for promulgating rules of procedure and practice used throughout the state courts. 
  • The Iowa Supreme Court has supervisory and administrative control over the judicial branch and over all judicial officers and court employees. 

The Iowa Supreme Court holds its regular sessions in Des Moines. 


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