Iowa Supreme Court delays court proceedings due to COVID-19


Katina Zentz

Iowa Supreme Court Justices stand during the Condition of the State address at the Iowa State Capitol on Jan. 14.

Kayli Reese, Cops & Courts Editor

Court proceedings in Iowa, including trials, are being postponed in order to limit interactions in the courtroom, according to documents filed by the Iowa Supreme Court Saturday.

All criminal trials that have not sworn in a jury before March 13 that were scheduled to begin before April 20 have been continued to a date after April 20, according to the documents. Grand jury proceedings are also postponed until April 20.

The court will give first priority to cases where the defendant’s right to a speedy trial has not been waived and the defendant is in custody when rescheduling.

Any criminal nonjury trials scheduled before April 20 can continue as scheduled, but motions filed to postpone will be granted upon request if the defendant agrees.

District courts may allow anyone at sentencing hearings to video call in to the hearing if scheduled before April 20.

Any civil trials that have not sworn in a jury before March 13 and are currently set to take place before May 4 are also being continued, according to the Iowa Supreme Court order. Any nonjury civil trials scheduled for before May 4 may continue as scheduled.

Any appellate courts will not hear in-person arguments until May 15, according to the documents.