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Court Types in Iowa

Supreme Court

Iowa Supreme Court Iowa Judicial Branch Building 1111 East Court Avenue Des Moines, IA 50319 515/281-5911 (Clerk of Court)

The Iowa Supreme Court is composed of seven judges and is an appellate court, which is a court that reviews the decisions made by trial courts that allow appeals to be made. They do not hear any testimony, arguments made by the parties involve or rule in favor of one person or party over another. They instead review the written record of the trial court to see if any major error in the proceedings have occurred. The Rules of Appellate Procedure are the requirements for the court to hear an appeal made to the court. With so many other states, the Iowa Supreme Court is the court of last resort and its decisions are binding.


The Iowa Supreme Court is the only court with the authority to admit applicants as attorneys and they alone discipline and enforce rules for attorneys.

The court is responsible for creating rules for procedure and the practice of the use in the state courts.

The Iowa Supreme Court has complete administrative control over the judicial branch and over all their different branches.

Current Justices

Chief Justice Mark S. Cady David S. Wiggins Daryl L. Hecht Brent R. Appel Thomas D. Waterman Edward Mansfield Bruce Zager Senior Judges

Requirements to be a Justices

Appointments are chosen by the governor, who is given a list of applicants submitted by the State Judicial Nominating Commission. A justice then serves in office for one year and then their name is submit for a retention on the next ballot. They then serve for a length of eight years.

To be considered:

The person must be licensed attorney in Iowa.

A justice must retire when they turn 72. However, a retired justice may serve as a senior judge.

Counties in Iowa