Iowa Supreme Court Decisions

Seven justices serve on the Iowa Supreme Court, which is the first court to which an appeal is sent from a trial court in Iowa. The Supreme Court will decide whether to review the appeal or send the appeal to the Iowa Court of Appeals. The majority of the cases that are appealed to the Supreme Court involve criminal, family, or juvenile matters. The Court supervises lower courts in Iowa and administers the affairs of the judicial branch.

A candidate for the Supreme Court must be admitted to practice law in the state, and they also must be able to complete an eight-year term before they turn 72, which is the mandatory retirement age for judges in Iowa. The State Judicial Nominating Commission handles the initial stage of evaluating candidates, since Iowa uses a commission-selection, political appointment system of selecting justices. The Commission provides a list of candidates to the Governor, who will make the final appointment. However, once a justice has been appointed, they must go through a retention election in the first general election after they have served for one year. They will serve the full eight-year term only if they win the retention election. Otherwise, they must leave the Court at the end of the year in which the election is held. The Chief Justice is elected by the other justices of the Court, and they serve for the same term as they would if they were an ordinary justice.

In addition to being voted out in a retention election, there are two ways in which a justice may be removed from the Iowa Supreme Court. First, they may be removed if they are impeached by a majority vote of the Iowa House of Representatives and then convicted by a two-thirds vote of the Iowa Senate. A justice also may be removed if the Supreme Court determines that this is appropriate based on a recommendation by the Iowa Judicial Qualifications Commission.

Browse Opinions From the Iowa Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Iowa Supreme Court
State v. Kuuttila
Date: October 15, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0283
Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board, v. Bruce A. Willey
Date: October 15, 2021
Docket Number: 21-0214
Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board v. Scott D. Fisher
Date: October 15, 2021
Docket Number: 21-0309
In re D.M.
Date: October 15, 2021
Docket Number: 21-0314
Godfrey v. State  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1954

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court in favor of Plaintiff on his claims of sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation under the Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA), Iowa Code 216.1-.21, holding...

Lukken v. Century, Inc.  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0343

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the ruling of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of the owner of a zip line in this personal injury action, holding that exculpatory clauses purporting to negate liability fo...

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Inc. v. Reynolds  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0804

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court striking down sections 99 and 100 of House File 766, which added funding conditions prohibiting abortion providers from participating in two federally funded edu...

Dix v. Casey's General Stores, Inc.  
Date: June 25, 2021
Docket Number: 18-1464

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court concluding that two of Employer's employees were improperly classified as engaged in safety-sensitive positions so that they should never have been drug teste...

Woods v. Charles Gabus Ford, Inc.  
Date: June 25, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0002

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiff's complaint alleging that Defendant, his employer, did not substantially comply with Iowa Code 730.5(15) whe...

PSFS 3 Corp. v. Seidman  
Date: June 25, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0514

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case arising from finance agreements related to the purchase from a third-party vendor of multimedia systems for Defendants' waiting rooms, the Supreme Court affirmed the rulings and judgments of the district cou...

Doss v. State  
Date: June 25, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1285

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court and the decision of the court of appeals rejecting a sex offender's challenge to two aspects of his lifetime special parole sentence, holding that there was n...

Rumsey v. Woodgrain Millwork, Inc.  
Date: June 25, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0135

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court concluding that Employer discriminated against Employee by firing him when he sought a reasonable accommodation for a disability, holding that Defendants were...

State v. Wright  
Date: June 18, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0180

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court conditionally affirmed Defendant's convictions and remanded for the district court to hold a hearing on Defendant's motion to suppress evidence, holding that the peace officer in this case conducted an...

State v. Kilby  
Date: June 18, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0734

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court rejected Defendant's constitutional challenge to Iowa Code 321J.16 and joining the majority of courts holding that it is not an unconstitutional penalty to admit into evidence Defendant's refusal to sub...

Iowa Citizens For Community Improvement v. State  
Date: June 18, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1644

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying Defendants' motion to dismiss this petition seeking to force Defendants to enact legislation that will compel Iowa farmers to take action that will signi...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.