Friday, in a case of first impression, the Iowa Supreme Court clarified how
current EDMS rules impact appellate procedure. In a 5-2 vote, the court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction
and effectively concluded that EDMS rule 16.311 trumps 16.307(2) insofar as it
relates to a determination of the timeliness of the filing of appeals in Iowa.
specifically, in Concerned Citizens of
Southeast Polk School District and Jessman Smith v. City Development Board of
the State of Iowa, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a court order is
"filed” when the judge submits it to the court’s electronic document
management system (and thus when the system stamps it with the date), and not
when the clerk approves and notifies the parties of that order. That
ruling clarifies an ambiguity in the Iowa rules that govern electronic filing.
is a ruling that every Iowa lawyer must commit to memory,
because it can have significant consequences,” said ISBA Board of Governor Ryan
Koopmans, from District 5C. "It’s not uncommon for
attorneys to receive notification of a court order one or two days after the
district court submitted that order into the system. So it’s important that attorneys check the
file stamp on that order. An appeal
that’s filed more than 30 days after that date (but 30 days or less after receiving the
notification) will be untimely. And it
will be dismissed.”
To read the court’s opinion, click here. To read
information regarding the Iowa Supreme Court’s request for comments on proposed
amendments to EDMS rules, click here. Comments must be received no
later than 4:30 p.m., Feb. 1, 2016.
Special thanks to Ryan Koopmans
for permission to use excerpts from his Dec. 11, blog post, "When is a court
order electronically filed?” To read Koopmans’ analysis of the ruling, click here.