Number of Iowa civil jury trials continues to decline
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At the quarterly Board of Governor’s meeting March 25, the ISBA legislative team presented statistics recently compiled by the State Court Administrator’s Office. The information shows a continued decline in civil jury trials in Iowa District Courts. In 2014, across the state there were only 184 civil cases with jury verdicts entered.

Notable observations include the fact that during 2014, there were 13 Iowa counties where no trial verdict was entered in Iowa District Court whatsoever, civil or criminal. In total, 61 counties had three or fewer jury verdicts.

To see the complete table with jury verdicts entered in Iowa District Courts during 2014 by county, click here. To see a graph that reflects civil and criminal jury trials in Iowa District Courts over the last 19 years, click here. The data captured by the State Court Administrator’s Office during the last six years do not include cases in which a jury trial began, but ended in a settlement, guilty plea, or hung jury before a verdict was entered.

Additional estimated data may reflect the changing workload of Iowa District Courts as it relates to civil litigation. For example, civil case information complied by the State Court Administrator’s Office shows an increase in the following case types: divorce and modification of divorce, domestic abuse, landlord/tenant forcible entry and detainers and adult mental health commitment petitions. To see the complete table of statewide civil case filings from 2004 – 2014, click here.