Public comments requested on proposed amendments to appellate processes, criminal procedure
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Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady has signed an order requesting public comment regarding Iowa Court Rules governing appellate processes, and on a new rule of criminal procedure regarding alternate jurors.

The proposed amendments on appellate processes are widespread throughout Chapter 6 of the court rules and include amendments to Iowa Rules of Criminal Procedure 2.29 and 2.30, as well as to Rule 31.15 concerning permitted practice by law students and recent graduates.

The proposed new rule of criminal procedure (Rule 2.18(15)) considers a new approach to using alternate jurors in criminal jury trials. The request for a new rule came after declaration of a mistrial because deliberations had started, a sitting juror could no longer serve, and alternate jurors had been discharged by the court as specified in Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.18(15). Federal rules permit excused jurors to be replaced by alternates after deliberations have begun.

The complete order on appellate processes can be found on the judicial branch website here. It contains a brief explanation of each proposed change along with instructions for submitting comments. The deadline for comments is 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 12. The complete rules with proposed changes shown are available here.

The order on the new rule of criminal procedure also can be found on the judicial branch website at this link. The complete rule is here. Deadline for comments on the proposed rule is Nov. 16 at 4:30 p.m.