– New Small Claims Court Protocol

The Linn County District Court has instituted a new protocol for small claims mediations and trials, effective starting Tuesday, March 7, 2017.   The intent of the change is to make the process run more smoothly for pro se litigants, who make up the majority of litigants in small claims court.

Under the new protocol, trial dates will no longer be scheduled on the same date as mediation.  Mediation  will be scheduled first and the parties who don’t settle in mediation will be directed to a pretrial conference conducted by a magistrate immediately following the mediation.  At the pretrial conference the magistrate will set the trial on a Thursday two weeks out and discuss with the litigants the rules of evidence and procedures which will be followed at the trial.  In addition to setting the trial date, the primary purpose of the pretrial conference is to facilitate the conduct of the trial by providing pro se litigants in particular key information about what evidence can be presented at trial and how the litigants should conduct themselves during trial.

Mediations will be set on Tuesdays according to the schedule at this link:  NEW SMALL CLAIMS SCHEDULING INFO 

– Jon Hammond appointed new Magistrate

On March 2, 2017 the Linn County Magistrate Appointing Commission appointed Jonathan Hammond as a Linn County Magistrate to fill the unexpired term of Magistrate Marty Hagge.  Magistrate Hammond is a practicing attorney in Linn County.  He will assume his magistrate duties on March 7, 2017.


– Nominees for Vacant District Court Judge position announced

The Sixth Judicial District Nominating Commission has announced its two nominees for the vacant District Court Judge position:  Andrew Chappell of Iowa City and Michael LaHammer of Mount Vernon.

The nominees will be submitted to the governor, who will make the appointment to the bench.

The vacancy is due to the retirement of Hon. Robert Sosalla.

– List of Applicants for 6th Judicial District Judge Vacancy Released

The Sixth Judicial District has released the names of the 19 applicants for the vacant District Court Judge position.  The vacancy is due to the retirement of Judge Robert Sosalla.  The list of applicants and interview schedule can be viewed here.

The Sixth Judicial Nominating Commission will meet Thursday, January 12, 2017 to interview and nominate two individuals for the position of District Court Judge for the Sixth Judicial District.