Chief Judge Patrick Grady released the following announcement today:
After much discussion and consideration, I have decided that an unavoidable casualty of the recent staff reductions is the need to reschedule court service days in Iowa and Jones Counties. The primary reason is the near impossibility of staffing four rural counties on the same two days (Thursday and Friday) with court reporters throughout the year while still keeping our high priority dockets (e.g. criminal, child custody and juvenile) staffed in Linn and Johnson counties. This has already been shown to be a problem this first week of January and only promises to get worse. Also, with having to consolidate clerk’s positions in Benton and Iowa counties, it was not feasible that they share the same court service day every week.
What this means is that trials in Jones and Iowa counties will be set to commence on Tuesdays rather than Mondays. I am aware that this may create some logistical problems with magistrate court in Iowa and Juvenile Court in Jones. However, given the small number of trials, especially jury trials, in each county, these are problems that can be addressed. Also, a number of attorneys with multiple district practices prefer having court service days on Monday to provide an extra day to settle trials. I chose Iowa and Jones counties because they have less frequent back-to-back court service days whereas Benton and Tama counties have them more often than not and it often allows judges and reporters to catch up on Thursday orders on Friday.
We are still investigating whether we will be re-scheduling what is now the normal Child Support Recovery Day in Iowa and Jones counties.
I will be submitting an amended scheduling order to the Iowa Supreme Court and we will also post the new court days on the Iowa Judicial Branch web site.
Judges who are assigned to Iowa and Jones counties during even-numbered months will have their ruling days moved to Tuesday through Thursday.
I ask you for your patience and thank you in advance for your support.