The Iowa Supreme Court and the Iowa Judicial Branch are continuing to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 public health situation. They issued an order Saturday that includes additional measures to help reduce the spread. Criminal trials were postponed in the original orders, but they are now expanding on that and saying any indictment or information filed prior to April 20 will have the 90-day deadline and the one-year deadline restarted with the April 20, 2020 date considered as day one. Notices to be served will have an extension to May 18 for the serving party. They will allow for electronic signatures on civil court forms and attorneys can digitally sign for their clients upon receiving oral verification. To minimize in-person contact, the court will eliminate notarization requirements where permitted. For child custody issues that are under a previous court order, visitation and care schedules that are related to school calendar dates will remain in place as if school were still in session. Carroll County Attorney, John Werden, says that “for the protection of our communities, all misdemeanor traffic cases will be dismissed. All serious charges will be processed online and no in-person hearings will be held.” Staff remains at the ready for the prosecution of serious crimes when a courtroom and a jury are available and to prepare for the caseload when trials resume, tentatively set for May. Werden adds that, “It is not business as usual as public safety is the highest priority.” Those with questions can reach staff by phone at 712-792-4327 or email at email@example.com.
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