The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

December 2, 2013

Iowa's courts changing over to electronic records

SIOUX CITY (AP) — Forty-three of Iowa’s 99 counties will be using electronic court records by the end of the year, and about 40 percent of all state court documents are now being filed electronically.

Associate Judge John Nelson said he believes the positives of electronic records have outweighed the bad aspects since the switch began in 2010, The Sioux City Journal reported.

“I think it has some really good attributes and some bad attributes. I don’t know if we’ll know for a while if the good outweigh the bad,” Nelson said.

The new system makes it possible to file documents at all hours and lets several people read the same file at once.

“It really has opened the door for people to do work when it’s convenient for them, not convenient for the court,” said Leesa McNeil, 3rd District Court administrator.

But the electronic filing system can be cumbersome, especially for people who don’t use it every day.

Sioux City landlord Brad Bergstrom said it was easier to hand a form to a clerk when he had to file small-claims cases against tenants.

“I’ve used it, but it’s not very user-friendly. It’s not something you can pick up,” he said

State Court Administrator David Boyd said the electronic filing system will continue to be improved as it is installed in more counties. Even if the system may not be user-friendly, Boyd said it has helped courts become more efficient.

“In some counties, we were at the point where there could be several days, in some cases several weeks, between the time something was filed and the time it actually got placed in the file,” Boyd said.

Rhonda Henning, a paralegal at Buckmeier & Daane Lawyers PC in Sioux City, said the electronic system eliminates excuses about records being lost in the mail or failing to be faxed in.

“It’s definitely made it easier because everyone sees the document, so someone can’t say they didn’t get it,” Henning said. “I think it makes us more efficient because we can all log in and see the same thing.”

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Iowa Democrats exploring ways to expand caucus WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats in Iowa are devising ways to expand access to their state's leadoff presidential caucuses, addressing concerns raised by Hillary Rodham Clinton following her disappointing finish in 2008. Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Sco

    August 1, 2014

  • Lawsuit over Slipknot bassist's death dismissed DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A judge says the widow of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray waited too long to file a lawsuit against Gray's former doctor. The Des Moines Register says ( ) Polk County District Judge Dennis Stovall ruled earli

    August 1, 2014

  • Man hospitalized after Sioux City blaze SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A man found by Sioux City firefighters sent to battle a house fire has been hospitalized. Authorities say firetrucks were dispatched about 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Fire crews found the flames had died away, but the house had consid

    August 1, 2014

  • Report: Midwest economic index slumped in July OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly economic survey index for nine Midwestern and Plains states has slumped after hitting a three-year high a month earlier. A report issued Friday says the overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index dropped more than 3½ p

    August 1, 2014

  • State urges action to avoid West Nile virus DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Public Health says there have already been three reported cases of West Nile virus in the state, even though the disease usually is seen in early autumn. The agency says cases have been reported in Clay,

    July 31, 2014

  • Iowa official: Goat grazing plan is working STRAWBERRY POINT, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa government official says the state's plan to use goats to clear away vegetation is an initial success. Iowa Department of Natural Resources supervisor Mike Steuck tells KCRG-TV ( ) the 60 goa

    July 31, 2014

  • Commission wants former Iowa prosecutor punished WINTERSET, Iowa (AP) — A commission has recommended to the Iowa Supreme Court that a former prosecutor who beat a client that he'd had a sexual relationship with should be barred from practicing law for at least four years. The Des Moines Register sa

    July 31, 2014

  • New attractions planned for Hoover library in Iowa WEST BRANCH, Iowa (AP) — The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is getting a temporary $600,000 exhibit that will include a simulation of a World War I trench. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports ( ) the exhibit wi

    July 31, 2014

  • Hot air balloon brushes power line at Iowa event INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) — A hot air balloon brushed a power line and caused an outage at the National Balloon Classic near Indianola. An event official, Bill Clemons, says the balloon was on the ground Tuesday night when it touched the wire and then dra

    July 30, 2014

  • Wilson Island State Recreation Area set to reopen COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A state recreation area near Council Bluffs is scheduled to reopen soon. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the Wilson Island State Recreation Area will open its gates Monday. Workers are currently adding fire r

    July 30, 2014

AP National