FY 17 Budget
legislature appropriated the same amount of funding as the judicial branch
received last year, more than $5 million short of the amount needed to
maintain the current level of service to Iowans. Unfortunately,
this means some very difficult decisions have been made for the fiscal year
beginning on July 1. All options to
balance the budget were considered including layoffs, furloughs, reduction in
hours, and reduction or elimination of specialty courts and other new
17 the court decided to
· Establish a hiring freeze for all vacancies in the judicial
branch. There will be a very few,
limited exceptions to the hiring freeze.
· Hold open judicial vacancies for an average of six months.
· Reduce travel by 10%.
· Reduce furniture and non-IT equipment by 50%.
· Shift some funding for IT operations to the Court Technology
· Institute a moratorium on the expansion of specialty courts.
· Require supreme court approval before a judicial district may
eliminate any specialty courts.
with these budget decisions, there may still be the need for further budget
adjustments at some point in the fiscal year.
making these decisions, the court tried to minimize disruption of services to
Iowans by making evidence-based decisions.
As part of the effort to develop long- term planning options, the
court has asked the state court administrator to complete a workload study of
all aspects of judicial branch operations.
The results of the workload study will guide future budget decisions
by the judicial branch. In addition,
the court has created an online suggestion box to hear from Iowans about the
impact of these budget decisions and to hear suggestions regarding improved
services to Iowans.
The court appreciates the continued support of judicial branch
employees as well as the legal and business communities. The court will maintain regular meetings
with the judicial council, judicial branch employees, attorneys, and business
leaders to discuss the results of the judicial branch workload study, listen
to the impact of budget decisions on services for Iowans, and develop long-term
facts about the Iowa Judicial Branch
judicial branch budget is 96% personnel.
2015, Iowa courts collected $155.9 million in revenue
year, with the aid of several state and local government entities, Iowa
courts collect millions of dollars in fines and fees that directly benefit
state and local government. In FY 2015, the $155.9 million collected by
Iowa's courts was distributed as follows:
$105.5 million—Iowa General Fund
$18.5 million—Cities and Counties
$15.0 million—Prison Infrastructure
$4.9 million— Attorney General
Victim Compensation Fund
$5.4 million— Court Technology and
$3.3 million— Road Use Tax Fund
$3.5 million— CCU Collection/Third
Party Collection Fee
than 17 million documents filed and stored electronically as the official
court record, requiring more than 3.7 terabytes of storage space.
1, 2015, the statewide implementation of electronic filing in Iowa's courts
was complete. Iowans with a case on file could file documents using the
Internet and view the court docket and court documents for their case online
from an office or home computer 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
project began in January 2010 when the first court document was successfully
filed electronically in the Plymouth County Clerk of Court Office. EDMS gives more and more court users,
including law enforcement officers, the Department of Human Services, and hospitals—to name a few—secure,
prompt, and easy access to judges, court
records, and the court system. Iowa is a national leader and a model
of efficiency with the first mandatory electronic filing system (that can
deal with paper on demand) in the nation. To date, more than 130,000 people
are registered to file electronically with an average of 12,800 filings every
The stacks of files and
documents in this graph represents the amount of paper saved with electronic
than 713,000 cases were filed in Iowa District Courts
cases filed with the Iowa courts do not make headlines, but each one is
critically important to the Iowans involved.
In addition to the familiar criminal cases and civil legal disputes,
there are families in crisis, victims seeking protection, abused and
neglected children, and troubled youths, all turning to the courts for help
during desperate times of need.
- There are 55
specialty courts in Iowa
55 specialty courts in Iowa.
A partnership between courts and communities, a
treatment court is an effective way to address the core problems responsible
for many crimes and broken families. These courts work intensively with
community professionals to empower Iowa adults and juveniles to break free
from the grip of substance abuse and mental health issues. Treatment teams
include a judge, substance abuse treatment professionals, attorneys (county
attorneys and parents' or defense attorney) and private agency providers.