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Civil Court Fees

Fee List

There are a number of fees and costs for a variety of court services in civil matters, including the following:

·         Filing fee for a civil petition—(including a petition for dissolution of marriage) $185 (In counties over 98,000 in population an additional $5 publication fee may be charged)

m Filing fee for a foreign judgment, including all dissolution or modification of marriage decrees under Chapter 598, is the same as filing a civil petition ($185)

m Fee for a name change under 674 is a civil petition with a filing fee of $185  (If the name change is part of the petition for dissolution there is only one civil filing fee of $185)

m Fee for a termination of parental rights under 600A is a civil petition with a filing fee of $185


m Fee for petition or application for delayed birth certificate under Iowa Code §144.17 is $185 


·        Filing fee for any petition based in Chapter 598, other than a dissolution of marriage, is $100.  These petitions may include:  


            m A contested modification of a dissolution decree  


            m An annulment petition  


            m A separate maintenance petition  


·         Filing fee for a petition to modify a dissolution decree with an agreed upon stipulation attached is $100 

·         Petition for adoption, including multiple adoption petitions filed at the same time by the same petitioner, is $100  

·        Filing of a small claims petition or original notice, (civil case under $5000 in damages) as described in Iowa Code § 631.1, is $85.  This includes municipal infractions under Iowa Code § 364.22(7)

·          Appeal of judgment in a small claims case—$185

·        All statutory liens, including mechanic's liens are $50 

·         For a lis pendens -- $50

·         Entering a final divorce decree—$50

·         Motion to show cause for contempt—$50

·         For certification and seal of court document, (except for probate)—$20;  probate is $10.

·         For filing and indexing a transcript of judgment—$50

·         Certifying a change of title of real estate (except for probate)—$50; probate is $20.

·         Fee for jury trial—$100

·         Penalty for late settlement of jury trial—$1000

·        Court reporter fee $40/day

·        Copies—most court offices charge $.50 per page

·          Filing a praecipe under chapter 626—$25

·         Filing a praecipe under chapter 654—$50

·         Filing a confession of judgment for a judgment of $5000 or less—$50

·         Filing a confession of judgment for a judgment in excess of $5000—$100

·        Other fees apply depending on the case

Waiving Filing Fees

Courts have the inherent power to authorize the commencement of certain legal actions without requiring a petitioner to prepay the filing fee. Courts waive fees in the interest of justice when a person does not have the financial resources to pay.  If you cannot afford to pay a filing fee to initiate a lawsuit, you file a written request with the clerk of court. The clerk will forward your request to a judge, who will decide whether or not to waive the fee. 

Taxing Costs

Certain fees will be "taxed as costs" in the case and ultimately charged to the losing party or as otherwise ordered by the court. 

Fees Benefit Taxpayers


Nearly all of the money collected from court costs and fees is deposited into the state general fund for appropriation by the Iowa Legislature. 



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