Dems: Judiciary – week of Feb. 29, 2016

March 5, 2016

SF 2263 – Judicial Branch bill relating to court debt, filing medical reports, and lis pendens

SF 2264 – Guardians ad litem, attorneys for children, child custody investigators, family reporters

SF 2265 – Updates Code language relating to compiling jury lists

SF 2266 – Judicial pensions and state employment

SF 2268 – Modification of Sex Offender Registry

SF 2269 – Duties of the Public Safety Advisory Board – violence in local communities

SF 2270 – Creates a task force regarding extending the age up to 21 for juvenile delinquencies

SF 2282 – Revival of lapsed use restrictions

SF 2288 – Confidentiality of juvenile delinquency records

SF 2289 – Animal cruelty laws

HF 2271 – Identity Theft

HF 2279 – Suppressors



SF 2263 allows the clerk of the Court of Appeals and the clerk of the Supreme Court to collect debt. The bill reduces the number of medical reports to be filed with a clerk of court as all filings are now electronic, and transfers the responsibility to file a notice of lis pendens from the clerk of court to a claimant. The bill provides that an out-of-state witness must be reimbursed in the same manner as mileage expenses are reimbursed under Code section 602.1509, which directs a person to be paid actual and necessary expenses, not to exceed a maximum amount established by the Iowa Supreme Court.

[2/29: 48-0 (Dix, Bertrand absent)]


SF 2264 clarifies the roles and distinctions between a guardian ad litem and an attorney for a child in divorce and custody cases. A person cannot simultaneously serve as both a child’s attorney and guardian ad litem. An attorney advocates for the child’s objectives, and the guardian ad litem advocates for the child’s best interests. Guardians ad litem and attorneys appointed to represent children must maintain regular contact with the children. Lawyers should not testify as witnesses or reporters.

[2/29: 48-0 (Dix, Bertrand absent)]


SF 2265 eliminates the use of a jury commission to draw juror lists, and requires the master jury list to be updated electronically each year and to include the nonoperator’s identification list.

[2/29: 48-0 (Dix, Feenstra absent)]


SF 2266 repeals Code section 602.9110, which prohibits retired judges from receiving their annuity from the judicial retirement system if they  serve as a state officer or employee.

[3/2: 26-24 (party-line)]


SF 2268 allows those on Iowa’s Sex Offender Registry who live out of state to petition for modification of their registry requirements in the Iowa county where they were convicted. Current law does not authorize them to petition for a modification.

[2/29: 48-0 (Dix, Bertrand absent)]


SF 2269, as amended on the Senate floor, adds another purpose and additional duties to the Public Safety Advisory Board. The Board will provide research and make recommendations about causes and prevention of violence to local communities throughout the state, in addition to other responsibilities.

[3/1: 49-0 (Dix absent)]


SF 2270 establishes a task force to study extending juvenile court jurisdiction in delinquency matters and proceedings to include those up to age 21.

[2/29: 48-0 (Dix, Feenstra absent)]


SF 2282 creates a new Code chapter that provides processes for parcel owners in Common Interest Communities to reinstate lapsed use restrictions as defined in Iowa Code Section 614.24 (5). In Common Interest Communities, property owners must help pay for expenses related to common elements in the community, and the property is described in a filed declaration. Parcel owners may reinstate use restrictions that were included in the original declaration that established the common interest community.


Some or all of the original use restrictions may be revived if:

  • Procedure 1: An agreement containing a complete description of the revived use restrictions can be executed by the owners of a majority of the affected parcels and must be filed by the executive board with the county recorder within 30 days after a majority of the owners have executed the agreement. The board must certify that the reinstatement agreement was executed by a majority of the affected parcel owners.
  • Procedure 2: A majority of the affected parcel owners can vote to reinstate lapsed use restrictions at a meeting or by written ballot. A proposal for a vote to reinstate use restrictions can be initiated by the executive board or a petition signed by 10 percent of affected parcel owners.


Reinstated use restrictions will not be retroactive and cannot be enforced against a parcel owner who made a good faith investment after a use restriction had lapsed.

[2/25: 48-0 (Dix, Sinclair absent)]


SF 2288 creates a rebuttable presumption that juvenile delinquency records are confidential and not available to the public. However, if a forcible felony is alleged, that record will be public. Any person can petition the court to open a confidential record. Conversely, an application may be made to the court to keep confidential a file that is public record (forcible felony). Confidential records are not available to the public; however, justice system entities, schools, the Department of Transportation and other select departments will have access to those records.

[2/25: 48-0 (Dix, Sinclair absent)]


SF 2289 amends Iowa Code Chapter 717B relating to the mistreatment of certain animals, primarily companion animals. The bill specifically excludes livestock, game, fur-bearing animals, among others. The bill amends and creates criminal offenses, including animal abuse in the first or second degree; animal neglect in the first or second degree; animal torture; animal abandonment; and animal endangerment. If an adult commits any of these offenses in the presence of a juvenile or has previously committed any of the offenses or other offenses involving animal cruelty as specified in the bill, the charge and penalty will be enhanced.

[2/25: 32-16 (Anderson, Chapman, Guth, Rozenboom, Behn, Costello, Johnson, Schultz, Bertrand Feenstra, Kapucian Segebart, Breitbach, Garrett, Kraayenbrink, Shipley “no”)]


HF 2271 enhances the penalty for identity theft in excess $10,000 to a “C” felony, and adds the term “other benefit” in addition to credit, property or services that can be obtained through the use of someone’s identity. Thus, if a person gains some benefit other than credit, property or services, and that benefit can be valued in excess of $10,000, the charge will be a “C” felony for identify theft. If the other benefit is valued between $1,000 and $10,000, the charge is “D” felony identify theft. If the “other benefit does not exceed $1,000, the person commits an aggravated misdemeanor (identify theft).

[2/29: 49-0 (Dix, Feenstra absent)]



HF 2279 legalizes the possession of suppressors in Iowa and removes them from the list of offensive weapons.

[3/2: 11-2 (Hogg, Quirmbach “no”)]

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