Facing a budget crunch, both court administrators and state legislators in Iowa are admitting the possibility that they might close or consolidate courthouses in the future, leaving some of Iowa’s counties without any courthouse at all. Technological advances might make some closings more palatable, as materials can be filed and hearings conducted electronically.
There is no plan in the works to consolidate court services, said State Court Administrator David Boyd, who is set to retire in September after four decades of working for Iowa’s court system. And there are state laws barring certain moves, such as creating regional litigation centers or moving clerk offices out of county seats.
But Boyd admits there may come a time when offering court services in all 99 counties could be reconsidered.
“I really do hope at some point we are in fact considered to be a separate and equal branch of government and properly funded,” he said. “That’s not to say that we have to continue to do things in a particular way just because we’ve always done it that way.”