Iowa Small Claims Court: An Overview

From maximum dollar limits to statutes of limitations, learn the basics about small claims court in Iowa.

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What's the dollar limit for small claims court cases in Iowa?

The most you can ask for in a small claims case is $5,000.

Which court hears small claims cases in Iowa?

Small claims cases in Iowa are heard in the Small Claims Docket (District Court).

What is the statute of limitations period for filing a claim in small claims court in Iowa?

For information on Iowa's statute of limitation periods for claims related to written contracts, oral contracts, injuries, and property damage, see Nolo's 50-state Statutes of Limitations chart.

How long does the defendant have to answer the small claims court complaint?

In Iowa, the defendant must appear within 20 days after service is made to avoid default.

Are attorneys allowed in small claims court in Iowa?

You are allowed to have an attorney represent you in small claims court in Iowa.

Can a landlord bring an eviction lawsuit in small claims court in Iowa?

Eviction cases are allowed in small claims court in Iowa.

Do I have a right to a jury trial in small claims court in Iowa?

In Iowa, jury trials are not allowed in small claims court.

Where can I get more information about small claims court in Iowa?

For more information about Iowa small claims court, see

Nolo's Small Claims Court area has many helpful related articles. For more detailed help with filing a case, using the best strategy in court, and collecting your money if you win, see Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court, by Attorney Ralph Warner (Nolo).

Updated: October 1, 2015

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