Official State of Iowa Website

What Are Court Rules? 

Court rules have the details and procedures people must follow when interacting with the courts for hearings, trials, and appeals.   

Look for court rules to learn: 

  • Icon of a person standing in front of a judge with a documentWho can be a party in the lawsuit 

  • How to start a lawsuit or an appeal 

  • How to format documents 

  • What deadlines you must meet 

  • What evidence you can offer 

  • What forms you should use 

and many other details for working with the courts. 

You may need to consult two or more sets of court rules for every case.   For most cases, you will need both the Rules of Civil Procedure for details on bringing a lawsuit and the Rules of Evidence to know what information you can provide to prove your case.  For criminal violations, you would instead consult the Rules of Criminal Procedure but still use the Rules of Evidence.  You may also need to consult rules for the specific courts, known as local court rules, which may add more formatting and filing requirements.