Last updated: November 25, 2013
Looking for a courthouse in Des Moines? Des Moines is the judicial center of Iowa, hosting the Iowa Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the main trial courts for District 5 of the Iowa District Court system. For most court business, start with the Polk County Courthouse, which is known for being incredibly busy and overcrowded. The historic courthouse, originally built in 1906 with four courtrooms, now houses 28 courtrooms.
Check out the list of court locations below for information about all of the courthouses in Des Moines, including links to court websites, contact information and notes on the types of matters heard at each location. Also, if you’re looking for tips on self-representation in Iowa, the “Representing Yourself” page on the Iowa Judicial Branch website is a great place to start.
The Iowa District Court has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, juvenile and probate matters. The main District Court for District 5 is located at the Polk County Courthouse. The Clerk’s Office is located in Room 512. Both the Juvenile Court and the Small Claims Court are housed in other locations in the city. The Iowa Judicial Branch page on jury service in Polk County District Court has directions, parking, hours and more helpful information about the courthouse.
The Juvenile Court hears four types of matters involving juveniles: cases involving abuse or neglect of a child, delinquency cases, adoption and commitment proceedings to place a child in a treatment facility.
This location hears small claims disputes in which the amount claimed is under $5,000. The Suburban Traffic Court is also located here.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa hears cases involving federal law or parties form multiple states.
The court handles bankruptcy matters for Des Moines and Polk County. You can file your bankruptcy forms and attend bankruptcy hearings at this location. For hours and directions visit the Court Information page.
You can file your immigration application or petition with this USCIS office in Des Moines. For the nearest immigration court that hears cases involving violations of immigration law by foreign-born individuals, check the Executive Office of Immigration Review website.