Justice

Iowa sees spikes in complaints about mobile home park rent increases, conditions

BY: - January 22, 2020

The Iowa Attorney General’s office saw a spike in complaints last year from mobile-home owners, some of whom faced drastic increases in their rent. In 2019, the attorney general received 23 such complaints, compared to 10 in 2018, said Lynn Hicks, spokesman for the office. The increase in complaints might be the result of new […]

A woman holds her hands in front of her face.

‘It’s a real loss for survivors.’ Domestic violence law stalled in U.S. Senate

BY: - January 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — For decades, the Violence Against Women Act was an issue that could transcend partisan politics on Capitol Hill.  Not anymore.  The landmark law — first passed in 1994 to protect victims of domestic crimes — funds programs like rape crisis centers, shelters and legal services to victims of domestic abuse.  But after several […]

Trump impeachment trial gets personal

BY: - January 21, 2020

WASHINGTON — Even before opening arguments were made in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, things got testy.  U.S. House Democrats and Trump’s lawyers sparred for hours Tuesday over the parameters for the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history, offering a preview of their substantive arguments and setting the tone for […]

Bill would let EMTs carry firearms in high-risk situations

BY: - January 21, 2020

A new bill going through the Iowa Legislature would allow Emergency Medical Technicians to carry a firearm if they are a part of a police tactical team. Senate File 2006, introduced by Sen. Dan Dawson, R-Council Bluffs, would allow emergency medical professionals to obtain a professional permit to carry weapons if they train with a […]

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announces new bureau aimed at mitigating classroom violence

BY: - January 21, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced a new initiative Tuesday aimed at identifying and mitigating violence at schools, particularly as districts nationwide grapple with how to stay safe from potential shootings. Reynolds said during a news conference that she is launching a new bureau within the Iowa Department of Public Safety that will train Iowa school […]

State asks Supreme Court to throw out suit over Raccoon River pollution

BY: - January 20, 2020

A fight over the condition of the Raccoon River has spilled into the Iowa Supreme Court. On one side are Des Moines-based Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the national nonprofit Food & Water Watch. In a lawsuit filed in March 2019, they contend the state has failed to protect and restore the Raccoon River, […]

Is this a slot machine or a game of skill?

BY: - January 16, 2020

A legal battle is heating up over the way Iowa defines casino-style “amusement devices” found in taverns across the state. Electronic games that look like slot machines are strictly regulated in Iowa, with restrictions on prizes and player age limits. But the difference between those devices and the less-regulated games of skill commonly found at […]

Acting Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins notes challenges for rural courts

BY: - January 15, 2020

As Iowa’s rural courthouses continue to shrink and leave people in those counties with less access to services, the Iowa Judicial Branch is requesting more funding from the Legislature to help fill the gap. In 2019, 29 rural counties were staffed with two or fewer clerks, according to the Iowa Judicial Branch.  That creates challenges […]

nterior of an empty courtroom with gavel and sounding block on the desk.

Fired fraud investigator claims she was ‘blacklisted’ by state

BY: - January 15, 2020

A fired Medicaid-fraud investigator is suing the state of Iowa claiming she was “blacklisted” after complaining about the need for improved methods of preventing fraud. Wendy Dishman, who worked for the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals from July 2010 through May 2015, was the administrator of the department’s Medicaid investigations division. In 2014, Dishman […]

Legislators call governor’s agenda ‘bold’ but stop short of pledging passage

BY: - January 14, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday announced what may be her most ambitious agenda to date, centered around a one-cent sales tax increase that would be offset by cuts in income taxes, property taxes and other state revenue streams. Her proposals focus significantly on workforce development, environmental challenges and mental health, but also delve into abortion […]

Jennifer Easler named consumer advocate

BY: - January 13, 2020

Jennifer Easler has been appointed consumer advocate for regulated utility issues, replacing Mark Schuling, who retired Jan. 10, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced. Easler, an attorney in the office since 1996, must be confirmed by the Iowa Senate. She will oversee a staff of 14 people who investigate services regulated by the Iowa Utilities […]

Acting Chief Justice David Wiggins to retire from Iowa Supreme Court

BY: - January 10, 2020

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Acting Justice David Wiggins announced on Friday that he is retiring from the state’s highest court, effective in March. The news comes about 24 hours after Gov. Kim Reynolds received the names of three finalists to fill another vacancy on the court. Wiggins, 68, was appointed to the Supreme Court in […]