Iowa courts

Former Iowa governor and current ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, gives testimony at the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines.
Des Moines Register pool photo

Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad testified Friday that he did not discriminate against Christopher Godfrey when he asked him to resign as Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation Commissioner before his six-year term was up.

Godfrey is suing Branstad, claiming he was asked to leave the position in 2011 because he is gay and that, after he declined, Branstad retaliated by slashing his salary.

S Kaya / Flickr

Recently, the Iowa Supreme Court has ruled on cases dealing with Iowa's 2017 collective bargaining law, the judicial nomination process, wind energy restrictions, and jury selection and representation.

The Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines.
Bill Badzo / Flickr

A 10 person jury had its first opportunity Wednesday to hear arguments in a case where former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is accused of pressuring a department-head to resign because he is gay. Former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, Chris Godfrey, is suing the state, Branstad and two former aides because he says when he refused to step down his salary was cut in retaliation.

Former Des Moines city councilwoman, Christine Hensley, has been helping organize opposition to the construction of a new federal courthouse on a former YMCA site.
Grant Gerlock / IPR

Some Des Moines business leaders and city council members want the federal government to reconsider plans for a new courthouse on a coveted piece of real estate in downtown Des Moines. The agency in charge of the $137 million project could decide how to move forward as soon as Wednesday.

Collin Richards sits with his attorneys waiting to hear whether his trial would be moved out of Story County.
Lyn Keren / Ames Tribune

The man charged with the murder of an Iowa State University golfer will go on trial in September, but not in Story County where the crime occurred. Instead, the trial will be three hours away in Decorah.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

The latest version of Iowa’s ag gag law is headed to court, just like its predecessor. The ACLU of Iowa and other groups are suing the state, arguing that the law violates the free speech of journalists and animal rights advocates by making it a crime to go undercover on the farm.

Under the new law, an individual who lies in order to gain access to a farm or agricultural facility with the intention of physically or economically harming the business can be charged with trespassing.

Katie Peikes / IPR

A northwest Iowa man who recorded himself on video burning books from the Orange City Public Library has appeared in court. Paul Dorr will face a new judge when his case continues because the one originally assigned feels he has a conflict of interest.

bill signing
John Pemble/IPR file

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday she will not appeal a decision by a Polk County judge that struck down the fetal heartbeat abortion law and declared it unconstitutional.

Julian Garrett
John Pemble / IPR

Senate Republicans advanced a proposal out of a committee Monday that would change the make-up of the judicial nominating commissions that recommend potential judges to the governor.

The bill would allow the governor and statehouse leaders from the same political party to appoint three-fourths of the members of each commission, and statehouse leaders from the other party would appoint the remaining fourth.

Joe Gratz

Specialty courts have gained support in recent years due to their goal of relieving pressure on local jails and the court system.

In this River to River segment, we learn about a mental health court being developed in Story County to address the increasing number of defendants with serious mental health conditions who are caught up in the criminal justice system.

Anthony Posey via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/60053005@N00/

A judge will consider Tuesday whether to approve a $50 million settlement in a class action case over air pollution in Muscatine.

North Scott Junior High via facebook

A 12 year old eastern Iowa boy has pleaded not guilty to three charges, after allegedly trying to shoot and kill his teacher last August. Luke Andrews is being tried as a youthful offender in adult court.