Iowa Public Records Laws and Regulations / HR Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Iowa public records laws and regulations provide access to government records like budget reports and meeting minutes. They also allow ...

Iowa public records laws and regulations provide access to government records like budget reports and meeting minutes. They also allow public access to records on individuals, such as Iowa marriage records and Iowa divorce records. This can be beneficial on a variety of parties, including businesses conducting background checks.

State of Iowa public records laws can be classified by the type of public records that they affect. These include the three following categories:

  1. Laws on free Iowa public court records that address the way in which these records can be accessed. These laws control issues such as the requirement for providing a reason for the information, specifying fees that an agency may charge and stating the length of time that the state is allowed to respond to a request for information.
  2. Laws that specify an individual's information that may be considered public. These laws affect the way in which individuals may access their own information and how they may allow access by another party, such as in background checks.
  3. Laws that control the government records that the public may access. These laws may be intended to keep individuals informed on government decisions or allow journalists to report on government activity.

Examine the laws that control access to Iowa public records

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for Iowa is a law that typically guides access to Iowa court records and is usually handled by the attorney general's office. Iowa criminal records may also be obtained from municipal and county courts.

Study the laws that affect Iowa public records on individuals

Public records laws control access to Iowa bankruptcy records, Iowa birth records and Iowa death records. Some of these records may only be accessible to a designated individual or a party.

Review the Iowa public records laws that affect government records

Government records laws allow access to records such as real estate sales, budget reports and meeting minutes. Some government entities may specialize in one particular type of record, while others may provide access to many different types of government records.
Drake University website provides an analysis of the laws in Iowa that allow the access of government records. The Iowa Judicial Branch provides a court case concerning the laws on accessing government records in Iowa.
  • Iowa public records law is generally guided by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This federal legislation was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1966. The FOIA was amended by the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments in 1996, which controls the electronic access the public has to these records.

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