The Muscatine County Attorney asked the state’s highest court to review an administrative rule that lets victims in Muscatine County bypass his office and ask a judge to modify or terminate a no-contact order. The county attorney argued victims are often pressured by their abusers and having local prosecutors sign-off on any changes to a no-contact order is a safeguard in such situations.
The Iowa Supreme Court noted the judge will review the alleged abuser’s criminal record along with any letter from a victim asking that a no-contact order be lifted — and a hearing likely will be held if there is a concern, giving prosecutors a chance at that hearing to argue against dismissal of a no-contact order. The Supreme Court justices did express concern that this policy is for one county only and they discouraged lower courts from adopting “a proliferation of idiosyncratic local rules.”
The Supreme Court’s chief justice did not sign onto the ruling, but he didn’t write a dissent either.