Full Statute Name:  Iowa Code Annotated - Title VI. Human Services - Subtitle 6. Children and Families - Chapter 236. Domestic Abuse

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Primary Citation:  I.C.A. §§ 236.3, 236.4, 236.5 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  August, 2014 Alternate Citation:  IA ST §§ 236.3, 236.4, 236.5 Date Adopted:  1979
Summary: Iowa now allows the court to grant petitioners exclusive care, possession, or control of any pets or companion animals in both temporary and permanent orders. The animals can belong to the petitioner, the abuser, or a minor child of the petitioner or the abuser. The court can also order the abuser to stay away from the animals and not take, hide, bother, attack, threaten, or otherwise get rid of the pet or companion animal.
Statute Text: 

236.3. Commencement of actions--waiver to juvenile court

<[Text subject to final changes by the Iowa Code Editor for Code 2015.]>

1. A person, including a parent or guardian on behalf of an unemancipated minor, may seek relief from domestic abuse by filing a verified petition in the district court. Venue shall lie where either party resides. The petition shall state the:

a. Name of the plaintiff and the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, if any. If the plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the petition shall state a mailing address for the plaintiff. A mailing address may be provided by the plaintiff pursuant to section 236.10.

b. Name and address of the parent or guardian filing the petition, if the petition is being filed on behalf of an unemancipated minor. A mailing address may be provided by the plaintiff pursuant to section 236.10.

c. Name and address, if known, of the defendant.

d. Relationship of the plaintiff to the defendant.

e. Nature of the alleged domestic abuse.

f. Name and age of each child under eighteen whose welfare may be affected by the controversy.

0g. Name or description of any pet or companion animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the petitioner, respondent, or minor child of the petitioner or respondent whose welfare may be affected by the controversy. However, this paragraph shall not apply to livestock as defined in section 717.1, held solely or primarily for commercial purposes.

g. Desired relief, including a request for temporary or emergency orders.

2. A temporary or emergency order shall be based on a showing of a prima facie case of domestic abuse. If the factual basis for the alleged domestic abuse is contested, the court shall issue a protective order based upon a finding of domestic abuse by a preponderance of the evidence.

3. a. The filing fee and court costs for an order for protection and in a contempt action under this chapter shall be waived for the plaintiff.

b. The clerk of court, the sheriff of any county in this state, and other law enforcement and corrections officers shall perform their duties relating to service of process without charge to the plaintiff. When an order for protection is entered by the court, the court may direct the defendant to pay to the clerk of court the fees for the filing of the petition and reasonable costs of service of process if the court determines the defendant has the ability to pay the plaintiff's fees and costs. In lieu of personal service of an order for protection issued pursuant to this section, the sheriff of any county in this state, and other law enforcement and corrections officers may serve a defendant with a short-form notification pursuant to section 664A.4A.

4. If the person against whom relief from domestic abuse is being sought is seventeen years of age or younger, the district court shall waive its jurisdiction over the action to the juvenile court.

Credits

Acts 1979 (68 G.A.) ch. 147, § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1980. Amended by Acts 1985 (71 G.A.) ch. 175, § 3; Acts 1986 (71 G.A.) ch. 1237, § 12; Acts 1991 (74 G.A.) ch. 218, § 5; Acts 1995 (76 G.A.) ch. 180, §§ 8 to 10; Acts 1996 (76 G.A.) ch. 1034, § 12; Acts 2000 (78 G.A.) ch. 1119, § 1; Acts 2001 (79 G.A.) ch. 43, § 1; Acts 2002 (79 G.A.) ch. 1004, § 3; Acts 2002 (79 G.A.) ch. 1119, § 36; Acts 2003 (80 G.A.) ch. 44, § 53; Acts 2003 (80 G.A.) ch. 151, § 7; Acts 2009 (83 G.A.) ch. 41, S.F. 446, § 263; Acts 2013 (85 G.A.) ch. 16, H.F. 496, § 1, eff. April 1, 2014; Acts 2014 (85 G.A.) ch. 1098, S.F. 2118, § 1, eff. July 1, 2014.


236.4. Hearings--temporary orders

<[Text subject to final changes by the Iowa Code Editor for Code 2015.]>

1. Not less than five and not more than fifteen days after commencing a proceeding and upon notice to the other party, a hearing shall be held at which the plaintiff must prove the allegation of domestic abuse by a preponderance of the evidence.

2. The court may enter any temporary order it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff from domestic abuse prior to the hearing, including temporary custody or visitation orders pursuant to subsection 3, upon good cause shown in an ex parte proceeding. Present danger of domestic abuse to the plaintiff constitutes good cause for purposes of this subsection. A temporary order issued pursuant to this subsection shall specifically include notice that the person may be required to relinquish all firearms, offensive weapons, and ammunition upon the issuance of a permanent order pursuant to section 236.5.

3. The court may award temporary custody of or establish temporary visitation rights with regard to children under eighteen years of age. In awarding temporary custody or temporary visitation rights, the court shall give primary consideration to the safety of the alleged victim and the children. If the court finds that the safety of the alleged victim or the children will be jeopardized by unsupervised or unrestricted visitation, the court shall set conditions or restrict visitation as to time, place, duration, or supervision, or deny visitation entirely, as needed to guard the safety of the victim and the children. The court shall also determine whether any other existing orders awarding custody or visitation should be modified.

3A. The court may include in the temporary order issued pursuant to this section a grant to the petitioner of the exclusive care, possession, or control of any pets or companion animals owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the petitioner, respondent, or minor child of the petitioner or respondent whose welfare may be affected by the controversy. The court may forbid the respondent from approaching, taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, molesting, attacking, striking, threatening, harming, or otherwise disposing of the pet or companion animal. This subsection shall not apply to livestock as defined in section 717.1, held solely or primarily for commercial purposes.

4. If a hearing is continued, the court may make or extend any temporary order under subsection 2, 3, or 3A that it deems necessary.

5. Upon application of a party, the court shall issue subpoenas requiring attendance and testimony of witnesses and production of papers.

6. The court shall advise the defendant of a right to be represented by counsel of the defendant's choosing and to have a continuance to secure counsel.

7. Prior to the entry of a temporary order under this section that involves a child-custody determination as defined in section 598B.102, the plaintiff shall furnish information to the court in compliance with section 598B.209.

8. Hearings shall be recorded.

Credits

Acts 1979 (68 G.A.) ch. 147, § 4, eff. Jan. 1, 1980. Amended by Acts 1993 (75 G.A.) ch. 157, § 3; Acts 2010 (83 G.A.) ch. 1083, S.F. 2357, § 1; Acts 2010 (83 G.A.) ch. 1159, S.F. 2345, §§ 1 to 4; Acts 2014 (85 G.A.) ch. 1098, S.F. 2118, §§ 2, 3, eff. July 1, 2014.

236.5. Disposition

<[Text subject to final changes by the Iowa Code Editor for Code 2015.]>

1. Upon a finding that the defendant has engaged in domestic abuse:

a. The court may order that the plaintiff, the defendant, and the children who are members of the household receive professional counseling, either from a private source approved by the court or from a source appointed by the court. Costs of counseling shall be paid in full or in part by the parties and taxed as court costs. If the court determines that the parties are unable to pay the costs, they may be paid in full or in part from the county treasury.

b. The court may grant a protective order or approve a consent agreement which may contain but is not limited to any of the following provisions:

(1) That the defendant cease domestic abuse of the plaintiff.

(2) That the defendant not knowingly possess, ship, transport, or receive firearms, offensive weapons, and ammunition in violation of section 724.26, subsection 2.

(3) That the defendant grant possession of the residence to the plaintiff to the exclusion of the defendant or that the defendant provide suitable alternate housing for the plaintiff.

(4) That the defendant stay away from the plaintiff's residence, school, or place of employment.

(5) The awarding of temporary custody of or establishing temporary visitation rights with regard to children under eighteen.

(a) In awarding temporary custody or temporary visitation rights, the court shall give primary consideration to the safety of the victim and the children.

(b) If the court finds that the safety of the victim or the children will be jeopardized by unsupervised or unrestricted visitation, the court shall condition or restrict visitation as to time, place, duration, or supervision, or deny visitation entirely, as needed to guard the safety of the victim and the children.

(c) The court shall also determine whether any other existing orders awarding custody or visitation rights should be modified.

(d) Prior to entry of an order or agreement under this section that involves a child-custody determination as defined in section 598B.102, the parties shall furnish information to the court in compliance with section 598B.209.

(6) Unless prohibited pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1738B, that the defendant pay the clerk a sum of money for the separate support and maintenance of the plaintiff and children under eighteen.

(7) A grant to the petitioner of the exclusive care, possession, or control of any pets or companion animals owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the petitioner, respondent, or minor child of the petitioner or respondent whose welfare may be affected by the controversy. The court may forbid the respondent from approaching, taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, molesting, attacking, striking, threatening, harming, or otherwise disposing of the pet or companion animal. This subparagraph shall not apply to livestock as defined in section 717.1, held solely or primarily for commercial purposes.

2. An order for counseling, a protective order, or approved consent agreement shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed one year. The court may amend or extend its order or a consent agreement at any time upon a petition filed by either party and after notice and hearing. The court may extend the order if the court, after hearing at which the defendant has the opportunity to be heard, finds that the defendant continues to pose a threat to the safety of the victim, persons residing with the victim, or members of the victim's immediate family. At the time of the extension, the parties need not meet the requirement in section 236.2, subsection 2, paragraph “d”, that the parties lived together during the last year if the parties met the requirements of section 236.2, subsection 2, paragraph “d”, at the time of the original order. The number of extensions that can be granted by the court is not limited.

3. The order shall state whether a person is to be taken into custody by a peace officer for a violation of the terms stated in the order.

4. The court may order that the defendant pay the plaintiff's attorney fees and court costs.

5. An order or consent agreement under this section shall not affect title to real property.

6. A copy of any order or approved consent agreement shall be issued to the plaintiff, the defendant, the county sheriff of the county in which the order or consent decree is initially entered, and the twenty-four-hour dispatcher for the county sheriff. Any subsequent amendment or revocation of an order or consent agreement shall be forwarded by the clerk to all individuals and the county sheriff previously notified.

7. The clerk shall notify the county sheriff and the twenty-four-hour dispatcher for the county sheriff in writing so that the county sheriff and the county sheriff's dispatcher receive written notice within six hours of filing the order, approved consent agreement, amendment, or revocation. The clerk may fulfill this requirement by sending the notice by facsimile or other electronic transmission which reproduces the notice in writing within six hours of filing the order.

8. The county sheriff's dispatcher shall notify all law enforcement agencies having jurisdiction over the matter and the twenty-four-hour dispatcher for the law enforcement agencies upon notification by the clerk.

Credits

Acts 1979 (68 G.A.) ch. 147, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1980. Amended by Acts 1983 (70 G.A.) ch. 123, § 93; Acts 1986 (71 G.A.) ch. 1179, § 1; Acts 1987 (72 G.A.) ch. 154, §§ 2, 3; Acts 1989 (73 G.A.) ch. 85, § 1; Acts 1991 (74 G.A.) ch. 218, §§ 7, 8; Acts 1991 (74 G.A.) ch. 219, § 3; Acts 1993 (75 G.A.) ch. 157, § 4; Acts 1995 (76 G.A.) ch. 180, § 11; Acts 1996 (76 G.A.) ch. 1019, § 1; Acts 1997 (77 G.A.) ch. 175, § 228; Acts 1999 (78 G.A.) ch. 57, § 1; Acts 2006 (81 G.A.) ch. 1129, H.F. 2740, § 2; Acts 2008 (82 G.A.) ch. 1032, S.F. 2320, §§ 39, 40; Acts 2009 (83 G.A.) ch. 133, S.F. 449, § 222; Acts 2010 (83 G.A.) ch. 1083, S.F. 2357, § 2; Acts 2010 (83 G.A.) ch. 1159, S.F. 2345, §§ 5, 6; Acts 2014 (85 G.A.) ch. 1098, S.F. 2118, § 4, eff. July 1, 2014.

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