Iowa Background Check

What is Background Check?

A background check or background investigation is the process of researching and compiling past information on an individual. This information is usually gleaned from public records held by government organizations and departments. They include arrest records (warrants, felony and misdemeanor charges, incarcerations, sex offenses), vital records (marriage and divorce records, birth and death certificates, civil court hearings), property records (owned property, estimated values, purchased goods used as collateral), background check records (bankruptcy records, places of residence, occupancies at that residence, and how long people lived there

The amount of background check information presented on StateRecords.org will vary from individual to individual as well as by what resources were used to collect the information, because different sources, which are publicly available, often have a non-standardized town, county and state level protocols, storage classifications, requirements, organization and digitization processes.

County Infrastructure

In the United States, a county is a political and geographic subdivision of a state, usually assigned some level of governmental authority.  Many counties are divided into smaller political or governmental units, which may provide governmental or public services. The importance of the county infrastructure lays on the court legal procedures and incarceration infrastructure. Most court cases in Iowa courts begin in one of the 99 superior or trial courts located in each of the state’s 99 counties. Each county demonstrates a judicial power and legal power by its courts. All small claim cases are assigned to the county courthouses, leaving them with the executive power over the sentence of the case.

Incarceration Infrastructure

Iowa Department of Correction and Rehabilitation is entitled to govern the majority of the imprisonment in the state of Iowa, excluding juvenile incarceration, federal prisons, and county jails.  The state of Iowa registers 9 state prisons held by the Iowa Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. There are no federal prisons and no juvenile facilities, the offenders are sent to other juvenile state facilities.

Criminal Records

A criminal record is defined as an official document that records a person’s criminal history including arrest records, warrant records, felony records, misdemeanor records, and sex offender registration information. The information is assembled and updated from local, county and state jurisdictions, trial courts, courts of appeals as well as county and state correctional facilities. The standard for criminal record collection and storage varies from county to county, but the majority of Iowa criminal records are organized in online record depositories that are available to the public in the form of a Criminal Background Report.

Civil Records

A civil record is defined as the documents which keep, administrate, and maintain all records regarding a person’s most important life events. These records compile such documents as birth certificates, marriage records, divorce records, and death certificates. All the available records are gathered and stored in a permanent central registry state entity that is used to develop statistical analysis of its population presenting it to the public in a report. The records are compiled from the information presented by the bureaus of statistic and vital records, civil court cases, and vital indexes.

Bankruptcy Information

Bankruptcy is a legal status of a person or other entity that cannot repay the debts it owes to creditors. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor. While bankruptcy cases are always filed in United States Bankruptcy Court, an adjunct to the United State District Courts, bankruptcy cases, particularly with respect to the validity of claims and exemptions, are often dependent upon State law. The United States Code signed six types of bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. The most common types of personal bankruptcy for individuals are addressed in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 which compromise straight bankruptcy and Wage Earner Bankruptcy.

 Why is Background Check is Available to the Public?

In 1967, the Iowa State Legislature passed a law named the Iowa Open Records Act. This law was enabled with the last changes through the following years enabling all public records to be released to the public. It aims to offer the public openly any information about people’s conduct and government bodies’ activities, Iowa FOIA Laws. Every person throughout the state can request access to access all public records through the assigned specialized offices within its determined terms. The availability of the records extends to vital records, court records, criminal records, and bankruptcy information as these cases are governed by the Iowa District Courts.

What Background Check Access Mean to the Public?

The law is similar to the Iowa Open Meetings Law legislates the methods by which public meetings are held at the Iowa Open Records Act intent is that all records maintained by state and local government entities be available for public access and copying.

Iowa State Archives

State Archives

Results Include

Full State Record Report:

  • Name
  • Location
  • Case Number
  • Case Summary
  • Docket
  • Police Report
  • Court Documents
  • Legal Records
  • Case File
  • Statements
  • Transcripts
  • Legal Forms
  • Case Notes
  • Disposition
  • Trial Records
  • Arbitration
  • Case Evidence
  • Witnesses
  • Interviews
  • Descriptions
  • Mugshots
  • Charges
  • Legal Motions
  • Attorney Records
  • Prosecution Records
Iowa Des Moines Courthouse and Post Office 1901

Iowa Des Moines Courthouse and Post Office 1901

  • State Archives hold over 700 cubic feet of records.
  • There are 2 levels of Courts: trial and appellate.
  • Iowa District Courts are the state trial courts of general jurisdiction in the state of Iowa.
  • There are 8 judicial districts, each encompassing five or more of Iowa's 99 counties.
  • The highest Court in Iowa is Iowa Supreme Court.
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