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Plymouth County

What are Plymouth County Public Records?

Plymouth County public records are all the documents and pieces of information generated and maintained by local government agencies in Plymouth County, Iowa. These records can include anything from birth and death certificates to property tax records, and they are typically available for public inspection and copying.

According to the Iowa Open Records Law, all government records are presumed to be open and available to the public unless they fall under one of the specified exceptions. The law provides that all records requests must be fulfilled within a reasonable amount of time and that any fees charged for copies of records must be reasonable.

Records that are typically exempt from public disclosure include the following:

  • Records that are confidential under state or federal law
  • Records that pertain to ongoing criminal or civil investigations
  • Records that would pose a threat to public safety
  • Records that are considered trade secrets or proprietary information

Persons seeking to obtain Plymouth County public records can start by contacting the appropriate government agency. For example, to obtain a birth certificate, the requestor must contact the Plymouth County Recorder's Office. To get property tax records, they would need to contact the Plymouth County Treasurer's Office.

In addition to government agencies, some public records may also be accessible from third-party websites. These non-government platforms come with intuitive tools that allow for expansive searches. Record seekers may either use these tools to search for a specific record or multiple records. However, users must provide enough information to assist with the search such as:

  • The name of the subject involved in the record (subject must be older than 18 or not juvenile)
  • The address of the requestor
  • A case number or file number (if known)
  • The location of the document or person involved
  • The last known or current address of the registrant

Third-party sites are not sponsored by government agencies. Because of this, record availability and results may vary.

Are Plymouth County Criminal Records Public?

Yes, pursuant to the Iowa Open Records Law, all Plymouth County criminal records are public documents. The law provides that all government records shall be open for inspection and copying by any person, unless the record is specifically exempt from disclosure.

Some examples of exemptions from disclosure under the Iowa Open Records Law include:

  • Records that are confidential or privileged under state or federal law;
  • Sensitive security information;
  • Information about victims of crimes; and
  • Personal information, such as Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, etc.

Pursuant to the Iowa Open Records Law, criminal records may be inspected and copied by any person during regular business hours at the office of the Plymouth County Sheriff. The records may also be requested by mail, fax, or email; however, there may be a fee for copies.

Requests may be made in-person or via mail to:

Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office
451 14th Avenue NE,
Le Mars, IA 51031
Phone: (712) 546-8191

Requests for criminal records may also be made to the Criminal History Record Dissemination Unit of the Iowa Department of Public Safety. However, the department may not disseminate full criminal history records unless the requestor presents a signed waiver from the subject of the record. Eligible requestors may submit the waiver, the Criminal History Record Check Request form along with a Criminal History Record Check Billing Form as well as the stated fees and ID requirements to:

Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

However, non-waiver requests are also processed on the Division of Criminal Investigation website.

How to Obtain Plymouth County Arrest Records and Police Reports

Police reports and arrest records in Plymouth county are maintained and issued by the County Sheriff's Office. While police reports provide an official account of an arrest that includes the names of the arresting officers and a brief description of the incident, arrest records provide more detailed information about the charges filed, sentencing imposed, and other important information.

To obtain a police report or arrest record in Plymouth County, requests must submit a request to the County Sheriff's Office.

For arrest records, the requestor will need to provide:

  • The name of the individual
  • The date of birth
  • The location of arrest
  • The case number (if available).

For police reports, the requestor will need to provide:

  • The name of the individual
  • The date of the incident
  • The location of the incident.

There is a fee for both police reports and arrest records.

Requests may be submitted in person or via mail to:

Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office
451 14th Avenue NE,
Le Mars, IA 51031
Phone: (712) 546-8191

How to Find Sex Offender Information in Plymouth County

The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office maintains a registry of sex offenders residing within the county. Interested persons may inquire about persons on the registry by querying the county sheriff’s office directly or utilizing the Iowa Sex Offense Website.

To obtain sex offender information at county level, the requesting party will be required to complete a "Request for Registry Information" form (DCI-150) on which they will indicate the name of the offender, their birth death, social security number or address.

On the other hand, requestors can use the state sex offender registry using their name, address or zip code. Further information regarding sex offender information in Iowa and the registry may be obtained by contacting the registry at:

Iowa Sex Offender Registry
Division of Criminal Investigation
215 E th St
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 725-6050
(515) 725-6040

How to Find Plymouth County Inmate Records

The Plymouth County Sheriffs Office is charged with maintaining information regarding the Plymouth County Jail, which houses all Plymouth county inmates arrested or serving their sentence with state limits. To obtain Plymouth county inmate records, interested persons may utilize the Plymouth County Inmate Roster. The roster is organized by inmate booking date and ID number, and interested persons may search for an inmate of interest using the inmates ID number, their name, cell number or booking date.

How Do I Visit an Inmate in Plymouth County Jail?

Plymouth county Iowa offers several options for visiting an inmate. Prospective visitors may sign up for video visitation or visit in person during regularly scheduled visitation hours.

Video visitation can be done from any computer with internet access and a webcam. To sign up for video visitation, the requestor will need to create an account with the third-party partner of the Sheriff's office and login. Once logged in, visitors will be able to search for an inmate by name or ID number. After finding the inmate, the requestor will be able to select a date and time for their visit.

In-person visitation is available during regular business hours. To visit an inmate in person, the visitor must schedule ahead of their visit. When they arrive, they will need to sign in at the lobby desk. They will then be directed to the appropriate waiting area. After the visit, they will need to sign out at the lobby desk before leaving.

The following are some guidelines for visiting an inmate in Plymouth county Jail:

  • All visitors must be on the inmate's approved visitation list
  • Visitors must present a valid photo ID
  • Adults must have proof of relationship to the inmate if they are not immediate family
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Appropriate clothing must be worn - no tank tops, halter tops, see-through clothing, etc.
  • No weapons or contraband are allowed in the facility

For more information on visiting an inmate in Plymouth county Jail, interested persons can contact the Sheriff of Plymouth Jail Division at:

451 14th Ave NE
Le Mars, Iowa 51031
Phone: (712) 546-4419
Fax: (712) 546-7971

Plymouth County Court Records

The Court system of Plymouth County, Iowa is made up of the District Court and the Municipal Court. The District Court has jurisdiction over all criminal and civil cases, while the Municipal Court has jurisdiction over minor offenses. Both courts are located in Le Mars, Iowa.

Plymouth County District Court is a court of general jurisdiction that hears both criminal and civil cases. The court has the authority to hear appeals from lower courts, as well as original proceedings. The court also has the power to issue writs, which are orders that direct another person or entity to take a specific action.

Criminal cases heard in district court include felonies, which are crimes punishable by more than one year in prison, and misdemeanors, which are crimes punishable by less than one year in prison. Civil cases involve disputes between two or more parties, and can include contracts, property damage, personal injury, and more.

Plymouth County Municipal Court is a court of limited jurisdiction that hears minor offenses, such as traffic violations and petty crimes. The court also has the authority to issue orders of protection and process small claims.

Location of All Courts in County

Below is the location and contact information of the only court currently in Plymouth County, Iowa:

Plymouth County District Court
215 4th Avenue SE,
Le Mars, IA 51031
Phone: (712) 546-4215
Fax: (712) 546-8430

Are Plymouth Court Records Public?

Yes, court records are public in Iowa. Any person can request access to court records, and there is no charge for doing so. Records that are not available to the public include juvenile court records, adoption records, and some sealed or expunged criminal records.

How to Obtain Plymouth County Court Case Records

The Plymouth District Clerk of Courts is the chief custodian of court records of all civil court case records, criminal court records, traffic, family and juvenile records of cases filed and heard within the county. Eligible persons may view or copy non-confidential records by making phone or mail requests at:

Plymouth County Court House
215 4th Ave S.E.
Le Mars Iowa, 51031
Phone: (712) 546-4215
Fax: (712) 546-8430

Alternatively, interested parties may view court case documents electronically in the county courthouse using the public terminal. To use these resources, requestors are required to register on the Iowa Courts Online Case Portal. Registered users may then perform a case search by county, or an advanced case search for information entered by the clerk of district courts.

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Plymouth Vital Records

Vital records are defined by Iowa law as "any birth, death, fetal death, marriage, or divorce record" kept by the state. These records are used to document important life events and help maintain accurate population data. Vital records are an important source of information for individuals, families, and researchers.

Birth and death records are the most commonly requested vital records in Iowa. Birth records are typically used for identification purposes, such as obtaining a driver's license or passport. Death records may be used to settle estates and claim life insurance benefits. Marriage and divorce records can be used to verify marital status or to research family history.

Plymouth County Vital Records are managed and issued by the County Recorder's Office, and the Clerk of District Courts at the county level, and Bureau of Health Statistics of the Iowa Department of Public Health at the state level. Records might be obtained by eligible persons from either office. However, requestors will be required to provide specific identification documentation.

Where and How to Get Divorce Records

Records of divorces granted in Plymouth County can be obtained by querying the Plymouth Clerk of District Court. Requests for records typically require relevant information about the divorcees including the place and date of the divorce. Queries can be made by sending a written request via mail or making over-the-phone queries to:

Plymouth County Court House
215 4th Ave S.E.
Le Mars, IA 51031
Phone: (712) 546-4215
Fax: (712) 546-84301

Alternatively, interested persons may view divorce records electronically by using the public terminals available in the county courthouse. Requestors may be required to register on the Iowa Courts Online Case Portal.

Where and How to Get Marriage Records

Marriage records are maintained and disseminated by the County Recorder's Office. However, only records of marriages that took place after July 1, 1880, are available on file and can be retrieved

Registrants and persons who can prove their relationship (to the registrants) are eligible to obtain marriage records. Applicants are required to complete a vital record application form which must be signed and notarized, and submit the completed application along with a payment of $15 and a copy of the requestors government-issued photo ID to:

Plymouth County Recorder
215 4th Ave SE
Le Mars, IA 51031
(515) 281-4944

Where and How to Get Birth and Death Records

All birth and death records from the years 1880 to 1920 and 1942 to current are maintained and issued by the County Recorder's Office. Records for the years 1921 to 1941 are managed by the Vital Records section of the Iowa Department of Public Health. Also, prior to July 1, 1995 records of births to unwed mothers were only stored in the Department of Public Health and are still only available at the state level.

Birth records are only available to persons with entitlement which include adult registrants, their mother or father (if named on record), spouses, brothers or sisters (who can show proof of relationship) and grandparents.

On the other hand, access to death records does not require meeting any eligibility requirements.

Requestors must complete, sign and notarize a vital record application form, and submit the completed application along with a payment of $15 and a copy of the requestors government-issued photo ID to the County Recorder’s Office.

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