Clients often ask me when their trial is or when their matter can be heard before the court. This is obviously a tough question to answer because it depends on the resources of our court system. Some hearings may be heard in a few months, whereas trials may be set a year to two years from the date of the trial setting conference. Many of my clients become frustrated upon hearing that their trial date is set one to two years from now. Many of those who do not work in the legal field do not understand why it takes so long. Part of the reason is that there is insufficient funding for our court system. In addition to judges, there are many staff people that are required to keep hearings and cases being heard, including court reporters (who assist judges with transcribing and drafting orders), staff that schedule hearings and trials, clerks who process and handle all the court filings, and other support staff. Over 95% of the judicial budget goes to personnel. When you go to a hearing or trial you do not see the people who work behind the scenes, but there are many who make sure things run smoothly.
If you would like to increase the speed at which your case is heard before the court and want to help to improve access to our legal system please contact your Iowa legislator by doing the following:
1. Go to: www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find
2. Search by Interactive Map, Address, City Name, Zip Code, County, or School District.
3. Enter in your information.
4. Click Search.
5. Click on your legislator’s names.
6. Save their emails.
7. Type this email or letter to your legislators:
My name is _______. You are my representative. I’m writing because our court system is overburdened and underfunded.
Personal Statement…how does the lack of funding to our legal system affect you….
I suggest drafting the above email for all my clients who wonder why it takes so long to process their case. To do this does not take very much time and is easy to do and will help make a difference for everyone who needs access to the legal system.
If you have questions, please contact David Wenzel at Lynch Dallas, P.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-365-9101.