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The Meaning of Court Case Numbers in Iowa

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The court system in Iowa assigns court case numbers based upon the type of case. That means that the case number can provide useful information about the court case if one knows how to interpret the case number. This article provides information on decoding Iowa case numbers.

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Format of Iowa case numbers in general

Iowa cases start with a series of letters that describe the case type, followed by numbers.  The numbers are assigned based upon the county in which the case is filed and the order in which the case is filed.

Civil Cases in Iowa

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Below are the letter codes for common Iowa civil case types.

CDCD – Dissolution (divorce or legal separation) case.

DRCV – Child custody case.

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LACV – Civil lawsuit.

GCPR – Guardianship case.

SC or SCSC – Small Claims case.

AT – Adoption case.

ES or TE or TP – Estate or probate case.

JV – Juvenile case.


Criminal and Traffic Cases in Iowa

Below are the letter codes for common Iowa criminal case types.

FECR – Criminal felony case.

AGCR – Criminal aggravated misdemeanor case.

SRCR – Criminal serious misdemeanor case.

SMCR – Criminal simple misdemeanor case.

OWCR – OWI case.

STA or NTA – State traffic ticket (simple misdemeanor) case.

PC – Post-conviction Relief case.

Notes on Iowa Case Numbers

There are some circumstances where a case number will not tell the whole story in Iowa.  For example, a case may be charged as a felony initially, only to be reduced to a misdemeanor at a later time.  The case will generally still keep the felony case number, even though only a misdemeanor is still pending.  As such, it is important for a person to discuss their case with their attorney.

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