236.3  Commencement of actions--waiver to juvenile court.

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:

1.  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.

2.  Name and address of the parent or guardian filing the petition, if the petition is being filed on behalf of an unemancipated minor. For the purposes of this chapter, "plaintiff" includes a person filing an action on behalf of an unemancipated minor.

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

4.  Relationship of the plaintiff to the defendant.

5.  Nature of the alleged domestic abuse.

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

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

If the plaintiff files an affidavit stating that the plaintiff does not have sufficient funds to pay the cost of filing and service, the petition shall be filed and service shall be made without payment of costs. If a petition is filed and service is made without payment of costs, the court shall determine at the hearing if the payment of costs would prejudice the plaintiff's financial ability to provide economic necessities for the plaintiff or the plaintiff's dependents. If the court finds that the payment of costs would not prejudice the plaintiff's financial ability to provide economic necessities for the plaintiff or the plaintiff's dependents, the court may order the plaintiff to pay the costs of filing and service. However, in making the determinations, the court shall not consider funds no longer available to the plaintiff as a result of the commencement of the action.

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.

Section History: Early form

  [C81, § 236.3]

Section History: Recent form

  85 Acts, ch 175, § 3; 86 Acts, ch 1237, § 12; 91 Acts, ch 218, §5; 95 Acts, ch 180, § 8-10; 96 Acts, ch 1034, § 12

Internal References

  Referred to in § 232.8, 236.3A, 236.6, 598.41, 915.50

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