Senate Study Bill 1120 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1concerning judicial branch administration, including
2mental health advocates, access to and confidentiality of
3certain department of revenue taxpayer information for jury
4list compilation, contracting authority, apportionment
5of district associate judges, remote testimony and video
6recordings, and access to criminal history records.
7BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1DIVISION I
2PATIENT ADVOCATES
3   Section 1.  Section 229.19, subsection 1, paragraph d,
4subparagraph (7), Code 2023, is amended to read as follows:
   5(7)  To utilize the related best practices for the duties
6identified in this paragraph “d” developed and promulgated by
7the judicial council
.
8DIVISION II
9Jurors — tax information
10   Sec. 2.  Section 422.20, subsection 3, paragraph a, Code
112023, is amended to read as follows:
   12a.  Unless otherwise expressly permitted by section 8A.504,
13section 8G.4, section 11.41, section 96.11, subsection 6,
14section 421.17, subsections 22, 23, and 26, section 421.17,
15subsection 27, paragraph “k”, section 421.17, subsection 31,
16section 252B.9, section 321.40, subsection 6, sections 321.120,
17421.19, 421.28, 421.59,422.72, and 452A.63, and 607A.22, this
18section, or another provision of law, a tax return, return
19information, or investigative or audit information shall not
20be divulged to any person or entity, other than the taxpayer,
21the department, or internal revenue service for use in a matter
22unrelated to tax administration.
23   Sec. 3.  Section 422.72, subsection 1, paragraph c, Code
242023, is amended to read as follows:
   25c.  (1)  The Except as explicitly provided in this section,
26the
department shall not authorize the examination of tax
27information by officers and employees of this state, another
28state, or of the United States if the officers or employees
29would otherwise be required to obtain a judicial order to
30examine the information if it were to be obtained from another
31source, and if the purpose of the examination is other than for
32tax administration. However, the
   33(2)   Thedirector may provide sample individual income
34tax information to be used for statistical purposes to the
35legislative services agency. The information shall not
-1-1include the name or mailing address of the taxpayer or the
2taxpayer’s social security number. Any information contained
3in an individual income tax return which is provided by the
4director shall only be used as a part of a database which
5contains similar information from a number of returns. The
6legislative services agency shall not have access to the income
7tax returns of individuals. Each request for individual income
8tax information shall contain a statement by the director of
9the legislative services agency that the individual income tax
10information received by the legislative services agency shall
11be used solely for statistical purposes.
   12(3)  The director may provide tax information to the state
13court administrator to be used to prepare grand and petit
14master jury lists. Tax information provided shall be limited
15to the name, date of birth, last four digits of the social
16security number, and address of the taxpayer and spouse.
17The information provided shall not include the financial
18information of the taxpayer. Each request for tax information
19shall contain a statement by the state court administrator that
20the tax information received by the judicial branch shall be
21used solely to prepare grand and petit master jury lists.
   22(4)  This subsection does not prevent the department
23from authorizing the examination of state returns and state
24information under the provisions of section 252B.9 or 607A.22.
   25(5)  This subsection prevails over any general law of this
26state relating to public records.
27   Sec. 4.  Section 422.72, subsection 3, paragraph a, Code
282023, is amended to read as follows:
   29a.  Unless otherwise expressly permitted by section 8A.504,
30section 8G.4, section 11.41, section 96.11, subsection 6,
31section 421.17, subsections 22, 23, and 26, section 421.17,
32subsection 27, paragraph “k”, section 421.17, subsection 31,
33section 252B.9, section 321.40, subsection 6, sections 321.120,
34421.19, 421.28, 422.20, and 452A.63, and 607A.22, this section,
35or another provision of law, a tax return, return information,
-2-1or investigative or audit information shall not be divulged to
2any person or entity, other than the taxpayer, the department,
3or internal revenue service for use in a matter unrelated to
4tax administration.
5   Sec. 5.  Section 607A.22, Code 2023, is amended by adding the
6following new subsection:
7   NEW SUBSECTION.  1A.    The state court administrator may use
8taxpayer information provided by the department of revenue as
9permitted by section 422.72, subsection 1, paragraph “c” , when
10preparing grand and petit master jury lists.
11   Sec. 6.  NEW SECTION.  607A.48  Public access to juror
12information.
   13Public access to juror and prospective juror information
14shall be limited. Information on the year of birth and address
15information identifying the city and zip code of prospective
16jurors shall be available to the public. However, more
17specific address information, phone numbers, and the date and
18month of birth of prospective jurors are confidential and not
19subject to disclosure without an order of the court.
20DIVISION III
21Contracting authority
22   Sec. 7.  NEW SECTION.  602.1209A  State court administrator
23may contractually limit vendor liability.
   241.  The state court administrator may authorize the
25procurement of goods and services in which a contractual
26limitation of vendor liability is provided for and set forth in
27the documents initiating the procurement.
   282.  a.  The state court administrator shall consider all of
29the following criteria when determining whether to permit a
30contractual limitation of vendor liability with regard to any
31procurement of goods or services:
   32(1)  Whether authorizing a contractual limitation of vendor
33liability is necessary to prevent harm to the state from
34a failure to obtain the goods or services sought, or from
35obtaining the goods or services at a higher price if the state
-3-1refuses to allow a contractual limitation of vendor liability.
   2(2)  Whether the contractual limitation of vendor liability
3is commercially reasonable when taking into account any risk to
4the state created by the goods or services to be procured and
5the purpose for which they will be used.
   6b.  The state court administrator may consider additional
7criteria.
   83.  Notwithstanding subsection 1, a contractual limitation
9of vendor liability shall not include any limitation on the
10liability of any vendor for intentional torts, criminal acts,
11or fraudulent conduct.
12DIVISION IV
13Apportionment of district Associate Judges
14   Sec. 8.  Section 602.6301, Code 2023, is amended to read as
15follows:
   16602.6301  Number and apportionment of district associate
17judges.
   181.  There shall be one district associate judge in counties
19having a population of more than thirty-five thousand and less
20than eighty thousand; two in counties having a population of
21eighty thousand or more and less than one hundred twenty-five
22thousand; three in counties having a population of one
23hundred twenty-five thousand or more and less than one hundred
24seventy thousand; four in counties having a population of one
25hundred seventy thousand or more and less than two hundred
26fifteen thousand; five in counties having a population of two
27hundred fifteen thousand or more and less than two hundred
28sixty thousand; six in counties having a population of two
29hundred sixty thousand or more and less than three hundred
30five thousand; seven in counties having a population of three
31hundred five thousand or more and less than three hundred
32fifty thousand; eight in counties having a population of three
33hundred fifty thousand or more and less than three hundred
34ninety-five thousand; nine in counties having a population of
35three hundred ninety-five thousand or more and less than four
-4-1hundred forty thousand; ten in counties having a population of
2four hundred forty thousand or more and less than four hundred
3eighty-five thousand; and one additional judge for every
4population increment of thirty-five thousand which is over
5four hundred eighty-five thousand in such counties. However,
6a county shall not lose a district associate judgeship solely
7because of a reduction in the county’s population. If the
8formula provided in this section results in the allocation
9of an additional district associate judgeship to a county,
10implementation of the allocation shall be subject to prior
11approval of the supreme court and availability of funds to the
12judicial branch.
 The supreme court shall prescribe, subject
13to the restrictions of this section, a formula to determine
14the number of district associate judges who will serve in each
15judicial election district. The formula shall be based upon
16a model that measures and applies an estimated case-related
17workload formula of judicial officers, and shall account for
18administrative duties, travel time, and other judicial duties
19not related to a specific case.
A district associate judge
20appointed pursuant to section 602.6302 or 602.6307 shall not
21be counted for purposes of this section and the reduction of
22a district associate judge pursuant to section 602.6303 also
23shall not be counted for purposes of this section.
   242.  For purposes of this section, “vacancy” means the death,
25resignation, retirement, or removal of a district associate
26judge, or the failure of a district associate judge to be
27retained in office at the judicial election, or an increase in
28judgeships under the formula prescribed in subsection 1.
   293.  In those judicial election districts having more
30district associate judges than the number of judgeships
31specified by the formula prescribed in subsection 1, vacancies
32shall not be filled.
   334.  In those judicial election districts having fewer or
34the same number of district associate judges as the number of
35judgeships specified by the formula prescribed in subsection 1,
-5-1vacancies shall be filled as the vacancies occur.
   25.  In those judicial districts that contain more than one
3judicial election district, a vacancy in a judicial election
4district shall not be filled if the total number of district
5associate judges in all judicial election districts within
6the judicial district equals or exceeds the aggregate number
7of judgeships to which all of the judicial election districts
8of the judicial district are authorized by the formula in
9subsection 1.
   106.  An incumbent district associate judge shall not be
11removed from office because of a reduction in the number of
12authorized judgeships specified by the formula prescribed in
13subsection 1.
14DIVISION V
15Remote testimony and video recordings
16   Sec. 9.  Section 602.3205, Code 2023, is amended to read as
17follows:
   18602.3205  Audio and video recordings.
   191.  Except as provided in subsection 2 or 3, a certified
20shorthand reporter’s audio and video recordings used solely
21for the purpose of providing a verbatim written transcript of
22a court proceeding or a proceeding conducted in anticipation
23of use in a court proceeding shall be considered the personal
24property and private work product of the certified shorthand
25reporter.
   262.  An audio or video recording of a certified shorthand
27reporter appointed under section 602.6603 shall be provided to
28the presiding judge or chief judge for an in camera review upon
29court order for good cause shown.
   303.  a.  An audio or video recording of a certified shorthand
31reporter shall be provided to the board upon request by the
32board if a disciplinary proceeding is pending regarding the
33certified shorthand reporter who is a respondent under the
34provisions of section 602.3203 or the rules of the board of
35examiners of shorthand reporters, Iowa court rules, ch.46.
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   1b.  The audio and video recordings provided to the board
2pursuant to this subsection shall be kept confidential by the
3board in a manner as provided in section 272C.6, subsection 4.
4   Sec. 10.  Section 624.1, subsection 1, Code 2023, is amended
5to read as follows:
   61.  All issues of fact in ordinary actions shall be tried
7upon oral evidence taken in open court, except that depositions
8may be used as provided by law. “Open court” includes remote
9testimony of a witness by telephone, videoconference, or other
10remote means of communication approved by the court.

11DIVISION VI
12Access to criminal history records
13   Sec. 11.  Section 692.2, subsection 5, Code 2023, is amended
14to read as follows:
   155.  A person other than the department of public safety
16shall not disseminate criminal history data maintained by the
17department to persons who are not criminal or juvenile justice
18agencies, except as set forth in section 692.3.
19   Sec. 12.  Section 692.3, subsection 3, Code 2023, is amended
20to read as follows:
   213.  The information described in this section subsections
221 and 2
may be redisseminated through any written, audio, or
23visual means utilized by a criminal or juvenile justice agency.
24   Sec. 13.  Section 692.3, Code 2023, is amended by adding the
25following new subsections:
26   NEW SUBSECTION.  4.  A person may disseminate criminal
27history data of an accused to the attorney of the accused and
28to self-represented litigants in a pending criminal matter
29in district or juvenile court, if the criminal history data
30is already part of the prosecution’s file and subject to a
31discovery obligation.
32   NEW SUBSECTION.  5.  Upon order of the court, a person may
33disseminate criminal history data of an accused that is not
34already part of the prosecution’s file, or criminal history
35data of a witness, to the attorney of the accused, prosecutors,
-7-1and to self-represented litigants in a pending criminal matter
2in district or juvenile court.
3EXPLANATION
4The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
5the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   6This bill relates to judicial branch administration.
   7PATIENT ADVOCATES. The bill removes the requirement that
8the judicial council develop and promulgate best practices for
9court-assigned advocates of persons with mental illness. Under
10the bill, such advocates may use any best practices for their
11duties.
   12JURORS — TAX INFORMATION. The bill authorizes the director
13of the department of revenue to provide certain tax information
14to the state court administrator to be used to prepare grand
15and petit master jury lists. Tax information provided includes
16the name, date of birth, last four digits of the social
17security number, and address of the taxpayer and spouse. The
18bill prohibits the information provided from including the
19financial information of the taxpayer.
   20The bill provides that prospective juror year of birth
21and city and zip code address information is available to
22the public but that more specific address information, phone
23numbers, and date and month of birth are confidential and are
24not subject to disclosure without an order of the court.
   25CONTRACTING AUTHORITY. The bill allows the state court
26administrator to enter into contracts with vendors that include
27limitations of liability for the vendors, after considering
28certain criteria set forth in the bill. However, the bill
29prohibits limitations of liability for any intentional torts,
30criminal acts, or fraudulent conduct by the vendor.
   31APPORTIONMENT OF DISTRICT ASSOCIATE JUDGES. The bill
32provides for a new formula to be prescribed by the Iowa supreme
33court for apportioning district associate judges based upon
34a weighted workload. Under current law, district associate
35judges are apportioned based upon county population.
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   1The bill provides that in judicial election districts
2that currently have more district associate judges than the
3new formula prescribes, vacancies shall not be filled, while
4districts having fewer or the same shall fill vacancies as
5they occur. In judicial districts that contain more than one
6judicial election district, a vacancy in a judicial election
7district shall not be filled if the total number of district
8associate judges in all judicial election districts within
9the judicial district equals or exceeds the aggregate number
10of judgeships to which all of the judicial election districts
11of the judicial district are authorized. Incumbents shall
12not be removed because of a reduction in number of authorized
13judgeships.
   14REMOTE TESTIMONY AND VIDEO RECORDINGS. The bill adds video
15recordings to Code section 602.3205 (certified shorthand
16reporter audio recordings). The bill provides that a certified
17shorthand reporter’s audio and video recordings used solely
18for the purpose of providing a verbatim written transcript of
19a court proceeding or a proceeding conducted in anticipation
20of use in a court proceeding shall be considered the personal
21property and private work product of the certified shorthand
22reporter, except that an audio or video recording of a
23certified shorthand reporter shall be provided to the presiding
24judge or chief judge for an in camera review upon court order
25for good cause shown and an audio or video recording of a
26certified shorthand reporter shall be provided to the board of
27examiners of shorthand reporters upon request by the board if
28a disciplinary proceeding is pending regarding the certified
29shorthand reporter.
   30For purposes of oral evidence in court trials, the bill
31defines the term “open court” to include remote testimony of a
32witness by telephone, videoconference, or other remote means
33approved by the court.
   34Under current law, all testimony needs to be taken in open
35court, except for depositions. In the supreme court of Iowa’s
-9-1decision in In re Estate of Rutter, 633 N.W.2d 740 (Iowa 2001),
2the court held the phrase “in open court” meant physical
3presence in the courtroom itself, and ruled that allowing
4telephonic testimony over objection violated the statute.
   5ACCESS TO CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS. The bill allows
6criminal history data of an accused person to be disseminated
7to the attorney of the accused and self-represented litigants
8without a court order, if the criminal history data is already
9a part of the prosecution’s file and is subject to a discovery
10obligation. The bill also allows criminal history data of an
11accused person, or of a witness, to be disseminated to the
12attorney of the accused, prosecutors, and self-represented
13litigants upon court order.
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