Palo Alto County Court

Find Palo Alto County Iowa courts and courthouses, such as federal, state, district, superior, criminal, common, circuit, judicial, judiciary, divorce, appeals, family, traffic, and small claims courts. Courts provide information on legal cases, law documents, case searches, and appeals.


Emmetsburg District Court 1010 Broadway Street Emmetsburg IA 50536 712-852-3603


About Palo Alto County Courts

Courts in Palo Alto County, IA are government institutions that resolve legal disputes in accordance with local Palo Alto County and Iowa law and are housed in Palo Alto County courthouses. Courts are divided into Criminal Courts and Civil Courts. In Palo Alto County Criminal Courts, the government prosecutes a case against parties accused of breaking the law. In Palo Alto County Civil Courts the Court resolves disputes between citizens.

You may contact Courts for questions about:
  • Palo Alto County court records and judgments
  • Law documents, filings and case records
  • Appealing Palo Alto County court judgments
  • Court calendars and dockets
  • Palo Alto County background checks
Palo Alto County Court Records

Palo Alto County court records are available to the public at the Palo Alto County Courthouse. Records vary by specific court, however, commonly requested public records include copies of court decisions, court filings and records, court dockets and calendars, people and background check information as well as criminal records.

About the US Court System

The United States Legal System is comprised of a Federal Court System and Fifty State Court Systems which hear cases at Palo Alto County Courthouses.

Palo Alto County Trial Courts

Palo Alto County Courts, where cases are heard for the first time, are where both sides, the prosecutor and defendant present evidence to argue and support their versions of events. A jury usually decides the outcome of cases and a single judge presides over the court room.

Limited Jurisdiction Court

Limited Jurisdiction Courts in Palo Alto County are typically limited to hearing only cases about small claims, traffic and driving violations, and misdemeanor offenses. Other courts of limited jurisdiction include Palo Alto County Probate Courts and Palo Alto County Family Courts.

Appellate Court in Palo Alto County, Iowa

Appellate Courts, or Courts of Appeal, hear appeals of decisions that are reached in Palo Alto County Trial Courts. A judge or a panel of judges presides over the appellate process and decides the outcome of the trial rather than a jury.

Iowa Federal Courts

Federal Courts are divided into Trial Courts and Appellate courts. Palo Alto County Federal Courts are divided into Courts of General Jurisdiction and Courts of Limited Jurisdiction. General Jurisdiction Courts preside over all matters of cases, whereas Courts of Limited Jurisdiction are limited by their scope. Federal Courts in Iowa are referred to as Superior Courts or District Courts and have jurisdictional authority over defined geographic areas.

Twelve Circuit Courts comprise the US Appellate Court System with the United States Supreme Court at its head. Appellate Courts in Iowa state are similar to the Federal System, whereas multiple appellate courts hear cases within a defined geographic area, governed by the highest State Court, the Iowa Supreme Court.