Cost of an Eviction in Iowa

Cost of an Eviction in Iowa

Last Updated: April 4, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

The total cost of an eviction in Iowa for all filing, court, and service fees varies heavily by the amount of the eviction claim. For cases filed in Small Claims District Court (for claims under $6,500), the average cost is $155. For cases filed in District Court (for claims over $6,500), the average cost is $255.

Fee Small Claims District
Initial Court Filing $95+ $195+
Petition Service $30+ $30+
Writ of Execution Service $30 $30
Notice of Appeal (Optional) $195 $150
Document Copies (Optional) $0.50/ea $0.50/ea

These filing, court, and service fees do not include outside costs such as legal fees or post-eviction fees (i.e., locksmith fees, storage costs for a tenant’s abandoned property, cleaning service fees, repair costs, or advertising costs for a vacant dwelling unit).

1. Initial Court Filing Fee

In Iowa, if the eviction notice expires and the tenant remains on the property without correcting the issue, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit (“Forcible Entry and Detainer”) with the court the following business day.

Landlords must file electronically via the Iowa Judicial Branch e-file; however, landlords can ask for an exception from the e-filing by completing a request form at the courthouse.

Landlords can file the eviction lawsuit online (or in person if they are exempt) in Small Claims District Court if the claim is $6,500 or less. The filing fee is $95.[ttip number=’1′ icon=’popover-balance’]

If the claim is more than $6,500, landlords may file the eviction lawsuit online (or in person in District Court, if they are exempt) and the filing fee is $195.[ttip number=’2′ icon=’popover-balance’] Additionally, if the county has a population of over 98,000 there is an additional $5 publication fee that may be charged by the court.

2. Petition Service Fee

Once the Notice is filed, the court will issue a Petition. The Petition is the tenant’s official notice of an eviction lawsuit and contains important information (i.e., when and where to appear in court). The landlord must arrange for a process server to deliver the Notice and Petition to the tenant.

The Notice and Petition shall be served to the tenant by a sheriff or constable. A sheriff’s service fee is $30, [ttip number=’3′ icon=’popover-balance’] plus $20 for each additional tenant in the household.

4. Writ of Execution Service Fee

In Iowa, if the court rules in favor of the landlord, the court shall issue a Writ of Execution. The writ is the tenant’s final notice to vacate the premises.

A sheriff or deputy must serve the writ to the tenant. They may charge a service fee of $30.[ttip number=’4′ icon=’popover-balance’]

5. Notice of Appeal Filing Fee

If either party chooses to file an Appeal in Iowa, they may do so as long as the Notice of Appeal is filed within 20 calendar days of the judgment. If either party is filing an Appeal in Small Claims Court, the filing fee is $195 and $150 in District Court.

6. Copy Fee

In Iowa, if either party wants to make copies of any document, the fee is $0.50 per page. Note, the copy fee is applicable to all counties in Iowa.