Iowa court upholds 2019 law on documents filed in appeals

Published: Apr. 17, 2021 at 8:31 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A divided Iowa Supreme Court is upholding a portion of a 2019 law that prohibits people seeking an appeal of their criminal conviction from filing documents on their own when they’re represented by an attorney. The justices considered an appeal by John Lee Hrbek of Council Bluffs, who was convicted of two counts of murder in 1981. Hrbek has filed numerous appeals and has been active in filing documents along with his attorney but a judge ordered him to stop. He appealed and a majority of the court said the legislature can establish a general system of practice in all Iowa courts. Three justices disagreed, saying the law violates the constitutional separation of powers.

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