Cory White / Woodbury County Court / Chapter 22-juvenile court records
May 8, 2014
RE: Formal complaint 14FC:0030, concerning juvenile court records requested from Judge Mary Jane Sokolovske of the Woodbury County Juvenile Court. Complaint dismissed as outside the jurisdiction of the Iowa Public Information Board.
2322 S. Henry St.
Sioux City, IA 51106
Dear Mr. White:
You filed a formal complaint with the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) on April 27, 2012. In that complaint, you alleged that Judge Mary Jane Sokolovske of the Woodbury County Juvenile Court violated Chapter 22 of the Iowa Code by not providing certain juvenile court records to you. You requested the IPIB hold her “accountable for (her) violations” and acquire the records you request.
The authority, jurisdiction and powers granted to the IPIB are outlined in Iowa Code Chapter 23. Specifically, the IPIB has no jurisdiction over the judicial branch, which includes juvenile court judges (Section 23.12).
Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Code Rule 497-2.1(3), the IPIB may delegate acceptance or dismissal of a complaint to the Executive Director. The decision of the Executive Director is subject to review by the Board.
Iowa Code Section 23.8 provides two options for action by the IPIB upon receipt of a complaint, the second of which states:
“Determine that, on its face, the complaint is outside its jurisdiction, is legally insufficient, is frivolous, is without merit, involves harmless error, or relates to a specific incident that has previously been finally disposed of on its merits by the board or a court. In such a case the board shall decline to accept the complaint. If the board refuses to accept a complaint, the board shall provide the complainant with a written order explaining its reasons for the action.”
For the reasons set forth above, it is therefore ordered that the complaint is dismissed on the grounds that the alleged violations of Chapter 22 are legally insufficient and without merit.
A copy of this Order is being forwarded to the Iowa Public Information Board for review at its next scheduled meeting on May 15, 2014.
Keith Luchtel, JD