Eviction Diversion Help Desks


Iowa Legal Aid currently operates six Eviction Help Desks throughout the state (see list below). These help desks are all at or near the courts where eviction hearings take place. Attorneys are on site any time that eviction hearings are taking place in those counties. Iowa Legal Aid also sometimes provides assistance with evictions in Iowa’s other 93 counties, but only if you contact us before the eviction hearing.

It is always better to prepare by seeking help before the day of your hearing, if possible. If you are facing eviction, or receive a notice from your landlord, every minute matters. You may wish to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may qualify for free legal assistance from Iowa Legal Aid.  To complete an intake, call 1-800-532-1275 or apply online at iowalegalaid.org 24/7. You also should not wait to apply for any rental assistance you may qualify for. The earlier you get started, the better the chance you will not be evicted.
Even if you cannot contact us in advance, if you do not show up to your hearing you are guaranteed to be evicted even if you had a defense. We may be able to help you on the day of your hearing. The chances are much better if you show up at least 45 minutes in advance at one of our help desks in one of the counties below, but even where we don’t have help desks you will always lose a hearing you don’t show up to. Bring all documents your landlord gave you, including the envelopes. You should also bring your lease, if you have a copy. Our help desks may be able to provide referrals to partner agencies that are administering rental assistance.  
Representation is not guaranteed.

Our Eviction Help Desk locations and hours are as follows:

Cedar Rapids Linn County Courthouse
51 Third Avenue Bridge (May's Island)
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Just past the security checkpoint in the middle of the main courthouse rotunda.
Every day there are evictions scheduled, starting 30 minutes before the first eviction hearing and ending after the last eviction hearing is underway.
Council Bluffs

Pottawattamie County Courthouse
227 N. 6th Street
Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Third floor waiting area

Every day from 10:30 a.m. until eviction hearings are concluded, EXCEPT for Tuesdays when the start time is 1 p.m.

Scott County Courthouse
400 W. 4th Street
Davenport, IA 52801

Near the front entrance of the courthouse, next to the jail office and past the metal detectors. We have a sign indicating where we are located.

No cell phones allowed in the courthouse.

Tuesdays from 12:15-3 p.m. (if evictions hearings are scheduled)
Des Moines 222 5th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

Outside security on the second floor by the elevator in the same building as the Polk County Justice Center; follow the sandwich board signs in the breezeway before entering the security area to find the office
Every day there are evictions scheduled, starting 45 minutes before the first eviction hearing and ending 15 minutes before the last hearing (unless we are working with clients).
Iowa City Johnson County Courthouse
417 S. Clinton Street
Iowa City, IA 52240

On the ground floor break room/lounge (after security, a couple rooms down on the right-hand side)
Mondays from 12:20 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Waterloo Black Hawk County Courthouse
316 E. 5th Street
Waterloo, IA 50703
Monday/Wednesday/Friday (if eviction hearings are scheduled) from 9 a.m. until eviction hearings are concluded

For more information about evictions, see Evictions 101.


Apply for Help from Iowa Legal Aid

To apply for help from Iowa Legal Aid...

  • call 800-532-1275.
  • Iowans age 60 and over, call 800-992-8161 or apply online at iowalegalaid.org
  • If Iowa Legal Aid cannot help, look for an attorney on “Find A Lawyer” on the Iowa State Bar Association website iowabar.org. A private attorney there can talk with you for a fee of $25 for 30 minutes of legal advice.


*As you read this information, remember this article is not a substitute for legal advice.

Last Review and Update: Aug 21, 2023
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