DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — The Iowa Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that they had awarded nearly $700,000 for services for low-income Iowans, with most of the money going to legal aid statewide.
According to a news release from the Iowa Judicial Branch, $400,000 is set to go to Iowa Legal Aid. Iowa Legal Aid is an already established program that connects low-income Iowans to civil case assistance.
For victims of sexual assault statewide the Iowa Supreme Court allocated $21,433 for the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Statewide assistance also was awarded to the Legal Hotline for Older Iowans and Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice, which totals $80,000 in additional funds.
The rest of the money was awarded to county or judicial district-specific causes. In the Sioux City area, $3,000 went to fund low-income individuals involved in the dissolution of a marriage when other legal assistance is not available.
The grant funds come from the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) program, in which funds are generated from interest earned on certain pooled trust accounts held by Iowa lawyers.
“Lawyers practicing law in Iowa are required to deposit clients’ funds the lawyers hold in interest-bearing accounts,” the release states. “When the funds involved are so small in amount or held for such a brief period of time that it is not possible for the funds to economically benefit the individual client, court rules require that lawyers deposit the funds in pooled interest-bearing trust accounts.
This year’s grants will be awarded for the fiscal year beginning July 1. See the full list of awardees here. With this year’s grants, the supreme court has awarded more than $25 million in IOLTA grants since the program began on July 1, 1985.