Frequently Asked Questions
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Doesn't the assessor raise my value according to the amount of taxes needed?
No, the Assessor raises or lowers the values of property according to the market value of real estate or in the case of agricultural land, according to productivity and CSR.
Assessments are set January 1st of each year, while the tax levies (tax rates) on these assessments are not set until July of the following year. (Example, the assessment notices from April 2021 were for the January 1, 2021 assessment. Tax levies for these values will be set in June of 2022 based on what the different taxing authorities budget in March and April 2022 for the next fiscal year of July 2022 - June 2023.)
The taxing authorities you pay property taxes to are listed at the bottom of your tax statement each year, along with their budget information and a breakdown of how much you are paying to each taxing body.
I disagree with my value. What can I do?
I would first recommend either looking at your property information on our Clinton County Assessor website or contacting our office, to see if we have everything listed correctly for your property. We will gladly provide a printout on your dwelling and/or buildings and explain how your value was determined. The Clinton County Assessor's Vanguard website is also a good place to find out how other comparable properties have sold.
If you still disagree with your value, there is an "Informal Agreement" period between April 2nd and April 25th. This process would involve a field appraiser coming out to look at your property to see if the value could possibly be adjusted so a formal protest with the Board of Review could be avoided. If an agreed upon value is reached, the Informal Agreement is signed by the aggrieved taxpayer and the value is changed for the current assessment year. This is merely an option; you may choose to go directly to the Board of Review with a timely filed, formal protest.
If no agreement can be made, or if you choose not to go this route, you may file a petition with the Clinton County Board of Review. Petitions are available in the Assessor's Office or online at the county's website or the Iowa Department of Revenue's website. Petitions must be filed within the timeframe provided by the Code of Iowa. This is currently April 2nd to April 30th of any given year. The petitions are filed in the Assessor's Office.
The Board of Review will meet during the month of May. You may decide to have an oral hearing before the Board, or only decide to file your petition and submit any information you think is relevant to your petition. The Board will notify you by mail of their decision.
If you disagree with their decision, you may appeal within 20 days of the Board's adjournment, or May 31st, whichever is later. This date is usually May 31st. You may appeal to either the Property Assessment Appeal Board, or to Clinton County District Court.
I own and farm 500 acres. Isn’t there something I need to sign up for now?
You are probably thinking of the Family Farm Tax Credit. This was required to be signed up every year by October 15th until 2001. If you signed up in 2001 or after, you do not have to sign again. However, if you have acquired more agricultural land after you last signed up, you will need to sign an application for the newly acquired land. Applications can be filed anytime. However, those filed after November 1st will be applied to the next year.
I served in the military. Am I eligible for the Military Service Property Tax Exemption?
There have been a number of changes by the Legislature in recent years that have expanded the eligibility for the Military Exemption on property taxes. Individuals that may not have been eligible in the past may qualify now. Visit our Credits and Exemptions page for more information and/or contact the Veterans Service Office.
I signed up for Homestead and/or Military credit last year. Why isn’t it on my taxes? Do I need to sign again?
It will depend on when you signed the application. Applications must be signed on or before July 1st of the assessment year that you are first claiming the credit. If it is signed after July 1st, the credit is applied to the next assessment year.
Please remember that property taxes due are 18 months behind the current assessment year. For example, the current property taxes payable in September 2021 and March 2022 are calculated on the 2020 assessment year and values. If you signed up after July 1, 2020, but on or before July 1, 2021, your credit will be applied to the 2021 assessments on which the taxes will be calculated for the September 2022 and March 2023 payments. If you signed up after July 1, 2021, your credit will be applied to the 2022 assessments, which will be used for the September 2023 and March 2024 property taxes.
Homestead and military credits were at one time applied for every year. In the mid-1980s, this was changed to a one-time sign-up. However, you do still have to sign up if you move to another house, even if it is next door or across the street.
What are tax levies and assessed values?
There are a number of different taxing districts in a jurisdiction, each with a different levy. Each year the County Auditor determines for that district a levy that will yield enough money to pay for schools, police and fire protection, road maintenance, and other services budgeted for in that area. The tax levy is applied to each $1,000 of a property's taxable value.
The value determined by the assessor is the assessed value and is the value indicated on the assessment roll. The taxable value is the value determined by the auditor after application of state ordered "rollback" percentages for the various classes of property, with other properties always compare with the value on the assessment roll of the assessor's property record cards and not the value indicated on the tax statement.
What is a "rollback"?
The "rollback" is the percentage of actual value that is determined by the Director of Revenue and Finance each year on the several classes of property where the total value increase statewide, exceeds three percent for each class of property. The percentage so determined by the Director of Revenue and Finance is certified to and applied by the local County Auditor to all property in each class affected throughout the State. Percentages determined by the Director of Revenue and Finance are the same for all the assessing jurisdictions in the State.
Increases in assessed value of individual parcels of property, as determined by the Assessor, may exceed four percent within a jurisdiction. Agricultural property, except agricultural dwellings, are assessed on the basis of productivity and net earning capacity using a five-year crop average and capitalized at a rate set by the Legislature. The rate is currently seven percent. Tentative and final equalization orders are issued by the Director of Revenue and Finance in odd-numbered years on or about August 15 and October 1, respectively. The orders are sent to the various County Auditors who apply them to the classes of property affected if any.
Why do values change?
State law requires that all real property be reassessed every two years. The current law requires the reassessment to occur in odd-numbered years. Changes in market value as indicated by research, sales ratio studies, and analysis of local conditions as well as economic trends both in and outside the construction industry are used in determining your assessment.
How do I add or remove someone from my deed?
To add or remove someone from your deed following a marriage, divorce, death, etc., we recommend contacting an attorney or abstract/title search company to have the proper documentation drawn up and recorded. The Auditor’s office cannot prepare deeds for property owners.
How do I get an abstract for my property?
Contact an abstract/title search company to have one prepared.
How do I split or combine parcels of land?
A split or combination of lots or parcels of land must be approved by the necessary planning department. If you live in the county (outside of any city limit) you should start the process with the county planning department. If you live inside a city’s boundaries, contact your city’s planning department to sign off first.
When does the Clinton County Attorney's office charge a defendant with a crime?
When the police have conducted an investigation and feel that enough evidence exists to show a crime has occurred, that a particular defendant committed the crime, and that there is a reasonable probability of a conviction.
Why are some defendants not in jail after they have been arrested and charged?
They have posted bond or have been released on some type of pre-trial release program.
How can I find out when a particular court date is?
- If you are a defendant, contact your attorney or call the Clerk of Court's office at 563-243-6213.
- If you are a victim or witness to a criminal case call the Clinton County Attorney's Office at 563-243-6218.
How can I get information on a case?
If you are the victim of a crime, contact our office with questions about the case. Otherwise, a great tool to use is the Iowa Courts Online website. You can search for a case by name or case number, see the filings on a case, as well as disposition information.
I cannot afford an attorney. How do I get the Court to appoint one?
Contact the Clerk of Court's office at 563-243-6213. If you are arrested, you may be able to obtain a court-appointed attorney at your initial appearance if certain criteria are met.
Who do I see about getting my driver's license back or getting a work permit?
Contact your local DOT (Department of Transportation) office.
How do I know if there is a warrant out for my arrest?
If you missed your court date for a criminal charge, a warrant may have been issued for your arrest. Normally, notice of this type of warrant gets mailed to your last known address.
If you think there is a warrant for your arrest because of a new criminal charge, you should contact your local police department to turn yourself in, if such a warrant does exist. Warrants for new charges are, by law, confidential and not disclosed by the Clerk of Court because some people wanted for a crime would flee the jurisdiction.
No Contact Orders
What happens after someone is arrested for domestic abuse?
Within 24 hours after a person is arrested for domestic abuse, assault or harassment, he or she will be brought before a judge or magistrate. At that time, the defendant will be provided notice of the next court appearance and generally served a criminal no contact order preventing ANY contact with the victim(s). The No Contact Order remains in effect until it is lifted, modified or the case is disposed of by the court. The clerk of court will send a copy of the no contact order to the protected party. It will be sent to the address the protected party provided to law enforcement when the incident took place.
What does a No Contact Order mean?
If the defendant is served with a No Contact Order, he or she must avoid all contact with the victim(s). This means the defendant may not communicate with the victim in person, phone, mail, and social media or through a 3rd party. Any contact with the defendant is considered a violation of the No Contact Order. If you, the victim, were to contact the defendant, through any of the means mentioned, while the No Contact Order is in place, you would be assisting in the violation of the Order and may be held in contempt of court.
If the defendant was living with the victim, he or she must move out of the residence. The defendant cannot come within the immediate vicinity of the victim’s protected address or place of employment. Unless modified by the Court, the defendant may only enter the residence in the company of a peace officer to retrieve clothing and work-related items. This is the responsibility of the defendant and his attorney to arrange this.
If the defendant sees the victim in a public place, it is the defendant’s responsibility to avoid contact. Every effort should be made by the victim to avoid contact with the defendant. If the defendant does not comply with the No Contact Order, the defendant could be arrested and a hearing set to determine if he or she is in contempt of court. Contact law enforcement with ANY possible violations of the No Contact Order.
How do I get a Restraining Order?
There are many different types of Restraining Orders. The reason you need a Restraining Order will determine the process and procedures used to apply for the Order.
The most common, No Contact Orders, are issued in cases in which a person has been arrested and charged with a crime. These orders are commonly called Criminal No Contact Orders. They are generally issued in cases of domestic abuse assault, harassment, stalking, sexual abuse, and assault. These orders are requested by the Clinton County Attorney’s Office at the time of the defendant’s first appearance before a judge.
Another common order is a Protective Order. These orders are issued through the Civil Court and involve those persons who have been victims of domestic abuse. It is not required that the person who committed the assault be arrested to obtain the order. Applications for the Protective Order may be through the Clerk of Courts Office located on the first floor of the Clinton County Courthouse.
The offender violated the No Contact Order. Who do I notify?
You will want to report this to the police department in the city in which the violation occurred. They will investigate the incident and determine whether a charge should be filed. If they do not file a charge, they may submit it to the Clinton County Attorney’s Office for review. We will then determine if there is enough evidence to file the charge.
If you have a No Contact Order in which a criminal charge (domestic abuse assault, harassment, assault, stalking, sexual abuse, etc.) is pending, you will also want to contact the attorney in the Clinton County Attorney’s Office who is handling your case. If you do not know who the attorney assigned to handle your case is, you can call the Clinton County Attorney’s Office at 563-243-6218 to find out.
What happens if I do not appear at the time and place specified in the subpoena?.
Failure to appear in district court constitutes contempt of court, which could possibly result in a warrant issued for your arrest, a fine up to $500 or imprisonment of up to 6 months.
I have received a subpoena. Who can I call if I have questions?
Check to see who issued the subpoena. If the subpoena is from the Clinton County Attorney's Office there will be a telephone number listed at the bottom of the subpoena – call that number to speak directly to an attorney assigned to the case. If there is no number, call 563-243-6218 to find out who is assigned to the case.
I have been subpoenaed to appear in court, but I cannot get off work. What should I do?
Your employer is required by State law to allow you to testify in court, as long as you have a court ordered subpoena. If your employer refuses to allow you time to testify, immediately call the prosecutor listed on your subpoena.
Will the defendant be there when I have to testify?
Yes. The defendant has a constitutional right to face their accuser and will be present at all court proceedings.
I am a witness in a case, and I have moved recently. Who should I notify of my new address?
If you move or change your phone number, immediately contact the attorney assigned to the case.
Do I have to talk to the defense attorney, the defendant, or anyone else connected to the case?
You are not required to talk to a defense attorney, the defendant, or anyone else connected to the case. If the defense wants your statement, they may subpoena you for a deposition at which time a member of the County Attorney's Office will be present. When you discuss the facts of the case you are involved with, always tell the truth.
What is a deposition?
A witness’ statements, taken under oath, which are put into writing by a court reporter. These statements are made out-of-court in the presence of Assistant County Attorney, the defendant and the defense attorney.
What is truancy?
Truancy means being absent from school without reasonable excuse. A child who has too many unexcused absences can be considered truant.
Why did I receive a letter from the County Attorney’s office about an Attendance Cooperation Meeting?
You received this letter because your child’s school has determined that your child has too many unexcused absences from school. You are being requested to attend an Attendance Cooperation Meeting to discuss attendance issues and determine a solution for improving the child’s attendance. The Clinton County Attorney’s office provides notice of these meetings in an effort to decrease truancy in our community and support local schools on truancy issues. It is important that you attend this meeting, failure to attend an Attendance Cooperation Meeting may result in charges being filed against the parent/guardian for non-compliance.
Can I pick up or request a ballot for someone else?
No. In Iowa you can only request an absentee ballot for yourself.
Can I request an absentee ballot by email or fax?
Yes. You may request an absentee ballot via email or fax and a ballot will be mailed to you. However, in order for your ballot to be counted you must also mail in or drop off the original paper ballot request.
Can I use power of attorney to request a ballot for my spouse, child or parent?
No. Under Iowa law, power of attorney does not apply for all election related matters.
Can someone else return my absentee ballot for me?
The only people who may return a ballot for a voter are:
- someone living in the voter’s household
- an immediate family member
- a special precinct election official delivering a ballot for health care residents
- a delivery agent, in the case of a voter unable to return a ballot due to blindness or other disability
Do I need to sign the return envelope of my absentee ballot?
Yes! Your absentee ballot cannot be counted unless you have signed the affidavit envelope that you return your ballot in. If we receive a ballot back that has not been signed we will attempt to contact you to get this fixed. Once contacted, you may decide to either:
- Request a replacement ballot and return it by 8:00 p.m. on election day
- Vote at the polls on election day
- Sign the affidavit in person at the county auditor’s office by 8:00 p.m. on election day
Do absentee ballots even get counted?
Yes. There is a myth that absentee ballots only get counted if the election is close, however, this is not true. Under Iowa law, every ballot must be counted.
What is the last day I can turn in my absentee ballot?
You are allowed to hand deliver your ballot to the Auditor’s office up until the time the polls close on Election Day. If you return your ballot through the mail, your ballot must arrive by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, with exceptions for individuals in the Safe at Home program and military/overseas citizens. Learn more on our Absentee Voting page.
Can I get help marking my ballot?
Yes. If you need assistance filling out your ballot ask a poll worker for help. A team of one republican and one democrat will come over and help you mark your ballot. Also available in each polling location is a ballot marking device that will read you all of the choices and then print out your marked ballot.
Can I register to vote on Election Day?
Yes. Iowa law allows for Election Day registration if you are able to provide proof of identification (i.e. valid photo ID) and proof of residency (i.e. utility bill with your name on it if your ID has an outdated address on it). If you are unable to provide one or both of these you are allowed to bring someone with you to attest that you have the right to vote.
Can I take my absentee ballot to the polls on Election Day and vote there?
Yes. If you have not returned your absentee ballot you may go to your polling place on Election Day and vote a regular ballot.
Do I need to show ID to vote?
Beginning January 1, 2019, Iowa voters will be required to show a driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, passport, military ID, veterans ID, Tribal ID or Voter ID Card at the polls before they vote. Voters, starting in 2019, without an ID may cast a provisional ballot or have another registered voter attest to their identity.
I am already registered but my information needs updated; can I do that on Election Day?
Yes. While it is recommended that you update your information prior to Election Day to speed things up at the polls, you may wait and do so on Election Day. If you are updating your address just make sure you are going to the polling place for your new address. When updating your address you will now need to provide proof of identity and proof of residency.
I can't get out of my car; can someone bring me a ballot to vote from there?
Yes. If you are unable to go inside the polling place a team of election workers will be sent out to your car to help you vote.
I lost my absentee ballot; can I just go vote on Election Day?
Yes. When you go to vote, a poll worker will verify with the auditor’s office that your absentee ballot has not been returned. If it is confirmed that the auditor’s office has not received a ballot from you then you will be given a new ballot to vote there.
What do I need to bring with me to vote?
Starting in January of 2019 you will be required to show identification. If you need to register to vote on Election Day, you must bring proof of identification and proof of residency.
What if I lost my ID or forgot to take one with me to the polls?
Starting in 2019, if you do not have your ID with you, you may either cast a provisional ballot or have another registered voter attest to your identity. Learn more about provisional ballots and attesting on our Voter ID page.
What if I'm still waiting in line when the polls close?
So long as you are in line to vote at the time the polls close you will be allowed to vote.
What is a provisional ballot?
If a voter’s eligibility is in question on Election Day they are allowed to cast a provisional ballot. After the voter marks their ballot and returns it to the poll worker, the voter is required to provide the necessary identification or documentation at the polling place before it closes or provide it at the Auditor’s Office by noon on the following Monday. If the canvass will be held earlier than the following Monday, the identification must be provided before the canvass.
If it is determined that you do have the right to vote in the precinct in which you voted, your ballot will then be counted and included in the final vote total.
Can I get a new ballot if I make a mistake or lose my ballot?
Yes. If you make a mistake on an absentee ballot mark your return envelope “Spoiled” and return it to the Auditor’s office either by mail or in person. If you return it by mail contact the Auditor’s office to be sent a new one.
On Election Day if you make a mistake on your ballot, return it to the poll worker to receive a new one. You are allowed up to three ballots so don’t make too many mistakes!
Can I vote for someone that is not on the ballot?
Yes. For each race on the ballot, a line is provided for you to write-in the name of someone for whom you wish to vote for. Make sure you color in the oval!
Can an independent vote in a primary election?
Yes and No. In Iowa, you must be a member of a political party (in 2020: Republican and Democrat) to vote in a primary election. However, anyone* can change parties on Election Day and vote. For independents to vote they must declare a political party.
*Precinct election officials may not change political parties within 30 days of an election.
Do I have to vote for everything on the ballot?
No. You can vote for as much or as little as you would like; it’s all up to you!
If I change my mind on who I want to vote for after I have returned my ballot, can I get a new one?
No. If you have already returned your absentee ballot to the Auditor’s office you may not request a new ballot if you have changed your mind on who you wish to vote for.
If I chose a party do I have to vote for all of their candidates?
It depends on the election. In primary elections, you can only vote for candidates from the party to which you belong. In general elections, you are free to vote for anyone you like, regardless of their party affiliation.
What if I don't have an ID?
Registered voters who do not have an Iowa driver’s license or non-operator’s ID were issued a voter ID card. Voter ID cards must be signed before going to the polls. The new voter ID card will contain a PIN number that will be used for voting purposes. If you should have a voter ID card and do not, please contact our office to have one sent to you.
What is Voter ID?
Starting in 2019, voters must provide an ID when going to vote. Voters who do not have ID will be allowed to either cast a provisional ballot or have another registered voter attest to their identification. Learn more about provisional ballots and attesting on our Voter ID page.
There are 6 approved types of identification that may be used:
- an Iowa Driver’s License or Non-Operator ID
- a Voter ID issued by the Secretary of State or the Auditor’s Office
- a current US Passport
- a US Military ID
- a US Veteran’s ID
- a Tribal ID
Where do I vote?
Where you vote is determined by where you live and you must vote in the precinct to which you are assigned for your ballot to be counted. To find your polling place please visit the Polling Places page on our website.
Can I update my voter registration over the phone?
No. All updates to voter registration must be made in writing or online through the Iowa DOT if you have an Iowa driver’s license.
Can a homeless person register to vote?
Yes. Any eligible voter in Iowa may register to vote. Because many of those who are homeless have a nontraditional address they just need to provide an address or description of where they sleep the most, wherever that may be.
Can someone with a previous felony conviction vote?
Those with a prior felony conviction are only permitted to vote if their voting rights have been restored by the Governor, including through Executive Order. For more information about restoration of rights, contact the Governor’s office or visit the voter registration page on our website.
Do I have to register to vote for every election?
No. You would only need to re-register if your information has changed and you need to update it.
How do I update my address?
If you have moved recently and need to update your address for voting, all you have to do is fill out a new voter registration form and submit it to the Auditor’s office. If you do not update your address after a move through a new voter registration form and do not vote in the next general election, you will be marked inactive (inactive voters may still vote with proper ID). Registration will be canceled if two more general elections pass with no voter activity.
I just registered and received a card in the mail but there is a mistake on it; what do I do now?
If you notice a mistake on your voter card please contact the Auditor’s Office and/or submit a new registration form to correct your information.
I registered as an independent; why does my card say "NP" or "No Party"?
Iowa does not recognize an “independent” party. Instead, “No Party” is used to indicate a lack of affiliation with a political party.
How do we contact the Secondary Roads Department about snow and ice?
The Engineer’s Office phone number is 563-244-0564 and the regular fall and winter hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The DeWitt Maintenance Shop normal fall and winter hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the phone number is 563-659-8230. If you have special needs and require a priority level of service please submit a written request to the Engineer’s Office. Following a snowstorm, the County will work overtime during the week and the weekend in accordance with the ordinance until access has been restored to homes and livestock.
The Clinton County Snow Ordinance is available to the public at the Secondary Roads Department offices or online. The Ordinance limits the County’s liability and also outlines the level of service that residents can expect during the winter season.
I’ve seen plow trucks on the road that sometimes aren’t spreading salt. Why don’t they since they’re there anyway?
Salt lowers the freezing temperature of water. At critical low temperatures, applying salt to roads packed with snow or ice may create worse problems by causing the snow or ice to “glaze” or form a slick shiny surface. Also, during windy storms, snow will often blow off a bare road, whereas salted roads will sometimes cause the snow to begin to stick. Typically the County applies a mixture that is 25% salt mixed with 1% calcium chloride and sand.
Is there anything that I can do to help with snow and ice operations?
Yes, slow down and drive sensibly during winter weather conditions. Allowing a little more time to get to your destination and equipping your vehicle properly will allow you to travel safer during winter conditions. During severe storms, it’s helpful if people are patient and wait for the plow. Abandoned vehicles become a big problem during snow plowing operations. County operators try to go around those vehicles, but if that’s not possible, the vehicle will be moved to allow our equipment to get through. Also, county residents should not push snow into the roadway when they are clearing their driveways because it becomes a hazard to people traveling on the roadway.
The plow knocked down my mailbox. Will the County replace it?
Generally, the County will only replace mailboxes where it can be determined that the equipment made physical contact with the mailbox. During wet snows, the plowing operations will often cast snow across the shoulder, which can break the weaker box supports. Every mailbox should be inspected prior to winter and repaired if necessary.
Why do they keep plowing my driveway shut?
Unfortunately, this is due to the continuous operation of the plow. It’s necessary for the operator to push snow without stopping in order to complete the route in a timely manner. Currently, fifteen trucks are used to plow over 400 lane miles of road, if drivers pause to clear each driveway it would significantly increase the amount of time to plow roads and the cost to clear roads.
Why does it take so long to clear gravel roads of snow and ice?
Restoring access on gravel roads is a slow process since the graders typically plow snow at an average speed of 6 mph or less and a typical route covers from sixty to seventy miles. That means it takes a minimum of ten continuous hours of operation to clear a grader district to one lane. Snowstorms and/or windy conditions may cause substantial drifting which further increases the time necessary to plow a single lane open on a road. After a storm, it may not be possible to reach the remote homes until the second or third day. Clinton County may use “spare” graders, end loaders and snow blowers during severe storms. Homeowners are encouraged to plan accordingly for the winter season.
Why is there snow and ice on the roads after they have been plowed?
The county’s Snow and Ice Removal ordinance does not state that roads will be cleared to a bare pavement and/or 100% cleared condition. The pavement will most likely have snow and ice on the surface after plowing and salting operations. Intersections, curves and other specific areas may be salted more heavily or plowed more frequently but county ordinance, time and budget do not allow this level of service on all sections of road. Gravel roads are typically bladed to uncover rock in the center portion of the road only and not across the entire width of the road. This is done to keep as much rock on the road as possible after plowing operations. Snow will most likely be present on the edges of gravel roads after plowing operations.
Do we require advance fees to serve civil papers?
Yes. See our Civil Page for the fee schedule.
How do I evict someone from a property I own?
This is a three-step process:
- Notice to Quit (this can be a 3-day or 10-day notice, served by the Sheriff's Office). The notice is not available at the Sheriff’s Office but can be found on-line or obtained from an Attorney’s office. This notice can be served by the Sheriff’s Office or served by the landlord.
- Forcible Entry and Detainer (this will involve a court date).
- Writ of Possession (this is the actual eviction).
We are unable to provide legal advice. You will have to seek legal counsel if necessary.
How do I get fingerprinted for a job?
Our office provides fingerprinting services for employment needs, adoption and purchase of gun suppressors. Fingerprinting services are available during business hours. Average fingerprinting session takes between 10-15 minutes depending on wait time.
To set up an appointment, contact the Records division by calling 563-242-9211.
A photo ID with current address is required (your Driver’s License is preferred)
If you live within Clinton County, there are no fees. If you live outside of Clinton County, there is a $10.00 charge.
If you fill out the cards a head of time, make sure to use black ink.
How do I pick up recovered stolen property or evidence that can be returned?
To pick up property, it is necessary to make an appointment with Evidence Support Staff by calling 563-242-9211.
How may I contact the deputy who handled my complaint?
To contact a Clinton County Deputy, please call our communications center at 563-242-9211. You will be able to leave a message with the dispatcher.
What are your hours?
The business office is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays).
What do I do with unwanted or unused prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs and medications?
The following locations have a Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drug and Medication drop boxes:
- Camanche Police Department
917 3rd St., Camanche, Iowa
- DeWitt Police Department
1505 6th Ave., DeWitt, Iowa
- Walgreens North Pharmacy
1905 N 2nd St., Clinton, Iowa
- Wagner Pharmacy
1726 N 2nd St., Clinton, Iowa
Can I add money to a commissary account for phone calls and texting?
How do I add money to an inmate's commissary account?
How do I leave a message for an inmate?
Sheriff Office staff will not pass on messages to inmates. It is recommended that you write the inmate a letter.
See our Jail page for Inmate Mail.
How do I send mail to an inmate?
What are inmate visitation options?
Where can I find a list of current inmates?
Please visit the Clinton County Jail portal for a list of inmates.
How do I get a copy of an incident or accident report?
Contact the Records Division at 563-242-9211. Please visit our Reports page for more information.
How do I request a background check?
Complete criminal history checks are done through the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). Forms can be obtained on the Iowa Department of Public Safety DCI website.
For any offenses that occurred in Clinton County, contact the Records Division.
Sex Offender Registry
Are there penalties for not complying with Iowa sex offender laws?
Yes. A first conviction for failing to comply is an aggravated misdemeanor; a second conviction for failing to comply is a class D felony. In addition, registrants convicted of failing to comply with the requirements of the IA SOR are subject to an additional 10 years of registration. If an offender is not complying with Iowa law and have moved to another jurisdiction and is not compliant in that jurisdiction, he/she may be subject to federal prosecution.
Do offenders visiting Iowa from other states have to register?
Yes. Offenders who reside in Iowa, whether moving in or visiting, have (5) days to register with the Sheriff’s Office at the county where they have established residence.
How long does an offender have to register in Iowa?
10 years or life
Is there a residency restriction for sex offenders?
Yes; however, the restriction does not apply to all registered offenders.
If an offender is required to register in the State of Iowa and has been convicted of an “aggravated offense against a minor”, they are prohibited from residing within 2000 feet of the real property comprising a school or child care facility.
What do offenders have to do if they have a change in information?
Offenders have 5 business days to report any changes at the Sheriff’s Office. Offenders are required to schedule an appointment to appear in-person.
What if I think an offender is not complying with sex offender laws?
You should contact your local law enforcement agency or you can submit a tip on the Iowa SOR website.
Who is required to register?
Persons convicted of a qualifying offense and who were under supervision for that offense on or after 07-01-1995 are subject to registration as a sex offender in the State of Iowa.
Can I view the property prior to the sale?
You can only view the property from the outside from a public access area.
Do I have to pay the full amount of my bid the day I purchase?
Yes. Please visit our Sheriff Sales page for more information.
Do I have to pre-register or provide any documents such as letter of credit from the bank at the time of the sale?
At this time, pre-registration is not required and documents such as letter of credit from the bank are not required. Information that is needed if you are the successful bidder is the name you want the Deed issued to and the tax address to send the tax statements to. Remember, cell phones are not allowed in the building, so you will have to have that information written down.
How is a Sheriff's (foreclosure) sale conducted?
Sales are held as a public auction. The notice published in the paper will be read aloud at the auction. Then the bid from the judgment holder along with any other sealed bids that were provided to the Sheriff's Office will be announced. Interested parties will then bid against each other. The winning bidder will then have until 1:00PM that same day to bring in a cashier’s check for the amount of his/her highest bid. Cashier's Check is to be made out to Clinton County Sheriff.
See our Sheriff Sales page for a list of current properties.
If I get a sheriff’s deed and there are people living on the property, how do I get them out? Do I go through the eviction process?
Please ask your attorney what your next steps need to be.
If I purchase a property and there is a redemption period, can I enter the property before the redemption period is up?
This is a question to direct to your attorney.
If I purchase a property and there is a redemption period, when do I get a sheriff’s deed?
If the sale notice indicates there is a redemption period that is the amount of time that the defendant has the right to redeem the real estate after the sale. If the defendant makes redemption, this must be completed at the Clinton County Clerk of Court’s Office.
If you purchase property with a redemption period, you will be issued a certificate of purchase. When the redemption period is up, and the property has not been redeemed by the defendant, you may then return the original certificate of purchase to the sheriff, and you will then receive a Sheriff’s Deed.
It is very important that you do not lose the original certificate of purchase. If you lose it, you will not receive a sheriff’s deed until you get a court order directing the sheriff to issue you a duplicate certificate of purchase. (626.96) If you fail to have a sheriff’s deed issued within 8 years after the date of issuance of the certificate of purchase, the sheriff sale will be canceled. (626.97)
If I purchase at a sheriff sale, who is responsible for back property taxes?
Taxes stay with the property. If you made the purchase, you are now responsible for the taxes.
If I purchase property at a sheriff sale, do I get a clear title?
A clear title is not guaranteed to properties sold at a sheriff sale. All sales are considered "buyers beware." It is recommended that you contact an attorney and research the property before bidding.
When I get a sheriff’s deed, what do I do next?
This is a question to direct to your attorney.
When and where are sheriff (foreclosure) sales conducted?
All sales are conducted in the lobby at the Clinton County Law Center, located at:
241 7th Ave. N.,
Sales start at 9:30 a.m. on the date of sale. The Sheriff’s Office generally only conducts sales on Fridays, barring unforeseen circumstances or postponements.
For more information check out our Sheriff Sales page.
Do you need to make an appointment to get a gun permit?
Appointments are not necessary. The business office is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays). You can submit your application and pay online by visiting the Weapons Permit page for more information.
How do I get a weapons permit?
Please visit our Weapons Permit page for more information.
I have lost my permit, or my permit was damaged beyond recognition can I obtain a duplicate of my current permit?
Yes. Apply for a duplicate at your local Sheriff's Office where you reside - fee is $25.
I'm travelling through a different state; does that state have reciprocity with Iowa?
Iowa does not maintain a list of states that honor Iowa's permit. A permit holder would have to reach out directly to the state in question to establish whether or not the said state would honor a valid permit issued by the State of Iowa.
What do you have to do to renew your gun permit?
See our Weapons Permit page.
Will the state of Iowa honor my permit if I'm not an Iowa resident and am travelling from another state?
Yes, Iowa has by statute (724.11A) "Universal Recognition" for people who are not Iowa residents of the State of Iowa but have a valid permit issued by different state.
Agent Orange Diabetes
What veterans are affected by this added presumptive condition?
Honorably discharged veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period January 9, 1962 through May 7, 1975 and have “adult onset diabetes mellitus.” You must have physically served or visited in the Republic of Vietnam, including service in the waters offshore if the conditions of service involved duty or visitation in Vietnam. This means the ship must have come to port in the RPV and you disembarked. This does not include veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period of February 28, 1961 to January 9, 1962. Service members who served on the 38th parallel in Korea may also be eligible if they served from April 1, 1968 through August 31, 1971.
What does "presumptive condition" mean?
Normally, the claimant must show proof of relationship between service and the condition being claimed. Under presumption of service connection. VA presumes the relationship, if the condition was diagnosed within the time period specified in 38 CFR, 3.307(6)ii and the condition is recognized by 3.309(e).
Must I have served "in-country" Vietnam to be eligible?
To have presumptive service connection granted for diabetes mellitus based on Vietnam service, the claimant must have served in-country.
What does "in-country" mean? What if I served in support of operations in Vietnam, for example, on board a ship in the Gulf of Tonkin?
During the period 1/9/62 through 5/7/75, you must have physically served or visited in the Republic of Vietnam (RVM), including service in the waters offshore if the conditions of service involved duty or visitation in Vietnam. This means the ship must have come to port in the RVN and you disembarked.
Will private medical records be accepted as proof of my diabetes? Will I be required to undergo a VA examination?
If private medical records are sufficient, VA can make a determination and grant based on those records. If not, a VA examination will be required. These records should:
- Comment on the age of onset and the diagnostic test used to affirmatively diagnose this condition.
- Comment on the treatment modalities (i.e. Insulin, diet, regulation of activities, etc).
- Discuss, if applicable, the prior and current episodes of ketoacidosis of hypoglycemic reactions. Were hospitalizations required? What was the frequency of hospitalizations?
- Fully describe any complications that stem from the veteran's diabetes mellitus; such as vision; cardiac; vascular; renal; neurologic (including both peripheral neuropathy and cerebral effects); amputations; and other associated complications.
I applied for service-connection for my diabetes and was denied. The condition was however, rated as non-service connected. Will I need to reapply for service connection?
As soon as the governing regulations regarding this issue are published, if you had in-country Vietnam service and have diabetes, you will need to reapply. Any veteran in this situation should contact his or her local VA office at 1-800-827-1000 or by e-mail through the VA website.
My husband died from diabetes and was an in-country Vietnam veteran. Do I now qualify for service connected death benefits (DIC)?
If you believe the cause of death was related to diabetes and the veteran had in-country service, you should contact the local VA office to determine your eligibility.
When will my benefits begin if I am granted service connection for diabetes?
VA must publish regulations to implement this decision. Benefit payments cannot begin prior to the date the VA publishes the final regulation concerning this issue. We expect the process to be completed by late Spring 2001.
Will I receive retroactive benefits based on a grant of service connection due to presumptive service in Vietnam?
No. The regulations will not have a provision for retroactive payment prior to the date the final regulation is published.
If I am already service connected for diabetes, will I get an increase based on this change?
You will not receive any additional benefits as a result of this change. However, if your diabetic condition has increased in severity since you were last rated by VA, you should contact your local VA office. You can file a claim for reevaluation and the local VA office can provide assistance with that claim.
Can I be treated for my diabetes without applying for service connection?
Yes, you can be treated at any VA Medical Center. You will, however, need to show evidence of military service, usually a DD Form 214 will service as proof of service.
How can I apply?
We would encourage any veteran with in-country Vietnam service and diagnosed diabetes mellitus to contact his or her local VA office for information and assistance on applying for benefits.
Where can I get more information about the relationship between diabetes mellitus and possible exposure to Agent Orange?
How do I receive assistance from the Clinton County Veteran Affairs Office?
Please call us at 563-242-1151 to make an appointment.
How do I receive a copy of my DD-214/discharge paperwork, service records, and/or medals?
Please call us at 563-242-1151 to make an appointment.
What is the process to have "Veteran" on my driver’s license?
Provide a copy of your DD-214 to the Driver’s License Station or come to our office and we will assist.
What makes a veteran eligible for the VA Healthcare?
Veterans are eligible by meeting income guidelines or Active Duty Service or a Service-Connected Disability rating of 10% or higher.
Where do I apply for Veteran License Plates?
At the Clinton County (Treasurer’s) Vehicle Registry Office. A form must be completed and approved by the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs.
How do I apply for a Military Property Tax Exemption?
You can apply at the Clinton County Assessor’s Office and your DD-214 must be recorded at the Clinton County Recorder’s Office, or come to our office and we will assist
What are the eligibility requirements for Guard and Reserves for Veteran Benefits?
Please contact our office at (563) 242-1151 for review of your discharge paperwork.
How do I or my Surviving Spouse qualify for Aid and Attendance?
- You or your spouse must have served during a wartime period of service.
- Contact our office at (563) 242-1511 for recognized federal wartime dates.
What is the difference between Pension and Compensation?
- Pension is an income-based program with federal wartime service requirements.
- Compensation is based on a service-connected injury or illness sustained or aggravated while on active duty.
What is the difference between Survivors Pension and Widows DIC?
- Survivors Pension is for the widows of wartime veterans that would qualify for Pension.
- Widows DIC is for widows of veterans who die of a service connectable disability.
How do I upgrade my discharge status?
Please bring a copy of your DD-214 to our office and we will assist you.
Can I build a second house on my property?
The Clinton County Zoning Ordinance only allows one house per lot or parcel, with one exception. A secondary farm dwelling may be built on a farm if it is built to serve as the living quarters for the owner or spouse, a full-time employee of the farm operation, or the mother, father, or children of the owner or spouse. It must be located within 250 feet of the primary farm dwelling and may not be sold separately from the farm. A full list of requirements for Accessory Dwellings can be found in Section 4.2.1.C of the Zoning Ordinance.
Do I need a zoning permit (building permit)?
Zoning permits are required for the primary purpose of ensuring that all zoning setback requirements are met. Zoning permits can only be issued for construction on lots that meet all requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations. Permits are required prior to beginning construction for all non-farm structures in the unincorporated areas of Clinton County. Construction is considered to be any work involving the erection, construction, reconstruction, moving, conversion, alteration or addition to any building or structure. If an existing structure is being expanded (horizontally or vertically) a permit is required. Minimum setbacks from property lines are included in the Summary of Bulk Standards. A Zoning Permit application form is available here. A complete listing of requirements is found in the Zoning Ordinance.
How do I obtain a zoning permit (building permit)?
Application forms for a zoning permit are available from the Administrator or on our Zoning Permits page. The following information is required to apply for a zoning permit.
A site plan of the property. The plan should be drawn to scale and show the boundaries of the lot, the location of all existing features, location of the proposed building and its distance from property lines. The plan should also show the location of any wells and the location of any existing or proposed on-site septic system. Information about well and septic permits is available from the Clinton County Health Department.
A percolation test with acceptable results must be done prior to approval of a zoning permit for any building which requires a septic system.
What are minimum lot sizes and setback requirements in different districts?
Please visit our Zoning Permits page to view the requirements.
What is a public hearing?
A public hearing is a special type of meeting, held by governing bodies when required either by State Law or County Ordinance, in order to both inform the public about pending actions and to solicit comment from the public about the action. public hearings are required to be held by the Planning and Zoning Commission for all Zoning Map, Text Amendment and Planned Unit Development applications. Major Subdivisions need a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission only when the Preliminary Plat is being considered. The Board of Adjustment holds public hearings for Variance and Special Exception applications. When a public hearing is required for an application, notice needs to be published at least 15 days before the hearing date in an official newspaper of the County. Official newspapers for Clinton County are the Clinton Herald and the DeWitt Observer. For applications that involve a specific property, all property owners within 500 feet of the property for which the application is filed are also notified by mail by the Zoning Office. At the public hearing, the applicant makes a presentation explaining the application and answers questions from the Board or Commission members. After the applicant has made their presentation, the Chair of the meeting will ask for comments from the public, first for comments of support for the application, then for comments opposed to the application. The applicant has the opportunity to present rebuttals to statements made at the Hearing. When the public has had the opportunity to speak, the public hearing will be closed, and the Board or Commission will then discuss the application. This discussion may happen immediately following the Hearing or at a later date. Following discussion, a vote will be taken to either approve or disapprove the application.
What is an Agricultural Easement?
The Clinton County Zoning Ordinance limits the overall density of non-farm development in the A-1 Zoning District to no more than one dwelling unit per 40 acres. To accomplish this, an Agricultural Easement is required when creating a new non-farm lot in the A-1 Zoning District. The Agricultural Easement requires that 40 acres of agricultural land, or the remainder of 40 acres after subtracting off the size of the non-farm lot being created, be reserved for only agricultural use. This means that the land can be used for farm related activities, but no additional non-farm lots can be sold from the land that has the easement placed on it. The Agricultural Easement needs to be prepared in order to obtain zoning approval of the new lot. Without the Easement, the lot created does not comply with requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision Regulations and no zoning permit can be issued.
What is the cost of an application?
Please visit our Fee Schedule page.