Chief Magistrate Judge Jon Stuart Scoles
Personal Preferences
Address: Federal Building, 111 7th Ave Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404

: 319.286.2340

: 319.286.2341


Judicial Assistant
: Karo Stigler

Clerk: Aaron Shileny

1. If I need to communicate with the court, how should I proceed?

a) written? Yes, address above.
b) fax? Yes, see above.
c) e-mail? Yes, see above.
d) oral? Yes.
e) ex parte? Only for scheduling or procedural questions, or for matters that may be traditionally handled ex parte, such as requests for temporary restraining orders and Criminal Justice Act matters.

How can I determine the status of a pending motion?

Call the Clerk of Court at 319.286.2300.

If I need a trial or hearing continued, whom should I contact, and do I need to file a written motion?

If the request is on short notice, you should call the judge's judicial assistant, Karo, at 319.286.2340; otherwise, you should file a written motion.

If I need to have a motion set for hearing, what procedure should I follow?

According to
Local Rule 7 such request shall be separately stated at the conclusion of the motion or memorandum and shall be noted in the caption.

The judge will decide whether or not to grant a hearing, but usually, the judge will schedule one if it is requested. If a hearing needs to be scheduled on short notice, you should call the judge's judicial assistant, Karo, at 319.286.2340.

How can I get an expedited ruling or hearing?

For any matter on which an expedited ruling or hearing is necessary, you should follow
Local Rule 7 which states, in part:

If expedited relief is requested in a pleading or motion, the caption of the document must include a clear indication that expedited relief is being requested. At the time such a pleading or motion is filed, counsel must alert the assigned federal judge immediately that the pleading or motion has been filed and that expedited relief is being requested.

To schedule the expedited hearing, you should call the judge's judicial assistant, Karo, at 319.286.2340.

What do I have to do to get a settlement conference scheduled? Who will conduct the settlement conference? What are the requirements?

To schedule a settlement conference, you should contact U.S. Magistrate Judge Jon S. Scoles at 319.286.2340. If the case is consented to Judge Scoles, he can arrange to have U.S. Magistrate Judge Leonard Strand or some other judge handle the settlement conference. A copy of the form
Settlement Conference Order is attached.

How do I get a trial date? Are trial dates firm?

Generally, each case will be assigned a trial date at a conference held before discovery is complete. If, for some reason, a trial date is not assigned to a case, or if the trial is continued and no new date has been set, you should contact U.S. Magistrate Judge Jon S. Scoles at 319.286.2340, and he will set a trial date. Judge Scoles sets only one case each week so that the trial date will be firm. Continuances are very rare.

Are there any special procedures for marking trial or hearing exhibits?

All exhibits must be marked and exchanged prior to any hearing in which they will be used.

Is there anything particular that I should or should not do when I file a motion?

You should comply with
Local Rules 7, 15, and 37 that deal with motions. If you refer to depositions or exhibits in a motion, you should only reference and attach the relevant parts of the deposition or exhibit. Judge Scoles does not want a large quantity of irrelevant material sent to the court along with a motion.

Also, the parties do not need to reference general summary judgment standards in motions for summary judgment unless they are relying on some particular or unusual rule of law or application of the summary judgment standards.

How does the court view motions to reconsider?

Judge Scoles will review any motion to reconsider and, if it raises new matters or cites to new authorities that could not have been anticipated earlier, will give it due consideration. However, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure make no specific provision for a "motion to reconsider," and parties should be careful that they do not waive any jurisdictional time requirement by waiting for a ruling on a motion to reconsider.
See Sanders v. Clemco, 862 F.2d 161 (8th Cir. 1988).

How does the court want jury instructions submitted?

(1) Each instruction shall be numbered individually and each instruction shall begin on a separate sheet of paper.

(2) Pattern instructions may be requested by reference to the source of the instruction, including the name of the publication, and instruction number from the most recent editions of the following sources of pattern instructions: Devitt et al., Federal Jury Practice and Instructions; Manual of Model Jury Instructions for the District Courts of the Eighth Circuit, (West Publishing Co.); Iowa Civil Jury Instructions (Iowa State Bar Ass'n). Any modification of a pattern instruction shall be disclosed.

(3) Each non-pattern instruction shall treat a single subject and shall be set forth in full, on a separate sheet of paper. At the bottom of the instruction, the party proposing the instruction shall set forth the citation of the decision, statute, regulation or other authorities supporting the proposition stated in the proposed instruction.

Will the court conduct voir dire itself or will counsel be allowed to participate?

The court will conduct voir dire, but each side will be permitted an additional 30 minutes for voir dire.