Sunday, November 6, 2011

Non-Monogamous Families and the Law, Part 18: Summary of Iowa Laws

Author's Note:

Thankfully Indiana and Iowa were rather simple, I was able to get through them very easily. I'm back on track now (-:

It's nice to see more states in the same category as California and D.C. for non-mono liability.

- Jason

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Non-Monogamous Families and the Law, Part 18: Summary of Iowa Laws

Adultery:

Iowa has no adultery law, which dramatically limits liability for dyadic non-monogamies.

Bigamy:

Iowa’s bigamy law is only applicable in the case of actual bigamous marriages; purportation and cohabitation are not applicable (Iowa State Legislature, 2011e). Liability of said marriages is extended to both the marryer and marryee however (Iowa State Legislature, 2011e). As a serious misdemeanor (Iowa State Legislature, 2011e), a bigamy offence is liable for up to one year imprisonment and a fine from $315 to $1,875 (Iowa State Legislature, 2011f).

As a misdemeanor, bigamy is not applicable for escalating punishments for repeat offences. Inchoate laws do not apply to bigamy (Iowa State Legislature, 2011c; Iowa State Legislature, 2011d), due to its status as a serious misdemeanor. However, laws about aiding and abetting (Iowa State Legislature, 2011a) and joint criminal conduct (Iowa State Legislature, 2011b) do apply, covering most of the missing territory. Liability varies, where joint conduct is equal liability (Iowa State Legislature, 2011b), and aiding and abetting is rather vauge, but potentially the same (Iowa State Legislature, 2011a).

Round-Up of Laws:

Due to the absence of adultery and purportation/cohabitation bigamy, liability is very low, and only applicable if an actual bigamous marriage exists. In the case that it does, aiding and abetting and joint conduct apply in place of inchoate laws, covering much of the same situations that would be applicable under inchoate.

Non-Monogamous Strategies:

Because the only liability exists around bigamous marriage, liability can be avoided easily: don’t marry more than one person at a time.

References

Iowa State Legislature. (2011a). Aiding and abetting. (Iowa Code 703.1). Des Moines, IA: Iowa State Legislature.

Iowa State Legislature. (2011b). Accessory after the fact. (Iowa Code 703.3). Des Moines, IA: Iowa State Legislature.

Iowa State Legislature. (2011c). Solicitation. (Iowa Code 705.1). Des Moines, IA: Iowa State Legislature.

Iowa State Legislature. (2011d). Conspiracy. (Iowa Code 706.1). Des Moines, IA: Iowa State Legislature.

Iowa State Legislature. (2011e). Bigamy. (Iowa Code 726.1). Des Moines, IA: Iowa State Legislature.

Iowa State Legislature. (2011f). Maximum sentence for misdemeanants. (Iowa Code 903.1). Des Moines, IA: Iowa State Legislature.

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