Buchanan County Attorney's Office

Picture of Shawn Harden Co. AttorneyShawn M. Harden is the Buchanan County Attorney.  County Attorneys are unique among all the positions within county government as it is the only position provided for by the Constitution of the State of Iowa.  All other positions are products of legislation.

The County Attorney is the chief law enforcement officer of the county as well as the chief prosecuting attorney.  The primary responsibility of the County Attorney's Office is to prosecute individuals who violate the law.  The Buchanan County Attorney's Office prosecutes all state law violations that occur within Buchanan County.  All law enforcement agencies working within Buchanan County forward all criminal state law violations to the Buchanan County Attorney's Office for review and prosecution.  The County Attorney also prosecutes all Buchanan County Ordinance Violations committed within Buchanan County.  (City Ordinance Violations are prosecuted by the City Attorney and questions about those cases should be directed to the particular city's City Attorney).

The County Attorney also provides legal advice to county department heads and elected officials and acts as the legal representative for the county in civil court cases.

The County Attorney does not - 
  • represent individuals or private groups in law suits (including dissolution of marriages or custody proceedings);
  • provide legal advice for individuals or private groups on any issue;
  • prepare wills, deeds, trusts, protection orders or other legal documents for individuals or private groups;
  • investigate crimes, complaints or child abuse.
See all the Duties of the County Attorney.

Watch Seeking Justice (a six minute video briefly describing the goals and responsibilities of the  County Attorney; the important role the County Attorney has in the criminal justice system and the nature of that role).