In the Matter of the Estate of Ellen P. Van Ginkel, Deceased.
Joseph G. Van Ginkel, III and Elizabeth A. Winterhalter, Plaintiffs-Appellants
Jennie L. Kronthal, Defendant-Appellee
Attorney for Appellants
Jason S. Rieper
Attorney for Appellee
Kevin J. Driscoll and Andrew T. Patton
Seth Ryan Delutri
Court of Appeals
Court of Appeals Opinion
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Craig E. Block, Associate Probate Judge. AFFIRMED. Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ. Opinion by Bower, J. Separate writing by Doyle, J. (12 pages)
Joseph Van Ginkel III and Elizabeth Winterhalter, two of Ellen Van Ginkel’s six children, contested Ellen’s will, asserting: (1) Ellen lacked testamentary capacity to make the November 13, 2013 fourth codicil to her will, and (2) the will was a result of the undue influence of their sibling, Jennie Kronthal. The district court entered summary judgment dismissing their claims. Joe and Elizabeth appeal, contending the district court abused its discretion in considering police reports and an untimely-disclosed letter. They also assert the court erred in concluding they failed to present sufficient evidence to go to a jury on the questions of Ellen’s lack of testamentary capacity or undue influence. OPINION HOLDS: The plaintiffs waived their motion to strike the letter by appealing before obtaining a ruling. Finding the evidence was insufficient to go to a jury, summary judgment was proper and we affirm. SEPARATE WRITING STATES: I concur, but write separately to address two appellate practice points. Iowa Rule of Appellate Procedure 6.905(4)(c) was violated as there are no descriptors in the table of contents for the 94 exhibits included in the parties’ appendix, nor does the table state the page numbers where each exhibit appears. I believe rule 6.803(2)(f) prohibits submission of any condensed transcript to the appellate courts. And it should not matter whether the condensed transcript was attached to some filing in district court or included in the appendix as some random exhibit as appears here.