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Case No. 19-0093

Fahrney v. City of Des Moines

Kurt Fahrney and Bela Animal Legal Defense and Rescue, Plaintiffs-Appellees


Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Defendant-Appellant


The City of Des Moines, Iowa and James Butler, Defendants

Attorney for Appellant

Jason M. Casini

Attorney for Appellees

Jaysen McCleary

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Jan 23, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K. Vaudt, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (9 pages)

            The Animal Rescue League (ARL) appeals the district court’s denial of its motion for sanctions against plaintiff Bela Animal Legal Defense and Rescue (Bela) and plaintiff’s counsel.  The ARL argues the district court abused its discretion by declining to impose sanctions based on their perceived futility in deterring unprofessional conduct on this record.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 1.413(1) commands courts to impose sanctions when they find violations of the rule on frivolous filings, we reverse and remand for further proceedings. 

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