Skip to main content
Iowa Judicial Branch
Main Content

Case No. 20-0814

Union Pacific Railroad Company and Midwestern Railroad Properties,
v.
Drainage District 67 Board of Trustees, Gary Rabe, in His Capacity as a Member of the Board of Trustees, Keith Helving, in His Capacity as a Member of the Board of Trustees, Dennis Prochaska, in His Capacity as a Member of the Board of Trustees

Defendant drainage district appealed from a district court ruling granting plaintiff railroad a summary judgment on the railroad’s challenge to the district’s reclassification of drainage benefits and assessments for repairs to drainage tile that crosses the railroad’s right of way. The court of appeals affirmed the summary judgment, finding the board’s reclassification was based on an inequitable assessment of benefits. The court of appeals modified the district court’s order as to the remedy. The district seeks further review.

County:
Hardin

Appellees

Union Pacific Railroad Company and Midwestern Railroad Properties,

Appellant

Drainage District 67 Board of Trustees, Gary Rabe, in His Capacity as a Member of the Board of Trustees, Keith Helving, in His Capacity as a Member of the Board of Trustees, Dennis Prochaska, in His Capacity as a Member of the Board of Trustees

Attorneys for Appellees

Keith P. Duffy
David M. Newman

Attorneys for Appellant

David R. Johnson

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule

15-15-5

Jan 19, 2022 9:30 AM

Briefs

Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
20-0814
Date Published:
May 06, 2022

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
20-0814
Date Published:
Jun 16, 2021
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Hardin County, James A. McGlynn, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (11 pages)

            Drainage District 67 Board of Trustees appeals the order granting summary judgment in favor of Union Pacific Railroad Co. on its challenge to the board’s reclassification of drainage benefits and assessment for repairs.  The district court found the board acted inequitably in finding the railroad benefited at the rate of 100% and in assessing the railroad one-half the total cost of a repair project.  The board contends the district court erred by granting the railroad’s motion for summary judgment and reinstating the previous classification of benefits.  OPINION HOLDS: In reclassifying the land in the drainage district, the commission and board improperly considered both the increased cost of repair necessitated by the tile’s location on the railroad’s right of way and the per-acre assessments to other property required under the original classification.  The railroad has met its burden of showing the assessment is inequitable as a matter of law.  We affirm the district court’s order but modify it to eliminate paragraphs three through five and instead provide that the railroad’s property be assessed at its original 5.81% benefit rate.        

Other Information

Date Retained:
Aug 26, 2021
© 2022 Iowa Judicial Branch. All Rights Reserved.