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Case No. 20-1093

David Wyatt, Robert Swan, and Allen McGranahan
v.
Clay County Board of Supervisors and Clay County Drainage District No. 37

Appellee

David Wyatt, Robert Swan, and Allen McGranahan

Appellant

Clay County Board of Supervisors and Clay County Drainage District No. 37

Attorney for the Appellee

David R. Johnson

Attorney for the Appellant

Robert W. Goodwin

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
20-1093
Date Published:
Aug 04, 2021
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clay County, Charles K. Borth, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Greer, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (9 pages)

            Persons owning land in Drainage District No. 37 (DD37) filed a petition to initiate an election of private trustees to manage the affairs of DD37.  Based on its interpretation of Iowa Code section 468.501 (2019), the Clay County Board of Supervisors (Board) concluded the necessary majority of landowners did not sign the petition and denied the election.  David Wyatt and Robert Swan (Landowners) brought suit, arguing each person having an interest in land in DD37—even those with only a partial ownership interest—were entitled to a vote.  The district court sided with the landowners on summary judgment, concluding the Board improperly denied the election.  The Board appealed.  OPINION HOLDS: We cannot find any reference to a formula suggested by the Board that requires categories of ownership.  And if the legislature had wanted us to use that formula, it would have said so.  Thus, we agree with the Landowners and affirm the ruling of the district court.

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