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Most Recent Court of Appeals Summaries

For summaries from opinions prior to August, 2018, view PDF versions here

Opinion Summaries

Case No. 22-1013:  John J. Grillion and Michelle A. Ciesluk v. Kelly J. Hassler

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 22-1013

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Greg W. Steensland, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Badding, P.J., Buller, J., and Bower, S.J.*.  Opinion by Buller, J.  (5 pages)

            A civil defendant appeals the district court’s finding of a boundary by acquiescence and easement by prescription.  OPINION HOLDS: We reverse the district court’s findings and remand.

Case No. 22-1233:  Devaris Marquis Perry v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 22-1233

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Sarah Crane, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Ahlers, P.J., and Chicchelly and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Chicchelly, J.  (7 pages)

            DeVaris Perry appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Perry has not proved he received ineffective assistance from his trial counsel, we affirm the denial of his application.

Case No. 22-1653:  State of Iowa v. Mandell Clark

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 22-1653

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Webster County, Kurt J. Stoebe, Judge.  APPEAL DISMISSED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Buller, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  (6 pages)

            A defendant seeks to vacate his guilty plea, alleging the district court erroneously denied his post-plea motion for adjudication of law points.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Clark failed to show good cause to pursue a direct appeal from his guilty plea, we dismiss this appeal for want of jurisdiction.

Case No. 22-1794:  State of Iowa v. Quarian Deonte Moore

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 22-1794

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D. Rosenberg, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Greer, JJ., but decided by Tabor, P.J., Greer, J., and Bower, S.J.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J. (14 pages)

            A jury convicted Quarian Moore of first-degree murder and attempted murder for shooting two people at a Des Moines intersection in November 2021.  Moore was just shy of his eighteenth birthday at the time of the crime.  The district court imposed a mandatory minimum term of incarceration of twenty-five years.  Moore now argues the State failed to present sufficient evidence that he was the shooter and that the court improperly applied the juvenile sentencing factors.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding substantial evidence that Moore shot and killed Dean Deng and wounded B.C., and observing no abuse of discretion in Moore’s sentencing, we affirm. 

Case No. 22-2096:  Schley v. Sioux County

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 22-2096

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, Jeffrey A. Neary, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Badding, P.J., Langholz, J., and Bower, S.J.  Opinion by Badding, P.J.  (17 pages)

            Julie Schley appeals the district court’s entry of summary judgment dismissing her claims against Sioux County, Sioux County Deputy Sheriff Stan Oostra, Gary Schley, and the estates of Donald and Margery Schley.  She contends the district court erred in (1) granting the summary judgment motion filed by Sioux County and Deputy Oostra on her claim for false arrest; and (2) determining that her claims against the remaining defendants were barred by the “wrongful conduct” rule.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm, finding (1) the undisputed facts establish that Deputy Oostra had probable cause under Iowa Code section 664A.6(1) (2017) to believe Julie violated a no-contact order; and (2) the district court correctly determined that Julie’s claims against the remaining defendants were barred by the “wrongful conduct” rule. 

Case No. 23-0104:  State of Iowa v. Nathen Wayne Cameron

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0104

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Thomas P. Murphy, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Greer, JJ., but decided by Tabor, P.J., Greer, J., and Bower, S.J.  Opinion by Greer, J. (21 pages)

            Nathen Cameron appeals his convictions and sentences for assault causing serious injury and domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing testimony on domestic abuse dynamics to assist the jury in understanding the first-degree-murder charge of which Cameron was eventually acquitted, the verdict for assault causing serious injury is supported by substantial evidence that Cameron either caused the victim to fall from the balcony—fracturing her skull and spine—or hit her, breaking her kneecap, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in considering that Cameron failed to accept responsibility for physically assaulting the victim.  Because the district court did not abuse its sentencing discretion, we affirm.

Case No. 23-0148:  State of Iowa v. Adam Mullen

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0148

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Boone County, Stephen A. Owen, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Heard by Ahlers, P.J., and Chicchelly and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Chicchelly, J.  (13 pages)

            On discretionary review, the State challenges the order suppressing evidence obtained following a traffic stop.  OPINION HOLDS: I. The district court erred by ignoring a published decision of this court holding that law enforcement may obtain a search warrant in lieu of invoking the statutory implied consent procedure to obtain a sample for chemical testing.  The district court’s ruling also conflicts with a recent Iowa Supreme Court decision holding that the Iowa Code authorizes search warrants for collection of bodily specimens and doing so does not violate due process and equal protection rights.  II. The officer was not required to inform the defendant of his Miranda rights before questioning him during a traffic stop because the defendant was not in custody.  We reverse the suppression ruling and remand for further proceedings. 

Case No. 23-0225:  State of Iowa v. Michael Quodale Profit

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0225

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Nicholas Scott, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Badding, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  (5 pages)

            A defendant appeals his sentence, alleging the district court failed to adequately state on the record the basis for the sentence imposed.  OPINION HOLDS: Under our supreme court precedent, succinct sentencing explanations satisfy Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.23(2)(g).  Because we find the sentencing court’s explanation sufficient under this permissive standard, we affirm.      

Case No. 23-0232:  Elmer P. Scheckel v. City of Oelwein and Fayette County Treasurer

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0232

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Fayette County, Richard D. Stochl, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Schumacher, P.J., Langholz, J., and Bower, S.J.  Opinion by Langholz, J.  (8 pages)

            Elmer Scheckel appeals from the dismissal of his suit seeking to invalidate a tax deed of a property that he had owned.  He argues that the district judge should have recused himself and the court lacked jurisdiction.  The City of Oelwein seeks to dismiss the appeal because Scheckel did not petition for a writ of certiorari to challenge the recusal decision.  OPINION HOLDS: We have appellate jurisdiction over this appeal because Scheckel appealed from a final order or judgment.  Scheckel failed to preserve error on the recusal issue because he did not raise it until after the district court ruled against him, dismissing his suit.  And the court did not lack jurisdiction.

Case No. 23-0257:  State of Iowa v. Jerry Lee Guy Jr.

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0257

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County, Stuart P. Werling, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Badding, P.J., Chicchelly, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Potterfield, S.J.  (11 pages)

Jerry Guy Jr. appeals his conviction for lascivious acts with a child.  He raises evidentiary challenges and argues there is insufficient evidence to support his conviction.  OPINION HOLDS: Guy failed to preserve error on his hearsay challenge.  Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting exhibits 1A–1D and substantial evidence supports Guy’s conviction, we affirm.

Case No. 23-0309:  Steven Dean McGinnis v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0309

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marion County, Charles C. Sinnard, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Schumacher, P.J., and Badding and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Buller, J.  (3 pages)

            An applicant for postconviction relief appeals the dismissal of his application.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm.

Case No. 23-0347:  In re Detention of Stone

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0347

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Fayette County, Richard D. Stochl, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Ahlers, P.J., and Chicchelly and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Chicchelly, J.  (13 pages)

            Max Evan Meharry Stone appeals from the trial court’s finding that he is a sexually violent predator and therefore should be civilly committed pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 229A (2019).  OPINION HOLDS: Because we find that Stone’s constitutional rights were not violated, the court did not abuse its discretion in its evidentiary ruling, and sufficient evidence supports the court’s verdict, we affirm.

Case No. 23-0470:  State of Iowa v. Jennifer Catano Ward

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0470

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Jason A. Burns, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Schumacher and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (5 pages)

            A defendant appeals her conviction for operating while intoxicated, challenging the denial of her motion to suppress.  OPINION HOLDS: We find that all the facts, taken together, would allow a reasonable officer to suspect impaired driving and conclude the district court correctly denied the defendant’s motion to suppress.  Thus, we affirm her conviction.

Case No. 23-0647:  Spring Crest Townhomes WDM v. Mickle Electric & Heating Co.

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0647

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Charles C. Sinnard, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON APPEAL AND CROSS-APPEAL. Heard by Ahlers, P.J., and Chicchelly and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, P.J.  (10 pages)

            A subcontractor appeals a ruling determining that it breached a construction contract.  The developer cross-appeals the ruling awarding the subcontractor an offset for unbilled labor.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court’s determination that the subcontractor breached the contract is supported by substantial evidence.  The district court’s determination that the defendant is entitled to an offset is also supported by substantial evidence.

Case No. 23-0657:  In re the Marriage of Shannon

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0657

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Gregg R. Rosenbladt, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Schumacher and Langholz, JJ.  Opinion by Langholz, J.  (15 pages)

            Kara Shannon appeals from the decree dissolving her marriage with Chris Shannon.  She challenges the joint-physical-care placement of their children, the child-support award based on that placement, and the valuation and division of the marital property and debts.  OPINION HOLDS: Giving the district court’s thoughtful decision due deference, we agree that awarding joint physical care serves the best interests of the children.  And the joint-physical-care label is appropriate for the roughly equal parenting schedule here.  So Kara’s challenge to the child support calculation on that basis fails.  We also agree with the district court’s fact findings on the existence of a personal loan and the amount of the Discover-credit-card debt.  But Kara is correct that the property and debt division is inequitable given the parties’ circumstances because it is unequal.  We thus increase Chris’s equalization payment to Kara.  We decline to award Chris appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 23-0681:  Patrick Lavern Holt v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0681

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Colleen Weiland, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered Badding, P.J., Bower, S.J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (7 pages)

            An applicant appeals the denial of postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Because he has failed to establish prejudice in the outcome of his trial, the applicant has not met his burden for his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims.

Case No. 23-0732:  In re Marriage of Trulson

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0732

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.  Considered by Schumacher, P.J., and Ahlers and Langholz, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (11 pages)

            Timothy Trulson appeals from the decree dissolving his marriage to Holly Trulson.  He argues that the division of the marital property failed to accurately value Holly’s IPERS account and equitably divide the parties’ property.  OPINION HOLDS: Because neither party presented any actuarial evidence regarding the present value of the IPERS account, we conclude it must be divided using the Benson formula.  We remand to the district court to create a QDRO.  With the division of the IPERS account, recalculation of the division of property is needed.  As part of the recalculation, we award Holly’s IRA to her and raise her property-settlement payment obligation. 

Case No. 23-0795:  Paul Yakel and Therese Yakel v. Randall W. Wheeler

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0795

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, James S. Heckerman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Schumacher, P.J., and Badding and Langholz, JJ.  Opinion by Langholz, J.  (16 pages)

            Paul and Therese Yakel appeal the district court’s grant of summary judgment dismissing their breach-of-contract, breach-of-implied-warranty, and negligent-construction claims against Randall Wheeler arising from their home-siding-replacement project.  OPINION HOLDS: The undisputed facts, including the Yakels’ repeated testimony that Wheeler was not their general contractor for the siding replacement project, shows that the Yakels’ did not contract with Wheeler to be their general contractor.  And so their breach-of-contract claim and breach-of-implied warranty claims based on the contrary theory fail as a matter of law.  Because their negligence claim also seeks to remedy their defeated expectations on the construction project, the economic-loss doctrine forecloses it as well.

Case No. 23-0860:  Joshua James Royer v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0860

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Joshua P. Schier, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Badding and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Buller, J.  (4 pages)

            A postconviction applicant appeals the denial of relief, asserting ineffective assistance of counsel relating to jury selection and a motion for change of venue.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding Royer did not prove counsel was ineffective, we affirm.

Case No. 23-0873:  Warren Eugene Hardy v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0873

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Tod Deck, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Badding, P.J., Bower, S.J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Badding, J.  (5 pages)

            An applicant appeals the summary disposition of his application for postconviction relief, claiming his sentence violates ex post facto protections.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding no ex post facto violation, we affirm the summary disposition of the applicant’s application for postconviction relief.

Case No. 23-0966:  State of Iowa v. David Darold Blauer

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0966

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Valerie Clay, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (6 pages)

            A defendant challenges his sentences for eluding, driving while barred, and operating while intoxicated.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the court appropriately weighed the necessary factors in reaching its decision, we affirm. 

Case No. 23-0999:  State of Iowa v. Bryan Ray Dunn

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-0999

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Audubon County, Jeffrey L. Larson, Judge.  APPEAL DISMISSED.  Considered by Ahlers, P.J., and Chicchelly and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Chicchelly, J.  (4 pages)

            Brian Ray Dunn appeals the sentence imposed after pleading guilty to third‑degree sexual abuse, challenging the guilty plea proceedings.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Dunn failed to preserve error by filing a motion in arrest of judgment, he has not shown good cause to appeal and we lack jurisdiction.

Case No. 23-1028:  In re the Marriage of Bashore

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1028

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Greg W. Steensland, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Greer, JJ., but decided by Tabor, P.J., Greer, J., and Bower, S.J.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (17 pages)

            James Bashore appeals the decree dissolving his marriage to Loriel Bashore (now known as Loriel Nordmeyer).  James challenges the district court’s admission of exhibit 26, the spousal-support provision, the child-support provision, the division of marital property, and the award of $4000 in trial attorney fees to Loriel.  Loriel asks that we affirm the district court and award her $2500 in appellate attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: Because exhibit 26 was inadmissible, we exclude it from our review on appeal.  We affirm the spousal-support provision, the property division, and the $4000 award of trial attorney fees to Loriel.  We reverse the district court’s determination that their child is a dependent adult and the corresponding child-support provision.  Finally, we award Loriel $2500 in appellate attorney fees. 

Case No. 23-1059:  State of Iowa v. Jason Curtis Voshell

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1059

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Robert J. Richter, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Ahlers, P.J., and Chicchelly and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Buller, J.  (6 pages)

            A defendant appeals his discretionary sentence, challenging the use of a victim impact statement and asserting the sentencing court abused its discretion.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding error was not preserved on the victim impact statement, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing, we affirm.

Case No. 23-1060:  State of Iowa v. Nathan Allen Wilson

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1060

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Linda M. Fangman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (5 pages)

            Nathan Wilson appeals his prison sentence stemming from the discharge of a weapon followed by a six-hour standoff with police.  Wilson pleaded guilty to reckless use of a firearm causing bodily injury, interference with official acts while armed, and intimidation with a dangerous weapon.  Wilson contends the district court should have suspended the prison sentence and instead placed him in residential treatment.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no abuse of discretion in the sentencing, thus, we affirm.

Case No. 23-1112:  State of Iowa v. Rocky Dean Trujillo

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1112

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, John J. Haney, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Ahlers, P.J., and Chicchelly and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, P.J.  (9 pages)

            Rocky Trujillo challenges his convictions for first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree robbery.  OPINION HOLDS: Because sufficient evidence supports all three convictions, we affirm.

Case No. 23-1114:  In re Marriage of Creese

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1114

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Stacy Ritchie, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON APPEAL AND CROSS-APPEAL.  Considered by Badding, P.J., Langholz, J., and Bower, S.J.  Opinion by Badding, P.J.  (12 pages)

            Phillip Creese appeals the property-division provisions in the district court’s decree dissolving his marriage to Colleen Creese.  Colleen cross-appeals the court’s decision granting the parties joint physical care of their minor child and requests appellate attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm, finding that the district court’s valuation of the marital home was within the range of permissible evidence.  Additionally, we find the district court acted equitably in setting aside $25,000 from the value of the marital home for Phillip.  As to the physical care arrangement for the parties’ minor child, we agree with the court that joint physical care is in the best interests of the child.  Lastly, we deny Colleen’s request for appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 23-1135:  State of Iowa v. Lasean Michael Brown

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1135

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Thomas A. Bitter, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Ahlers, P.J., and Chicchelly and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Buller, J. (3 pages)

            A criminal defendant appeals a discretionary sentence, urging the sentencing court had a fixed policy.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the sentencing court did not have a fixed sentencing policy and did not abuse its discretion.

Case No. 23-1180:  In the Interest of C.S., Minor Child

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1180

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D. Rosenberg, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Badding, P.J., Langholz, J., and Bower, S.J.  Opinion by Bower, S.J.  (10 pages)

            A father appeals the private termination of his parental rights under Iowa Code section 600A.8 (2022).  OPINION HOLDS: Because we conclude the grounds for termination were met and the best interests of the child favor termination, we affirm.

Case No. 23-1200:  In re Guardianship of G.B.

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1200

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Harrison County, Charles D. Fagan, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Badding, P.J., Langholz, J., and Bower, S.J.  Opinion by Badding, J.  (15 pages)

            A guardian appeals the termination of a minor guardianship.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude the juvenile court correctly terminated the guardianship and affirm.

Case No. 23-1201:  Liberty Credit Services Inc. v. Roger Inlow

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1201

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marion County, Brad McCall, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Buller and Langholz, JJ.  Opinion by Buller, J.  (6 pages)

            A debtor appeals from a ruling enforcing an unsatisfied small-claims judgment based on the limitations period.  OPINION HOLDS: Concluding small-claims actions are tried in a court of record under our unified court system and therefore subject to a twenty-year limitations period, we affirm the district court.

Case No. 23-1259:  State of Iowa v. George Diaz Avila

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1259

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Coleman McAllister, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J. (8 pages)

            Defendant appeals the imposition of consecutive prison sentences.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the district court gave a comprehensive statement of reasons, including acknowledging mitigating factors and reasons for imposition of consecutive terms of imprisonment, we find no abuse of discretion and affirm.

Case No. 23-1362:  State of Iowa v. Juan Escorbedo Hernandez, Jr.

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1362

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Wapello County, Kirk Daily, Judge.  APPEAL DISMISSED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Badding and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Buller, J.  (3 pages)

            A criminal defendant attempts to appeal an agreed-upon sentence entered following his guilty plea.  OPINION HOLDS: Because this attempted appeal is not supported by good cause, we dismiss it.

Case No. 23-1365:  State of Iowa v. Zachary James Chelf

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1365

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Meghan Corbin, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Ahlers, P.J., Badding, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  Dissent by Ahlers, P.J.  (10 pages)

            Zachary Chelf appeals the sentence imposed following his guilty plea, alleging the State violated the plea agreement by stating he is a “good fit” for a residential correctional facility for supervised probation.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the State did not breach the plea agreement and affirm.  DISSENT ASSERTS: I would conclude the prosecutor’s sentencing recommendation for the defendant to be placed on supervised probation at a residential correctional facility went beyond the plea agreement’s joint sentencing recommendation that the defendant be placed on supervised probation.  As a result, I believe the prosecutor violated the spirit of the plea agreement and resentencing before a different judge is necessary.

Case No. 23-1427:  MidAmerican Energy Company v. Knife River Midwest, LLC, d/b/a Knife River

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1427

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Steven J. Andreasen, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., Tabor, Schumacher, Ahlers, Badding, Chicchelly, Buller, and Langholz, JJ, but decided by Tabor, P.J., Schumacher, Ahlers, Badding, Chicchelly, Buller, and Langholz, JJ, and Bower, S.J.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (9 pages)

            MidAmerican Energy Company appeals a dismissal of its action and claims Iowa Code chapter 480 (2022) provides a private cause of action.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude chapter 480 does not provide for a private cause of action and the district court properly granted the motion to dismiss.  Accordingly, we affirm the district court.

Case No. 23-1452:  In re the Marriage of Nunez

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1452

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Thomas P. Murphy, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED ON APPEAL, AFFIRMED ON CROSS-APPEAL, AND REMANDED.  Considered by Schumacher, P.J., and Ahlers and Langholz, JJ.  Opinion by Langholz, J.  (14 pages)

            Elias Nunez appeals, and Chelsey Nunez cross-appeals, the decree dissolving their marriage, including the provisions dividing their property and setting Elias’s visitation schedule.  Elias also appeals the district court’s refusal to hold Chelsey in contempt for violating a temporary order to make vehicle loan and insurance payments.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s division of their Indianola acreage’s proceeds on both the appeal and cross-appeal.  The decree appropriately permitted the parties to file separate tax returns for 2022 and equitably allocated credits and deductions.  But we agree with Elias that the decree went too far in awarding Chelsey survivorship rights in Elias’s IPERS pension and thus modify the decree to remove this provision and remand for the district court to issue a new QDRO.  The visitation schedule is in the children’s best interest.  We see no gross abuse of discretion in the district court’s refusal to hold Chelsey in contempt.  And we award Chelsey $3000 in appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 23-1649:  State of Iowa v. David Lee Polkinghorn

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1649

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Robert J. Richter, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Ahlers, P.J., and Chicchelly and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Buller, J. (5 pages)

            A criminal defendant challenges his discretionary sentence, urging his criminal history was not part of the record.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm because the criminal history was part of the record, and the defendant did not object to it.

Case No. 23-1659:  Mark Irland v. Marengo Memorial Hospital, d/b/a Compass Memorial Healthcare, Marengo Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees d/b/a Compass Memorial Healthcare Board of Trustees, Barry G. Goettsch, and Natasha Hauschilt

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 23-1659

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Iowa County, Fae Hoover Grinde, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (10 pages)

            Dr. Mark Irland appeals the granting of summary judgment and the award of damages to the defendants.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court properly granted summary judgment because Dr. Irland waived all claims arising from before the settlement agreement was enforced, and that waiver covers all of the claims he raised in this action.  Thus, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants.  However, because the defendants did not provide statutory or contractual support for their award of attorney fees and the record does not show conduct that is intentional and likely aggravated by cruel and tyrannical motives to support a common law attorney fee award of damages, we reverse the district court’s attorney fee award.

Case No. 24-0094:  In the Interest of D.A., Minor Child

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 24-0094

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, William A. Price and Mark F. Schlenker, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Schumacher, P.J., Ahlers, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  (11 pages)

            K.G. appeals the child-in-need-of-assistance adjudication and disposition regarding her child, D.A.  K.G. contends that the State failed to prove the grounds for adjudication and removal.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we find the State showed an imminent risk to D.A., we affirm.

Case No. 24-0490:  In the Interest of L.H., Minor Child

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 24-0490

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Thomas J. Straka, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (5 pages)

            The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  OPINION HOLDS: The mother is not able to provide for the present and future needs of her child, and delaying termination for six more months will not correct the situation.  We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

Case No. 24-0504:  In the Interest of B.U. and A.U., Minor Children

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 24-0504

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Christine Dalton, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Ahlers, P.J., and Chicchelly and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Buller, J.  (8 pages)

            The mother and father separately appeal termination of their parental rights to their children.  OPINION HOLDS: After considering the arguments put forward by both parents on appeal, we affirm the termination of both parents’ rights.

Case No. 24-0561:  In the Interest of J.K., Minor Child

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 24-0561

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jones County, Joan M. Black, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Ahlers, P.J., and Badding and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Badding, J.  (8 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights, challenging the sufficiency of evidence supporting the grounds for termination and arguing termination is contrary to the child’s best interests because of the parent-child bond.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

Case No. 24-0562:  In the Interest of D.G. and D.G., Minor Children

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 24-0562

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Keokuk County, Patrick McAvan, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Ahlers, P.J., and Chicchelly and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, P.J.  (5 pages)

            A mother appeals the establishment of guardianships for two of her children.  OPINION HOLDS: The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services made reasonable efforts towards reunification.  We do not grant the mother additional time to work toward reunification, and we agree with the juvenile court at the establishment of guardianships is in the children’s best interests.

Case No. 24-0612:  In the Interest of L.M., Minor Child

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 24-0612

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (9 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights. OPINION HOLDS: Termination of the mother’s parental rights is supported by clear and convincing evidence under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2023), termination is in the best interest of the child, and the application of a permissive exception is unwarranted.  We affirm.

Case No. 24-0678:  In the Interest of J.K.-O and J.K., Minor Children

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 24-0678

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Grundy County, Daniel L. Block, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Ahlers, P.J., and Chicchelly and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, P.J.  (9 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their respective parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The mother does not challenge all of the statutory grounds for termination, so we find statutory grounds authorizing termination of her rights satisfied under the unchallenged grounds.  The State established that the children cannot be safely returned to the father’s custody, satisfying a statutory ground for termination of his parental rights.  Termination of the father’s rights is in the children’s best interests.  We decline to apply a permissive exception to preserve the father’s parental rights.  We do not grant either parent any additional time to work toward reunification.

Case No. 24-0750:  In the Interest of N.S., Minor Child

Filed Jul 03, 2024

View Opinion No. 24-0750

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Thomas J. Straka, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Ahlers, P.J., and Badding and Buller, JJ.  Opinion by Badding, J.  (6 pages)

            Parents separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of both parents’ rights.

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