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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. 17-2091:  Addison Insurance Company v. MEP Co.

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 17-2091

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lee (North) County, John G. Linn, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Doyle, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (6 pages)

            MEP Co. appeals the district court’s declaratory judgment in favor of Addison Insurance Company.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court’s findings are supported by substantial evidence, and we discern no error in the court’s conclusion.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-0033:  State of Iowa v. Elisa Marie Walker a/k/a Montgomery

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0033

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Brook Jacobsen, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (3 pages)

            Elisa Walker appeals after entering written pleas to fourth-degree theft and fourth-degree fraudulent practices, claiming she failed to understand fully the plea and its consequences.  OPINION HOLDS: Walker failed to preserve her challenge to the plea based on her alleged lack of understanding for our review.  So we affirm.

Case No. 18-0081:  State of Iowa v. Kamie Jo Schiebout

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0081

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, Patrick H. Tott and Jeffrey A. Neary, Judges.  CONVICTION AFFIRMED, SENTENCE VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and May, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J. (16 pages)

            The defendant appeals her conviction and sentence for theft by check in the second degree contending the State failed to prove (1) that she knew the checks would not be paid and (2) that she received property, services, or money from the transactions.  She also alleges the court improperly instructed the jury on aggregation.  Lastly, she challenges the district court’s ruling that a sheriff’s reimbursement claim for $28,136 in medical aid under Iowa Code section 356.7 (2018) be listed as a civil judgment against her, when she was not represented by counsel at the hearing on the claim.  OPINION HOLDS: Sufficient evidence supports her conviction, and we affirm the verdict.  But on the medical aid, we remand for a hearing on the sheriff’s claim where the defendant is afforded the right to the assistance of counsel.

Case No. 18-0208:  State of Iowa v. Tait Otis Purk

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0208

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Tama County, Ian K. Thornhill, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by May, J. (18 pages)

            Tait Purk appeals his conviction and sentence for second-degree murder following a bench trial.  He raises numerous claims, including many ineffective-assistance claims.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm his conviction and sentence.  And we preserve all but one of his ineffective-assistance claims for future postconviction proceedings.

Case No. 18-0421:  State of Iowa v. Kenneth Curtis Shaw

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0421

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Paul D. Scott, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON CONDITION AND REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J. (9 pages)

            Kenneth Shaw appeals his conviction and sentence for first-degree robbery in violation of Iowa Code sections 711.1 and 711.2 (2017).  Shaw was sentenced to a twenty-five year prison sentence, with 70% mandatory incarceration.  On appeal, Shaw argues: (1) the State did not provide sufficient evidence to show Shaw committed the robbery; and (2) the jury pool was not a fair cross-section of the community in violation of his rights under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, section 10 of the Iowa State Constitution.  OPINION HOLDS: Sufficient evidence supports the jury’s determination that Shaw committed the robbery.  The district court correctly determined Shaw failed to meet his burden to establish a prima facie case of fair cross-section violation.  But because the parties did not have the benefit of recent refinements to Iowa law, we remand the matter to the district court to give Shaw an opportunity to develop his arguments that his constitutional right to an impartial jury was violated; if the court finds a violation occurred, it shall grant Shaw a new trial.

Case No. 18-0603:  In re the Marriage of Rath

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0603

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Benton County, Patrick R. Grady, Judge.  DIRECT APPEAL AFFIRMED; WRIT ANNULLED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (3 pages)

            Keith Rath appeals from the district court’s refusal to hold his former wife, Melinda Gordon, in contempt for failure to comply with property provisions of their divorce decree.  Although it refused to find Melinda in contempt, the court did find Keith in contempt for his own failure to comply with the decree.  Keith filed an appeal to the joint order.  OPINION HOLDS: Although an appeal lies from the refusal of the court to find Melinda in contempt, the proper mode of review for the finding Keith was in contempt was petition for writ of certiorari.  We treat the appeal as though Keith requested the proper form of review.  And, after a careful review of the record, briefs, and applicable law, we affirm the district court’s ruling without opinion under Iowa R. App. P. 6.1203(a) and (d).  We affirm.   

Case No. 18-0757:  State of Iowa v. Berlou Joe Barnard

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0757

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Terry R. Rickers, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, J.  (14 pages)

            Defendant Berlou Barnard appeals his conviction of four separate counts of sexual abuse in the second degree and one count of obstruction of justice based on error in two evidentiary rulings.  Barnard argues (1) his Sixth Amendment rights were violated when a videotaped interview with the child complaining witness was admitted over his objection; (2) the district court erred by admitting the interview over his hearsay objection; and (3) the district court erred by granting the State’s motion in limine to prevent him from introducing evidence that the child complaining witness had made false allegations of sexual abuse against another family member before. OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not err by admitting the videotaped interview or by granting the State’s motion in limine.  We affirm. 

Case No. 18-0862:  State of Iowa v. Michael David Dawson

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0862

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Linda M. Fangman and Bradley J. Harris, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (9 pages)

            Michael Dawson appeals his convictions for various drug crimes, eluding, and driving while barred.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not abuse its discretion in not ruling on pro se motions that did not articulate claims with any clarity.  Sufficient evidence supports Dawson’s possession conviction.  We preserve Dawson’s ineffective-assistance claims for possible future postconviction-relief proceedings.

Case No. 18-0892:  Alonzo Stokes v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0892

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Patrick R. Grady, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (3 pages)

            Alonzo Stokes appeals the district court order denying his application for postconviction relief from his first-degree-robbery conviction.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the jury’s verdict finding Stokes guilty of first-degree robbery while acquitting him of first-degree burglary was not inconsistent, Stokes has failed to show his trial counsel was ineffective by failing to object on this basis. 

Case No. 18-0918:  Napa Valley Owners Association v. John Barton Goplerud and Leslie Clemenson

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0918

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Dustria A. Relph, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (16 pages)

            John Barton Goplerud and Leslie Clemenson (“Gopleruds”) appeal district court orders enjoining Lyle and Dorothy Hale from using an outbuilding on the Gopleruds’ property as a residential dwelling; ordering removal of structures and restoration of the lot to pre-construction condition; and awarding attorney fees and costs to the Napa Valley Owner’s Association (“Association”).  The Gopleruds argue the district court erred in: (1) concluding they violated restrictive covenants because the Association (a)  lacked authority to enforce the covenants and (b) unreasonably enforced the covenants, (2) ordering injunctive relief, and (3) awarding attorney fees to the Association.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the Association ratified the actions of the Board and Architectural Control Committee (ACC), and that ratification was retroactive, the Board was entitled to enforce the restrictive covenants.  Our de novo review of the record reveals the Board and ACC’s findings regarding the covenant violations are not unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious.  The contractual nature of the covenants also justify the imposition of injunctive relief mandating removal of offending structures and barring prohibited use.  Finally, we find there was no abuse of discretion in awarding attorney fees and costs to the Association.

Case No. 18-1027:  In re the Marriage of Pontier

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1027

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Richard B. Clogg, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (8 pages)

            Matthew Pontier appeals several provisions of the decree dissolving his marriage to Jessica Pontier: (1) the spousal support provision; (2) the parenting schedule associated with the court’s award of joint physical care of their three children; (3) a child support award of $350 per month; and (4) a provision requiring him to pay Jessica’s portion of a custody-evaluation fee.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm on all issues, but we modify that portion of the dissolution decree ordering child support of $350 and remand for recalculation of child support with the spousal support added and deducted as prescribed by Iowa Court Rule 9.5(1)(a)(1).  On remand, the court should also determine the appropriate amount of appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 18-1220:  State of Iowa v. Jehu Purnell

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1220

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Michael J. Schilling, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Potterfield and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J. (7 pages)

           

            Jehu Purnell challenges his conviction of one count of willful injury causing serious injury, arguing there is insufficient evidence to prove identity and specific intent.  OPINION HOLDS: There was sufficient evidence to convince a rational jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Purnell committed the offense and that he had the specific intent to cause serious injury.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-1433:  In the Interest of K.C., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1433

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Dustria A. Relph, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J.  (7 pages)

            A father appeals from the private termination of his parental rights, contending the evidence of abandonment is insufficient.  He also maintains his retained counsel provided ineffective assistance.  OPINION HOLDS: Despite his subjective interest in the child, there is clear and convincing evidence the father did not attempt to maintain any contact with the child from 2010 to 2017.  The father has failed to prove counsel was ineffective.  We therefore affirm the termination of the father’s rights.

Case No. 18-1436:  State of Iowa v. Daniel Joseph Buenneke

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1436

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley J. Harris, Judge.  ROBBERY AND THEFT CONVICTIONS and sentences VACATED AND REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J. (6 pages)

            Daniel Buenneke challenges the factual basis for his pleas to second-degree robbery and first-degree theft, which he entered as part of a plea agreement involving multiple charges.  OPINION HOLDS: Because there is an insufficient factual basis for Buenneke’s robbery and theft pleas, we vacate the district court’s judgment of conviction and sentence on both the robbery and theft charges.  We remand to allow the State an opportunity to establish a factual basis for the guilty plea. 

Case No. 18-1438:  State of Iowa v. Nicholas Andrews

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1438

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Webster County, Bethany J. Currie and Kurt L. Wilke, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (6 pages)

            Nicholas Andrews claims the State breached its plea agreement with him and his attorney was ineffective in not objecting.  OPINION HOLDS: The record is not developed enough for us to decide whether Andrews received ineffective-assistance-of-counsel.  So we affirm his conviction and preserve the ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim for possible postconviction-relief proceedings. 

Case No. 18-1473:  Richard J. Holman and Becky S. Holman, individually, as father and mother and next friend of C.L.H., a minor v. DAC, Inc.

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1473

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Michael J. Shubatt, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (11 pages)

            The plaintiffs appeal the order granting summary judgment on their negligence claims in favor of the defendant, a group home for persons with intellectual disabilities.  They contend the defendant owed a legal duty to protect third parties from harm posed by a resident who tried to sexually assault a minor.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the relationship between the parties and public policy considerations weigh against finding the defendant had a legal duty to protect third parties from harm posed by one of its residents, we affirm the order granting summary judgment.

Case No. 18-1643:  State of Iowa v. Rudy Danilo Depaz Colocho

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1643

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Gregory D. Brandt, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (9 pages)

            Rudy Colocho was convicted for third-offense operating a vehicle while intoxicated.  During a traffic stop, a police officer accommodated Colocho’s request to urinate before he performed field sobriety tests.  The officer took Colocho to the police station, but after he used the restroom, he still refused sobriety testing.  Instead, Colocho started speaking Spanish and requested an attorney.  The officer rejected the request.  After an interpreter was brought in Colocho still refused sobriety testing.  The officer then arrested Colocho and advised him his Iowa Code section 804.20 (2018) rights.  The officer estimated Colocho had just a little under an hour to make a phone call before the officer invoked implied consent.  Colocho refused to take the DataMaster test.  Colocho now appeals. OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the district court’s additional finding that the officer remedied the situation by later advising Colocho of his rights.  Also, because no excludable evidence emerged between the alleged violation and the officer’s giving of the advisory, we need not apply a fruits analysis.  Also, because Colocho refused the DataMaster test nearly an hour after receiving the advisory, the test refusal was admissible evidence in his stipulated bench trial.  Also, because the stipulated record contained strong evidence Colocho was operating while under the influence, we find any violation of Colocho’s rights under section 804.20 was harmless error.  Colocho is not entitled to new trial.

Case No. 18-1704:  Odell Everett Jr. v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1704

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, David P. Odekirk, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J.  (3 pages)

            Odell Everett Jr. appeals from the summary dismissal of his third application for postconviction relief in which he challenges his 2005 conviction for first-degree robbery.  OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the district court’s conclusions that Everett’s reliance on Schmidt v. State, 909 N.W.2d 778 (Iowa 2018), was “misplaced because there is no allegation of newly discovered evidence upon which any claim of actual innocence could be made,” and that Everett’s “claims have been fully adjudicated and are time barred.”  We find no error and therefore affirm.

Case No. 18-1727:  State of Iowa v. Jaevon Tramere Holmes

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1727

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Linda M. Fangman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (7 pages)

            Jaevon Holmes appeals his conviction for escape under Iowa Code section 719.4(1) (2017).  He contends the evidence at his bench trial supported only the lesser offense of absence from custody under Iowa Code section 719.4(3).  OPINION HOLDS: Because ample evidence backs the district court’s determination Holmes intentionally and without permission left the work-release facility where he was held after violating parole on his felony convictions, we affirm.

Case No. 18-1763:  State of Iowa v. Eddie Donovan Delong

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1763

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cherokee County, David A. Lester, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J. (5 pages)

            Eddie DeLong appeals his restitution order, claiming there is not an adequate causal connection between the ordered restitution and his crimes.  OPINION HOLDS: We find substantial evidence supports the district court’s findings and affirm.

Case No. 18-1810:  Milligan v. Ottumwa Civil Service Commission

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1810

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Wapello County, Shawn R. Showers, Judge.  REVERSED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (17 pages)

            Appellants Ottumwa Civil Service Commission, City of Ottumwa, and Ottumwa Police Department appeal from the district court ruling that reversed the suspension and termination of Sergeant Mark Milligan and awarded him back pay.  The appellants argue Sergeant Milligan’s suspension and termination were appropriate and the court erred by refusing to reduce his damages by income he received from other sources.  OPINION HOLDS: We find Sergeant Milligan violated department rules and uphold the suspension and termination.  Given this determination, the damage question is moot. 

Case No. 18-1817:  Oliver Fenceroy v. Gelita USA, Inc., Bob Kersbergen, Tom Haire, Jeff Tolsma, and Jeremy Kneip

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1817

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Jeffrey A. Neary, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (10 pages)

            Oliver Fenceroy appeals the district court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of defendants Gelita USA, Inc., Tom Haire, and Jeff Tolsma to dismiss his claims of racial harassment, racial discrimination, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  OPINION HOLDS: We find Fenceroy did not show Gelita had the requisite knowledge to support the harassment claims, did not establish an adverse employment action for his discrimination claim, and the evidence did not support a finding of severe emotional distress.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-1824:  Benjamin E. Schreiber v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1824

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Wapello County, Crystal S. Cronk, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Potterfield and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, J.  (8 pages)

            Benjamin Schreiber seeks to resurrect his third postconviction-relief application (PCR) after the district court granted the State’s motion to dismiss.  Schreiber was convicted of murder in the first degree in violation of Iowa Code sections 707.1 and 707.2 (1996).  On appeal, he alleges the district court made several errors in the course of handling his PCR application, including (1) denying him a meaningful opportunity to respond by failing to provide him adequate notice of the hearing on the State’s motion to dismiss, failing to record the proceedings, and dismissing his application without an evidentiary hearing; (2) requiring him to pay 20% of the filing fee for the PCR application; and (3) denying his application for court-appointed counsel.  OPINION HOLDS: Schreiber was given an opportunity to be heard, and the district court did not err by not recording the proceedings and granting the State’s motion to dismiss his application.  The district court did not err by requiring him to pay 20% of the filing fee or by denying his application for court appointed counsel.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-1869:  Stephen Andrea Marks v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1869

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Tom Reidel, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (4 pages)

            Stephen Marks was convicted of second-degree robbery and sentenced under Iowa Code section 902.12(5) (2013), which required a seventy percent mandatory minimum.  In 2016, the statute was amended to allow a range of fifty to seventy percent mandatory minimum for second-degree robbery sentences.  See Iowa Code § 902.12(3) (2016).  Marks filed a postconviction-relief application arguing the amended statute should apply retroactively.  OPINION HOLDS: By its plain words, the 2016 amendment only applies prospectively.  Moreover, we are not persuaded by Marks’s due process, equal protection, and cruel-and-unusual-punishment claims.  Therefore, we affirm the denial of Marks’s postconviction-relief application.

Case No. 18-1910:  In re the Marriage of Mann

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1910

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dickinson County, Carl J. Petersen, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and May, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J. Concurrence in part and dissent in part by May, J.  (18 pages)

            Steven Mann appeals several provisions of the decree dissolving his marriage to Andrea Mann.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude Steven should receive $2395 in spousal support per month for a period of three years, and we modify the decree in that regard.  We affirm the district court’s property distribution.  We decline Andrea’s request for appellate attorney fees.  PARTIAL DISSENT ASSERTS: I do not conclude the district court's denial of spousal support constituted a failure to do equity.  So I would not modify the decree.  As to all other issues.  I concur with the majority.

Case No. 18-1938:  In re the Marriage of Garrels

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1938

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Stuart P. Werling, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (4 pages)

            A mother appeals the district court’s calculation of the parties’ obligation for their child’s postsecondary education expenses.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s decision requiring the parents to contribute to the child’s postsecondary education expenses but modify to increase each parent’s obligation to $9352.

Case No. 18-2008:  George J. Saluri and Candace C. Saluri v. Jay R. Buckley and Cathy Buckley

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2008

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D. Huppert, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Doyle, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Mahan, S.J.  (7 pages)

            George and Candace Saluri appeal the district court decision granting summary judgment to Jay and Cathy Buckley on the ground the Saluris’ claims of negligence, negligence per se, temporary nuisance, permanent nuisance, and trespass are barred by the statute of limitations.  OPINION HOLDS:  We find the district court properly granted summary judgment to the Buckleys on the ground the Saluris’ claims are barred by the five-year statute of limitations in Iowa Code section 614.1(4) (2017) for injuries to property.  We affirm the district court.

Case No. 18-2015:  Stephen Carl Brodersen, Jr. v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2015

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, James M. Drew, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (5 pages)

            Stephen Broderson appeals the dismissal of his postconviction-relief application.  OPINION HOLDS: Broderson has not met his burden of proof on any of his ineffective-assistance claims.  Therefore, we affirm.

Case No. 18-2018:  In re the Marriage of Melrose

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2018

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Rustin T. Davenport, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (7 pages)

            Carole Browman, formerly known as Carole Melrose, appeals from the spousal support provisions of the decree dissolving her marriage to Mark Melrose.  OPINION HOLDS: Ultimately, we find the court’s determination of Mark’s annual income to be with the range of evidence.  Nevertheless, having considered all of the relevant factors, we conclude upon our de novo review of the record that Carole’s alimony award should be increased to $3000 per month.  We decline each party’s request for appellate attorney fees in this appeal.

Case No. 18-2036:  State of Iowa v. Brett Calvin Hensley

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2036

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Heather L. Lauber, Judge.  APPEAL DISMISSED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (3 pages)

            Defendant Brett Hensley appeals the denial of his request for earned time credit pursuant to Iowa Code section 903A.2(3) (2018).  OPINION HOLDS: We dismiss Hensley’s appeal due to mootness.

Case No. 18-2037:  Robert Raw v. Christina Spofford

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2037

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Christopher L. Bruns, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (12 pages)

            Dr. Robert Raw appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment on statute-of-limitation grounds in favor of Dr. Christina Spofford on his claims of defamation.  Raw generally argues the court erred in concluding he was on inquiry notice of his claims in 2014, thus barring his 2017 petition as outside the two-year statute of limitations contained in Iowa Code section 614.1(2) (2017).  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s conclusions that Raw was on notice of his claims against Spofford no later than 2014, the claims had accrued at that time, and Raw’s 2017 petition was therefore barred by the two-year statute of limitations.

Case No. 18-2061:  State of Iowa v. Michael Joseph Debettignies

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2061

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Chris Foy, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by May, J. (4 pages)

            Michael Debettignies appeals his conviction for third-degree sexual abuse.  He contends the district court abused its discretion when it sustained a motion in limine.  OPINION HOLDS:  Debettignies failed to preserve error because (1) he did not offer the evidence during trial and (2) the motion in limine ruling was not unequivocal so as to leave no question as to whether the evidence would be admitted.

Case No. 18-2066:  Maria Del Rosario Romero v. Curly's Food, and Safety National

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2066

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Karen A. Romano, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (5 pages)

            Maria Del Rosario Romero appeals the district court decision affirming the workers’ compensation commissioner’s denial of benefits, challenging the commissioner’s application of the discovery rule.  OPINION HOLDS: The commissioner’s findings are supported by substantial evidence, and the commissioner’s application of the discovery rule to the facts was not irrational, illogical, or wholly unjustifiable.

Case No. 18-2244:  In re the Marriage of Amit Gupta and Manika Bansal

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2244

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Andrew Chappell, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Mullins, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J.  (3 pages)

            Former spouses appeal and cross-appeal a decree of dissolution of marriage.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s decree of dissolution of marriage. 

Case No. 19-0108:  Fred Vogt v. City of Carter Lake and Carter Lake City Council

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0108

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Gregory W. Steensland, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (6 pages)

            Fred Vogt appeals from a district court order granting the City of Carter Lake and Carter Lake City Council’s motion to dismiss.  Vogt sought declaratory judgment to enjoin amendment to zoning regulations to allow gaming facilities in C-2 General Commercial Districts.  OPINION HOLDS: We find to the extent the zoning district applied to property outside of tribal trust property, the court had jurisdiction over the action and reverse and remand for further proceedings.

Case No. 19-0123:  Douglas D. Hickman and Susan A. Hickman v. Ringgold County, Iowa

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0123

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Ringgold County, John D. Lloyd, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.  Lloyd, S.J., takes no part.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (6 pages)

            Douglas and Susan Hickman appeal the district court’s denial of injunctive relief regarding their challenge to Ringgold County’s condemnation of a portion of their land, contending Iowa Code section 6A.22 (2018) “restricts and prohibits the authority of a county to condemn private land to facilitate private use and/or for economic development.”  OPINION HOLDS: Because the County was statutorily authorized to upgrade the road, we affirm the court’s dismissal of the Hickmans’ challenge to the County’s condemnation notice. 

Case No. 19-0131:  Ronald Dean Agee v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0131

            Appeals from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeffrey D. Farrell, Judge (19-0345) and the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Thomas P. Murphy, Judge (19-0131).  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS. Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (8 pages)

            Ronald Agee appeals the district court’s dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus and denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence.  Agee argues he can pursue his claims through a petition for habeas corpus and also that he was entitled to an automatic discharge of his lifetime special sentence after ten years with credit for time served in prison.  OPINION HOLDS: Agee committed a public offense; for that reason a writ of habeas corpus is unavailable to him.  Iowa Code section 903B.1 (2007) provides for a lifetime special sentence and the length of the sentence for the criminal offense is irrelevant.  Unless the Iowa Board of Parole decides to discharge his special sentence, Agee is required to comply with its terms for the rest of his life or face revocation of release.  We affirm both district court rulings.

Case No. 19-0277:  State of Iowa v. Gregory John Schuldt

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0277

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Thomas P. Murphy and Randy V. Hefner, Judges.  CONVICTIONS AFFIRMED; SENTENCES AFFIRMED IN PART, VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Greer, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J. (10 pages)

            Gregory Schuldt appeals the denial of his motion to suppress in which he challenged the district court’s issuance of three separate search warrants sought by Newton police in their investigation of a drive-by shooting.  Schuldt also contests the district court’s imposition of court costs without determining his reasonable ability to pay.  OPINION HOLDS: Based upon our review, the district court had a substantial basis for concluding probable cause existed to issue the warrants.  But the court failed to apply the statutory requirements for restitution.  We affirm the convictions but reverse the sentence in part and remand for entry of a final restitution order.

Case No. 19-0328:  George McClennon v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0328

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Julie Schumacher, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.  Schumacher, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (5 pages)

            George McClennon appeals the summary disposition of his application for postconviction relief claiming he received ineffective assistance of counsel and an illegal sentence.  OPINION HOLDS: We find counsel was not ineffective and McClennon’s sentence is not illegal.  We affirm the summary disposition of his application for postconviction relief.

Case No. 19-0345:  State of Iowa v. Ronald Dean Agee

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0345

            Appeals from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeffrey D. Farrell, Judge (19-0345) and the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Thomas P. Murphy, Judge (19-0131).  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS. Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (8 pages)

            Ronald Agee appeals the district court’s dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus and denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence.  Agee argues he can pursue his claims through a petition for habeas corpus and also that he was entitled to an automatic discharge of his lifetime special sentence after ten years with credit for time served in prison.  OPINION HOLDS: Agee committed a public offense; for that reason a writ of habeas corpus is unavailable to him.  Iowa Code section 903B.1 (2007) provides for a lifetime special sentence and the length of the sentence for the criminal offense is irrelevant.  Unless the Iowa Board of Parole decides to discharge his special sentence, Agee is required to comply with its terms for the rest of his life or face revocation of release.  We affirm both district court rulings.

Case No. 19-0691:  Fama Diakhoumpa v. Ismaila Sarr

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0691

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark D. Cleve, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (6 pages)

            Ismaila Sarr appeals a domestic abuse protective order.  OPINION HOLDS: We find a preponderance of evidence supports the district court’s protective order and affirm.

Case No. 19-0693:  State of Iowa v. Thomas Robert Stogdill

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0693

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Eric J. Nelson, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (3 pages)

            Thomas Stogdill challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction for assault while using or displaying a dangerous weapon.  OPINION HOLDS: Substantial evidence supports the finding that a thrown hammer meets the definition of a dangerous weapon under Iowa Code section 702.7 (2018) as an instrument used in a way that shows a person intends to inflict death or serious injury on another and which can inflict death when so used.

Case No. 19-1054:  In the Interest of A.C., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1054

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Romonda Belcher, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (4 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  OPINION HOLDS: Clear and convincing evidence shows the child could not be returned to the mother’s care at the time of the termination hearing and that termination is in the child’s best interests.  Because none of the circumstances listed in Iowa Code section 232.116(3) (2018) weigh against terminating the mother’s parental rights, we affirm.

Case No. 19-1055:  In the Interest of A.B. and A.B., Minor Children

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1055

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Appanoose County, William Owens, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (11 pages)

            A mother of two children appeals a permanency review order placing legal custody of the children with their father, contending (A) “the [juvenile] court erred in not returning the children to [her] care as there was no physical or adjudicatory harm preventing their return”; (B) “the [juvenile] court erred in [entering] a permanency order when the department [of human services] had not made reasonable efforts towards reunification as it failed to compel the children to individual counseling and family counseling with [her]”; and (C) “the department of human services did not [provide] notice that the hearing could be a permanency decision, as the court had previously ruled that she had an additional six months.”  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the juvenile court’s permanency review order in its entirety.

Case No. 19-1072:  Little Hands Childcare & Preschool, Inc. v. Employment Appeal Board

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1072

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dickinson County, Don E. Courtney, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (5 pages)

            The Employment Appeal Board (EAB) determined Amy Harbst Baschke was discharged for no qualifying reason from her employment with Little Hands Childcare & Preschool, Inc.  The district court reversed, and the EAB appeals.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the EAB’s decision was supported by substantial evidence and was not unreasonable or wholly unjustifiable, the district court erred in reversing the EAB’s ruling.  We reverse and remand for dismissal of the employer’s petition.

Case No. 19-1079:  In the Interest of M.E., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1079

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Romonda Belcher, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Greer, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Opinion by Danilson, S.J.  (5 pages)

            A mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS:  The mother does not challenge the statutory grounds for termination, and we find termination of the mother’s parental rights is in the child’s best interests.  We affirm the decision of the juvenile court.

Case No. 19-1080:  In the Interest of T.M., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1080

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Charles D. Fagan, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (7 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the juvenile court decision terminating their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We find clear and convincing evidence supporting the termination of the mother’s rights exists under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2019), additional time for the father to achieve reunification is unwarranted, and termination of both parents’ rights is in the best interest of the child.

Case No. 19-1115:  In the Interest of P.H., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1115

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Chickasaw County, Linnea M.N. Nicol, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (8 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to one child.  OPINION HOLDS:  Ongoing substance-abuse and domestic-violence issues, as well as general instability, render the parents unable to resume care of the child.  It is in the child’s best interests to terminate parental rights, and no other statutory factor should prevent that.  The parenting deficiencies would still be present in six months, so additional time is not warranted.  We affirm. 

Case No. 19-1118:  In the Interest of J.R. and D.R., Minor Children

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1118

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Brendan Greiner, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (15 pages)

            A mother and father appeal the termination of their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: Here, the State proved a ground for termination of the parents’ parental rights.  The record shows termination of parental rights was in the children’s best interest.  There was a material change in circumstances to support modification of the permanency order from placing the children in a guardianship to termination of parental rights with the possibility of adoption by their guardian.  Res judicata and related doctrine does not apply, and the mother’s issue on the entry of a no-contact order is moot.  For all of these reasons, we affirm the juvenile court’s order terminating each parent’s parental rights.

Case No. 19-1144:  In the Interest of Q.R., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1144

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Calhoun County, Joseph McCarville, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Mahan, S.J.  (7 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his child, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the statutory grounds for termination and contending the juvenile court should have applied the statutory exceptions under Iowa Code section 232.116(3)(a) and (c) (2019) to preclude termination.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the decision of the juvenile court to terminate the father’s parental rights.

Case No. 19-1183:  In the Interest of R.A., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1183

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Jason A. Burns, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Greer, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  (9 pages)

            The mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to their child, R.A., contending the juvenile court did not have jurisdiction to enter the child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) and termination orders.  OPIINION HOLDS: Applying the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act found in Iowa Code chapter 598B (2019), the juvenile court had jurisdiction to enter the CINA and termination orders.  We affirm.

Case No. 19-1225:  In the Interest of A.M., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1225

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dickinson County, David C. Larson, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Greer, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (7 pages)

            A father appeals the juvenile court order terminating his parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude the father waived his claim the State did not engage in reasonable efforts to reunite him with the child, there is sufficient evidence in the record to support termination, the juvenile court properly denied the father’s request for additional time, and termination is in the child’s best interests.  We affirm the decision of the juvenile court.

Case No. 19-1293:  In the Interest of M.M. and C.M., Minor Children

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1293

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County, Mary L. Timko, Associate Juvenile Judge.  REVERSED ON BOTH APPEALS AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Greer, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  Dissent by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (10 pages)

            Mother of two of the children and father of one appeal the termination of their parental rights and contend that the juvenile court should have granted their requests for a six-month extension under Iowa Code section 232.104(2)(b) (2019) and not ordered termination.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the parents were making positive efforts to change behavior which was the basis for removal, the juvenile court should have granted the extension.  DISSENT ASSERTS: I would affirm the juvenile court’s denial of six additional months to work toward reunification and the termination of parental rights to the children.

Case No. 19-1343:  In the Interest of L.H., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1343

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Christine Dalton, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (6 pages)

            A father appeals a dispositional-review order in a child-in-need-of-assistance proceeding.  The father argues the court erred in finding the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) made reasonable efforts toward reunification and in failing to change the child’s placement.  OPINION HOLDS: Our de novo review of the record reveals the father’s failure to timely comply with substance-abuse and psychological evaluations justifies the district court’s refusal to order more in-home visitation.  Clear and convincing evidence supports the district court’s finding DHS made reasonable efforts.  Furthermore, we agree with the juvenile court’s denial of the motion for change of placement, favoring the child’s placement in an appropriate long-term placement until the child can be returned to a parental home.

Case No. 19-1391:  In the Interest of S.R., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1391

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Eric J. Nelson, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (6 pages)

            A mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We find sufficient evidence supports the termination, additional time is unwarranted, and termination is in the best interests of the child.  We affirm.

Case No. 19-1411:  In the Interest of A.C. and A.C., Minor Children

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1411

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Susan Cox, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (10 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to two minor children.  The mother argues the State failed to prove she was not able to resume custody of the children at the time of the termination hearing and termination is not in the children’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: The State proved the mother could not resume custody of the children at the time of the termination hearing by clear and convincing evidence and termination is in the best interests of the children.

Case No. 19-1418:  In the Interest of A.D., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1418

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Colin J. Witt, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (9 pages)

            Both parents appeal the juvenile court order terminating their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We find it would not be in the child’s best interests to grant the parents an extension of time to work on reunification, there is clear and convincing evidence in the record to support termination of their parental rights, termination is in the child’s best interests, and none of the exceptions to termination should be applied.  The child has extensive medical needs which the parents are not able to meet.

Case No. 19-1446:  In the Interest of E.S., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1446

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, Daniel P. Vakulskas, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Mullins, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (10 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The statutory grounds authorizing termination were met because the child could not be returned to either parent without a risk of harm.  Termination of both parents’ rights is in the child’s best interests.  The father’s bond with the child is not so strong to preclude termination.  Neither parent is entitled to additional time to work toward reunification.

Case No. 19-1450:  In the Interest of S.M., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1450

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Mary L. Timko, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (5 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his child, contending (1) the record lacks clear and convincing evidence to support the grounds for termination cited by the juvenile court and (2) termination was not in the child’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the juvenile court’s termination of the father’s parental rights to the child.

Case No. 19-1457:  In the Interest of J.D., J.D., and M.S., Minor Children

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1457

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Susan Cox, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (8 pages)

            Parents separately appeal a juvenile court order terminating their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of both parents’ parental rights.

Case No. 19-1499:  In the Interest of L.J., Minor Child

Filed Nov 06, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1499

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

            A mother appeals the order terminating her parental rights to her daughter after she found her four-year-old dead due to an overdose of Benadryl.  She contests the statutory grounds under Iowa Code section 232.116(1) (2019), the best-interests determination under section 232.116(2), and the Court’s decision to not apply the permissive factor in section 232.116(3)(c).  She also claims the State did not make reasonable efforts to reunite her with L.J.  OPINION HOLDS: DHS made reasonable efforts toward reunification consistent with L.J.’s best interests.  Also, the mother has unresolved trauma and mental-health challenges that prevent reunification with L.J.  Next, we find troubling the mother’s pattern of neglectful parenting.  Finally, the record does not show their relationship remained so close that L.J. will be disadvantaged by the termination.

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