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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. 19-0555:  State of Iowa v. Shawn Patrick Shelton

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-0555

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lucas County, Terry Rickers, Judge.  WRIT SUSTAINED IN PART; ANNULLED IN PART; AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., May, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  (17 pages)

            The defendant challenges the denial of his motion for new trial contending the court failed to give adequate notice of the hearing and denied him an opportunity to present evidence as required by Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.24(2)(A).  He also contends the court failed to establish his waiver of counsel and erred in denying his post-hearing request for court-appointed counsel on mootness grounds.  OPINION HOLDS: We treat the appeal as a petition for writ of certiorari.  We find the trial court acted illegally in ruling on the defendant’s motion for new trial without giving adequate notice of the hearing and failing to give the defendant full opportunity to present evidence on the motion and therefore sustain the writ.  We find the court did not act illegally regarding the motion to amend the motion for new trial since we remand for hearing on the motion for new trial.  We also find the court did not act illegally in only appointing standby counsel, and due to remand, direct the court to address the renewed appointment of counsel request.  We annul the writ as to these last two issues. 

Case No. 19-1337:  State of Iowa v. Derek Eugene Robbins

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1337

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clarke County, Dustria A. Relph, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (4 pages)

            Derek Eugene Robbins appeals his convictions for three offenses, challenging the imposition of consecutive sentences and asserting trial counsel failed to provide effective assistance by not filing a motion to suppress evidence.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no abuse of discretion in sentencing, and Iowa Code section 814.7 (Supp. 2019) precludes our consideration of Robbins’s ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim.  We affirm.

Case No. 19-1376:  State of Iowa v. Anthony Brian Nicholson

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1376

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Nancy S. Tabor, Thomas Reidel, and Mark R. Fowler, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., May, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Tabor, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Danilson, S.J.  (11 pages)

            Anthony Nicholson appeals his convictions in three criminal cases.  OPINION HOLDS: We find there is substantial evidence to support Nicholson’s convictions of possession of marijuana, failure to appear, and third-degree arson.  We affirm his convictions in each of the three cases.

Case No. 19-1602:  Travaris James Chancellor v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1602

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Samantha Gronewald, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Ahlers, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  (5 pages)

            Travaris Chancellor appeals the grant of summary judgment dismissing his second application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Chancellor did not present new evidence that could not have been raised within the applicable time period.  Therefore, his application is time barred.

Case No. 19-1755:  Roger Joseph Hoffert, Jr. v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1755

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Joel A. Dalrymple, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by May, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by May, P.J.  (7 pages)

            Roger Hoffert appeals an order granting his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Hoffert failed to preserve his claim of actual innocence.  His ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim is moot.

Case No. 19-1759:  Loren Lee Pesicka, Jr. v. Snap-On Logistics Company a/k/a Snap-On Tools Manufacturing Company

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1759

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Coleman McAllister, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (15 pages)

            A worker appeals from a district court decision reviewing his claim for benefits brought before the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.  On appeal, he argues the commission erred by awarding less permanent disability than the legislature mandated; the commissioner erred by awarding permanent disability compensation based upon only objective evidence; and the commissioner erred by reducing reimbursement of an independent medical examination (IME) fee. OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court order, which affirmed the commissioner’s award following hearing on claimant’s reopening petition. We reject Pesicka’s argument regarding evidence of subjectively manifested impairment.  We find no abuse of discretion in the decision to reduce reimbursement for the IME fee.

Case No. 19-1810:  State of Iowa v. Adam Golden McCain

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1810

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lee (South) County, Mary Ann Brown, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J. (17 pages)

            Adam McCain appeals his conviction for murder in the first degree.  He argues the district court should have granted his motion to suppress statements he made while at the jail.  OPINION HOLDS: The officers scrupulously honored McCain’s right to remain silent, and he properly waived this right.  As controlling precedent declines to impose a requirement to prove waiver by written or video-recorded means, we reject McCain’s request to adopt such a requirement.  McCain’s fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree argument is not preserved for our review, and even if it were, there was no impropriety that warrants suppression of McCain’s statements to relatives.

Case No. 19-1902:  State of Iowa v. Michael Triplett

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1902

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, William P. Kelly, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Potterfield, S.J.  (4 pages)

            Michael Triplett was convicted of having dominion or control of a firearm as a convicted felon.  On appeal, Triplett challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction.  He only challenges the sufficiency of the evidence proving he had a firearm in his dominion or control; he does not challenge whether there was substantial evidence he aided and abetted a felon in possessing a firearm.  OPINION HOLDS: Under Iowa Code section 814.28 (Supp. 2019), we are required to affirm if substantial evidence supports at least one theory presented to the jury.  Because Triplett fails to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence supporting one of the grounds, he waived argument on that ground, and we affirm on it without further consideration.

Case No. 19-1938:  Tajh Malik Ross v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1938

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Sean McPartland, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Ahlers, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Mahan, S.J.  (13 pages)

            Tajh Ross appeals the district court’s denial of his application for postconviction relief following his 2014 convictions for murder in the first degree, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, and going armed with intent.  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our review, we affirm the court’s order denying Ross’s application for postconviction relief.  

Case No. 19-2001:  State of Iowa v. Hubert Todd, Jr.

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-2001

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, David P. Odekirk, Judge.  WRIT SUSTAINED AND REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  Dissent by May, J.  (13 pages)

            Hubert Todd Jr. appeals the denial of his application for modification of sex offender registration requirements on the basis that he failed to complete a required sex offender treatment program (SOTP) pursuant to Iowa Code section 692A.128(2)(b) (2018).  OPINION HOLDS: On the jurisdictional issue submitted with this appeal, we choose to treat Todd’s notice of appeal and brief as a petition for writ of certiorari, we grant the writ, and we proceed to the merits.  We conclude Todd was never “required” to complete any SOTP.  Because no such programming was required, section 692A.128(2)(b) was satisfied, and the district court erred in denying Todd’s application for modification.  We sustain the writ of certiorari, and we remand the matter to the district court to exercise its discretion under section 692A.128(5) and (6) in determining whether to grant modification.  DISSENT ASSERTS: I believe sworn testimony from a treatment services manager stating Hubert Todd was ordered to complete a sex-offender treatment program (SOTP) constitutes substantial evidence to support the district court's finding that Todd was required to complete a SOTP.

Case No. 19-2034:  In the Matter of the Estate of Gladys R. Troendle, Deceased.

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-2034

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Allamakee County, Alan Heavens, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON APPEAL; REVERSED AND REMANDED ON CROSS-APPEAL.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (11 pages)

            Steven Troendle appeals an adverse civil jury verdict.  Michele Troendle cross-appeals claiming the jury’s verdict is inconsistent with its damages award for several causes of action.  OPINION HOLDS: Steven’s claims are either not preserved, not sufficiently developed, or do not warrant relief.  With respect to Michele’s cross-appeal, because we cannot reconcile the jury’s liability findings with its damages awards for abuse of process, interference with inheritance, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and breach of fiduciary duty, we reverse the verdicts as to damages on these four counts only.

Case No. 19-2152:  State of Iowa v. Justin Pattison

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-2152

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Fayette County, Richard D. Stochl and John J. Bauercamper, Judges.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (5 pages)

            Justin Pattison appeals following his guilty pleas to possession of marijuana, third offense, as a habitual offender; operating while intoxicated, second offense; driving while barred; and two counts of child endangerment.  Pattison contends “the district court failed to substantially comply with the Iowa Rules of Criminal Procedure 2.8(2)(b) and (d) regarding [his] guilty plea to the” possession charge, “rendering [his] guilty plea as unknowing, involuntary and without a factual basis.”  OPINION HOLDS: On Pattison’s possession conviction, we vacate the plea, reverse the judgment of conviction, and remand for further proceedings.

Case No. 20-0002:  State of Iowa v. Triston King Phillips

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0002

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Hardin County, John J. Haney, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (4 pages)

            Triston Phillips appeals his convictions of sexual abuse claiming there was insufficient evidence to convict him and his counsel provided ineffective assistance.  OPINION HOLDS: Phillips’s motion for judgment of acquittal did not preserve error for the argument he now raises on appeal.  Furthermore, we cannot review Phillips’s ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims on direct appeal.  So we affirm his convictions and reserve his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims for a possible post-conviction relief proceeding.

Case No. 20-0045:  Raymond E. Thomas v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0045

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Samantha J. Gronewald, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Greer, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Potterfield, S.J.  (5 pages)

            Raymond Thomas’s third application for postconviction relief (PCR)—filed more than eleven years after procedendo issued on his direct appeal—was dismissed as time-barred.  Thomas argues an exception to the statute of limitations saves his application so the district court was wrong to dismiss.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Thomas has not established an exception to the statute of limitations to save his third PCR application, we affirm the district court’s dismissal. 

Case No. 20-0073:  State of Iowa v. Johnny S. Patterson

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0073

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Joel Dalrymple, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (5 pages)

            Johnny Patterson appeals his conviction for third-degree sexual abuse.  Patterson proffers two arguments on appeal.  OPINION HOLDS: Because sufficient evidence supports Patterson’s conviction and the district court acted within its discretion in denying Patterson’s motion for new trial, we affirm.

Case No. 20-0076:  In re the Marriage of Hutchinson

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0076

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Mitchell E. Turner, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Heard by May, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by May, P.J.  Special Concurrence and Partial Dissent by Schumacher, J.  (32 pages)

            Robert Hutchinson appeals the modification of the parties’ dissolution decree based upon his alleged extrinsic fraud.  OPINION HOLDS: Susan Hutchinson has not shown that reasonable diligence would not have permitted her to discover Robert’s fraud within one year after entry of the decree.  Accordingly, Susan is not entitled to recover in this proceeding.  PARTIAL DISSENT AND SPECIAL CONCURRENCE ASSERTS: As Robert committed extrinsic fraud that could not be discovered with due diligence within one year of the decree, the district court should be affirmed in part.  The requirement for Robert to pay a portion of the property settlement from a pension acquired after the marriage should be modified.  Further, appellate attorney fees for Susan are appropriate, with a remand required on the issue of sanctions for development of the record and for consideration of Robert’s request for attorney fees on the dismissed count of Susan’s petition.

Case No. 20-0085:  State of Iowa v. Joshua G. Chapalonis

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0085

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cass County, Jeffrey L. Larson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J. (11 pages)         

            Joshua Chapalonis appeals his seven convictions for sexual abuse in the second degree.  He argues the district court improperly allowed the jury to hear privileged communications he made to his substance-abuse counselor.  He also challenges the admission of expert testimony concerning the delayed disclosure of children in sex abuse cases.  OPINION HOLDS: Because any confidential communications were admissible under the privilege exception in Iowa Code section 232.74 (2020) and the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the forensic interviewer to testify about the delayed disclosure, we decline to grant a new trial.  Thus, we affirm the convictions. 

Case No. 20-0125:  Tyson James Ruth v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0125

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Greene County, Gina Badding, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May, J. and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Mullins, P.J.  (5 pages)

            Tyson Ruth appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR).  He argues the district court erred in denying his claims that his criminal counsel was ineffective in (1) allowing him to enter a plea that was coerced and not voluntary and (2) not filing a motion to suppress on the basis he was denied his constitutional right to a neutral and detached magistrate issuing search warrants.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the denial of Ruth’s PCR application.

Case No. 20-0158:  State of Iowa v. Tanner Jon King

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0158

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Webster County, Kurt J. Stoebe, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., Tabor and Schumacher, JJ., and Carr and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (18 pages)

            Tanner King appeals his two convictions for murder in the first degree challenging the district court’s ruling that testimony of a local barber who shared second-hand information about an alternative suspect with a police detective was inadmissible hearsay.  King contends this decision deprived him of his due process right to present a defense.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court correctly determined that the proffered evidence is hearsay.  Because it was inadmissible, King had no due process right to present the testimony.  We affirm the convictions. 

Case No. 20-0259:  Chad Enderle v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0259

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mary E. Howes, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (6 pages).

          Chad Enderle appeals the district court order dismissing his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the dismissal of the untimely application.

Case No. 20-0297:  Poweshiek Township v. Gannon

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0297

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Brad Mccall, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (21 pages)

            On January 16, 2018, the district court entered summary judgment for plaintiffs Poweshiek Township and Jasper County (collectively “the Township”) on their claim of adverse possession and quieted title to Sams Cemetery.  The district court entered summary judgment for the Township on its claim for an access easement to Sams Cemetery, whether by prescription or necessity.  After a trial on remaining issues, the court determined the boundary lines of Sams Cemetery and the width and direction of the access easement.  The defendants appeal, asserting genuine issues of material fact precluded the summary judgment rulings.  The plaintiffs cross-appeal the court’s establishing the width of the access easement at sixteen feet rather than twenty feet.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the Township acquired title to Sams Cemetery by adverse possession at latest by 1995, the court did not err in granting summary judgment on the Township’s quiet title action and its claim for an access easement to the cemetery.  We discern no reason to disturb the court’s findings and conclusions as to the boundaries of the cemetery or the width and description of the access easement.  Therefore, we affirm on both appeals.

Case No. 20-0446:  Aaron Lance Sams v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0446

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mahaska County, Crystal S. Cronk, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (3 pages)

            Aaron Sams appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief, asserting trial and postconviction counsel were ineffective.  OPINION HOLDS: Sams has failed to prove trial counsel was ineffective, and we do not address the claim postconviction counsel was ineffective because the record is inadequate.  We affirm.

Case No. 20-0504:  Dakota Poland v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0504

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Wyatt Peterson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (4 pages)

            Dakota Poland appeals the dismissal of his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Poland’s constitutional claims were not properly preserved for appellate review, and accordingly dismissal of his application for postconviction relief is affirmed.

Case No. 20-0565:  State of Iowa v. Joseph Cruz Cordero

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0565

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Hardin County, Angela L. Doyle, Judge.  CONVICTION AFFIRMED; SENTENCE VACATED AND REMANDED FOR NEW SENTENCING HEARING.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J. and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J. (6 pages)

            Joseph Cruz Cordero appeals following his convictions for distributing a controlled substance (marijuana) to a minor within 1000 feet of a public park and third-degree sexual abuse.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude Cruz’s waiver of an in-person hearing was not knowing, intelligent, and voluntary, and the waiver was invalid.  We vacate the sentences imposed on Cruz’s convictions and remand the matter for a new sentencing hearing.

Case No. 20-0683:  Alan Andersen, Individually and as injured parent of Chelsea Andersen and Brody Andersen and Diane Andersen, Wife of Alan Andersen v. Sohit Khanna, M.D. and Iowa Heart Center, P.C.

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0683

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Heather Lauber, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Tabor, P.J. and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (17 pages)

            Plaintiffs Alan and Diane Andersen appeal the district court’s grant of mistrial and dismissal of their petition.  OPINION HOLDS: The Andersens’ counsel describing the failure to obtain proper informed consent as a “crime” resulted in significant unfair prejudice to the defendants with little to no relevance to the issues of informed consent to be presented at trial.  We find no abuse of discretion in granting the mistrial.  With this third mistrial caused by the Andersens despite escalating prior sanctions, we find no abuse of discretion in dismissing the petition as a sanction. 

Case No. 20-0766:  A.Y. McDonald Industries, Inc. v. Michael B. McDonald

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0766

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Michael J. Shubatt, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  Dissent by Mullins, P.J.  (19 pages)

            Michael McDonald (Michael) appeals the district court’s ruling in favor of A.Y. McDonald Industries, Inc. (A.Y.) following a trial on a breach of contract dispute.  Michael claims the district court erred in (1) finding he, rather than A.Y., breached their amended restitution agreement; (2) declaring a limited power of attorney (LPOA) executed by Michael to facilitate payments to A.Y. from two spendthrift trusts was irrevocable; (3) awarding A.Y. attorney fees; (4) issuing a permanent injunction preventing Michael from rescinding the LPOA or breaching the amended agreement in the future; and (5) finding A.Y. did not interfere with Michael’s expectancy interest under the spendthrift trusts.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s order finding Michael in breach of the restitution agreement and the award of attorney fees to A.Y.  We also affirm the ruling that A.Y. did not breach any agreement with Michael.  We reverse the order enforcing the LPOA and its restraint on the spendthrift trust distributions, and we reverse the grant of A.Y.’s request for a permanent injunction.  PARTIAL DISSENT ASSERTS: I would affirm the district court in all respects.

Case No. 20-0769:  American Home Assurance v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0769

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, William P. Kelly, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Greer and Schumacher. JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (16 pages)

            Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company (Liberty Mutual) appeals from a ruling on judicial review reversing the workers’ compensation commissioner’s decision and concluding American Home Assurance (American Home) was entitled to reimbursement from Liberty Mutual for benefits paid when it was not the employer’s insurance carrier.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude the commissioner’s interpretation of Iowa Code section 85.21 (2016) was neither “irrational, illogical, or wholly unjustifiable” nor “erroneous.”  The district court judgment reversing the portion of the commissioner’s decision that declined to order reimbursement for benefits American Home paid prior to January 3, 2017, is reversed.  The case is remanded for entry of a judgment consistent with this opinion.

Case No. 20-0774:  Denson v. Capps

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0774

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Wyatt Peterson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., May, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (7 pages)

            Alexandria Capps appeals from the modification of her custody decree, which gave physical care of her child to the father.  OPINION HOLDS: The father established he is able to minister more effectively to their child’s wellbeing.  So we affirm.

Case No. 20-0829:  In re the Marriage of Towne

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0829

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for O’Brien County, Nancy L. Whittenburg, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED ON APPEAL AND REMANDED; AFFIRMED ON CROSS-APPEAL.  Heard by Bower, C.J., Tabor, Greer, and Ahlers, JJ., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (19 pages)

            Larry Towne appeals and Angela Towne cross-appeals from the decree dissolving their marriage.  Both parties challenge the property division and spousal support provisions of the decree, Larry challenges the district court’s refusal to order Angela to pay his trial attorney fees, and both parties request appellate attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: We modify the decree to order both parties to be equally responsible for any future liability on their children’s student loan debt in existence at the time of the decree, and we increase the property settlement equalization payment owed by Angela to Larry to $78,086.00.  We also eliminate the reduction of Angela’s spousal support obligation once Larry turns sixty-seven years of age.  In all other respects, the district court’s decree is affirmed both on Larry’s appeal and Angela’s cross-appeal.  We award Larry appellate attorney fees in the amount of sixty percent of the reasonable and necessary fees incurred by Larry on appeal, and we remand for the district court to determine that amount.

Case No. 20-0874:  State of Iowa v. Timothy Michael Webber

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0874

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Kellyann M. Lekar, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J. and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J. (3 pages)

            Timothy Webber appeals following his conviction for second-degree theft as a habitual offender, arguing the district court abused its discretion in denying his new trial motion on the ground that the verdict was contrary to the law and evidence.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s denial of Webber’s new trial motion. 

Case No. 20-0954:  Terry Dotts v. City of Des Moines, Iowa

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0954

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeffrey D. Farrell, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (5 pages)

            An injured worker appeals from the district court’s order affirming the denial of the worker’s application for alternate medical care.  OPINION HOLDS: The record provided to us does not include a transcript or recording of the hearing held before the agency.  As we do not presume error in the proceedings, on the record before us we must affirm.

Case No. 20-0966:  Eric Bonita Peppers v. State of Iowa

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0966

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Chad Kepros, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (7 pages)

            Eric Peppers appeals the dismissal of his application for postconviction relief on statute-of-limitations grounds.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the dismissal of Peppers’s application.

Case No. 20-0973:  Tamaiysha Turner v. CCRC of Cedar Rapids, LLC, d/b/a Terrace Glen Village, LLC, and United Wisconsin Insurance Company

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0973

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Christopher Bruns, Judge.  APPEAL DISMISSED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (7 pages)

            Tamaiysha Turner appeals the denial of her application for order for rule to show cause.  OPINION HOLDS: We dismiss Turner’s appeal as not timely.  Even if her appeal were timely, we would find no abuse of discretion in the district court’s refusal to find the respondents in contempt.

Case No. 20-0983:  State of Iowa v. Dan Eugene Schwabe

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0983

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Kevin Parker, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J. (4 pages)

                       Dan Schwabe appeals the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence following a traffic stop.  OPINION HOLDS: On our de novo review, we reach the same conclusion as the district court that Schwabe did, in fact, cross the centerline several times as testified to by the officer.  These infractions provided probable cause and reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop of Schwabe’s vehicle, so there was no constitutional violation.  Thus, the district court properly denied Schwabe’s suppression motion.

Case No. 20-0985:  Michael Kenneth Schmitt and Connie Louise Schmitt v. Floyd Valley Healthcare

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0985

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Plymouth County, Roger L. Sailer, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (5 pages)

            Michael and Connie Schmitt appeal the dismissal of their medical malpractice claims against Floyd Valley Healthcare.  OPINION HOLDS: Because expert witness testimony is necessary to establish a prima face case on each of the Schmitts’ medical malpractice claims, the district court correctly applied the law in determining a certificate of merit affidavit is necessary under Iowa Code section 147.140 (2018).  The Schmitts failed to substantially comply with the requirements for a certificate of merit affidavit, and therefore, the district court properly granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss. 

Case No. 20-1023:  Sarah Hyatt v. Marion Civil Service Commission

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1023

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Chad A. Kepros, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (12 pages)

            Sarah Hyatt appeals a district court ruling upholding a civil service commission’s ruling affirming the termination of Hyatt’s employment.  OPINION HOLDS: We find Hyatt possessed and consumed a controlled substance at her place of employment, slept while on duty, and was dishonest during the ensuing investigation.  So her termination was appropriate.

Case No. 20-1073:  In re the Marriage of Potter

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1073

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Benton County, Fae Hoover Grinde, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (5 pages)

            Lucas Potter appeals the denial of his motion to set aside a default judgment.  OPINION HOLDS: Lucas did not establish good cause to set aside the default.  We do not award Jessica Potter appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 20-1101:  State of Iowa v. Ricardo Lycrgus Perry

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1101

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Mark F. Schlenker, District Associate Judge.  SENTENCES VACATED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J. (6 pages)

            Following his guilty pleas, Ricardo Perry appeals his sentences for two counts of operating while intoxicated.  OPINION HOLDS: Since the sentencing court referred to facts not admitted or proven, we vacate Perry's sentence and remand the case to the district court for resentencing before a different judge.

Case No. 20-1158:  Kelly Concrete Company, Inc. v. Jim Sattler, Inc.

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1158

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Lars G. Anderson, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (10 pages)

            Kelly Concrete Company, Inc. appeals the district court’s pre-answer dismissal of its petition to foreclose on a mechanic’s lien.  OPINION HOLDS: Considering the petition in the light most favorable to Kelly, we cannot conclude there is no conceivable state of facts under which Kelly might show a right of recovery.

Case No. 20-1181:  State of Iowa v. Robert Ritchie

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1181

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Cynthia M. Moisan, Judge.  SENTENCE AFFIRMED IN PART AND REMANDED FOR ENTRY OF A CORRECTED SENTENCING ORDER.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (11 pages)

            After entering a plea of guilty, Robert Ritchie appeals his sentence for operating while intoxicated (OWI), second offense.  First, Ritchie claims the district court erred by denying him his right of allocution.  Next, Ritchie asserts his sentence is illegal because the district court failed to order compliance with recommendations proposed in a substance-abuse evaluation.  Lastly, Ritchie argues the district court abused its discretion by failing to consider a critical health issue before sentencing him to prison.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the sentencing court did not deny Ritchie his right of allocution.  Likewise, we find no abuse of discretion in the sentence imposed.  However, we remand to the district court for entry of a corrected sentencing order requiring Ritchie to comply with the recommendations in his substance-abuse evaluation.  All other provisions of the sentencing order shall remain unchanged.

Case No. 20-1186:  John Doe, M.D. v. Iowa Board of Medicine

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1186

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K. Vaudt, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (9 pages)

            Dr. Doe appeals a district court order affirming the Iowa Board of Medicine’s (Board) order to undergo a confidential competency evaluation.  OPINION HOLDS: Based on the record before us, including the Board’s credibility findings, the Board had probable cause to order Dr. Doe undergo the comprehensive evaluation.  We affirm.

Case No. 20-1210:  Tamaiysha Turner v. CCRC of Cedar Rapids, LLC, d/b/a Terrace Glen Village, LLC, and United Wisconsin Insurance Company

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1210

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Sean W. McPartland, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (7 pages)

            Tamaiysha Turner appeals the denial of her application seeking to hold employer CCRC of Cedar Rapids, LLC, d/b/a Terrace Glen Village, LLC, and its insurer, United Wisconsin Insurance Co., in contempt.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no reviewable claim of error preserved for appeal arising from the employer’s identity, no error in the district court’s analysis of Turner’s contempt claim, and no abuse of discretion in the court declining to admit Turner’s proposed exhibits.  Therefore, we affirm.

Case No. 20-1212:  Thomas K. Bice v. Steven J. Wells, Individually and d/b/a United Insurance Agencies

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1212

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Christopher L. Bruns, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (2 pages)

            Thomas Bice appeals a summary judgment ruling in favor of Steven Wells d/b/a United Insurance Agencies.  OPINION HOLDS: Bice’s claim fails as a matter of law.  The district court was right to grant summary judgment. 

Case No. 20-1245:  In the Matter of the Estate of Karl A. Kloster, Deceased.

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1245

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marion County, Elisabeth S. Reynoldson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (7 pages)

            Sandra Kloster appeals the order denying her claim for an elective share as surviving spouse of Karl Kloster’s estate.  She challenges the district court’s finding that the premarital agreement she signed was enforceable, arguing it was procedurally unconscionable.  She also contends her decision to sign the agreement was not informed because Karl failed to provide a fair or reasonable financial disclosure and she had inadequate knowledge of his finances.  OPINION HOLDS: Sandra has not met her burden of showing the premarital agreement is unenforceable.  Because the agreement waived her right to elect against the will, we affirm.

Case No. 20-1269:  Norie C. Smith v. TPI Iowa, LLC and Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1269

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (7 pages)

            Norrie C. Smith appeals the workers’ compensation commissioner’s finding that she failed to meet her burden of proving her injury arose out of her employment.  OPINION HOLDS:  Smith failed to provide expert testimony causally connecting her injury to her employment with TPI.  The commissioner’s decision was based on substantial evidence.

Case No. 20-1284:  David Schneider v. Transamerica Life Insurance Company

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1284

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Ian K. Thornhill and Mary E. Chicchelly, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (3 pages)

            David Schneider appeals the denials of his applications for default judgment on his claims against Transamerica Life Insurance Company.  OPINION HOLDS: Because there is no basis for finding the defendant in default, we affirm the denial of Schneider’s applications for default judgment and his motion to reconsider.

Case No. 20-1318:  State of Iowa v. Michael T. Reicks

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1318

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Mark R. Lawson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (5 pages)

            Michael Reicks appeals his indeterminate twenty-year prison sentence for two counts of sexual abuse in the third degree.  He contends the district court considered unproven offenses from the victim impact statements and abused its discretion by imposing consecutive terms.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the court averred it was not considering any unproven allegations and instead weighed appropriate sentencing factors, we affirm. 

Case No. 20-1405:  State of Iowa v. Joseph Daniel Huntoon

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1405

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Richard H. Davidson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (5 pages)

            Joseph Huntoon appeals the denial of his motion to dismiss his lifetime sex offender registration requirement, asserting it violates his constitutional rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We find Huntoon’s constitutional rights have not been violated and affirm the district court ruling.

Case No. 20-1567:  In the Interest of L.R. and D.R., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1567

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Kimberly Ayotte, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (7 pages)

            A father appeals the district court order terminating his parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We find there is clear and convincing evidence in the record to support termination of the father’s parental rights.  We also find termination of his rights is in the children’s best interests.  We affirm the decision of the district court.

Case No. 20-1684:  In the Interest of A.M. and C.M., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1684

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Kimberly Ayotte, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (9 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights as to his two children.  On appeal, he argues the statutory grounds for termination were not met; termination is not in the children’s best interests; and because the children are in their grandmother’s custody, an exception should preclude termination.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding clear and convincing evidence that the statutory grounds for termination were proved; termination is in the children’s best interests; and the children being placed in the grandmother’s custody does not warrant a refusal to terminate the father’s rights, we affirm.

Case No. 20-1692:  In the Interest of G.R., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1692

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Louisa County, Emily Dean, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Greer, 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 for termination.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the decision of the juvenile court to terminate the father’s parental rights.

Case No. 21-0037:  In the Interest of A.G., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0037

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Ida County, Mary L. Timko, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Doyle, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Opinion by Danilson, S.J.  (9 pages)

            A mother and father each appeal the juvenile court order terminating their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: Regarding the issues raised by the mother: (1) she did not timely raise the issue of reasonable efforts; (2) there is clear and convincing evidence in the record to support termination of her parental rights; (3) a six-month extension of time is not warranted; and (4) the evidence does not show that the parent-child relationship is so close that it would be appropriate to deny termination.  For the father: (1) termination of his parental rights is supported by clear and convincing evidence and (2) the juvenile court properly denied his request for additional time to work on reunification.  We affirm the termination of parental rights for both parents.

Case No. 21-0044:  In the Interest of S.C., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0044

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Monty Franklin, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and Greer and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (9 pages)

            J.C. and A.C., former foster parents of the child in interest, appeal the denial of their motion to intervene, as well as the denial of their requests to set aside an order modifying placement, and remove the Department of Human Services as guardian of the child.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding no legal error, we affirm the denial of the former foster parent’s motion to intervene and affirm the denial of their requests to set aside the modification order and remove DHS as guardian.

Case No. 21-0094:  In the Interest of J.W., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0094

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Kevin Parker, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (5 pages)

            The father of the minor child appeals the order terminating the father’s parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We find a statutory ground for termination satisfied, and we are not persuaded by his request for an additional six months to work toward reunification.

Case No. 21-0106:  In the Interest of L.L., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0106

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Delaware County, Thomas J. Straka, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (5 pages)

A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child, contending she was denied (1) “her state and federal constitutional rights to due process by the failure to provide a transcript of trial proceedings prior to the filing of this Petition on Appeal”; (2) “reasonable effort services by [the department of human services’] failure to facilitate residential chemical dependency treatment after [she] had been evaluated with a recommendation for such”; and (3) her “request for a 6-month extension to allow her to accomplish residential chemical dependency treatment.”  OPINION HOLDS: The juvenile court order granting the State’s petition to terminate the mother’s parental rights is affirmed.

Case No. 21-0180:  In the Interest of A.H., K.H., M.H., M.H., and M.H., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0180

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Madison County, Kevin Parker, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (7 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights, claiming the grounds for termination were not established, termination is not in the children’s best interests, and an exception to termination should be applied.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm.

Case No. 21-0243:  In the Interest of T.F and T.F., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0243

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Susan Cox, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  Dissent by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (28 pages)

            This appeal involves the parental rights to T.F. and T.F., born in 2017 and 2019, who are both an “Indian child.”  The juvenile court terminated both parents’ rights; only the father and the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska appeal.  The father maintains (1) we should consider his petition even though his notice of appeal was untimely because the delay is due to ineffective assistance from his counsel; (2) the juvenile court erred when it denied his motion to have the proceedings transferred to the jurisdiction of the tribal court; (3) the State failed to meet its burden to terminate his rights under the Iowa Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA); and (4) the State failed to make “active efforts” as mandated by ICWA.  In a separate appeal, the tribe argues the juvenile court (1) erred by using the “clear and convincing” standard instead of the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard as ICWA requires; (2) erred in relying on only one qualified expert witness (QEW) and in using their testimony outside the scope of ICWA’s requirements for a QEW; (3) was wrong to find the State made “active efforts”; and (4) should have granted the motion to transfer jurisdiction to the tribe.  OPINION HOLDS: Based on recent case law, we accept the father’s delayed appeal.  After considering the merits, we affirm the juvenile court’s decision to deny transfer of jurisdiction to the tribe and the termination of the father’s parental rights.  DISSENT ASSERTS: Because the reasons for denial of transfer contravene a directly applicable federal regulation and Iowa’s statutory best-interest definition and because the tribe intervened and provided expert testimony on the tribe’s intent to ensure the children’s safety, I would reverse the district court’s denial of the tribe’s motion to transfer jurisdiction.

Case No. 21-0293:  In the Interest of R.B., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0293

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Cheryl Traum, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (5 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her two-year-old son.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding no grounds to reverse the termination order, we affirm. 

Case No. 21-0333:  In the Interest of M.B. and E.T., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0333

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Webster County, Joseph L. Tofilon, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (8 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their respective parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The statutory grounds authorizing termination were satisfied because the children cannot safely return to the parents’ care.  Termination is in the children’s best interests.  And neither parent is entitled to additional time to work toward reunification.

Case No. 21-0349:  In the Interest of T.S., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0349

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Montgomery County, Jennifer Bahr, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J. and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (4 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  She (1) challenges one of the grounds for termination cited by the district court; (2) argues termination was not in the child’s best interest; (3) contends the district court should have granted an exception to termination based on the parent-child bond; and (4) asserts the district court should have afforded her additional time to reunify with the child.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights to the child.

Case No. 21-0405:  In the Interest of H.S. and H.S., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0405

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Iowa County, Russell G. Keast, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., May, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J.  (9 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her two children—Ha., born in 2018; and Hu., born in 2019—pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2020).  She challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the ground for termination, argues termination is contrary to the children’s best interests, asserts the court should have applied the exception to termination contained in Iowa Code section 232.116(3)(c), and requests additional time to work toward reunification.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

Case No. 21-0420:  In the Interest of J.W., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0420

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Montgomery County, Jennifer Bahr, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Greer, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  (9 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to a seven-year-old daughter.  OPINION HOLDS: The mother does not challenge all the statutory grounds for termination, so the court’s findings on the unchallenged ground stands.  We find it was in the child’s best interests to terminate the mother’s parental rights.  A permissive factor does not apply to prevent termination.  And finally, the facts do not warrant granting the mother a six-month extension of time.  We affirm. 

Case No. 21-0428:  In the Interest of J.R., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0428

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Christine Dalton, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by May, P.J., and Greer and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (5 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The State proved a statutory ground for termination, termination is in the child’s best interests, and a guardianship is not an appropriate alternative to termination.

Case No. 21-0440:  In the Interest of H.S. and N.S., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0440

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Mary L. Timko, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (6 pages)

            The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to two of her children, born in 2018 and 2016.  The juvenile court terminated the mother’s parental rights as to both children under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(d), (e), (g), and (l) (2020).  Her rights to the younger child were also terminated under section 232.116(1)(h).  Here, the mother challenges whether the statutory grounds for termination were proved and claims the loss of her rights is not in the children’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights under paragraph (e) of section 232.116(1). 

Case No. 21-0444:  In the Interest of H.E., T.E., T.E., and P.E., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0444

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Carrie K. Bryner, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (2 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to four children.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the father failed to raise his dissatisfaction with the reunification services offered by the Iowa Department of Human Services to the the juvenile court before termination, he has waived the issue.

Case No. 21-0459:  In the Interest of K.P., J.P., K.P., J.P., J.P., K.P. and K.P., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0459

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Karen Kaufman Salic, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (11 pages)

            The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to seven children, ranging in ages from sixteen years to five years at the time of the termination hearing.  The mother argues the State failed to prove grounds for termination under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(f) (2020) because the children could have been returned to her care or, alternatively, claims the juvenile court should have granted a six-month extension to allow her more time to work toward reunification.  She also asserts the juvenile court should have applied exceptions to termination under section 232.116(3)(b) and (c).  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights to these seven children.

Case No. 21-0460:  In the Interest of K.M. and A.E., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0460

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Humboldt County, Joseph L. Tofilon, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (8 pages)

            A mother appeals the district court order terminating her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: There is clear and convincing evidence in the record to support termination of the mother’s parental rights.  Termination of her parental rights is in the children’s best interests, and none of the exceptions to termination should be applied.  The district court properly denied the mother’s request for a six-month extension of time.  We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

Case No. 21-0509:  In the Interest of A.J., A.J., and A.J., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0509

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Carrie K. Bryner, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (9 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm on both appeals.

Case No. 21-0520:  In the Interest of K.M., K.R., E.R., and J.O., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0520

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Poweshiek County, Rose Anne Mefford, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (6 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the statutory grounds for termination are satisfied, an additional six months to work toward reunification is not appropriate, and termination is in the children’s best interests.

Case No. 21-0540:  In the Interest of W.T., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0540

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, Paul G. Crawford, District Associate Judge.  APPEAL DISMISSED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (6 pages)

            A father seeks a delayed appeal from a juvenile court order terminating his parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the late filing was based on attorney inadvertence and not accompanied by an extenuating circumstance, we deny the father’s request for a delayed appeal and dismiss the appeal.

Case No. 21-0558:  In the Interest of S.J. and E.S., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0558

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Harrison County, Jennifer Bahr, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (7 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights, asserting the State has failed to prove grounds for termination exist and did not make reasonable efforts to reunify the family, termination is not in the children’s best interests, and permissive exceptions exist to avoid termination.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm.

Case No. 21-0564:  In the Interest of I.B. and O.B., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0564

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Virginia Cobb, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Bower, C.J. and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (11 pages)

            Both parents separately appeal the termination of their parental rights as to their two children, arguing there was insufficient evidence to meet the statutory grounds for termination.  The father also argues exceptions to termination should apply in his case.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding clear and convincing evidence supporting the district court’s determination the statutory grounds for termination were met and the permissive exceptions to termination did not apply, we affirm.

Case No. 21-0615:  In the Interest of H.B., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21--0615

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Wapello County, William Owens, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (4 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  OPINION HOLDS: Termination is in the child’s best interest, so we affirm termination of the mother’s parental rights.

Case No. 21-0636:  In the Interest of L.M., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0636

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Thomas J. Straka, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (9 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to their one-year-old daughter.  OPINION HOLDS: It is in the best interests of the child that the parental rights of her parents be terminated.  A six-month extension for reunification efforts is not warranted under the facts in this record.  Finally, clear and convincing evidence supports termination of the mother’s parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2021).  Accordingly, we affirm the order of the juvenile court.

Case No. 21-0660:  In the Interest of K.M. and K.M., Minor Children

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0660

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Daniel L. Block, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (3 pages)

            A father appeals one of the two statutory grounds authorizing termination.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the father only challenges one of the two statutory grounds, we affirm under the unchallenged ground.

Case No. 21-0670:  In the Interest of K.T., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0670

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Lynn Poschner, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (8 pages)

            A mother, Jessica, appeals the termination of her parental rights to her one-year-old daughter.  OPINION HOLDS: We find clear and convincing evidence to support a ground for termination under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2021) based on Jessica’s unresolved substance‑abuse and mental-health issues.  That same evidence shows termination is in the child’s best interests and a six-month extension is not warranted.  Thus, we affirm the termination order.

Case No. 21-0682:  In the Interest of A.R., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0682

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Franklin County, Peter B. Newell, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Tabor, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Potterfield, S.J.  (6 pages)

            The father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his child, A.R., born in 2019.  He claims the State failed to make reasonable efforts to reunify him with A.R. and he should get additional time because of this failure.  The father maintains his first counsel—who withdrew about six weeks before the State filed the petition to terminate—provided ineffective assistance.  Specifically, he claims counsel breached duties in failing to advise the father (1) there were additional services he could request and (2) advise the father the failure to participate in services would lead to the termination of his parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The father’s claims of ineffective assistance fail.  And he does not otherwise contest the termination of his parental rights, so we affirm without further consideration.

Case No. 21-0763:  In the Interest of R.D., Minor Child

Filed Jul 21, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0763

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Romonda Belcher, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (10 pages)

            The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.  She does not contest the grounds for termination under Iowa Code Section 232.116(1)(h) (2021).  Instead, she argues the State did not make reasonable efforts toward reunification, maintains the court should have granted a six-month extension, and claims loss of her rights is not in the child’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: We decline to grant an extension and affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

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