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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. 19-1919:  State of Iowa v. Tyjuan Levell Tucker

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 19-1919

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, William P. Kelly, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (10 pages)

            Tyjuan Tucker appeals his conviction of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, challenging: (1) the sufficiency of the evidence; (2) the district court’s finding the underrepresentation of African-Americans in the jury pool was not due to “systematic exclusion”; (3) trial counsel’s failure to present expert testimony on the “systematic exclusion” issue; and the district court’s exclusion of both (4) documents related to a prior settlement involving Tucker, and (5) portions of body camera footage of his arrest.  OPINION HOLDS: The conviction is affirmed as: (1) there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict; (2) there was insufficient evidence of systematic exclusion; (3) Tucker is foreclosed from raising his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim on direct appeal; and the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding either (4) the settlement documents or (5) portions of the footage of his arrest.

Case No. 20-0044:  Spencer Antowyn Pierce v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-0044

  

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Joseph Seidlin, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by May, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  Dissent by Carr, S.J.  (10 pages)

            Spencer Antowyn Pierce appeals the summary disposition of his second application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Given the narrow constraints of Allison v. State, we affirm the dismissal of Pierce’s second application for postconviction relief.  DISSENT ASSERTS: Because the claims in the second PCR action impliedly allege Pierce’s first PCR counsel was ineffective in advancing claims in his first PCR action, I would find his second PCR action falls within the Allison exception and reverse.

Case No. 20-0086:  State of Iowa v. Hillary Lee Hunziker

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-0086

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buchanan County, Andrea Dryer, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J. (27 pages)

            Hillary Hunziker appeals from her conviction of murder in the first degree.  She argues (1) the district court erred in denying a continuance based on the unavailability of her expert witness, (2) the jury instructions about the insanity defense did not correctly state the law, (3) her conviction is contrary to the weight of the evidence, (4) the district court erred in denying two requests for substitute counsel, and (5) she should be able to assert an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim on this direct appeal or have her case reviewed for plain error.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not err in denying her request for continuance.  The jury instructions correctly stated the law regarding the insanity defense.  The conviction is supported by the weight of the evidence.  The district court gave her ample opportunity to explain her request for substitute counsel, but she did not meet the required burden.  Ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims are reserved for postconviction relief and we do not adopt plain-error review. 

Case No. 20-0149:  State of Iowa v. Kyle Andrew Hattrup

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-0149

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley J. Harris, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Mullins, P.J., and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (12 pages)

            Kyle Hattrup appeals his convictions and sentences for multiple crimes.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no error in the district court’s exclusion of Hattrup’s post-crime mental-health condition and treatment progress.  Also, even if the evidence should not have been excluded, the evidence had already been presented to the jury through other witnesses, so any error was harmless.  As for sentencing, the district court did not consider any improper facts or factors in deciding on Hattrup’s sentence. 

Case No. 20-0624:  In re Marriage of Doss & Huffer

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-0624

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, David Porter, Jeanie Vaudt, Scott D. Rosenberg, and Coleman McAllister, Judges.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Mullins and Ahlers, JJ.  Greer, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Mullins, P.J.  (23 pages)

            Duane Huffer appeals following the entry of a decree dissolving his marriage to Angela Doss.  He argues (1) the district court erred in allowing his first attorney to withdraw without notice to him or a hearing and allowing the attorney to disclose privileged attorney-client information; (2) the court erred in not allowing additional discovery and a deposition of Angela; (3) the court erred in finding Angela more credible, given her alleged dishonesty about domestic abuse in the past; (4) the court misvalued property; (5) the court’s distribution of assets was inequitable; (6) he should have been awarded temporary and permanent spousal support; (7) he should have been awarded temporary attorney fees and Angela should not have been awarded trial attorney fees; (8) the court erred in concluding his third attorney was ethical in withdrawing based on his refusal to follow his direction “to challenge [Angela’s] lies about domestic violence”; and (9) the court shirked its duty of impartiality.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm on all issues except the attorney fee award in favor of Angela.  On our review, we are unable to conclude Angela has a need for an award or that Duane has an ability to pay.  We modify the decree to vacate the attorney fee award.  We also deny Angela’s request for appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 20-0856:  Robert Gerald Hoose v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-0856

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mills County, Craig M. Dreismeier, Judge.  AFFIRMED. Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (10 pages)

            Robert Hoose appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Hoose failed to prove counsel was ineffective, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding the claim of newly discovered evidence did not warrant a new trial.  We therefore affirm.

Case No. 20-0883:  Enrique Aboites Garcia v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-0883

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Lawrence P. McLellan, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (11 pages)

            Enrique Garcia appeals the dismissal of his fourth application for postconviction relief (PCR).  OPINION HOLDS: The district court properly granted the State’s motion to reconsider; Garcia’s actual innocence claims were properly dismissed; Allison v. State, 914 N.W.2d 866 (Iowa 2018), does not apply to Garcia’s case so that his ineffective-assistance-of-PCR-counsel claim could be heard; and Garcia did not suffer violation of his constitutional rights when the district court dismissed this PCR application.

Case No. 20-0967:  State of Iowa v. Shawn William Durrell

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-0967

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Tabitha Turner, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Doyle and Carr, S.J.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (8 pages)

            Shawn Durrell appeals his conviction following a guilty plea to sexual misconduct with an offender.  OPINION HOLDS: Durrell has shown good cause for a direct appeal.  He did not have a conditional guilty plea, and the court was not bound by the sentencing recommendation in the written guilty plea.  We find the court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Durrell.  We affirm his conviction.

Case No. 20-1066:  GreatAmerica Financial Services Corporation v. Ride Now Auto Parts LLC, Josephine Dolatowski and Robert Hastis

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1066

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Christopher L. Bruns (summary judgment) and Mary E. Chicchelly (attorney fees and final judgment), Judges.  AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (10 pages)

            Ride Now Auto Parts LLC (Ride Now), Josephine Dolatowski, and Robert Hastis appeal the grant of summary judgment in favor of GreatAmerica Financial Services Corp. (GreatAmerica) related to a financing agreement and personal guaranty.  OPINION HOLDS: Ride Now ratified the financing agreement and is liable for its breach.  Dolatowski knew she was signing contracts and is bound by the terms of the personal guaranty.  Genuine issues of material fact remain as to whether fraud was perpetrated upon Hastis in the execution of the Guaranty.  As a result, we affirm the entry of judgment against Ride Now and Dolatowski, and we vacate the entry of judgment against Hastis and remand for additional proceedings.  We find no abuse of discretion in the amount of attorney fees awarded against Ride Now and Dolatowski. 

Case No. 20-1263:  State of Iowa v. Jay Salge

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1263

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Jennifer S. Bailey, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J. (14 pages)

            Jay Salge pleaded guilty to fifty-eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, in violation of Iowa Code sections 728.1(7) and 728.12(3) (2020).  On appeal, Salge argues the consecutive sentences imposed are grossly disproportionate to his crimes under the United States and Iowa Constitutions.  Salge also contends the district court abused its discretion by failing to give adequate reasons for imposing consecutive prison sentences.  OPINION HOLDS: Salge was not given a mandatory minimum sentence and is immediately eligible for parole.  We therefore reject his claim of cruel and unusual punishment.  We discern no abuse of the court’s sentencing discretion. We therefore affirm.   

Case No. 20-1282:  In re Detention of Welsh

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1282

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Fayette County, Richard D. Stochl, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (7 pages)

            Zachary Welsh appeals his commitment as a sexually violent predator.  OPINION HOLDS: There was substantial evidence to support the district court’s finding that Welsh meets the criteria to be committed as a sexually violent predator.

Case No. 20-1352:  State of Iowa v. Latrice D. Saunders

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1352

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Peter B. Newell, District Associate Judge.  CONVICTION CONDITIONALLY AFFIRMED, SENTENCE VACATED, AND REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS. Considered by Greer, P.J., Badding, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J. (7 pages)

            Latrice Saunders appeals following her conviction and sentence for fourth-degree criminal mischief in violation of Iowa Code section 716.6(1) (2019).  Saunders claims she is entitled to resentencing due to a statutory amendment and the district court did not properly consider her motion for new trial.  OPINION HOLDS: Saunders is entitled to resentencing due to an amendment to section 716.6(1), which became effective after Saunders’s conviction but prior to sentencing.  The district court did not apply the weight-of-the-evidence standard to Saunders’s motion for new trial.  So we remand for application of the correct standard to Saunders’s motion.

Case No. 20-1360:  State of Iowa v. Michelle Katherine Stockman

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1360

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Howard County, Alan T. Heavens, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Greer, P.J., Badding, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J. (16 pages)

            Michelle Stockman appeals the denial of her motion to suppress evidence seized during execution of a federal search warrant.  OPINION HOLDS: Applying a Fourth Amendment analysis to the search warrant issued by a federal magistrate judge and primarily executed by federal agents, under the facts and circumstances of this case, the search of Stockman’s purse and of her person at jail were lawful and her motion to suppress was properly denied.

Case No. 20-1388:  Ronald James Taylor v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1388

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County, Carl J. Petersen, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and May, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (4 pages)

            Ronald Taylor appeals the dismissal of his fourth application for postconviction relief (PCR), asserting it was timely under Allison v. State, 914 N.W.2d 866 (Iowa 2018), and raising allegations of ineffective assistance from trial, appellate, and PCR counsel.  OPINION HOLDS: Under Iowa Code section 822.3 (2020), Taylor’s appeal is untimely.  And because this is Taylor’s fourth PCR application, Allison would not apply.  So Taylor’s application is untimely, and we affirm the dismissal. 

Case No. 20-1397:  Laurie Taylor v. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Woodbury County Agricultural Extension District Office and, Accidentfund Insurance Company of America

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1397

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Tod Deck, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J. and Blane and Doyle, S.JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, P.J.  (9 pages)

            Laurie Taylor appeals a district court order affirming the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner’s denial of her claims.  This court will also consider the motion to strike a portion of Taylor’s reply brief filed by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (ISUEO).  OPINION HOLDS: Taylor’s tolling argument was raised for the first time in her reply brief on appeal and is in violation of our rule against raising an issue for the first time in a reply brief.  We thus grant ISUEO’s motion to strike that portion of Taylor’s reply brief.  Because the commissioner’s finding that there was not timely notice that Taylor’s May 14, 2015 injuries were work-related was supported by substantial evidence, we affirm.  Taylor’s duty-to-investigate argument was not raised and litigated before the commissioner, and is not preserved for our review.  We find nothing in the record indicating that the agency failed to liberally interpret the act in compliance with statutory directives.

Case No. 20-1399:  In the Matter of the Estate of Clarence I. Laube, Deceased

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1399

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Butler County, Christopher C. Foy, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Mullins, P.J., and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Per Curiam.  Special concurrence by Ahlers, J.  (21 pages)

            Sherry Reints appeals from the district court’s order enforcing a premarital agreement that prohibits her from taking the spousal election against her deceased husband’s will.  OPINION HOLDS: Sherry failed to meet her burden to establish unenforceability of her premarital agreement based on unconscionability or inadequate disclosure.  She also failed to prove a material breach of the agreement by her husband or his estate that would relieve her of her obligation to perform her obligation to not take against the will.  Finally, the estate did not waive its ability to contest Sherry’s efforts to take against the will by sending her notice of her right to make such a claim.  As a result, we affirm.  SPECIAL CONCURRENCE ASSERTS: I concur with the result, but I believe Sherry failed to preserve error on her claims of material breach by her husband or the estate and waiver by the estate due to sending her notice.

Case No. 20-1432:  Paul Yakel and Therese Yakel

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No.

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, James S. Heckerman, Judge.  APPEAL DISMISSED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (8 pages)

            Paul and Therese Yakel appeal the district court’s grant of Randall Wheeler’s motion for summary judgment as to their breach-of-contract, negligent-construction, and breach-of-implied-warranty claims.  OPINION HOLDS: We dismiss the appeal as interlocutory because each of the claims against Wheeler are intertwined with claims against the remaining defendants and granting an application for interlocutory appeal would not otherwise serve the interests of sound and efficient judicial administration. 

Case No. 20-1433:  Jeffrey Daniel Krone v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1433

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Duane F. Hoffmeyer, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (8 pages)

            Jeffrey Krone appeals the denial of his postconviction petition.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court wrongly decided Krone waived his ineffective-assistance claim.  We reverse and remand for a ruling on the merits. 

Case No. 20-1531:  State of Iowa v. Kenneth Hoxsey

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1531

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark Fowler, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, P.J.  Special Concurrence by Ahlers, J.  Dissent by May, J.  (9 pages)

            Kenneth Hoxsey appeals his sentence of immediate incarceration.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court explained its valid reasons for imposing sentence, did not consider inappropriate matters, and did not abuse its discretion.  We affirm.  SPECIAL CONCURRENCE ASSERTS: I write separately to emphasize a defendant appealing following a guilty plea should always explicitly address “good cause” in the appellant’s brief, even if failure to do so is not always fatal.  DISSENT ASSERTS: Because I am not convinced we have jurisdiction, I must respectfully dissent.

Case No. 20-1627:  Al Urbain Construction Management Company, Inc. v. CW Wolfe LLC

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1627

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Alan Heavens, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Bower, C.J. and Vaitheswaran and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (9 pages)

            Al Urbain Construction Management Co. (AUCM) appeals and CW Wolff, LLC (CWW) cross-appeals the district court’s decision on their breach-of-contract claims.  The district court awarded damages to AUCM on one project and CWW on another project, then offset these two amounts.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court’s decision is supported by substantial evidence and affirm on the appeal and cross-appeal.

Case No. 20-1666:  State of Iowa v. William Emmette Stark

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1666

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Heather Lauber, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Schumacher, P.J., Ahlers, J., and Doyle, S.J.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (6 pages)

            William Stark appeals his guilty plea. He also claims his counsel was ineffective.  OPINION HOLDS: We grant discretionary review of the denial of Stark’s motion in arrest of judgment but find no abuse of discretion in the denial.  As to Stark’s ineffective-assistance claim, because Iowa Code section 814.7 (2020) prohibits direct appeals for claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, we do not consider his ineffective-assistance claim.  Consequently, we affirm.

Case No. 20-1695:  State of Iowa v. Donte Grubbs

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1695

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Henry W. Latham II, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (9 pages)

            Donte Grubbs appeals his conviction for first-degree robbery.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm because sufficient evidence supported the jury’s verdict, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the other acts evidence.

Case No. 20-1739:  State of Iowa v. Abraham Riko

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 20-1739

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Sarah Crane, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Greer, P.J., Badding, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J.  (6 pages)

            Abraham Riko appeals his conviction of third-degree burglary, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction.  OPINION HOLDS: Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, including all reasonable inferences, as we must, we find sufficient evidence to support the conviction of third-degree burglary and affirm.

Case No. 21-0036:  Vincent Michael Kobliska v. Iowa Civil Rights Commission

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0036

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Joel A. Dalrymple, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Mullins, P.J., and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (13 pages)

            A landlord appeals from a district court ruling that affirmed an agency finding he discriminated against a tenant.  OPINION HOLDS:  As we find substantial evidence in the record to support the decision, we affirm. 

Case No. 21-0064:  In the Interest of C.H., S.H., and K.H., Minor Children

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0064

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Davis County, William Owens, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by May, P.J., and Ahlers and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by May, P.J.  (6 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights under Iowa Code chapter 600A (2020).  He claims (1) the juvenile court did not have subject matter jurisdiction, (2) he did not abandon his children, and (3) termination is not in the children’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: The juvenile court had subject matter jurisdiction.  The father abandoned the children.  And termination is in the children’s best interests.

Case No. 21-0116:  Charles Raymond Albright v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0116

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Franklin County, James M. Drew, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (13 pages)

            Charles Albright appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding no merit in any of his seven claims and no cumulative prejudice, we affirm the denial. 

Case No. 21-0156:  In re Marriage of Lyga

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0156

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Christopher L. Bruns, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, P.J.  (12 pages)

            Dale Lyga appeals the decree dissolving his marriage to Katherine Lyga.  He argues the district court erred in placing impermissible contingencies on his visitation with the parties’ children, severely and unreasonably limiting his visitation, awarding sole legal custody to Katherine, miscalculating his income for the purposes of child support, and failing to assign any Arizona debt to Katherine.  Katherine requests attorney fees on appeal.  OPINION HOLDS: On our de novo review of the record, we agree with the district court that it is in the best interests of the parties’ children to award sole legal custody to Katherine.  We also agree that the step-up visitation plan is in the best interests of the children, subject to modifications in the best interest of the children.  We agree with the district court that Dale unilaterally incurred the debt when he relocated from Arizona to Iowa for his own purposes and benefit.  Thus, the order that the debt be assigned to Dale is affirmed.  We remand to the district court the issue of appellate attorney fees, and we tax costs to Dale.

Case No. 21-0178:  Brandon VanBuskirk v. Elsie Seifert

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0178

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cass County, Amy Zacharias, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (2 pages)

            Elsie Seifert appeals the decree placing the parties’ child in Brandon VanBuskirk’s physical care.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm.

Case No. 21-0204:  Ronald Jensen, Arlene Jensen, Dale and Bonnie Knutson Trust, Dorothy J. Heintz and L&C Farm LLC v. Lauris Olson, Linda Murken, Lisa Heddens, in their Official Capacity as Drainage District Grant #5 Trustees, Story County Assessor and Story County Treasurer

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No.

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Amy M. Moore, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and May, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (6 pages)

            Landowners appeal the dismissal of their petition for declaratory judgment against the district’s trustees and others challenging levies imposed after a failed annexation.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not err in dismissing the landowners’ petition.

Case No. 21-0258:  West Des Moines Hotel Associates, LLC v. Dallas County Board of Review

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0258

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Michael Jacobsen, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Greer, P.J., Badding, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (16 pages)

            West Des Moines Hotel Associates, LLC (“Associates”) challenges the Dallas County Board of Review’s approval of the 2019 assessment of the West Des Moines Marriott (“Hotel”).  The district court affirmed.  On appeal, Associates contends the court erred in determining the Board met its burden to prove the property was not over assessed.  OPINION HOLDS: Having considered the record evidence, testimony of the witnesses, and the respective drawbacks of each appraisal, we conclude the Board has met its burden to prove its valuation of the Hotel as of January 1, 2019, for $18,434,100 is not excessive.  We therefore affirm.

Case No. 21-0273:  Lisa L. Newell v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0273

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Kevin Mckeever, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, P.J.  (9 pages)

            Lisa Newell appeals an adverse summary judgment ruling, arguing (1) the district court failed to acknowledge the suit was a claim for state tort liability as opposed to a medical malpractice action against a person, (2) additional discovery should have been allowed before the grant of summary judgment, and (3) the court erred in concluding the claim required expert testimony.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding no cause for reversal on the issues properly presented for our review, we affirm the entry of summary judgment. 

Case No. 21-0288:  Jimmy Cochran v. Questliner, Inc. and Standard Fire Insurance Company

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No.

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Heather Lauber, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (6 pages)

            Jimmy Cochran appeals the workers’ compensation commissioner’s denial of penalty benefits against his former employer, Quest Liner, Inc., for its failure to seek an impairment rating after a physician placed Cochran at maximum medical improvement.  OPINION HOLDS: The commissioner’s denial of penalty benefits was not irrational, illogical, or wholly unjustifiable when Cochran, himself, disputed his placement at maximum medical improvement. 

Case No. 21-0299:  Lam Chau Ung v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0299

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Heather Lauber, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (5 pages)

            Lam Ung appeals from the dismissal of his second postconviction-relief application.  OPINION HOLDS: As equitable tolling does not apply to Iowa Code section 822.3 (2020), the application was untimely, and we affirm the district court’s dismissal. 

Case No. 21-0316:  Esteban Velazquez-Ramirez v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0316

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Crawford County, Zachary Hindman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (6 pages)

            Esteban Velazquez-Ramirez appeals the dismissal of his second application for postconviction relief (PCR).  OPINION HOLDS: (1) State v. Jonas, 904 N.W.2d 566 (Iowa 2017), does not apply retroactively; (2) Allison v. State, 914 N.W.2d 866, 891 (Iowa 2018), does not qualify as a “new ground of . . . law” for purposes Iowa Code section 822.3 (2018); and (3) Allison only applies to second PCR actions filed promptly after the conclusion of the first PCR action. 

Case No. 21-0395:  In the Interest of P.S., Minor Child

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0395 and 21-0779

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Madison County, Kevin Parker, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (16 pages)

            The mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: Due to ongoing concerns about the parents’ mental health and substance abuse, we find the State proved a statutory ground for termination, and we reject their requests for an additional six months for reunification.  We also reject the father’s statutory and constitutional objections to holding concurrent permanency and termination proceedings, find no abuse of discretion in denying the father’s motion to reopen the record, and conclude reasonable efforts were made to avoid out-of-home placement.

Case No. 21-0397:  In the Interests of L.W. and L.W.

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0397

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mills County, Scott Strait, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (8 pages)

            A guardian appeals the district court’s order declining to terminate a father’s parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 600A (2020).  OPINION HOLDS: On our review of the record, we agree with the district court’s finding that the father did not abandon the children pursuant to Iowa Code section 600A.8(3)(b). 

Case No. 21-0448:  In re the Marriage of Frey and Kerres

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0448

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Sean McPartland, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (12 pages)

            The mother appeals the district court decision granting physical care of her child to the father and ordering her to pay child support.  In the alternative, she argues for increased visitation time.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court properly awarded the father physical care of the child.  The record does not support an increase in the mother’s visitation time.  Both issues are affirmed.  The award of child support is reversed and the matter is remanded to the district court to make findings regarding the parties’ incomes and an appropriate child support award.

Case No. 21-0476:  In the Interest of W.N. and G.N., Minor Children

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0476

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Kimberly Ayotte, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON PARENTS’ APPEALS; REVERSED AND REMANDED ON INTERVENORS’ APPEAL.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and May, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J. (14 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to their children, and intervening grandparents appeal an order on placement and guardianship.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s termination decision.  We reverse the placement/guardianship decision and remand for waiver of the placement investigation and report pursuant to Iowa Code section 600.8(12) (2020) and for consideration of the grandparents as adoptive parents or, alternatively, for appointment of the grandparents as guardians pursuant to Iowa Code section 232D.201(1).

Case No. 21-0480:  Rachel Marie Weber Haugo v. Joshua Scott Haugo

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0480

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

            A husband appeals the imposition of a civil no-contact order prohibiting him from contacting his wife, arguing his wife did not establish he committed an assault.  OPINION HOLDS:  As we, like the district court, find the evidence established the husband committed an assault, we affirm.

Case No. 21-0486:  In the Interest of A.N.

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0486

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Shelby County, Charles D. Fagan, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (12 pages)

            A.N. appeals the juvenile court’s ruling placing him on the sex offender registry, claiming the sentence was based on insufficient evidence of his sexual motivation, the court abused its discretion in denying his motion to continue, and his placement on the sex offender registry constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.  OPINION HOLDS: The appeal in regards to the sexual motivation of A.N.’s acts is untimely.  The court did not abuse its discretion as A.N. did not prove good cause for his absence and given the impending deadline of A.N.’s eighteenth birthday.  Placement of a juvenile on the sex offender registry, while punitive, is not cruel and unusual punishment categorically or as applied to A.N. 

Case No. 21-0523:  Mercy Medical Center and Indemnity Insurance Company of North America v. Norma Lund

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0523

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D. Huppert, Judge.  REVERSED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (12 pages)

            Norma Lund appeals the district court’s judicial review decision reversing the workers’ compensation commissioner’s finding that her bilateral shoulder injuries were caused by her employment with Mercy Medical Center.  She claims the district court misapplied the law and erroneously concluded there was a lack of evidence to support a determination of medical causation.  OPINION HOLDS: We reverse the decision of the district court. 

Case No. 21-0585:  State of Iowa v. Christopher William Stechman

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No.

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Michael J. Shubatt, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and May, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J. (4 pages)

            Christopher Stechman appeals, contending the district court considered unproven crimes in imposing sentence.  OPINION HOLDS: We discern no abuse of discretion in the court’s statement of reasons for the sentences. 

Case No. 21-0695:  In re Marriage of Edgerton

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0695

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mills County, Michael Hooper, Judge.  AFFIRMED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Badding, J.  (11 pages).

            Robert Edgerton appeals a ruling modifying the joint physical care provision of the stipulated decree dissolving his marriage, challenging the standard employed by the district court.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court applied the correct standard and considered appropriate factors in deciding which parent should have physical care.  After doing the same on our de novo review of the record, we affirm the modification ruling placing the children in the mother’s physical care.  We remand for the district court to determine a reasonable amount of attorney fees to be awarded to Jessica Edgerton. 

Case No. 21-0779:  In the Interest of P.S., Minor Child

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0779

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Madison County, Kevin Parker, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (16 pages)

            The mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: Due to ongoing concerns about the parents’ mental health and substance abuse, we find the State proved a statutory ground for termination, and we reject their requests for an additional six months for reunification.  We also reject the father’s statutory and constitutional objections to holding concurrent permanency and termination proceedings, find no abuse of discretion in denying the father’s motion to reopen the record, and conclude reasonable efforts were made to avoid out-of-home placement.

Case No. 21-0843:  In the Interest of S.W., Minor Child

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0843

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

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  She contends the State failed to prove the grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence and seeks additional time to work toward reunification.  OPINION HOLDS: We reject both claims on our de novo review of the record and affirm the termination order.

Case No. 21-0972:  Ian Lee Leib v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-0972

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Audubon County, Jeffrey L. Larson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (4 pages)

            Ian Leib appeals the dismissal of his application for postconviction relief, contending trial counsel was ineffective in failing to obtain the certified K-9 officer’s training records and filing a motion to suppress.  OPINION HOLDS: The K-9 officer was a certified drug dog and is thus presumed reliable.  Leib presented no evidence to rebut the dog’s reliability.  Consequently, trial counsel breached no duty in not filing a motion to suppress.  Leib’s ineffective-assistance claim fails, and the court did not err in dismissing the application.

Case No. 21-1191:  In the Interest of P.S., Minor Child

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1191

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clayton County, Linnea M.N. Nicol, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Badding, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (7 pages)

            A mother appeals a permanency order placing sole custody of her child with the father.  OPINION HOLDS: We find there is clear and convincing evidence to show the child cannot be safely returned to the mother’s care.  Also, an extension of six months is not appropriate because it is unlikely the need for removal would no longer exist at the end of the six-month period.  We affirm the decision of the juvenile court

Case No. 21-1210:  In the Interest of C.J., C.J., N.J., and N.P.-R., Minor Children

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1210

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Brent Pattison, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Badding, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J.  (11 pages)

            A mother appeals the adjudication of her four children as in need of assistance pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(c)(2), (n), and (o) (2021), as well as continued removal following disposition.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the evidence sufficient to support each of the statutory grounds for adjudication cited by the juvenile court and affirm the order for continued removal following disposition.

Case No. 21-1241:  In the Interest of K.T., H.T., R.T., Jr., and C.T., Minor Children

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1241

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, David F. Staudt, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (5 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.  She argues termination was not in the children’s best interests and the court should have instead established guardianships for the children.  OPINION HOLDS: Termination—not the establishment of guardianships—was in the children’s best interests.

Case No. 21-1350:  In the Interest of H.B., Minor Child

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1350

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Frideres-Seymour, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (11 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her four-year-old son.  OPINION HOLDS: The record supports that the child could not be returned to the mother’s custody at the time of the termination hearing and termination is in the child’s best interest. Accordingly, we affirm the district court.  

Case No. 21-1387:  In the Interest of L.M. and L.M., Minor Children

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1387

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mills County, Scott D. Strait, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., May, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  (8 pages)

            The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her twin children.  She claims the juvenile court erred in finding that the children, who were over four years of age and had been adjudicated in need of assistance, could not be returned to her physical custody.  OPINION HOLDS: Upon de novo review, we find the record of the mother’s methamphetamine addiction, relapse after two drug treatments, unknown whereabouts for five months before the termination hearing, and failure to attend the termination hearing, supports termination under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(f) (2021), does not support her claim that termination is not in the best interest of the children, and does not warrant an extension to reunify her with the children.  So we affirm the termination. 

Case No. 21-1422:  In the Interest of C.G. and S.H., Minor Children

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1422

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Karen Kaufman Salic, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (9 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their respective parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The State established statutory grounds for termination.  Termination is in the children’s best interests.  And the mother is not entitled to additional time to work toward reunification.

Case No. 21-1441:  In the Interest of D.C., Minor Child

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1441

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (7 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the grounds for termination have been established, an extension is not warranted, and termination is in the best interests of the child.  We affirm.

Case No. 21-1444:  In the Interest of T.H., Minor Child

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1444

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lee County, Daniel P. Kitchen, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (12 pages)

            A father argues that termination of his parental rights was not the least restrictive disposition, that the State did not provide reasonable efforts, and that he should have been granted a six-month extension.  OPINION HOLDS: Termination is not bound by the least-restrictive disposition.  As the father failed to point to specific services he was not provided nor changes he believed he could make with an additional six months, we affirm.  

Case No. 21-1466:  In the Interest of L.M and L.M., Minor Children

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1466

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Guthrie County, Virginia Cobb, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (8 pages)

            A mother appeals the district court order terminating her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: There is sufficient evidence in the record to support termination of the mother’s parental rights.  She did not preserve error on her claim regarding reasonable efforts.  We find termination of the mother’s parental rights is in the children’s best interests.  Thus, we affirm the decision of the district court.

Case No. 21-1484:  In the Interest of X.H., T.H., and L.H., Minor Children

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1484

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Ahlers, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Potterfield, S.J.  (7 pages)

            The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to three of her children, born in 2013, 2014, and 2017.  The juvenile court terminated her parental rights as to all three children under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(g) and (f) (2021).  Here, the mother argues the State failed to prove the children could not be returned to her care at the time of the termination hearing, the loss of her rights is not in the children’s best interests, statutory factors weigh against terminating her parental rights, and the juvenile court should have established a guardianship with the paternal grandparents instead of terminating her rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights as to all three children under section 232.116(1)(f). 

Case No. 21-1495:  In the Interest of A.B., Minor Child

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1495

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lee (South) County, Clinton R. Boddicker, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (6 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their respective parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The State established statutory grounds for termination.  So we affirm the juvenile court as to both parents.

Case No. 21-1496:  In the Interest of C.W., Minor Child

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1496

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Cynthia S. Finley, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Ahlers, P.J., Badding, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  (5 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the juvenile court order terminating their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The mother was provided with reasonable efforts for reunification, there is clear and convincing evidence in the record to support termination of the father’s parental rights, and termination is in the best interests of the child. 

Case No. 21-1514:  In the Interest of B.S., Minor Child

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1514

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Lynn Poschner, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (9 pages)

            The juvenile court terminated the parental rights of the father, B.S., and the mother, T.B.F., to their child, born in August 2020.  The parents separately appeal.  The father contests the finding that the child could not be returned to his care at the time of the termination hearing.  He also contends it is not in the child’s best interests to terminate his rights and, as an alternative, requests a six-month extension to demonstrate his ability to meet the child’s needs.  Similar to the father’s approach, the mother concedes all required grounds for termination but for the last—disputing the child could not be returned to her at the time of the termination hearing.  Like the father, she asserts it is not in the child’s best interests to terminate her parental rights and the juvenile court erred by not granting her a six-month extension to establish a safe home for the child.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the mother’s and the father’s parental rights.

Case No. 21-1540:  In the Interest of N.H., Minor Child

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1540

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Korie Talkington, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (10 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  She asserts the district court abused its discretion when it denied her motion for a continuance of the termination hearing.  She also argues that there was insufficient evidence supporting a statutory ground for termination, that termination was not in the child’s best interest, and that the court should have found a permissive exception to termination.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm.

Case No. 21-1654:  In the Interest of P.H. and E.H., Minor Children

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1654

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Romonda Belcher, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (5 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: On our de novo review, we agree with the juvenile court that grounds for termination exist, no extension of time is warranted, and termination of the mother’s parental rights is in the children’s best interests, which is not countermanded by any permissive exception. 

Case No. 21-1690:  In the Interest of M.D., Minor Child

Filed Jan 12, 2022

View Opinion No. 21-1690

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Carrie K. Bryner, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Badding, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (5 pages)

            The juvenile court terminated the mother’s parental rights to her child, M.D., born in August 2020, under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(g) and (h) (2021).  On appeal, the mother purports to challenge the statutory grounds, argues termination of her rights is not in the child’s best interests, and claims the closeness of her bond with the child weighs against termination.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

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