Skip to main content
Iowa Judicial Branch
Main Content

Most Recent Court of Appeals Summaries

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

Opinion Summaries

Case No. 17-1534:  State of Iowa v. Abraham Petro Riko

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 17-1534

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert J. Blink, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Opinion by Danilson, S.J.  (8 pages)

            Abraham Riko appeals from judgment and sentence following his convictions for second-degree theft (two counts), assault on a peace officer, and first-degree eluding.  He alleges there is insufficient evidence to support the charges and trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to a jury instruction on the elements of eluding that included the phrase “and/or.”  OPINION HOLDS: Because substantial evidence supports his convictions and Riko’s ineffectiveness claims fail, we affirm.

Case No. 17-1567:  State of Iowa v. Aaron Christopher Ortiz

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 17-1567

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (14 pages)

            Aaron Ortiz appeals his convictions and sentence for assault with intent to commit sexual abuse causing bodily injury.  He contends his status as a ward and his intellectual disabilities prevented him from making legal decisions, and his plenary guardian should have been involved at all stages of the criminal case—especially the competency proceedings and the guilty plea hearing.  He seeks to establish he is excused from the rules of error preservation due to structural error.  OPINION HOLDS: On this undeveloped record, neither the structural error nor the competency issues allow us to reach the merits of the challenge.  We also find Ortiz’s sentence is not categorically unconstitutional. 

Case No. 17-1739:  State of Iowa v. LB Deontay Goodjoint

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 17-1739

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Karen A. Romano, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED FOR DISMISSAL.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J.  (6 pages)

            The defendant, LB Goodjoint, appeals his conviction for possession of a firearm as a felon.  Goodjoint challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support the determination he was previously convicted of a qualifying felony.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the record lacks substantial evidence to support the “felon” element of the crime of felon in possession of a firearm, we reverse Goodjoint’s conviction, judgment, and sentence and remand for dismissal. 

Case No. 17-1970:  Melissa Sadler, Individually and as Parent and Next Friend of S.S., A.S., Z.S., and I.S., Minor Children v. Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS); Charles M. Palmer, In His Capacity as Director of DHS; Stacy Deberg, Individually and in Her Capacity as Child Protective Worker; Lori Mulder, Individually and in Her Capacity as DHS Social Worker II

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 17-1970

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Butler County, Linda M. Fangman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (5 pages)

            Melissa Sadler, individually and as parent and next friend of four children, appeals the district court’s order granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s dismissal for failure to state a claim.

Case No. 17-1983:  In re the Marriage of Lewis

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 17-1983

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Brad McCall, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON APPEAL, AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED ON CROSS-APPEAL, AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (15 pages)

            Holly Lewis appeals, and Eric Lewis cross-appeals, the modification of a dissolution-of-marriage decree.  Holly argues the court erred in modifying the physical-care provisions of the decree or, alternatively, she should have been afforded additional parenting time as to the children placed in the parties’ shared physical care.  Eric argues the court erred in placing the two younger children in the joint physical care of both parties rather than in his physical care and the court erred in its child-support calculation as to the joint-physical-care children.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude Eric met his burden for modification.  We affirm the district court’s finding of the same, but modify the modification decree to place the two younger children in Eric’s physical care.  We also modify the district court’s summer visitation schedule, and affirm the remainder of the visitation schedule.  We reject Eric’s challenges to his support obligations.  We remand the matter to the district court for determination of future support obligations under the physical-care arrangement ordered herein.  Costs on appeal are assessed to Holly. 

Case No. 17-2006:  State of Iowa v. Daron Wilkinson

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 17-2006

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cedar County, Stuart P. Werling, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J. (4 pages)

            Daron Wilkinson appeals his conviction and sentence for theft in the second degree.  He contends the district court improperly considered the Iowa Risk Revised assessment, violating his due process rights.  He also contends his trial counsel was ineffective in not raising the objection.  OPINION HOLDS: Applying the recent supreme court decisions in State v. Guise, 921 N.W.2d 26, 29 (Iowa 2018), and State v. Gordon, 921 N.W.2d 19, 24 (Iowa 2018), we find because Wilkinson did not raise this issue in the district court, we cannot reach the due process claim on direct appeal.  We preserve the ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim for possible postconviction-relief proceedings. 

Case No. 18-0174:  State of Iowa v. Omar Montalvo Nunez

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0174

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Paul Scott, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (7 pages)

            Omar Montalvo Nunez appeals his conviction for willful injury causing serious injury.  OPINION HOLDS:  We find Nunez has not preserved error on his claim concerning the use of a key witness to translate during an interview with the victim.  We conclude there is substantial evidence in the record to support Nunez’s conviction for willful injury causing serious injury based on a finding he aided and abetted his brother while the brother was stabbing the victim.  We affirm Nunez’s conviction.

Case No. 18-0182:  Thomas Duane Morris v. State of Iowa

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0182

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Henry County, Mark Kruse, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (5 pages)

            Thomas Morris appeals the district court’s denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR) alleging counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion in arrest of judgment following his guilty plea to second-degree theft.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Morris pointed to no inadequacy in the plea proceeding and the record lacks support for Morris’s claim he expressed a wish to withdraw his guilty plea, we affirm the denial of PCR.

Case No. 18-0258:  In the Matter of the Estate of David L. Christoffersen, Deceased.

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0258

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Shelby County, Timothy O'Grady, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (11 pages)

            Karen Christoffersen appeals the probate court’s denial of her amendment to the report and inventory of the estate of her late husband, David.  David’s sister, Shirley, made a claim for repayment of loans to David.  Shirley contended Karen paid her own debts from the estate and amended the report and inventory to defeat Shirley’s claim.  The district court agreed—finding Karen engaged in self-dealing and refused to approve the amendment.  Karen appeals.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the probate court properly applied provisions of Iowa Probate Code chapter 633 (2017), we affirm the self-dealing determination.  We slightly modify the ruling rejecting the amended report and inventory to allow the correction of the genuine inaccuracies in the original report.  We affirm the ruling as modified and remand for further proceedings. 

Case No. 18-0407:  State of Iowa v. Jose Manuel Cruz Ordonez

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0407

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Steven P. Van Marel, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (8 pages)

            Jose Manuel Cruz Ordonez appeals the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence uncovered during a field sobriety test and the court’s subsequent finding of his guilt of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (first offense), raising constitutional claims of a violation of his right against self-incrimination and his freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.  DISPOSITION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s denial of Cruz Ordonez’s suppression motion and Cruz Ordonez’s conviction, judgment, and sentence for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (first offense).

Case No. 18-0412:  State of Iowa v. Austin Michael Muilenberg

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0412

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clay County, Patrick M. Carr and Nancy L. Whittenburg, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Carr, S.J., takes no part.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  Special concurrence by Tabor, P.J.  (18 pages)

            Austin Muilenburg appeals his convictions of three drug-related crimes following a trial on the minutes of evidence.  He argues: (1) the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence, contending the warrant was unsupported by probable cause; (2) his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance in failing to challenge the probable cause supporting the warrant, specifically the qualifications of the police officer who applied for the warrant; and (3) there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions of possession of cocaine and prescription drugs without a valid prescription.  OPINION HOLDS: We find there was a substantial basis for the issuing magistrate to conclude probable cause existed for the issuance of the search warrant and find the search of Muilenburg’s bedroom did not exceed the scope of the warrant.  Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s denial of Muilenburg’s motion to suppress.  We additionally find there is sufficient evidence to support Muilenburg’s convictions for possession of cocaine and prescription drugs without a valid prescription.  We preserve Muilenburg’s ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim for possible postconviction-relief proceedings.  SPECIAL CONCURRENCE ASSERTS: I write separately because I disagree with the majority’s assertion that knowledge of the nature of the prescription drugs is not an element of Iowa Code section 155A.21(1) (2017).  The court in State v. Reeves, 209 N.W.2d 18, 23 (Iowa 1973), found poof of unlawful “possession” requires the State to establish the accused knew of the nature of the substance in his or her possession.  I believe the same proof requirement applies to the term “possession” in section 155A.21(1).

Case No. 18-0442:  State of Iowa v. Jose Manuel Domingo Mendez

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0442

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Douglas F. Staskal, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (8 pages)

            Jose Domingo Mendez appeals his convictions for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine with a firearm enhancement, failure to affix a drug tax stamp, criminal gang participation, and carrying a weapon.  OPINION HOLDS: We find substantial evidence supports the jury’s verdicts.  We affirm all four convictions.

Case No. 18-0565:  James Heal v. Brian Anderson

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0565

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Iowa County, Ian K. Thornhill, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (10 pages)

            James Heal appeals the entry of a civil money judgment, challenging the district court’s conclusion that he was grossly negligent in storing and caring for items under a gratuitous bailment belonging to a Brian Anderson.  Anderson requests an award of appellate attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s entry of judgment in part, reverse it in part, and remand the matter to the district court for entry of judgment against Heal and in favor of Anderson in the amount of $37,485.23, plus interest in accordance with law, and an order for Heal to return to Anderson the items he is not liable for converting.  Anderson’s request for appellate attorney fees is denied.  Costs on appeal are taxed equally between the parties.

Case No. 18-0574:  Craig Naber v. Jerald "Jerry" Naber

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0574

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buchanan County, Joel Dalrymple, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON APPEAL; AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED ON CROSS-APPEAL.  Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (14 pages)

            A defendant appeals the district court’s denial of his motion for new trial in this negligence action.  He seeks a new trial on the basis of basis of (1) testimonial references to an insurance company, (2) the court’s classification of certain witnesses as experts, (3) witness testimony regarding the reasonableness of Jerry’s conduct, (4) the court’s refusal to permit certain testimony, and (5) the theories of negligence presented to the jury.  The plaintiff cross-appeals, seeking interest on the jury award to begin on the date of the negligent conduct.  OPINION HOLDS: References to an insurance company did not violate Iowa Rule of Evidence 5.411 or a ruling on a motion in limine because no reference implied the defendant was insured or referred to liability insurance.  The expert witnesses were properly classified as such due to their extensive experience.  Witness testimony did not opine to a legal conclusion.  Testimony regarding the conduct of an observer was properly excluded as irrelevant.  The theories of negligence submitted to the jury were sufficiently supported by the evidence presented.  The district court did not err in denying the motion for new trial.  Because the damage to the property was complete on the day of the negligent conduct, statutory interest should begin accruing from the date of the negligent act, and the district court erred in denying the plaintiff’s motion for interest to accrue from the date of the negligent act.

Case No. 18-0636:  Michael Roach v. State of Iowa

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0636

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Karen A. Romano, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Doyle, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J.  (4 pages)

            Michael Roach appeals the summary dismissal of his fourth application for postconviction relief (PCR) challenging his 2004 convictions for murder in the second degree and robbery in the first degree.  Roach maintains the 2017 “stand your ground” law is to be applied retroactively, and he asks us to remand for a determination of whether the new law applies to the facts of his case.  OPINION HOLDS: The new law is a substantive change, which we do not apply retroactively.  Thus, Roach’s PCR application is untimely, and we affirm the summary dismissal of it.

Case No. 18-0685:  State of Iowa v. Anthony Gomez

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0685

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Wapello County, Crystal S. Cronk, District Associate Judge.  CONVICTIONS AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED; SENTENCES AFFIRMED IN PART, VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Bower, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J. (17 pages)

            Anthony Gomez appeals his convictions of (1) third-degree sexual abuse, (2) willful injury causing bodily injury, (3) domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury by impeding breathing or circulation, (4) domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury or mental illness, and (5) third-degree theft.  He also challenges the imposition of consecutive sentences on counts one and two.  Specifically, he argues (1) his counsel rendered ineffective assistance in failing to (a) request definitional jury instructions in relation to the willful-injury charge and the two domestic-abuse-assault charges and (b) object to hearsay testimony relative to the theft charge; (2) the evidence was insufficient to support all charges; and (3) the court improperly failed to provide reasons for imposing consecutive sentences.  OPINION HOLDS: We find defense counsel rendered ineffective assistance in failing to request a definitional jury instruction relative to the final element of each of the domestic-abuse-assault charges.  As such, we vacate the sentences and reverse judgment and conviction on counts three and four and remand for a new trial on those charges.  We find Gomez was not prejudiced by counsel’s failures to request a jury instruction defining serious injury in relation to the willful-injury charge or object to alleged hearsay evidence in relation to the theft charge.  We reject Gomez’s claim of cumulative error.  We find the evidence sufficient to support Gomez’s convictions of third-degree sexual abuse, willful injury causing bodily injury, and third-degree theft.  We find the record is insufficient to allow appellate review of the district court’s discretionary action in imposing consecutive sentences on counts one and two.  As such, we vacate only the portion of the sentencing order imposing consecutive sentences, and we remand the matter to the district court.  On remand, the district court should determine whether the sentences should run consecutively or concurrently and provide reasons for its decision.  Finally, having found Gomez’s ineffective-assistance argument concerning the weight of the evidence insufficient to facilitate our review, we preserve that claim for postconviction-relief proceedings.  

Case No. 18-0690:  State of Iowa v. Larry Gross

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0690

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D. Rosenberg, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J. (4 pages)

            Larry Gross appeals the district court decision requiring him to pay a room and board reimbursement fee for time he spent in jail.  OPINION HOLDS:  We conclude the district court did not err in approving the Polk County Sheriff’s application for reimbursement without making a finding Gross had a reasonable ability to pay.  We affirm the decision of the district court.

Case No. 18-0824:  Shelby Anthony Vogt v. Jack Ogden and Denice Bennett

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0824

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, George L. Stigler, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (4 pages)

            Shelby Vogt appeals the district court’s dismissal of his petition in a landlord-tenant dispute.  OPINION HOLDS: Vogt did not name as a defendant the corporate owner of the apartment building and did not file a motion to amend the petition.  We affirm the district court’s decision granting the motion to dismiss.

Case No. 18-0976:  In the Interest of D.C., Minor Child

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0976

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Thomas W. Mott, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Mullins, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (7 pages)

            D.C. appeals from the dispositional orders placing him in the custody of Juvenile Court Services for placement in residential treatment foster care.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we hold placing D.C. in the custody of Juvenile Court Services for placement in residential treatment foster care was proper and the least restrictive alternative, we affirm the decision of the district court. 

Case No. 18-1168:  State of Iowa v. Kenneth Wayne Turner

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1168

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Appanoose County, Joel D. Yates, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, C.J.  (5 pages)

            Kenneth Turner was found guilty of failure to comply with the Iowa Sex Offender Registry requirements.  He now appeals his conviction, arguing the district court erred in denying his motion for new trial.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying the motion for new trial and affirm his conviction.

Case No. 18-1301:  State of Iowa v. James Richard Dawson Jr.

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1301

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Gregory A. Hulse, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Tabor, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J.  (4 pages)

            James Dawson appeals the district court decision accepting his guilty plea to neglect of a dependent person.  OPINION HOLDS:  We are unable to determine the basis for Dawson’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, and we preserve his claim for possible postconviction-relief proceedings.  We affirm his conviction.

Case No. 18-1356:  In the Interest of S.W., Minor Child

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1356

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Madison County, Kevin Parker, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, C.J.  (4 pages)

            The father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his child after the mother filed a petition under Iowa Code chapter 600A (2017).  After granting two continuances at the father’s request, the district court denied his third motion to continue, which provided the father was unable to participate in the termination hearing due to his incarceration.  The father now argues his constitutional due process rights were violated because he was unable to participate in the termination hearing by telephone.  OPINION HOLDS: The father failed to preserve error on his constitutional claim because he did not raise such claim below and the district court made no findings on such claim.

Case No. 18-1381:  State of Iowa v. Randall Lee Brooks

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1381

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Randy V. Hefner, Judge, and Kevin Parker, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (6 pages)

            Randall Lee Brooks appeals his conviction for driving while barred as a habitual offender.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court properly excluded evidence that amounted to a collateral attack on the Iowa Department of Transportation’s action barring his license as a habitual offender.  Because Brooks failed to establish a good and compelling cause to continue trial, the district court acted within its discretion in refusing his request for a continuance.  Brooks failed to preserve error on his claim that his right to be present at trial was violated.  We preserve his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel for postconviction relief to allow the record to be developed.  Finding no error on the claims properly presented on appeal, we reject Brooks’s claim that he should be granted a new trial based on the cumulative effect of the errors alleged.

Case No. 18-1401:  Jesse Joe Blair v. Trish Scott n/k/a Trish Weimar

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1401

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clay County, David A. Lester, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Mullins, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (5 pages)

            Jesse Blair appeals the order establishing paternity, custody, and visitation of the child he shares with Trish Scott, now known as Trish Weimar.  OPINION HOLDS: Although the evidence could support granting physical care to either parent, we concur with the district court’s assessment that Trish should be granted physical care based on her historical role as the child’s caretaker and because doing so will allow the child to grow up with her half-sister. 

Case No. 18-1403:  State of Iowa v. Amanda Caye Dreier

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1403

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Bower, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Opinion by Danilson, S.J.  (2 pages)

            Amanda Dreier appeals sentence following her plea of guilty to conspiracy to commit the felony of sexual exploitation by a school employee.  On appeal, Dreier contends the court stated it was without authority to grant a deferred judgment unless a defendant requested it and asks that we remand this case for resentencing with a directive to the district court that no request by the defendant is required.  OPINION HOLDS:  The sentence imposed was in accordance with the plea agreement wherein Dreier specifically agreed she could not request nor accept a deferred judgment.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-1599:  State of Iowa v. Shannon Christopher Turner

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1599

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Stuart P. Werling, Judge.  AFFIRMED. Considered by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, C.J.  (4 pages)

            Shannon Turner pled guilty to operating while intoxicated and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.  He appeals his sentence, arguing the district court abused its discretion and failed to consider all relevant factors and possible sentencing options when sentencing him.  OPINION HOLDS: Based on the record and the district court’s reasoning when sentencing Turner, we find the district court did not abuse its discretion.

Case No. 19-0128:  In the Interest of T.C., T.B., B.B., K.B., and C.B., Minor Children

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0128

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Poweshiek County, Rose Anne Mefford, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (6 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to several children.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the parents’ rights to their children.

Case No. 19-0171:  In the Interest of E.D., Minor Child

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0171

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Benton County, Cynthia S. Finley, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (7 pages)

            A mother appeals from the order terminating her parental rights to her child.  OPINION HOLDS: Clear and convincing evidence shows that the child could not be returned to the mother’s care at the time of the termination hearing, establishing the grounds for terminating the mother’s parental rights under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2018).  Because the statutory time period has passed and there is no evidence the bond between the child and the mother is so great that terminating it would be detrimental to the child, termination is in the child’s best interests.  Accordingly, we affirm.

Case No. 19-0254:  In the Interest of S.I., Minor Child

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0254

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Joseph Seidlin, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (5 pages)

            A mother appeals from an order terminating her parental rights to one child.  She contends the juvenile court abused its discretion in denying her motion to continue when the court continued the first of two days of hearing for inclement weather and the mother failed to appear on the second day.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court did not abuse its discretion.  There was no communication from the mother as to her whereabouts, and the best interests of the child demanded permanency.  The mother had not made a significant effort to address the substance abuse issues that led to the initial removal.  Under those circumstances, we find no abuse of discretion. 

Case No. 19-0258:  In the Interest of I.R., Minor Child

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0258

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (12 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to their child.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of both parents’ parental rights.

Case No. 19-0274:  In the Interest of A.F., A.F., A.F., and S.F., Minor Children

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0274

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Phillip J. Tabor, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Tabor, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (6 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her children.  OPINION HOLDS: The mother failed to preserve error on her claims that the State failed to make reasonable efforts to have the children returned to her care and the juvenile court should have continued the termination hearing.  Because the evidence shows termination of the mother’s parental rights is in the children’s best interests, we affirm.

Case No. 19-0297:  In the Interest of M.D., K.T., G.A., E.A., and S.A., Minor Children

Filed Apr 17, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0297

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Ida County, Patrick H. Tott, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J.  (5 pages)

            The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her five children.  The mother does not challenge the statutory grounds for termination.  She focuses on her argument on a permissive factor of Iowa Code section 232.116(3) (2018), claiming the court need not terminate her parental rights because each of the five children is in the custody of their respective father.  OPINION HOLDS: These children have been involved with the juvenile court system for much of their lives.  Leaving the door open for additional uncertainty in their lives is not in their best interests.  We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights. 

© 2019 Iowa Judicial Branch. All Rights Reserved.