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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. 19-0116:  Marvin Swan v. Robert Lee Jackson

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-0116

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Wayne County, Patrick W. Greenwood, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Greer, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (10 pages)

            Robert Jackson appeals a district court order foreclosing a mechanic’s lien in favor of Marvin Swan.  Jackson contends the trial court (1) should not have excluded certain exhibits, (2) acted inequitably in concluding Swan substantially performed the contract, and (3) should not have awarded trial attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm.

Case No. 19-0425:  State of Iowa v. Jonathan Levi Hart

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-0425

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Wayne County, Patrick W. Greenwood, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (10 pages)

            Jonathan Hart appeals his convictions of eluding pursuing law enforcement and criminal mischief.  He argues his counsel was ineffective for failing to object when the State called him as a rebuttal witness and the district court improperly admitted evidence of text messages and telephone calls.  OPINION HOLDS: Seeing no reasonable trial strategy for defense counsel allowing the State to call Hart as a witness in violation of the rules of criminal procedure, we find Hart’s counsel breached an essential duty.  Because Hart’s rebuttal testimony strengthened a key link in the State’s chain of circumstantial evidence, we also find prejudice resulted from counsel’s breach of duty.  Hart is entitled to a new trial as a result.  We do not decide the admission-of-evidence issue.

Case No. 19-1142:  State of Iowa v. William Riley

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1142

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Andrea J. Dryer, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (12 pages)

            William Riley appeals his conviction for sexual abuse in the third degree.  OPINION HOLDS: (1) There was sufficient evidence that the sexual act was by force or against the complaining witness’s will.  (2) Iowa Code § 814.7 (2019) precludes consideration of Riley’s ineffective-assistance claim.  (3) The district court did not abuse its discretion in overruling Riley’s objections to a nurse’s testimony.

Case No. 19-1362:  State of Iowa v. Benjamin Lloyd Freking

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1362

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Boone County, Stephen A. Owen, District Associate Judge.  CONVICTION AFFIRMED; SENTENCED VACATED IN PART AND REMANDED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (9 pages)

            Benjamin Freking appeals his conviction, following a bench trial on the minutes of evidence, of possession of a controlled substance, marijuana.  He challenges the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of an allegedly unconstitutional traffic stop.  He also challenges a component of his sentence, the imposition of a drug abuse resistance education (DARE) surcharge.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the denial of Freking’s motion to suppress and conviction.  We vacate the imposition of the DARE surcharge as part of Freking’s sentence and remand the matter to the district court to enter a corrected sentencing order.

Case No. 19-1417:  State of Iowa v. William Burton

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1417

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Randy V. Hefner, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (6 pages)

            William Burton appeals his conviction for second-degree robbery, contending there is insufficient evidence to sustain the conviction.  OPINION HOLDS: Because substantial evidence supports a finding Burton purposely put his victim in fear of immediate serious injury, we affirm.

Case No. 19-1606:  Keith Wolf v. State of Iowa

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1606

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Stuart P. Werling, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (4 pages)

            Keith Wolf appeals the order granting summary disposition in favor of the State on his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Wolf needed to register for life at the time of his conviction, his ex post facto claim fails as a matter of law.  We affirm the grant of summary disposition to dismiss his PCR application.

Case No. 19-1616:  State of Iowa v. Kourtney Shontez Hall

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1616

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (10 pages)

            Kourtney Hall appeals his judgment and sentence for two counts of suborning perjury and two counts of obstructing prosecution. He challenges (1) the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the jury’s findings of guilt; (2) the admission of video evidence; and (3) the denial of his new trial motion.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm Hall’s judgment and sentence.

Case No. 19-1886:  Lance Russell Dixon v. State of Iowa

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1886

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Sarah Crane, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (6 pages)

            Lance Dixon appeals the summary disposition of his fifth application for postconviction relief (PCR).  He claims his application is not time-barred.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Dixon’s fifth PCR application was time-barred under section 822.3 (2018) and does not fall within the narrow Allison v. State, 914 N.W.2d 866, 891 (Iowa 2018) exception, the PCR court properly granted summary disposition dismissing the application. 

Case No. 19-1948:  State of Iowa v. Salvador Solis Ortega

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1948

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

            Salvador Solis Ortega appeals from his conviction for operating while intoxicated (OWI).  OPINION HOLDS: There is sufficient evidence to support the district court’s determination of Solis’s guilt under both “under the influence” and alcohol concentration theories of OWI.  Solis has failed to preserve error on any due process challenge, and he has failed to preserve error on and waived any self-incrimination challenges to his conviction.

Case No. 19-2023:  State of Iowa v. Joseph Redman Snook

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-2023

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clarke County, Patrick W. Greenwood, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by May, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (9 pages)

            Joseph Snook appeals his sentences for first-degree theft, second-degree theft, and forgery.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude Snook’s challenge to his sentences establishes good cause for his appeal.  Snook did not preserve error on his claim that the district court did not properly advise him concerning his right to appeal from a guilty plea.  The district court gave sufficient reasons for imposing consecutive sentences on the two theft charges.  Further, the civil reimbursement order for jail fees and expenses was not subject to a limitation based on a reasonable ability to pay.  We affirm the decision of the district court.

Case No. 19-2072:  David Sanchez v. State of Iowa

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-2072

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott Beattie, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Greer, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  (4 pages)

            David Sanchez appeals the dismissal of his application for postconviction relief (PCR).  OPINION HOLDS: Sanchez has not shown his trial counsel failed to perform an essential duty, and no prejudice resulted from any of his claimed errors because the evidence of his guilt is overwhelming.  Therefore, we affirm the dismissal of his PCR application.

Case No. 19-2086:  Jerry Hoffman and Hoffman Innovations, Inc., d/b/a DIY Autotune v. Scott Clark and Realtuners, LLC

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-2086

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Margaret Reyes and Susan L. Christensen, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (57 pages)

            The defendants, Scott Clark and RealTuners, LLC, appeal from the $11,000,000 judgment entered against them, arguing they should get a new trial because the sanction entered against them was too harsh, the district court wrongly prevented them from presenting evidence to limit the award of damages, the damages awarded by the jury were improper and excessive, and the court’s award of common law attorney fees was in error.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the defendants have not established a reversible error, we see no reason to disturb the jury’s awards, and we decline to consider the argument against the award of attorney fees as it is raised for the first time on appeal, we affirm. 

Case No. 20-0020:  Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Raul Ruiz Rosas d/b/a Blue Flame Flooring

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Sarah Crane and Joseph Seidlin, Judges.  AFFIRMED ON APPEAL; AFFIRMED ON CROSS-APPEAL.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  Special Concurrence by Greer, J.  (20 pages)

            A workers’ compensation insurance carrier, Auto-Owners Insurance Co. (AOIC), filed a breach-of-contract suit against Raul Ruiz Rosas d/b/a Blue Flame Flooring seeking over $50,000 in more premium payments allegedly due under two workers’ compensation insurance policies issued to Rosas.  Rosas counter-claimed stating that AOIC’s pursuit of additional premiums was in bad faith.  OPINION HOLDS: AOIC failed to provide sufficient evidence for us to find an employer-employee relationship between Rosas and his fellow roofers.  We agree with the district court that “AOIC did not show that Rosas paid remuneration to persons engaged in work that could make AOIC liable to pay workers compensation.”  Thus, AOIC failed to meet its burden to prove Rosas owed any more premium.  We also conclude AOIC’s claim for more premiums is fairly debatable, so there is no basis for a bad-faith claim.  SPECIAL CONCURRENCE ASSERTS: I specially concur.  I agree with the result of the opinion of the majority but write to address AOIC’s position that the issues raised in this appeal are of first impression in Iowa.  AOIC frames these issues as: (1) May an insured submit evidence of independence of its workers after the audit period (policy period plus three years) has closed and is the insurance carrier required, by contract or by law, to consider said evidence?  (2) Do the contracts or the law impose any burden of production or investigation on the insurance carrier during the audit process or does that burden rest solely with the insured?  In answer to the first question, I believe the policy language does not prohibit Rosas from contesting the application of “the proper classifications and rates that lawfully apply to the business and work covered by this policy” as a matter of contract law.  Second, under this contract of insurance, I would find both parties have a duty during the audit process to fairly and fully investigate the risk and how that risk translates to a premium cost.  I would find it is reasonable that an audit requirement presupposes that the exchange of information be mutual with AOIC requesting information and Rosas responding. 

Case No. 20-0028:  Dustin Kindig v. Spencer Newman, Colby Newman, Josh Burns, Jacob Schroeder and The Press Box Grille & Bar, Inc. d/b/a The Press Box Grille & Bar

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0028

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Ian K. Thornhill, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (23 pages)

            Dustin Kindig appeals dismissal of his personal injury claims.  OPINION HOLDS: (1) The district court did not abuse its discretion by permitting defendants to assert self-defense at trial.  (2) The district court did not abuse its discretion by permitting other bad acts evidence.  (3) The district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Kindig’s mistrial motions.  (4) The district court did not err by granting summary judgment to the owner of a bus.  (5) The district court did not err by granting summary judgment to the unpaid designated driver.

Case No. 20-0068:  In re the Marriage of Flaherty

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0068

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Colleen D. Weiland, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (20 pages)

            Jeffrey Flaherty appeals the spousal support award and other economic provisions of a dissolution decree.  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our de novo review, we find it equitable to affirm the amount of the monthly award of spousal support but modify its duration.  We reduce the property settlement owed to Shirley by $1750 to reflect the agreement of the parties.  We affirm the other provisions of the dissolution decree.  We deny Shirley’s request for an award of appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 20-0084:  Ricky Anthony Brandes v. State of Iowa

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0084

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Chickasaw County, Joel A. Dalrymple, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (4 pages)

            Ricky Brandes appeals the summary dismissal of his third application for postconviction relief as untimely.  Brandes argues he has newly discovered evidence that allows him to bypass the statute of limitations found in Iowa Code section 822.3 (2018).  OPINION HOLDS: Brandes cannot bypass the statute of limitations because he provides no explanation as to why he could not present the evidence within the statute of limitations.

Case No. 20-0244:  State of Iowa v. Heather Mesa

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0244

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County, Tamra Roberts, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J. (5 pages)

           

            Heather Mesa challenges the victim restitution she was ordered to pay following her convictions for forgery and second-degree theft.  On appeal, Mesa seeks to have the restitution order vacated on the grounds that the district court’s order requiring her to pay the full amount lacked sufficient evidentiary support.  OPINION HOLDS: Based on the evidence presented, the district court’s order for victim restitution in the amount of $1228.00 is supported by substantial evidence and is within the reasonable range of the evidence.  Therefore, we find no error in the district court’s victim restitution determination.  We affirm.

Case No. 20-0253:  State of Iowa v. Charles Andrew Tewes

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0253

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dickinson County, David C. Larson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (11 pages)

            Charles Tewes appeals his conviction for eluding a law enforcement vehicle.  He claims the district court abused its discretion in failing to grant his motion for mistrial based on the State’s attempts to introduce evidence of Tewes’s prior bad acts when such evidence had been ruled inadmissible via a pretrial order in limine.  OPINION HOLDS: Lack of prejudice causes us to conclude the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Tewes’s mistrial motion.

Case No. 20-0336:  Midstates Bank, N.A. v. LBR Enterprises, LLC

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0336

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Ringgold County, Bradley McCall, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (21 pages)

            Barbara and Edward Tomas appeal the grant of reformation of a warranty deed based on an alleged scrivener’s error.  They argue Midstates lacked standing to seek reformation.  They also contend Midstates did not meet its burden of proving (1) the deed contained a scrivener’s error, (2) the deed did not reflect the true intent of the parties, and (3) the doctrine of merger did not apply.  Finally, they claim the district court should have awarded rent funds in their favor.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding no grounds for reversal, we affirm the grant of reformation. 

Case No. 20-0393:  In the Matter of the Trust Under the Will of William B. Kron, Sr.

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0393

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Kevin McKeever, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON APPEAL; AFFIRMED ON CROSS-APPEAL.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  Partial dissent by Schumacher, J.  (13 pages)

            The trustee of a testamentary trust appeals the district court’s construction of a will, and a beneficiary cross-appeals from the denial of a motion to remove the trustee.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s resolution of the petition to construe the will, and we affirm the court’s denial of the motion to remove the trustee.  PARTIAL DISSENT ASSERTS: I concur with the majority as to all issues affirmed on appeal with the exception of the issue raised on cross-appeal concerning the removal of Steven as trustee.  The evidence of Steven’s use of trust funds to pay expenses unrelated to the beneficiaries and self-dealing rises to a material breach.  The best interests of the trust and other beneficiaries cannot be safeguarded by leaving Steven in charge of the assets.  As such, a new trustee should be appointed.

Case No. 20-0399:  In re the Marriage of Olson

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0399

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marion County, Thomas P. Murphy, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED ON APPEAL; AFFIRMED ON CROSS-APPEAL.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (12 pages)

            Michael Olson appeals and Erika Olson cross-appeals from the decree dissolving their marriage.  OPINION HOLDS: We modify Michael’s spousal support obligation to Erika to be $1750.00 per month, continuing at that amount after Michael’s child support obligation ends, and terminating upon the earliest of Erika’s remarriage or the death of either party.  We also modify the apportionment of uncovered medical expenses to reflect the parties’ net incomes.  We reject both parties’ claims the district court abused its discretion in ordering Michael to pay a portion of Erika’s trial attorney fees.  We find Michael should pay seventy percent of Erika’s appellate attorney fees. 

Case No. 20-0431:  State of Iowa v. Terry Schoby

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0431

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Kossuth County, Don E. Courtney, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (7 pages)

            Terry Schoby challenges his conviction for sexual abuse in the third degree.  Schoby asserts he is entitled to a new trial based on a claimed instructional error.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no error in the district court’s instructions to the jury, so we reject Schoby’s request for a new trial on that basis.  As there was no error in the instructions, we likewise reject Schoby’s due process claim based on instructional error.

Case No. 20-0521:  In the Matter of the Guardianship and Conservatorship of Opal A. Hadaway.

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0521

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Hamilton County, Steven J. Oeth, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.
Opinion by Mullins, P.J.  (8 pages)

            Co-Guardians and conservators appeal a district court order directing them to pay attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court, sitting in probate, had subject-matter jurisdiction over the open voluntary guardianship and conservatorship and did not abuse its discretion in exercising that jurisdiction to award guardian ad litem (GAL) fees.  The court’s statements related to the attorney representing Mark and Tom in the prior guardianship and conservatorship proceedings were relevant to the court’s consideration of the GAL’s fee application.  The court’s statements on its knowledge of and experience with the GAL did not create a conflict of interest requiring judicial recusal.

Case No. 20-0561:  State of Iowa v. Richard Wayne Leedom

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0561

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Poweshiek County, Shawn R. Showers, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (12 pages)

            Richard Leedom appeals the district court’s decision finding there was no exculpatory evidence in a sexual assault victim’s counseling records after conducting an in camera review of those records.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court did not err in interpreting the Iowa Supreme Court’s remand order or the relevant statutes concerning the privacy of mental-health records.  The court’s interpretation did not violate Leedom’s due process rights.  The court properly determined the records were confidential.  The court did not abuse its discretion in balancing the victim’s privacy interest against Leedom’s need for the information.  We affirm the decision of the district court.

Case No. 20-0613:  Brandon Lee Vance v. State of Iowa

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0613

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Lars G. Anderson, Judge.  AFFIRMED. Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (5 pages)

            Brandon Vance appeals the summary disposition granted by the trial court because (1) his claim of actual innocence should have been permitted to be developed and presented and (2) his application was not time-barred.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the trial court’s summary disposition.

Case No. 20-0638:  State of Iowa v. Nicholas Lee Wessel

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0638

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Patrick W. Greenwood, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (5 pages)

            Nicholas Wessel challenges his sentence for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.  Wessel argues the district court abused its discretion by revoking his deferred judgment and sentencing him to incarceration.  OPINION HOLDS: We find that the district court did not abuse its discretion and considered the proper factors in imposing its sentence.

Case No. 20-0737:  State of Iowa v. Alphonze Emanuel

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0737

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, Kim M. Riley, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J. (5 pages)

            Alphonze Emanuel appeals the sentence imposed upon his criminal conviction, claiming his “waiver of his right to be personally present at his sentencing was not intelligent, voluntary, or knowing.”  OPINION HOLDS: Finding no abuse of discretion or merit to the alleged sentencing deficiency, we affirm Emanuel’s sentence.

Case No. 20-0782:  Jose Morales v. State of Iowa

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0782

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, James C. Ellefson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (9 pages)

             Jose Morales appeals the district court’s denial of his postconviction-relief application.  Morales contends his trial attorney was ineffective in failing to (1) object to a portion of the prosecutor’s opening statement; (2) object “to several instances of hearsay”; (3) “investigate the statements of” a person who identified someone else as the shooter; and (4) retain a jury instruction on voluntary manslaughter.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the denial of the postconviction-relief application.   

Case No. 20-0801:  Christian Munoz-Gonzales v. State of Iowa

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0801

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Lawrence P. McLellan, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Ahlers, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (6 pages)

            Christian Munoz appeals the summary denial of his third application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not err in concluding Munoz’s claims are time-barred by Iowa Code section 822.3 (2019). 

Case No. 20-0988:  In the Matter of the Estate of Leonard F. Dolezal, Deceased.

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0988

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Jason D. Besler, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Ahlers, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (14 pages)

            Kenneth Dolezal appeals the denial of his motion to withdraw admissions concerning his father’s mental capacity to make a will and the grant of summary judgment to the executor.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we find no abuse of discretion in the denial of withdrawal and summary judgment was appropriate for lack of genuine issue of material fact, we affirm. 

Case No. 20-1017:  In re the Marriage of Williamson

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1017

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Joseph W. Seidlin, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (10 pages)

            Vicki Hover-Williamson appeals from the decree of dissolution of marriage and order approving final stipulation.  Vicki argues the district court erred in enforcing the stipulation and agreement because there was no mutual assent.  OPINION HOLDS: We find that the parties did not mutually assent to those issues the district court decreed were agreed upon in the court-ordered stipulation and agreement filed by the parties.  We reverse the district court’s ruling granting Byron Williamson’s motion to enforce settlement agreement and order approving final stipulation.  And to avoid any confusion, we do not vacate that portion of the decree that dissolves the parties’ marriage.  We remand the case to the district court for a full consideration of the issues presented and the entry of an appropriate decree. 

Case No. 20-1115:  Brian McKnight v. Kayla Anderson

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1115

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Jeffrey A. Neary, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (11 pages)

            Kayla Anderson appeals the custody and child support provisions of a modification decree.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Brian met his burden to prove that modification was in the child’s best interests and that he was best suited to care for the child’s well-being, we affirm the district court’s modification of physical care.  Kayla’s child-support arguments are not supported by the record. 

Case No. 20-1133:  Bajra Rizvic v. Titan Tire Corporation and Zurich American Insurance Company

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1133

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

            Bajro Rizvic appeals the denial of permanent disability.  OPINION HOLDS: There is substantial evidence supporting the commissioner’s conclusion Rizvic failed to establish his condition was caused by a work-related injury.  We therefore affirm.

Case No. 20-1250:  Larry E. Forbes v. Benton County Agricultural Society

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1250

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Benton County, Andrew B. Chappell, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Tabor, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (11 pages)

            Larry Forbes appeals the grant of summary judgment to the Benton County Agricultural Society (Ag. Society) after suffering a head injury at the fairgrounds.  Forbes and the Ag. Society reached a settlement agreement before Forbes learned that Medicare made conditional payments toward his medical expenses.  On a motion for summary judgment, the district court enforced the settlement agreement.  Forbes now argues the agreement was unenforceable because the parties failed to reach a “meeting of the minds.”  Alternatively, he argues the agreement was voidable because it resulted from a mutual mistake.  OPINION HOLDS: Because settlement agreements are essentially contracts and the district court properly applied contract law, we affirm.  The record showed a “meeting of the minds,” and Forbes bore the risk of the mistake.  The district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of the Ag. Society.

Case No. 20-1286:  In re the Marriage of San Nicolas Law

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1286

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County, Thomas G. Reidel, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (7 pages)

            Nacrina San Nicolas Tigrett appeals the physical care and visitation provisions of a district court modification order, asserting the court should have awarded her physical care of her children with Nicholas Law.  In the alternative, she seeks a change to the visitation schedule to provide her a mid-week overnight.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court order.

Case No. 20-1500:  In the Interest of T.M., Minor Child

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1500

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by May, P.J., Greer, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (5 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  OPINION HOLDS: Termination is in the child’s best interests, and there is no basis for finding the parent-child relationship is so strong as to preclude termination of her parental rights. 

Case No. 21-0004:  In the Interest of Z.S., Minor Child

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0004

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Korie Talkington, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Doyle, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (7 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.  She claims termination is not in the child’s best interest, we should forgo termination due to the strength of the parent-child bond, and she should be given additional time to work toward reunification.  OPINION HOLDS: Termination is in the child’s best interest.  The parent-child bond is not so strong to preclude termination.  And we do not give the mother additional time to work toward reunification.

Case No. 21-0006:  In the Interest of B.C., Minor Child

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0006

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Stephen A. Owen, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (4 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his child.  OPINION HOLDS: Terminating the father’s parental rights will not be detrimental to the child.  Because terminating his parental rights is in the child’s best interests, we affirm.

Case No. 21-0224:  In the Interest of I.B., B.B., A.B., and T.B., Minor Children

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0224

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County, Mary L. Timko, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (12 pages)

            A father and mother separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to three of the parties’ children.  OPINION HOLDS: The State proved termination pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(f) (2020), and termination is in the children’s best interests.  The father does not have standing to raise an ineffective-assistance claim on behalf of the children.

Case No. 21-0238:  In the Interest of S.J., Minor Child

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0238

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Linda M. Fangman, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Mullins, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J.  (6 pages)

            Parents separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.  The mother requests the application of the permissive exception to termination contained in Iowa Code section 232.116(3)(c) (2020).  Both parents argue the court erred in not granting additional time to work toward reunification.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of both parents’ parental rights.

Case No. 21-0257:  In the Interest of O.K. and C.K., Minor Children

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0257

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Crawford County, Mary L. Timko, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., May, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (4 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her children.  OPINION HOLDS: Terminating the mother’s parental rights will afford the children the safety and permanency they need.  Because termination is the children’s best interests, we affirm.

Case No. 21-0271:  In the Interest of V.C., Minor Child

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0271

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Christine Dalton, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Opinion by Danilson, S.J.  (7 pages)

            A father appeals the juvenile court order terminating his parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by denying the father’s motion for a continuance.  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.  We affirm the decision of the juvenile court.

Case No. 21-0286:  In the Interest of X.L. and R.L., Minor Children

Filed May 12, 2021

View Opinion No. 21-0286

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Phillip J. Tabor, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., May, J., and Blane, S.J.  Tabor, J., takes no part.  Opinion by May, J.  (6 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The State established the statutory grounds authorizing termination.  Termination is in the children’s best interests.  We decline to apply Iowa Code section 232.116(3)(c) (2020) to preclude termination.  And we do not grant the mother additional time to work toward reunification.

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