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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. 18-0662:  Puryear Law P.C. and Eric D. Puryear v. Dirk J. Fisher and Jessica Harbaugh

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0662

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Nancy S. Tabor, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., May, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Tabor, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Mahan, S.J.  (12 pages)

            Puryear Law P.C. and Eric Puryear appeal the district court’s dismissal of a defamation action against Dirk Fishback and Jessica Harbaugh, contending the district court erred in granting a motion for directed verdict.  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our review, we affirm.  

Case No. 18-0841:  Vernon L. Hilkemann and Mary E. Hilkemann v. City of Carter Lake City Council, City of Carter Lake Board of Adjustment, City of Carter Lake Planning Board, and Lakeside Auto Recyclers Inc.

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0841

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Kathleen A. Kilnoski, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (8 pages)

            Vernon and Mary Hilkemann appeal a district court ruling relating to zoning decisions by the City of Carter Lake City Council, Planning Board, and Board of Adjustment.  The Hilkemanns contest the district court’s finding the relation-back doctrine did not apply and the court’s authority to remand annulled variances to the board of adjustment for further proceedings.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the relation-back doctrine does not apply here and the court has the authority to order a remand for further proceedings. 

Case No. 18-0852:  Atiba Spellman v. State of Iowa

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0852

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Timothy J. Finn, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (9 pages)

            Atiba Spellman appeals the order dismissing his action for postconviction relief (PCR) as a discovery sanction.  OPINION HOLDS:  The reasoning supporting dismissal of Spellman’s PCR action is flawed.  First, the PCR court overlooked that Spellman amended his PCR application to provide the desired specificity for his PCR claims before the hearing on discovery sanctions.  Second, we disagree that Spellman’s failure to provide discovery answers impeded the State’s ability to move for summary judgment.  Third, Spellman did provide interrogatory answers within the deadline set forth in the court’s order compelling him to answer, and it is more likely that his failure to provide more specific answers or documents results from inability rather than willful refusal.  Finally, the circumstances here are less egregious than in cases where the courts upheld dismissal as a discovery sanction.  Given these circumstances, we find the PCR court abused its discretion in dismissing Spellman’s PCR application as a discovery sanction.  For these reasons, we reverse and remand for further proceedings. 

Case No. 18-0967:  Richard Joseph Ehler v. State of Iowa

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-0967

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Thomas P. Murphy, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (21 pages)

            Richard Ehler appeals the district court’s denial of his application for postconviction relief, arguing counsel was ineffective for failing to adequately research the viability of his speedy-trial claim.  OPINION HOLDS: Plea counsel breached a duty by failing to understand the applicable speedy-trial standard.  And because counsel’s failure influenced Ehler’s decision to plead guilty, it resulted in prejudice to Ehler.  We remand the case to the district court with instructions to grant Ehler’s PCR application, vacate the guilty plea, and dismiss the trial information.

Case No. 18-1097:  State of Iowa v. Komut Mai

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1097

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Carla Schemmel, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (5 pages)

            Komut Mai appeals from judgment and sentence following the denial of his motion to suppress and trial on the minutes of testimony.  Mai maintains the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle in which he was a passenger.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we find the officer did not have a reasonable, articulable suspicion to stop the vehicle, we reverse the denial of Mai’s motion to suppress and remand for further proceedings.

Case No. 18-1198:  Melissa Sadler, Individually, and as Parent and Next Friend of S.S., A.S., Z.S., and I.S., Minor Children v. Polly Primus and Pathways Behavioral Services, Inc.

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1198

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Butler County, Linda M. Fangman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J, and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (8 pages)

            Melissa Sadler appeals an adverse summary judgment ruling and dismissal of her civil suit.  She argues the court (1) improperly failed to allow her fifteen days to respond to the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, (2) lacked jurisdiction to entertain the motion when an appeal was pending, (3) abused its discretion in denying her motion to extend expert-witness deadlines, and (4) erred by dismissing the lawsuit when an appeal was pending concerning the propriety of a motion to dismiss granted in favor of other defendants.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the outcome of the district court proceedings.

Case No. 18-1268:  State of Iowa v. Christopher James Thomas

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1268

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Andrea J. Dryer, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (4 pages)

            Christopher Thomas contends insufficient evidence supports his conviction for violating the sex offender registry requirements.  OPINION HOLDS: Sufficient evidence supports the conviction.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-1286:  State of Iowa v. Martin Ray Hiatt

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1286

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Gregory W. Steensland, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, J.  (3 pages)

            Martin Hiatt appeals from the district court’s denial of his motion to quash.  Hiatt claimed the Iowa Department of Corrections (IDOC) was seizing funds from his prison account that came from outside sources without providing Hiatt a predeprivation hearing before doing so.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we are unable to ascertain on the record before us whether Hiatt was given notice or the opportunity to object before IDOC began collecting restitution from his prison funds from outside sources, we reverse the district court’s denial and remand for further proceedings. 

Case No. 18-1306:  Dean Thorson v. Thomas Hansen and Jeanett Hansen

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1306

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Winneshiek County, Linda M. Fangman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (11 pages)

            Thomas and Jeanett Hansen appeal a trial court order finding in favor of Dean Thorson in a conversion and breach-of-contract action relating to a hay crop and farm-rental agreement.  The Hansens claim the trial court erred in denying their motion for new trial because Thorson made knowing material misrepresentations during trial that prejudiced the Hansens and the court erred in law and made a mistake of fact as to the date of conversion.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion for new trial and did not make an error of law or mistake of fact.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-1370:  Eddie Adams v. State of Iowa

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1370

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Thomas A. Bitter, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (7 pages)

            Eddie Adams appeals from an order denying him postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Adams has not shown his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to have his DNA expert independently test the evidence when he never claimed additional testing would have changed the outcome of trial and the record does not support his claim of spoliation.  Nor has Adams shown his PCR counsel was ineffective by failing to move for an expanded ruling on the legality of an Allen charge when the record does not show the court gave the jury an Allen instruction. 

Case No. 18-1499:  In the Matter of the Guardianship and Conservatorship of Sylvia Chott

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1499

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

            Katherine Myer appeals the district court ruling finding she violated her obligations to her mother Sylvia Chott as her mother’s power of attorney by withdrawing funds from the mother’s bank account and ordering her to return the money and pay attorney fees and court costs.  Katherine argues the district court erred by evaluating her conduct under Iowa Code chapter 633B (2017), by finding she had not met her burden to prove she acted in good faith and Sylvia had acted freely, voluntarily, and intelligently when she transferred the money to Katherine, and by awarding Sylvia attorney fees.  Additionally, she requests appellate attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court correctly evaluated Katherine’s conduct under chapter 633B.  The district court correctly determined Katherine had not met her burden of proof.  We affirm the award of trial attorney fees and award appellate attorney fees to Sylvia.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-1554:  Cindy Christine Hebron v. State of Iowa

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1554

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Samantha Gronewald, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (9 pages)

            Cindy Hebron seeks reversal of the district court’s ruling denying her application for postconviction relief.  Hebron claims her due process rights have been violated, her right to a speedy trial was violated, and she received ineffective assistance of counsel.  OPINION HOLDS: We find Hebron has failed to prove any due process violation or ineffective assistance of counsel, and she waived her right to a speedy trial.  We affirm the district court’s denial of Hebron’s application for postconviction relief.

Case No. 18-1586:  Carl Julius Bennett v. State of Iowa

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1586

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D. Huppert, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (11 pages)

            Carl Bennett appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief, arguing he is innocent and that his trial counsel was ineffective.  OPINION HOLDS: After reviewing the record, we agree with the district court that there is overwhelming evidence of Bennett’s guilt and that he did not prove his attorney was ineffective.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-1605:  In re the Marriage of Griffith

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1605

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Emmet County, Don E. Courtney, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and Bower and May, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (5 pages)

            Scott Griffith appeals from the decree dissolving his marriage to Joyce Griffith.  Scott argues the district court erred in failing to order continued conciliation efforts, in finding Joyce was capable of establishing the breakdown of the marriage, and in refusing to grant Scott’s motion to compel discovery of mental health records.  OPINION HOLDS: The trial court did not abuse its discretion in not requiring continued conciliation efforts or in denying the motion to compel discovery of Joyce’s medical records.  Joyce has established the requisite breakdown of the marital relationship, and we affirm.

Case No. 18-1612:  Benaiah Mablin v. State of Iowa

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1612

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, John D. Telleen, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (25 pages)

            The State seeks reversal of the district court’s ruling granting postconviction relief (PCR) to Benaiah Mablin on the ground the court failed to properly analyze the ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we conclude Mablin has failed to prove the requisite prejudice, we reverse the district court and remand for dismissal of the PCR application. 

Case No. 18-1625:  Daniel Louis Hicks v. State of Iowa

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1625

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Brad McCall, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (9 pages)

            Daniel Hicks appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief, asserting trial and appellate counsel were ineffective in failing to consult or retain a child-sexual-abuse expert, permitting witnesses to vouch for the child’s credibility, and failing to challenge prejudicial testimony and out-of-court statements.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Hicks failed prove that but for trial and appellate counsel’s asserted deficiencies in performance there is a reasonable probability that the result of the proceeding would have been different, we affirm the denial of his application for postconviction relief. 

Case No. 18-1646:  In re the Marriage of Fisher

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1646

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Arthur E. Gamble, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Gamble, S.J., takes no part.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J.  (5 pages)

            Christopher Fisher appeals the district court order dismissing his contempt application.  He argues the district court erred by finding he had not met his burden to prove his former spouse Karen Fisher had willfully violated the prior custody order concerning their minor child by sending the child on a trip over Christopher’s objection.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not abuse its discretion.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-1653:  City of Davenport v. Lynn Washburn-Livingston

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1653

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Stuart Werling, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (6 pages)

            Lynn Washburn-Livingston  seeks reversal of the district court’s finding the Davenport Civil Service Commission did not have jurisdiction to grant her continued employment with the Davenport Fire Department.  OPINION HOLDS: We find her prior Illinois status did not transfer to Iowa civil service status and affirm the district court.

Case No. 18-1662:  State of Iowa v. Kamie Jo Schiebout

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1662

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, Patrick H. Tott, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART, SENTENCE VACATED AND REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J. (8 pages)

            Kamie Jo Schiebout appeals from her conviction and sentence for felony possession of methamphetamine as an habitual offender.  She challenges the district court’s suppression ruling and her sentence.  OPINION HOLDS: (1) The seizure of Schiebout’s purse was a permissible seizure incident to arrest.  So the district court was correct in denying Schiebout’s motion to suppress.  (2) Federal drug convictions do not count as prior convictions for purposes of Iowa Code section 124.401(5) (2017).  Because Schiebout has only one relevant prior conviction, her current offense should be treated as an aggravated misdemeanor, not a felony.  We vacate Schiebout’s sentence and remand for resentencing.

Case No. 18-1805:  Jaramya William Campbell v. State of Iowa

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1805

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, John J. Haney, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (10 pages)

            Jaramya Campbell appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR).  OPINION HOLDS: Because we agree that the underlying sentence for one of Campbell’s criminal convictions illegally ordered that he serve a 45-day term in jail rather than in the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections, we reverse the PCR court’s ruling denying his application for PCR with respect to that sentence, and we remand with instructions.  We affirm the PCR court’s ruling in all other respects.

Case No. 18-1860:  In re the Marriage of Olson

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1860

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marion County, Terry R. Rickers, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (6 pages)

            Michael Olson appeals the district court order requiring him to pay temporary child support, spousal support, and attorney fees to Erika Olson.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court order for support was equitable and the court did not abuse its discretion in ordering temporary attorney fees.  We award appellate attorney fees to Erika.

Case No. 18-1877:  State of Iowa v. Dairramey Moore

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1877

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Patrick A. McElyea and Mary E. Howes, Judges.  CONVICTIONS AFFIRMED; SENTENCES AFFIRMED IN PART, VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J. (12 pages)

            Dairramey Moore appeals his convictions of intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent and reckless use of a firearm.  Moore argues (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions; (2) the court failed to exercise its discretion in imposing sentence; and (3) the district court improperly ordered him to pay attorney fees, court costs, and correctional fees as restitution without first determining his reasonable ability to pay the same.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm Moore’s convictions and the sentence imposed on count one.  We vacate the restitution provisions of the sentencing order and remand the matter to the district court for receipt of a final restitution plan and a determination of Moore’s reasonable ability to pay.

Case No. 18-1888:  State of Iowa v. Joseph W. White

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1888

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

            Joseph White appeals the denial of his motion to suppress the evidence obtained following the warrantless stop of his vehicle.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the trooper had reasonable suspicion of an inoperative headlamp to stop the vehicle, we affirm.

Case No. 18-1929:  In re the Marriage of Tribolet

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1929

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Taylor County, Patrick W. Greenwood, Judge.  AFFIRMED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (14 pages)

            A former wife, Lisa, appeals the district court’s grant of the former husband, Jonathan’s, petition to modify the custody provisions of their dissolution decree.  The district court order split care, giving Lisa physical care of their older son and Jonathan physical care of the younger son.  Lisa challenges this arrangement and argues both children would do better in her physical care.  OPINION HOLDS:  The court’s modification is in the best interests of the children.  There are strong and compelling reasons here to split custody between both parents.  We affirm the physical care order but remand for the district court to enter an order on appellate attorney fees for Jonathan. 

Case No. 18-1955:  Jason Batterman v. Amanda Biggs

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1955

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Gregory W. Steensland, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (4 pages)

            Jason Batterman appeals from the district court’s refusal to modify the physical-care placement of his child.  He also challenges the district court’s award of attorney fees to the child’s mother.  OPINION HOLDS: Jason did not demonstrate he could provide the child with superior care.  Accordingly, the district court properly refused to modify the child’s physical-care placement.

Case No. 18-1999:  State of Iowa v. Brenna Folkers

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-1999

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

           

            Brenna Folkers challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting her conviction of child endangerment following a trial to the bench.  She maintains the State did not establish she knowingly acted in a manner that created a substantial risk to her son’s physical, mental, or emotional health or safety.  OPINION HOLDS: Because keeping marijuana and hash oil in the home where a toddler can access it creates a substantial risk to the child’s safety, substantial evidence supports Folkers’s conviction.  We affirm. 

Case No. 18-2000:  State of Iowa v. Eugene Harris

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2000

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Thomas G. Reidel and Henry W. Latham II, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (3 pages)

            Eugene Harris appeals his conviction for neglect of a dependent person.  OPINION HOLDS: When viewed in the light most favorable to the State, substantial evidence supports a finding that Harris was a person having custody of a dependent person.  Because substantial evidence supports Harris’s conviction, we affirm.

Case No. 18-2017:  Michael Hecht v. Highline Construction, Inc. and Western National Insurance Company

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2017

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Sarah Crane, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J.  (8 pages)

            Michael Hecht appeals from the district court’s ruling on judicial review affirming the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner’s denial of permanency and penalty benefits.  Hecht maintains the commissioner erred when he granted the defendants’ untimely application to submit additional evidence.  He argues his substantial rights were prejudiced when the commissioner then relied on the late-submitted evidence to modify the deputy commissioner’s ruling of 30% industrial disability and the assessment of penalty benefits to an award of no permanency or penalty benefits.  OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the district court; the commissioner did not err in determining the twenty-day deadline of Iowa Administrative Code rule 876-4.28 could be extended upon a showing of good cause and did not abuse his discretion in finding Highline established good cause for the delay in these circumstances.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-2154:  In re the Marriage of Saluri

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2154

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Samantha Gronewald, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (6 pages)

            James Saluri appeals the district court’s ruling on a postsecondary education subsidy.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court correctly found good cause for the subsidy and properly applied the statutory three-step process to calculate James’s share of the subsidy.  The court did not abuse its discretion in awarding Sandra Saluri attorney fees.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-2182:  A-Tec Recycling, Inc. and EMCASCO Insurance Company v. Charles E. Wood

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2182

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Sarah Crane, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (5 pages)

            An employer and its workers’ compensation carrier appeal from the district court ruling on judicial review affirming the agency’s award of permanent partial disability benefits to an employee.  OPINION HOLDS: Because substantial evidence supports the agency’s determination that a work injury caused a permanent partial disability to the employee, we affirm.

Case No. 18-2220:  In re Marriage of Palmer

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 18-2220

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mills County, Timothy O'Grady, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (4 pages)

            Steve Palmer appeals from a decree dissolving his marriage to Debra Palmer.  He claims the district court did not award him enough spousal support.  OPINION HOLDS: We afford the district court considerable latitude in determining spousal support.  Here, the district court’s award fits well with Steve and Debra’s relative needs and resources.  The district court did not fail to do equity.  We affirm.  And we assess costs of this appeal to Steve.

Case No. 19-0007:  In the Matter of the Guardianship and Conservatorship of Robert Hites, Jr.

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0007

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Bethany J. Currie, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Greer, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  (6 pages)

            A ward appeals from the district court’s appointment of his parents as co-guardians and co-conservators.  He argues there was insufficient evidence to establish the need for a guardianship or conservatorship.  In the alternative, he argues the court should have established a limited guardianship.  OPINION HOLDS: The ward’s untreated acute paranoid schizophrenia, refusal to acknowledge his mental illness, and refusal to take medication show his decision-making is impaired enough to warrant guardianship and conservatorship.  A limited guardianship is not appropriate here because of the severity of the illness and the ward’s lack of rational engagement with his mental-health condition.  We find no error in the court’s order appointing the parents as guardians and conservators. 

Case No. 19-0094:  Gary Dickey Jr. v. Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0094

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K. Vaudt, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (6 pages)

            Gary Dickey Jr. appeals from the dismissal of his petition for judicial review by which he sought to challenge a decision of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we agree with the district court that Dickey has not demonstrated “a specific and injurious effect” such that he may obtain judicial review of the Board’s ruling under Iowa Code section 17A.19(1), we affirm.

Case No. 19-0238:  Joshua Paul Thomsen v. Makinzie Rose Nelson

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0238

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Crawford County, Tod Deck, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED ON APPEAL; AFFIRMED ON CROSS-APPEAL.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (10 pages)

            Joshua Thomsen appeals and MaKinzie Nelson cross-appeals the district court’s custody decree.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court properly determined joint physical care was inappropriate.  We also find the district court properly awarded physical care to MaKinzie.  While we generally agree with the district court’s visitation schedule, we modify the holiday schedule to permit the child to share holidays with Joshua’s girlfriend’s children.  Finally, we decline to grant appellate attorney fees to either party.

Case No. 19-0268:  In the Matter of the Guardianship and Conservatorship of Sylvia M. Olson

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0268

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Zachary Hindman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (8 pages)

            Richard Magnuson appeals the ruling of the district court approving the guardian and conservator’s annual report and application for authorization to expend conservatorship funds for caregivers.  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our de novo review of the record, we dismiss two of Magnuson’s three claims on appeal as moot.  And we find Magnuson’s last claim that the care provided to the ward was “contrary to [the ward’s] prior orders” to lack merit, and we agree with the district court that the guardian and conservator did not breach her fiduciary duties.  Thus, we affirm the court’s rulings in all respects and dismiss the two claims as moot.

Case No. 19-0310:  Steven J. Bell, Jr. v. 3E, a/k/a Electrical & Engineering Co., and Travelers Indemnity Co. of CT.

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0310

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K. Vaudt, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Greer, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (7 pages)

            3E, also known as Electrical & Engineering Company, and Travelers Indemnity Company appeal the district court’s decision denying their motion to dismiss Steven Bell Jr.’s petition for judicial review on the ground Bell failed to timely serve notice of the petition.  OPINION HOLDS:  We determine the district court erred by denying the motion to dismiss, as Bell did not substantially comply with the requirements for service of notice found in Iowa Code section 17A.19(2) (2018).  We reverse the decision of the district court and remand for an order dismissing the petition for judicial review.

Case No. 19-0478:  In re the Marriage of Dore

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0478

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Patrick A. McElyea, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (9 pages)

            A father appeals from the denial of his petition for modification of a dissolution-of-marriage decree.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the denial of the father’s modification petition. 

Case No. 19-0846:  In the Interest of A.S. and M.S., Minor Children

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0846

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Stephen A. Owen, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (9 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to two of her minor children.  OPINION HOLDS: The State has proved grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence, termination is in the children’s best interests, and no statutory exception exists to prevent termination.  We affirm.

Case No. 19-0870:  In the Interest of B.P., Minor Child

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0870

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

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his minor child.  OPINION HOLDS: The father does not challenge the statutory grounds for termination under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(b) (2018), which does not require reasonable efforts toward reunification.  Regardless, the father failed to demand additional efforts and waived the issue on appeal.  We affirm the juvenile court’s termination of the father’s parental rights.

Case No. 19-0901:  In the Interest of N.R., Minor Child

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0901

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (7 pages)

            A mother appeals the juvenile court order terminating her parental rights.  She claims the child could have been returned to her care at the time of the hearing and, alternatively, requests an additional six months to reunite with the child.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm.

Case No. 19-0941:  In the Interest of R.M., E.M., K.M., C.M., E.M., and L.M., Minor Children

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0941

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cass County, Amy Zacharias, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (7 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her children.  OPINION HOLDS: I. Clear and convincing evidence supports a finding that returning the children to the mother’s care would expose them to the type of harm that would lead to a child-in-need-of-assistance adjudication, and we affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights under section 232.116(1)(f) and (h) (2018).  II. The State made reasonable efforts to return the children to the mother’s care.  III. Termination is in the children’s best interests.  IV. We decline to apply one of the exceptions to the termination statute to avoid termination and affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

Case No. 19-0990:  In the Interest of C.M. and D.M., Minor Children

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-0990

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Deborah Farmer Minot, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (6 pages)

            A mother appeals the juvenile court’s termination of her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude termination was appropriate under Iowa law and consistent with the children’s best interests.

Case No. 19-1003:  In the Interest of W.H. and G.H., Minor Children

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1003

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Stephen A. Owen, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  Special concurrence by Tabor, P.J.  (9 pages)

            A father appeals the juvenile court’s termination of his parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude termination was appropriate under Iowa law and was in the children’s best interests.  We affirm.  SPECIAL CONCURRENCE ASSERTS: Although I agree the evidence supports termination, I write separately to emphasize the role courts play in overseeing the State’s reasonable efforts to reunify families.  Scholars have persuasively argued such efforts require culturally competent services.  African-American children are disproportionately overrepresented in child welfare and foster care systems, and courts can take greater consideration of ethnic and cultural contacts in considering the child’s best interests.  But I agree the father’s appeal issues do not put that question squarely before us. 

Case No. 19-1016:  In the Interest of J.K., Minor Child

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1016

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Colin J. Witt, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Potterfield, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Opinion by Danilson, S.J.  (5 pages)

            A mother and a father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to their child, J.K.  OPINION HOLDS: Inasmuch as grounds for termination exist and permanency is in the child’s best interests, we affirm the termination of both parents’ parental rights.

Case No. 19-1033:  In the Interest of I.T., Minor Child

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1033

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, David F. Staudt, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Greer, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (6 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  OPINION HOLDS: I. Clear and convincing evidence establishes the elements for termination under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2018) because the mother’s substance use remained a concern at the time of the termination hearing.  II. Because the mother cannot provide the child with the permanency or care the child needs, termination is in the child’s best interests.  III. We decline to delay termination because the evidence does not indicate the need for removal will no longer exist at the end of that six-month period. 

Case No. 19-1058:  In the Interest of K.N., Minor Child

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1058

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Bremer County, Peter B. Newell, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Greer, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (8 pages)

            A mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS:  We find there is clear and convincing evidence in the record to support termination of the mother’s rights and termination is in the child’s best interests.  We affirm the decision of the juvenile court.

Case No. 19-1063:  In the Interest of A.R. and S.R., Minor Children

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1063

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Daniel L. Block, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  Dissent by Potterfield, P.J.  (11 pages)

            The father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his two children, A.R. and S.R.  The father does not contest the statutory grounds for termination have been met.  He maintains termination of his parental rights is not in the best interests of the children and claims the juvenile court should have placed the children in a guardianship with their maternal grandmother in lieu of terminating his parental rights because of the closeness of the bond he shares with the children.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the father has not demonstrated an ability to stay sober and create a safe environment for his children and will be imprisoned for at least three more years, and the children are thriving in their maternal grandmother’s care, we affirm the termination.  DISSENT ASSERTS: Based on the holdings of recent cases with similar facts, I would reverse the termination of the father's parental rights.

Case No. 19-1094:  In the Interest of Z.R., Minor Child

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1094

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County, Mary L. Timko, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Greer, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  (6 pages)

            A mother and father each appeal a juvenile court order terminating their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: There is clear and convincing evidence in the record to support termination of the mother’s parental rights, and the court properly denied her request for an extension of time.  The father did not raise any claims concerning the termination of his parental rights.  We conclude his parental rights were properly terminated.  We affirm on both appeals.

Case No. 19-1146:  In the Interest of K.K. and A.K., Minor Children

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1146

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Lynn Poschner, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (4 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his children.  He contends termination was not in the children’s best interests and the juvenile court should have invoked certain exceptions to termination.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the father’s parental rights to the children.

Case No. 19-1164:  In the Interest of J.S., Minor Child

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1164

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (4 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  She contends (1) the State failed to prove the ground for termination cited by the court and (2) termination was not in the child’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights to the child. 

Case No. 19-1170:  In the Interest of S.B. and R.B., Minor Children

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1170

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Colin J. Witt, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (7 pages)

            On appeal, the father and the intervenors contend the juvenile court erred in not finding the mother had relapsed and that the children should remain with the father.  OPINION HOLDS:  The juvenile court found both parents were capable of caring for their children at the time of the permanency-review hearing and determined the children could be returned to the mother, from whom the children had been removed.  We find no reason to disturb the juvenile court’s ruling and we therefore affirm.

 

Case No. 19-1176:  In the Interest of G.B., Minor Child

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1176

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Benton County, Barbara H. Liesveld, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (9 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her minor child.  She argues: (1) termination is not in the child’s best interests, (2) the State failed to make reasonable efforts at reunification, and (3) she should have been given additional time for reunification.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude termination is in the child’s best interests, the mother failed to preserve error on her reasonable-efforts challenge, and additional time is unwarranted.  We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

Case No. 19-1182:  In the Interest of P.R. and E.R., Minor Children

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1182

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Adam D. Sauer, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED. Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J.  (4 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her two children.  She argues she should have additional time because she has a different attorney on appeal.  She also argues the Iowa Department of Human Services’ repeated failure to provide her with permanency plans violates her due process rights and it was abuse of discretion on the part of the district court to terminate her parental rights without the permanency plans. OPINION HOLDS: No due process violations occurred.  The mother’s abuse-of-discretion argument was not raised at any point before appeal and was not substantiated in the mother’s petition.  We affirm.

Case No. 19-1190:  In the Interest of A.C., I.C., and A.C., Minor Children

Filed Sep 11, 2019

View Opinion No. 19-1190

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marion County, Steven Guiter, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J.  (5 pages)

            The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to three of her children, who are all age three or younger.  The juvenile court terminated the mother’s parental rights to each child pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(e) and (h) (2019), citing the mother’s unresolved use of methamphetamine, housing instability, and issues involving mental health.  On appeal, the mother claims there is insufficient evidence to support the statutory grounds for termination and, in the alternative, asks for an extension of time to work toward reunification.  OPINION HOLDS: The statutory grounds for termination have been met, and an extension of time is not warranted.  We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

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