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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. 17-1904:  Demarrio Deshon Wright v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 17-1904

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Andrea J. Dryer, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (9 pages)

            DeMarrio Wright appeals following the denial of his application for postconviction relief, claiming prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Wright has failed to prove counsel was ineffective, we affirm.

Case No. 18-0376:  State of Iowa v. Frankie Ray O'Connor

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-0376

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeffrey D. Farrell, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Greer, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Potterfield, S.J. (8 pages)

            Frankie O’Connor appeals his sentence following his guilty plea to one count of possession of more than five grams of methamphetamine with intent to deliver in violation of Iowa Code section 121.401(1)(b)(7) (2016).  On appeal, O’Connor argues the district court improperly considered risk assessment scores in the presentence investigation report because the scores not “validated” under Iowa Code Section 901.11(1) and reliance on unvalidated scores violated O’Connor’s rights under the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and article I, section 9 of the Iowa Constitution.  He also argues his trial counsel was ineffective insofar as they failed to raise those challenges at trial, and that the district court erred by requiring him to pay the court costs associated with the counts dismissed by the State.  Finally, he filed a pro se brief which requests we reduce his mandatory minimum sentence.  OPINION HOLDS: O’Connor’s due process and ineffective assistance of counsel claims are not preserved for our review; he may bring those claims in an application for postconviction relief proceedings if he so desires.  The district court did not err by assessing court fees against him.  We cannot grant his requested sentence reduction. 

Case No. 18-0396:  State of Iowa v. Shane Allen Cheely

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-0396

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Mary Ann Brown and Mark Kruse, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (3 pages)

            Shane Cheely appeals his guilty plea to possession of marijuana as a habitual offender.  He claims his plea was not voluntarily and intelligently entered.  OPINION HOLDS: We find Cheely failed to preserve error.  So we affirm.

Case No. 18-0707:  State of Iowa v. Dylan Daniel Millard

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-0707

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Carol S. Egly, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Mahan, S.J.  (3 pages)

            Dylan Millard appeals following guilty pleas to harassment in the first degree, harassment in the second degree, and assault causing bodily injury or mental illness.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm.

Case No. 18-0709:  Adam John Pitman v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-0709

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lee (South) County, Mary Ann Brown, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Doyle, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Opinion by Danilson, S.J.  (7 pages)

            Adam Pitman appeals the district court decision denying his request for postconviction relief from his conviction of first-degree murder.  Pitman claims he received ineffective assistance because defense counsel did not present a defense of diminished responsibility.  OPINION HOLDS:  Defense counsel considered the defense and rejected it due to a lack of expert witness support.  We conclude Pitman has failed to show he received ineffective assistance of counsel.  We affirm the district court’s decision denying his request for postconviction relief.

Case No. 18-0721:  State of Iowa v. Dion Jeremiah Banks

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-0721

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Patrick A. McElyea and Mark J. Smith, Judges.  CONVICTIONS AFFIRMED, SENTENCES VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Greer, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Potterfield, S.J.. (14 pages)

            Dion Banks challenges his convictions and sentences following a bench trial.  Banks maintains the district court applied the incorrect standard when deciding his motion for new trial based on the weight of the evidence, considered improper factors when deciding his sentence, and wrongly ordered him to pay any appellate attorney fees he incurred in the future (without the benefit of a hearing on his reasonable ability to pay).  Additionally, in his supplemental pro se brief, Banks raises a number of other issues.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not apply the wrong standard in deciding Banks’ motion for new trial, and it did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion.  Banks has not established the court relied on improper factors when deciding his sentence, so we find no abuse of discretion there either.  However, the court erred in ordering Banks to pay any fees incurred for his appointed public appellate attorney unless he affirmatively requests a hearing on his reasonable ability to pay, so we vacate that portion of the sentencing order and remand for the entry of a corrected sentencing order.  We are unable to reach the merits of any of Banks’ pro se claims. 

Case No. 18-0849:  State of Iowa v. Major Calvin Moore Jr.

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-0849

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Thomas G. Reidel, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Mullins, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  (3 pages)

            Major Moore Jr. appeals his sentence for criminal mischief in the third degree.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not abuse its discretion in imposing a term of incarceration, and we affirm Moore’s sentence.

Case No. 18-0945:  State of Iowa v. James R. Montgomery

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-0945

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Carol S. Egly, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (3 pages)

            James Montgomery appeals his conviction and sentence after pleading guilty to an aggravated-misdemeanor charge of eluding.  OPINION HOLDS: Because a review of the entire record before the district court at the time of the plea hearing provides an objective factual basis for the plea, counsel did not breach a duty in allowing Montgomery to plead guilty. 

Case No. 18-1052:  Edward A. Campbell v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1052

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Stuart P. Werling, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  (13 pages)

            A postconviction-relief (PCR) applicant appeals the denial of his application.  OPINION HOLDS: The PCR court properly ruled on applicant’s pretrial motions and denied the PCR application.

Case No. 18-1075:  Terry L. Schott, Sr. v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1075

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Chickasaw County, Margaret L. Lingreen, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (6 pages)

            Terry Schott appeals from the district court’s denial of his application for postconviction relief, arguing (1) his trial attorneys were ineffective in connection with plea discussions he rejected; (2) the postconviction court erred in rejecting his claim of newly-discovered evidence; and (3) the postconviction court should have granted a new trial based on the trial court’s denial of his requests for expert witnesses.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the court’s denial of Schott’s application for postconviction relief.

Case No. 18-1179:  State of Iowa v. Eric John Hellman

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1179

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Guthrie County, Terry Rickers, Judge.  CONDITIONALLY AFFIRMED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by May, J. (9 pages)

            Eric Hellman appeals his conviction and sentence for assault causing bodily injury.  He makes the following arguments on appeal: (1) his counsel was ineffective for multiple reasons, (2) the district court applied the wrong standard when deciding his motion for new trial, (3) the district court illegally imposed court costs without making a finding of reasonable ability to pay, and (4) his no-contact order was an illegal sentence.  OPINION HOLDS: We preserve all but one of Hellman’s ineffective-assistance claims.  We vacate the district court’s denial of the motion for new trial.  As for the sentencing issues, we vacate the imposition of costs, the finding of an intimate partner relationship, and the firearm prohibition.  We remand with directions.

Case No. 18-1215:  State of Iowa v. Tavish Coleon Shackford

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1215

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D. Rosenberg, Judge.  SENTENCE AFFIRMED IN PART, VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Greer, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Greer, J. (9 pages)

           

            Tavish Shackford appeals the district court’s resentencing order after his conviction for one count of willful injury causing bodily injury.  Shackford argues the court erred in assessing all court costs against him, including correctional fees, without considering (1) whether to apportion any of the costs between two criminal counts or (2) whether he had a reasonable ability to pay the costs.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude Shackford is liable for the correctional fees attributable to the time he spent in jail after his conviction for a forcible felony when our court overturned that conviction for lack of evidence.  We also conclude Shackford was not entitled to a reasonable ability to pay determination regarding correctional fees, but he was entitled to that determination regarding court costs.  We remand for the entry of a restitution order.

Case No. 18-1337:  State of Iowa v. Dion Banks

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1337

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Joel W. Barrows, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J. (7 pages)

            Dion Banks appeals his conviction for delivery of heroin, claiming the district court abused its discretion during sentencing.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the court did not abuse its discretion and affirm.

Case No. 18-1377:  Fred Moore v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1377

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K. Vaudt, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Mullins, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Opinion by Danilson, S.J.  (8 pages)

            Fred Moore appeals the district court order denying his request for postconviction relief from his conviction of first-degree murder.  OPINION HOLDS:  We determine the district court did not err by finding Moore did not show he was entitled to relief on the basis of newly-discovered evidence.  We also find no error in the district court’s conclusion Moore did not meet the standard necessary to prove his claim of actual innocence.  We affirm the district court’s decision denying Moore’s application for postconviction relief.

Case No. 18-1464:  Tyler Dix, Jason Cattell, Jimmy McCann, and Julie Eller v. Casey's General Stores, Inc. and Casey's Marketing Company

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1464

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D. Huppert, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON APPEAL; AFFIRMED ON CROSS-APPEAL.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (27 pages)

            The plaintiffs are former Casey’s employees who were fired after a random drug test.  The employees filed claims against Casey’s under the civil cause of action provided in Iowa Code section 730.5(15) (2016).  Casey’s appeals the district court’s award of damages to two of the four plaintiffs and its rejection of Casey’s immunity claim.  The employees cross-appeal the district court’s conclusion Casey’s violated the statute but that they are not aggrieved employees under the statute.  OPINION HOLDS: Based on our interpretation of the statute, Casey’s is not entitled to the statutory immunity.  We find the district court correctly concluded two of the employees were tested without statutory authority, and there is no error in the district court’s grant of awards of front and back pay.  We further find the district court erred in concluding Casey’s committed two other statutory violations.  Because Casey’s conduct substantially complied with the statute in every other respect, the two remaining plaintiffs were not entitled to damages.  We affirm the district court. 

Case No. 18-1528:  State of Iowa v. Mark Anthony Everett

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1528

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, John D. Ackerman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (10 pages)

            Mark Everett appeals his convictions for first-degree robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  He argues the robbery verdict was against the weight of the evidence, trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to opinion and vouching testimony, and there was insufficient evidence to support the felon in possession conviction.  OPINION HOLDS: The credible evidence did not preponderate heavily against the first-degree robbery verdict, counsel was not ineffective as alleged, and there is substantial evidence supporting the felon-in-possession conviction.  We therefore affirm.

Case No. 18-1660:  State of Iowa v. Venhure Yosef Tsegay

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1660

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Wapello County, Lucy J. Gamon, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (7 pages)

            Venhure Tsegay appeals his conviction for first-degree robbery.  He claims his sentence of twenty-five years in prison should be considered cruel and unusual punishment because he was eighteen years old at the time of the offense.  He also raises an equal protection challenge.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm Tsegay’s conviction and sentence,

Case No. 18-1718:  State of Iowa v. Trekel Marquis Barker

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1718

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Steven J. Andreasen, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J. (8 pages)

            Trekel Barker appeals his convictions for robbery in the first degree, carrying a dangerous weapon, trafficking in stolen weapons, and theft in the fourth degree.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the court did not abuse its discretion in denying Barker’s motion for mistrial, motion for new trial, or motion in arrest of judgment, and his counsel did not provide ineffective assistance by not objecting to a jury instruction.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-1721:  State of Iowa v. Daniel Wayne Ockenfels

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1721

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D. Rosenberg and Robert B. Hanson, Judges, and Becky Goettsch, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (6 pages)

            Daniel Ockenfels appeals his convictions after a jury found him guilty on four charges—driving while barred, eluding law enforcement, disarming a police officer, and assault on a police officer while using or displaying a dangerous weapon.  He challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions for disarming a peace officer and assault on a peace officer while using or displaying a dangerous weapon.  He also claims ineffective assistance of trial counsel.  OPINION HOLDS: Although perhaps another factfinder may have judged the evidence differently, substantial evidence supports the jury’s verdicts when viewed in the light most favorable to the State.  We reject Ockenfels’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Case No. 18-1793:  State of Iowa v. Nicholas Wayne Burgess

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1793

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lee (South) County, Mark E. Kruse and Michael J. Schilling, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (9 pages)

            Nicholas Burgess appeals from the sentence imposed upon his conviction for delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (morphine), contending the prosecutor breached the plea agreement to recommend a suspended sentence and his defense counsel was ineffective in not objecting.  OPINION HOLDS: Given the favorable plea agreement offered by the State, Burgess’s extensive criminal history, and the PSI recommendation, it was reasonable for the prosecutor to acknowledge the defendant’s criminal history to explain the State’s recommendation for a suspended sentence.  We therefore affirm.

Case No. 18-1814:  State of Iowa v. Kyle Leonard Tjaden

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1814

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeffrey D. Farrell, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (4 pages)

            Kyle Tjaden appeals the judgment and sentence entered after pleading guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of fourth-degree theft.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the date is not an element of possession of a controlled substance, Tjaden’s counsel did not breach an essential duty in allowing him to plead guilty when the written plea listed the wrong date of possession.  We cannot determine whether Tjaden was prejudiced when his trial counsel failed to alert the district court that they did not inform Tjaden of the maximum possible sentence before accepting his plea.  We preserve that claim and any others for postconviction relief.

Case No. 18-1818:  Joseph Lee Miller v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1818

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Stuart P. Werling, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (6 pages)

            Joseph Miller appeals the denial of postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS:  Because the court did not err in concluding Miller’s claim was barred by the statute of limitations, we affirm. 

Case No. 18-1931:  In re the Marriage of Barnhouse

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1931

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Thomas P. Murphy, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (15 pages)

            Joel Barnhouse appeals from the decree dissolving his marriage to Lynne Barnhouse.  He argues the court should have set aside his gifted and premarital property before dividing the remaining property between the parties.  OPINION HOLDS: We find that some of the realty should be excluded from marital property, and we modify the equalization payment to Lynne.  We otherwise affirm the district court, including the award of spousal support to Lynne.  We also deny Lynee’s request for appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 18-2147:  Capstone Group, Inc. v. Guthrie County Board of Review

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-2147

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Guthrie County, Thomas P. Murphy, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (9 pages)

            Capstone Group, Inc. (Capstone) appeals from the district court ruling that denied a property tax exemption for its nursing facility.  OPINION HOLDS: We find Capstone is a charitable institution that operates the facility solely for charitable purposes and without a view to pecuniary profit.  Therefore, the entire property qualifies for the property tax exemption.  We reverse the district court and remand for entry of an order exempting the property. 

Case No. 18-2149:  State of Iowa v. Duane Huffer

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-2149

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Steven P. Van Marel, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., May, J., and Blane, S.J.  Per Curiam.  (4 pages)

            Defendant appeals the revocation of his deferred judgment and imposition of sentence which included a condition of probation that he reside in a residential facility.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in either instance, we affirm. 

Case No. 18-2158:  Samir M. Shams v. Sona Hassan

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-2158

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Sarah E. Crane, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Potterfield, S.J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (6 pages)

            Samir Shams appeals the order dismissing his claims of conversion, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty against Sona Hassan following a bench trial.  OPINION HOLDS: Shams’s claim that the district court failed to honor the parties’ stipulation is not preserved for our review.  Finding no error in the district court’s determination that Shams failed to meet his burden of proving his claims, we affirm.

Case No. 18-2161:  Geri Doyle and Geri Doyle, Inc. v. Mark Otto and Otto Law Office, PLLC

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-2161

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Martha L. Mertz, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (11 pages)

            Geri Doyle appeals from a grant of summary judgment to her former attorney, Mark Otto, on her claims of legal negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent misrepresentation, and for punitive damages.  OPINION HOLDS: Otto met his burden to show there were no genuine issues of material fact that he did not breach his professional duty of skillful, prudent, and diligent representation to Doyle.  As a matter of law, he was entitled to summary judgment, and we affirm. 

Case No. 18-2231:  Chipokas, L.L.C. v. Casey's Marketing Company

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-2231

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Mitchell E. Turner, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (13 pages)

            Chipokas, LLC appeals from a summary judgment ruling in favor of Casey’s Marketing Company (Casey’s) that determined Casey’s was not contractually bound to lease certain property from Chipokas.  OPINION HOLDS: A provision of a lease assigned to Casey’s did not require Casey’s to lease an adjoining piece of land upon renewal of the lease because the original lessee did not assign the right to renew the adjoining land to Casey’s and instead retained the right to renew the lease of the adjoining land.

Case No. 18-2237:  State of Iowa v. Michael Wayne Van Essen Jr.

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-2237

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, Timothy Jarman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Mullins and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (3 pages)

            Michael Van Essen Jr. appeals the revocation of his deferred judgment and the sentence imposed arguing the court failed to state adequate reasons for its decision.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the revocation of Van Essen’s deferred judgment and the sentence imposed.

Case No. 19-0002:  Lucas Woods v. Charles Gabus Ford, Inc.

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0002

           Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K. Vaudt, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (10 pages)

           Charles Gabus Ford fired Lucas Woods after he failed an employee drug test.  Woods filed a petition at law asserting he was wrongfully terminated because Gabus Ford violated Iowa Code section 730.5 (2017)—Iowa’s private sector employee drug-and-alcohol-testing statute.  On appeal from dismissal of his petition, Woods asserts Gabus Ford did not: (1) send its certified mailing of the post-test notice return receipt requested as required in subsection (7)(j)(1); (2) establish it complied with the supervisory personnel training described in subsection (9)(h); and (3) include in its notice to Woods the cost of a confirmatory drug test as required in subsection (7)(j)(1).  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our review of the record, we find no reversible error in Woods’s first two claims.  But we agree Gabus Ford’s failure to include the cost of the confirmatory drug test in its post-test notice to Woods violated the statute.  So we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

Case No. 19-0010:  Presbyterian Homes & Services, Inc., d/b/a Mill Pond and Zurich American Insurance Company v. Mary Buchanan

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0010

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Sarah Crane, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Greer, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Potterfield, S.J.  (23 pages)

            Presbyterian Homes & Services, Inc., doing business as Mill Pond, and its insurer Zurich American Insurance Company appeal the district court order affirming in part and reversing in part a final decision of the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commission. The claimant, Mary Buchanan, cross-appeals. Appellants argue the district court erred by finding (1) the commissioner’s factual findings on medical causation were supported by substantial evidence; and (2) the commissioner’s determination Buchanan had sustained sixty-five percent industrial disability as a result applied the correct legal standard and was supported by substantial evidence.  On cross appeal, Buchanan argues the district court erred by reversing the final decision awarding her penalty benefits.  OPINION HOLDS: Substantial evidence supported the commissioner’s finding on medical causation.  The commissioner’s industrial disability rating was supported by substantial evidence and not irrational, illogical, or wholly unjustifiable.  The district court correctly reversed the commissioner’s award of penalty benefits.  We affirm.

Case No. 19-0015:  Harris Steel Group, Inc. and American Zurich Insurance Company v. Justin Botkin

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0015

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D. Huppert, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (6 pages)

            An employer appeals following judicial review of a worker’s compensation decision granting an application for alternate medical care.  OPINION HOLDS: The agency properly granted alternate medical care.  The employer conceded that it had authorized the employee’s care with the doctor from whom the employee sought to continue treatment and never told the employee it would no longer authorize treatment with the doctor.  The employee thus was entitled to continue care with that doctor as long as the doctor indicated the treatment related to the work injury.

Case No. 19-0054:  In the Matter of the Estate of Robert Earl Siefkas, Deceased.

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0054

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clarke County, John D. Lloyd, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (7 pages)

            Michael Siefkas appeals a district court order in a proceeding concerning his father’s estate.  Michael argues the district court erred in determining a jointly-held account should be listed on the estate inventory and was subject to attorney fees.  He also argues the jointly-held account was not an estate asset.  OPINION HOLDS: The account was held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship between the decedent and his two sons.  Accordingly, it was not an estate asset and ownership of the account passed automatically to the survivors.  However, because assets held in joint tenancy are considered gross assets of the estate for tax purposes, the account was properly included on the inventory form and may be considered in the court’s discretionary award of a reasonable attorney fee.  We offer no opinion as to how much should be allowed by the court as a reasonable fee. 

Case No. 19-0092:  In re the Marriage of Freiberg

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0092

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, John J. Haney, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED ON APPEAL; AFFIRMED ON CROSS-APPEAL.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (9 pages)

            Brian Freiberg appeals, and Amanda Freiberg cross-appeals, the district court’s denial of their respective requests to modify their dissolution decree.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm on the issues raised in Amanda’s cross-appeal.  On Brian’s appeal, we affirm all aspects of the modification decree except we reverse the visitation portion of the decree and remand for substitution of Brian’s requested visitation provision and for reconsideration of child support in light of the change.

Case No. 19-0114:  State of Iowa v. Tasha Lynne Koppes

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0114

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Mark T. Hostager, District Associate Judge.  CONVICTION AFFIRMED, SENTENCE VACATED, AND REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING..  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Mullins and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  Dissent by Ahlers, J.  (7 pages)

            Tasha Koppes appeals her sentence following her guilty plea to interference with official acts resulting in bodily injury, claiming the court relied on impermissible factors in sentencing her.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude an unproven or unprosecuted substance-abuse related offense was considered in sentencing.  We vacate the sentence and remand for resentencing.  DISSENT ASSERTS: I believe the district court did not improperly consider any unprosecuted or unproven offenses in issuing Tasha Koppes’s sentence.  I believe her sentence was within the court’s discretion, and I would affirm.

Case No. 19-0199:  In the Interest of K.H., Minor Child

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0199

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Gary P. Strausser, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (5 pages)

            K.H. appeals his adjudication as a delinquent for assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.  OPINION HOLDS: Because substantial credible evidence supports the elements of that offense, we affirm the delinquency adjudication. 

Case No. 19-0230:  State of Iowa v. Derek Thompson

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0230

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Paul D. Scott, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J. (4 pages)

            Derek Thompson appeals the sentences imposed upon his convictions of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and failure to affix a drug-tax stamp.  He argues the court improperly ordered him to pay court costs on a dismissed count and a drug abuse resistance education surcharge without first determining his reasonable ability to pay the same.  He also argues the imposition of law enforcement initiative surcharges violates his right to equal protection under the state and federal constitutions.  OPINION HOLDS: We vacate the sentencing order’s assessment of court costs and remand the matter to the district court for the receipt of a final restitution plan and subsequent assessment of Thompson’s reasonable ability to pay.  We affirm the remainder of the sentence imposed.

Case No. 19-0236:  State of Iowa v. Jason Thomas Purtilo

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0236

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Steven J. Holwerda, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Mullins and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (3 pages)

            Jason Purtilo appeals following his guilty plea to public intoxication, third or subsequent offense, arguing the protocol for stipulations to prior convictions for sentencing enhancement purposes “should be extended to [his] case.”  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm Purtilo’s conviction, judgment, and sentence for public intoxication, third or subsequent offense.

Case No. 19-0244:  RSB Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Plaza Bowl and Richard J. Moores v. Heritage Bank, N.A.

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0244

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Julie A. Schumacher, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED FOR NEW TRIAL.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Schumacher, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (12 pages)

            RSB Entertainment, LLC and Richard Moores appeal from the district court’s summary judgment ruling and dismissal of their claim for damages.  They challenge the district court’s summary judgment ruling determining certain equipment amounted to fixtures to real property.  They also claim disposition of secured collateral was not commercially reasonable.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court properly granted summary judgment determining the equipment amounted to fixtures.  The district court applied the incorrect legal test in determining commercial reasonableness and entitlement to a deficiency.

Case No. 19-0256:  Shenyang Jinli Metals v. Sivyer Steel Corporation

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0256

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Joel W. Barrows and Mark D. Cleve, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (7 pages)

            A judgment creditor appeals from a district court ruling that it was entitled to the judgment debtor’s funds subject to a bank’s security interest.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not err in denying the judgment creditor’s motion for order of judgment and granting the bank’s motion for application of the funds to the judgment debtor’s indebtedness.

Case No. 19-0384:  Larry Lee Smith v. State of Iowa

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0384

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Sarah Crane, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Mullins and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (3 pages)

            Larry Smith appeals the summary disposition of his application for postconviction relief and statute-of-limitations grounds.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the summary disposition of Smith’s application. 

Case No. 19-0431:  No Boundry, LLC v. Cornell Hoosman

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0431

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Andrea Dryer, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (8 pages)

            Cornell Hoosman appeals from the district court’s denial of his motion to set aside a default judgment.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to set aside the default judgment. 

Case No. 19-0543:  In re the Marriage of Toop

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0543

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Kevin McKeever, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (8 pages)

            Angela Toop appeals the shared physical care provision of the decree dissolving her marriage with Brian Scott Toop.  OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the trial court shared physical care is in the best interest of the children and we therefore affirm.

Case No. 19-0612:  In re the Marriage of Weier

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0612

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

            Nicholas Weier appeals the modification order placing physical care of their two sons with his ex-wife Trisha Iversen.  Nicholas contends he would be the superior caregiver and that granting him physical care would “minimize the change in the children’s lives.”  In the alternative, Nicholas asks for additional visitation time.  OPINION HOLDS: After our independent review of the record and issues raised, we concur in the opinion of the district court that granting Trisha physical care is in the children’s best interests.  We also decline to alter the visitation schedule.

Case No. 19-0746:  State of Iowa v. Jesus Delgado-Jimenez

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0746

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Patrick H. Tott, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J. (6 pages)

            We must decide if the district court properly granted a motion to suppress evidence.  The State argues the automobile exception applies to the warrantless search of the vehicle Jesus Delgado-Jimenez drove.  OPINION HOLDS: The State established the necessary probable cause and exigent circumstances to justify the automobile exception.  As a result, we reverse the district court and remand for further proceedings. 

Case No. 19-0757:  In the Matter of K.S., Alleged to Be Seriously Mentally Impaired

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0757

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Kevin McKeever, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (6 pages)

            K.S., a felon in the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC), challenges the district court decision ordering him to be involuntarily hospitalized.  He contends although he has a diagnosis of schizophrenia, the record does not support finding he lacks sufficient judgment to make reasonable decisions on his treatment or is likely to injure himself or others if allowed to remain at liberty without treatment.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the State presented clear and convincing evidence K.S. suffers from a serious mental impairment and he lacks sufficient judgment to make treatment decisions and is likely to injure himself or others if allowed to remain at liberty within the prison system without treatment.  We affirm the order of commitment. 

Case No. 19-0766:  In re the Marriage of Nibbelink

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0766

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, Jeffrey A. Neary, Judge.  AFFIRMED.    Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (10 pages)

            Denene Nutt, formerly known as Denene Nibbelink, appeals various provisions of the decree dissolving her marriage to Jody Nibbelink.  Denene asserts the decree entered is inequitable in (1) underestimating the value of Integrity Concrete, LLC, (2) treating the parties’ post-separation debt differently, (3) dividing the parties’ debts and assets and ordering no property settlement payment, and (4) ordering each party to pay their own attorney and expert fees.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no failure to do equity and therefore affirm.

Case No. 19-1195:  In the Interest of M.H., Minor Child

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1195

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Charles D. Fagan, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (8 pages)

            A mother appeals the juvenile court decision terminating her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We find sufficient evidence supports a ground for termination, an extension is not warranted, and termination is in the best interests of the child.  We affirm.

Case No. 19-1387:  In the Interest of P.C., Minor Child

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1387

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clay County, Andrew Smith, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (4 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights, claiming there is not sufficient evidence to support the court’s finding that the child cannot be returned to him at present.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the child cannot be returned to the father’s custody at present without risk of adjudicatory harm, there is clear and convincing evidence to terminate the father’s parental rights.   

Case No. 19-1459:  In the Interest of A.D. and B.W., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1459

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Susan Cox, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (11 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights as to two children. OPINION HOLDS: We find no denial of the mother’s due process rights.  We find the record supports termination of the mother’s rights to the two children.  Finally, we reject mother’s arguments that a permissive exception should have been applied, a six-month extension should have been granted, and termination is not in the children’s best interests. 

Case No. 19-1551:  In the Interest of J.E., Minor Child

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1551

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Keokuk County, Daniel Kitchen, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (6 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.  She claims she should have been granted an additional six months to achieve reunification with the child.  OPINION HOLDS: We find an extension was not warranted and termination is in the best interests of the child.  We affirm.

Case No. 19-1574:  In the Interest of A.C. and P.C., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1574

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Jason A. Burns, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  Special Concurrence by Schumacher, J.  (8 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her two daughters.  OPINION HOLDS: Because of the mother’s cognitive and physical disabilities, she is unable to care for herself or for her children.  The juvenile court found, and we agree, termination of the mother’s parental rights is in the best interests of the children.  SPECIAL CONCURRENCE: I respectfully disagree with the use of the audio of the mother’s partial testimony in our review of the record, as such was not a part of the official record at the time the appeal was submitted to our court and was likely not accessible to the litigants.  Based on the independent review of the record without the audio recording of a portion of the mother’s testimony, I join the majority opinion.

Case No. 19-1633:  In the Interest of J.P., G.P., J.H., and L.H., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1633

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Franklin County, Peter B. Newell, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (5 pages)

            A mother and father appeal the juvenile court’s termination of their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude termination is appropriate under Iowa law and consistent with the children’s best interests with respect to both parents.

Case No. 19-1634:  In the Interest of A.C., Minor Child

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1634

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Daniel L. Block, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (6 pages)

            The father appeals the termination of his parental rights to A.C.  OPINION HOLDS: A.C. is now over two years old and should not continue waiting for permanency.  We agree with denying the father additional time to work toward reunification, decline to order a guardianship, and affirm the termination of his parental rights.

Case No. 19-1637:  In the Interest of K.M., S.M., and N.M., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1637

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Jennifer S. Bailey, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by May, P.J., Greer, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by May, P.J.  (9 pages)

            A mother and father appeal the juvenile court’s termination of their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude termination was appropriate under Iowa law and consistent with the children’s best interests with respect to both parents.

Case No. 19-1647:  In the Interest of J.F., Minor Child

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1647

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Mark C. Cord III, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (6 pages)

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

Case No. 19-1648:  In the Interest of K.P., Minor Child

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1648

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Eric J. Nelson, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (3 pages)

            The father appeals the termination of his parental rights to K.P.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the father properly consented to termination, and we affirm the termination of his parental rights.

Case No. 19-1667:  In the Interest of N.N., Minor Child

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1667

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County, Mary L. Timko, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (5 pages)

                N.K. appeals the termination of her parental rights to N.N.  She argues she should have had an interpreter and attorney during N.N.’s delinquency proceedings and termination is not in N.N.’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: The mother has not preserved her claims regarding lack of an interpreter and attorney during delinquency for our review; however, a parent has no right to an interpreter or attorney during the child’s delinquency proceedings.  We find termination is in N.N.’s best interests, and we affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

Case No. 19-1709:  In the Interest of A.L., A.L., and A.L., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1709

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jones County, Deborah Farmer Minot, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (4 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to three children, contending that termination was not in the children’s best interests, the district court should have granted an exception to termination based on the parent-child bond, and the court should have given him six additional months to work toward reunification.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the father failed to address the safety concerns that precipitated removal of the children from his custody, there was no evidence of a strong parent-child bond, and we agree with the district court that the father is unlikely to properly take advantage of any additional time, we affirm. 

Case No. 19-1730:  In the Interest of J.G. and J.G., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1730

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

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his children.  OPINION HOLDS: Without deciding whether the father waived error on his claim that the Iowa Department of Human Services did not make reasonable efforts to reunite his family because he failed to request additional services, we conclude the benefit flowing from additional visits would not have outweighed the immediate needs of the children.  Termination is in the children’s best interests, and the father has failed to prove one of the circumstances listed in Iowa Code section 232.116(3) (2019) exists to avoid termination of his parental rights.

Case No. 19-1775:  In the Interest of K.V. and H.V., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1775

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Mark C. Cord III, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Tabor, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (5 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to two children.  OPINION HOLDS: Because clear and convincing evidence shows the children could not be returned to the mother’s care at the time of the termination hearing, we affirm termination of the mother’s parental rights under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2019).  We deny the mother’s request for additional time and decline to apply the provisions of Iowa Code section 232.116(3)(a) to avoid terminating the mother’s parental rights because doing so would be contrary to the children’s best interests. 

Case No. 19-1779:  In the Interest of E.C., A.C., and L.C., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1779

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Charles D. Fagan, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Mullins, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  (6 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The statutory grounds for termination are satisfied, DHS provided reasonable efforts for reunification, termination is in the children’s best interests, and the mother’s bond with the children does not preclude termination.  Therefore, we affirm the termination of both parents’ parental rights.

Case No. 19-1797:  In the Interest of E.M., Minor Child

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1797

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Daniel L. Block, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (6 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to a nine-year-old child arguing for more time, and the child’s grandfather appeals the denial of a guardianship.  OPINION HOLDS: Given the mother’s past performance, marked by substance abuse and inadequate supervision of the child, we find no prospect she can improve enough to warrant an additional six month extension of permanency.  The grandfather also has not demonstrated an ability to supervise the child adequately.  It would not be in the child’s best interests to place her in a guardianship with the grandfather.  We affirm the juvenile court.

Case No. 19-1798:  In the Interest of J.G. and L.G., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1798

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Madison County, Brendan Greiner, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Mullins and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (9 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his two children, born in 2014 and 2015.  He complains the children were not placed with their paternal grandmother upon removal, argues termination is not in the children’s best interests, and requests an additional six months to work toward reunification.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the father’s parental rights.

Case No. 19-1829:  In the Interest of C.K. and M.K., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1829

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Korie Shippee, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (7 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to two minor children under Iowa Code chapter 232 (2019).  She does not contest the grounds for termination but claims two exceptions to termination apply: (1) the children are placed with relatives and (2) termination would harm the children based on their closeness with the mother.  The mother requests a guardianship instead of termination.  OPINION HOLDS: We decline to apply the permissive exceptions to termination, reject the mother’s request for a guardianship, and affirm the termination order.

Case No. 19-1831:  In the Interest of D.B., Minor Child

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1831

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Barbara H. Liesveld, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (8 pages)

            A mother appeals from a district court order terminating her parental rights with respect to her daughter.  OPINION HOLDS: The state made reasonable efforts to reunify and the trial court did not improperly refuse to grant a six-month extension for further reunification efforts.   Termination of the mother’s parental rights is affirmed.

Case No. 19-1849:  In the Interest of R.R. and B.V., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1849

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mahaska County, Rose Anne Mefford, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., May, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  (3 pages)

            A father asserts the termination of his parental rights to his two children is not in their best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the father has been incarcerated since 2016 with a release date no earlier than January 2021 and has maintained no relationship with the children since his incarceration, we find termination is in the children’s best interests and affirm. 

Case No. 19-1866:  In the Interest of M.M. and A.M., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1866

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Christine Dalton, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  (4 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to two school-aged children, arguing it is not in their best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: The mother showed little interest in addressing the substantial substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental health issues that have caused substantial trauma to these children.  Termination is in their best interests.  We affirm. 

Case No. 19-1879:  In the Interest of D.B. and R.B., Minor Children

Filed Jan 09, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1879

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Steven J. Holwerda, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J.  (3 pages)

            A mother appeals a permanency order transferring guardianship and custody of her two children to suitable others, contending she should have been allowed a six-month extension.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the permanency order transferring guardianship and custody of the children to suitable others. 

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