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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. 18-1235:  In the Matter of the Guardianship and Conservatorship of Marvin M. Jorgensen

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1235

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Audubon County, Kathleen A. Kilnoski, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (23 pages)

            The appellants appeal the district court’s order modifying family farm leases in various ways.  The appellants argue the district court did not have the authority to modify the leases.  OPINION HOLDS: Applying contract law, we find the leases should not have been modified.  So we reverse the district court’s order, insofar as it: (1) modifies the rent rates for the family leases, (2) modifies the duration of the family leases, (3) prohibits for-profit subleasing, (4) removes farmland from Dallas Wheatley’s lease, and (5) adds the same farmland in its entirety to Michael Jorgensen’s lease.  And we affirm in all other regards.

Case No. 18-1917:  State of Iowa v. William Paul Roland

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1917

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, William A. Price, District Associate Judge.  CONVICTION AFFIRMED, SENTENCE AFFIRMED IN PART AND VACATED IN PART, AND CASE REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (10 pages)

            A jury found William Roland guilty of sexual exploitation of a minor in violation of Iowa Code section 728.12(3) (2017).  He appeals claiming his counsel gave ineffective assistance.  He also challenges the restitution portion of his sentence.  OPINION HOLDS: We find Roland did not prove his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims.  We find the district court should have determined Roland’s ability to pay, so we vacate the restitution portion of his sentence and remand for a reasonable-ability-to-pay determination.

Case No. 18-1928:  Calvin Nelson v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 18-1928

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

            Calvin Nelson appeals the district court’s denial of his application for postconviction relief, asserting his jury-composition claim was not barred.  OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the district court that his claim was barred by res judicata, and because State v. Plain, 898 N.W.2d 801, 821 (Iowa 2017), does not apply retroactively, Nelson’s claims must fail.

Case No. 19-0046:  Gatbel Thouk Chany v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0046

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D. Huppert, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  (6 pages)

            Gatbel Chany appeals the district court’s dismissal of his second application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Because his expert-testimony claim was not raised or ruled on in the district court, it is not preserved for appeal. 

Case No. 19-0364:  State of Iowa v. Darlin Lenin Veliz Acosta

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0364

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

            Darlin Veliz Acosta appeals his convictions of sexual abuse in the second degree and lascivious acts with a child, raising claims with regard to the admission of electronic messages and defense counsel’s failure to object to statements by the prosecutor during closing argument.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm Acosta’s convictions of sexual abuse in the second degree and lascivious acts with a child.

Case No. 19-0422:  In re the Marriage of Bingaman

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0422

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Michael Jacobsen, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Mullins and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (16 pages)

            Arnold Bingaman appeals certain provisions of the decree dissolving his marriage to Heather Bingaman.  Arnold argues the incomes of both parties were miscalculated for support purposes, the district court miscalculated the value of allegedly dissipated assets, and he should not have been required to pay past-due taxes.  Heather requests an award of appellate attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s spousal- and child- support awards, finding the district court correctly calculated the parties’ incomes.  We also affirm the district court’s calculation of assets Arnold dissipated and the default and remedy regarding the Union County farm tax payments.  We award Heather $15,000.00 in appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 19-0639:  Craig Williams v. Pocahontas Ford-Lincoln, Inc.

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0639

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pocahontas County, Kurt J. Stoebe, Judge.  AFFIRMED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (13 pages)

            Craig Williams appeals the district court’s ruling that denied his claims of breach of an employment contract and failure to pay wages under Iowa Code chapter 91A (2017).  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s decision finding the employer did not breach the parties’ employment agreement and that Williams is not owed any unpaid wages.  We remand for a calculation of the reasonable trial and appellate attorney fees incurred by the employer.

Case No. 19-0672:  Loralee Fisher v. Principal Life Insurance Company

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0672

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Andrew B. Chappell, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Mullins and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (10 pages)

            Loralee Fisher appeals the district court’s entry of summary judgment for Principal Life Insurance Company.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not err in granting summary judgment on Fisher’s claims of breach of contract, reasonable expectations, wavier, and bad faith.  

Case No. 19-0689:  Equity Advisors, Inc. v. Zylstra Harley-Davidson of Illinois, Inc.; Zylstra, LLC; and Zylstra Cycle Co., Inc.

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0689

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Osceola County, Don E. Courtney, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (8 pages)

            Equity Advisors, Inc. (Equity) appeals a summary judgment ruling in favor of Zylstra Harley-Davidson of Illinois, Inc.; Zylstra, LLC; and Zylstra Cycle Company, Inc. (collectively “Zylstra”).  OPINION HOLDS: Equity’s alleged contract with Zylstra did not involve the sale of an interest in a business.  As a result, the Illinois Business Brokers Act did not require the contract to be written and signed.

Case No. 19-0730:  State of Iowa v. Javon Joshua Jennings

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0730

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Richard H. Davidson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., May, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  (9 pages)

            Javon Jennings appeals his conviction for child endangerment causing death.  OPINION HOLDS: Jennings’s claims of prosecutorial misconduct are not preserved for our review, we reject his claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, and we find sufficient evidence to support the verdict.  Therefore, we affirm Jennings’s conviction.

Case No. 19-0733:  State of Iowa v. Earl Baugh III

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0733

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Thomas G. Reidel, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (9 pages).

            Earl Baugh III appeals his conviction for burglary in the first degree, arguing because the jury returned a general verdict, his conviction should be overturned if there is insufficient evidence to support any one of the three methods of committing first-degree burglary submitted to the jury.  OPINION HOLDS: Although we find there is insufficient evidence to show Baugh engaged in a sex act with the victim, as the term “sex act” is statutorily defined, because the jury also found Baugh guilty of going armed with intent and assault causing bodily injury, we are able from the context of the entire case to determine the jury did not rely on a faulty alternative.

Case No. 19-0759:  Marek v. Johnson

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0759

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Henry County, John M. Wright, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON APPEAL; REVERSED AND REMANDED ON CROSS-APPEAL.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  Partial Dissent by May, J.  (24 pages)

            This case involves the aftermath of the discontinuance of the City of Mount Union.  Dan and Linda Johnson appeal from the district court’s order granting summary judgment to the plaintiffs declaring the Johnsons’ money judgment void for lack of personal and subject matter jurisdiction.  The plaintiffs cross-appeal the district court’s granting of the motion to dismiss filed by the City Development Board of the State of Iowa (Board).  OPINION HOLDS: We find summary judgment was properly granted to the plaintiffs, as the judgment entered is void due to the judgment being entered against an entity that no longer exists.  Because there is a conceivable state of facts under which the plaintiffs might show a right of recovery on their claims for declaratory relief against the Board, the dismissal of such claims is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings on those claims.  PARTIAL DISSENT ASSERTS: I agree with the majority that we should affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment.  I would also affirm the district court's grant of the motion to dismiss.  As to that issue, I respectfully dissent.

Case No. 19-0773:  Tyler James Webster v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0773

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jefferson County, Shawn R. Showers, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (5 pages)

            Tyler Webster appeals the district court’s denial of his postconviction-relief application, contending trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the denial of Webster’s postconviction-relief application.

Case No. 19-0856:  State of Iowa v. Scott Dwayne Chatman

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0856

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, William P. Kelly, and Jeffrey D. Farrell, Judges.  CONVICTIONS AFFIRMED; SENTENCE VACATED AND REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (17 pages)

           

            Scott Chatman appeals his convictions for first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, and assault causing bodily injury.  He argues: 1) the district court violated his due process and statutory rights related to competency; 2) his trial counsel was ineffective; and 3) the State did not present substantial evidence he committed the crimes.  He also challenges the court’s sentencing decision.  OPINION HOLDS: On our de novo review, we reject Chatman’s competency claims and preserve his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims for possible postconviction-relief proceedings.  Because we find substantial evidence supports the jury’s verdicts, we affirm Chatman’s convictions.  As for his sentencing claim, we remand for resentencing.

Case No. 19-0916:  State of Iowa v. Clint C. Roe

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-0916

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Nancy S. Tabor, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Tabor, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Mullins, P.J.  (6 pages)

            Clint Roe appeals an order for victim restitution, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence to support the award.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding substantial evidence to support the court’s award of restitution for the challenged items, we affirm.

Case No. 19-1065:  Jerimiah Quinn v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1065

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Joel W. Barrows, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., May, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Mullins, P.J.  (4 pages)

            Jerimiah Quinn appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the denial of Quinn’s application for postconviction relief. 

Case No. 19-1141:  Terrace Perkins v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1141

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark D. Cleve, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Tabor, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (5 pages)

            Terrace Perkins appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR).  On appeal, he argues his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance in orally arguing an erroneous sufficiency-of-the-evidence standard instead of the appropriate weight-of-the-evidence standard in support of Perkins’s motion for new trial.  In denying the application, the PCR court determined Perkins failed to prove both the breach of duty and prejudice elements.  OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the PCR court’s conclusions and affirm.   

Case No. 19-1236:  State of Iowa v. Trequan Cosgrove

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1236

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Louisa County, Mark E. Kruse, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (7 pages)

            Trequan Cosgrove appeals the district court order denying his motion to dismiss the criminal charges against him on speedy trial grounds.  Cosgrove argues the State failed to bring him to trial in violation of his speedy trial rights under Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.33.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Cosgrove’s motion to dismiss because Cosgrove waived his rights to a speedy trial, as evidenced by defense counsel’s active participation in choosing the date of trial.  We affirm.

Case No. 19-1440:  Jordan Scott Johnson v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1440

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Rustin Davenport, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (10 pages)

             Johnson appeals the denial of his third application for postconviction-relief, claiming he received ineffective assistance of counsel when his trial attorney failed to object to portions of the prosecutor’s cross-examination of the defense expert psychiatrist.  The State provides as an alternative ground to affirm the PCR court’s denial of Johnson’s PCR application that Johnson’s claim regarding the cross-examination of the defense psychiatrist was time-barred.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court should have dismissed the entirety of Johnson’s third PCR application as time-barred. 

Case No. 19-1557:  State of Iowa v. Mitchell Ohland

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1557

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Christopher Kemp, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, P.J. (7 pages)

            Mitchell Ohland appeals his criminal conviction, challenging the denial of his motion to suppress.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude the traffic stop was permissible as based on a violation of Iowa Code section 321.388 (2019).  We affirm the denial of Ohland’s motion to suppress and his conviction of driving while barred as a habitual offender.

Case No. 19-1569:  In re the Marriage of Gifford

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1569

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Jason D. Besler, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Mullins, J., and Vogel, S.J.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (10 pages)

            Joseph Gifford appeals and Leia Gifford cross-appeals the provisions of the decree dissolving their marriage.  OPINION HOLDS: I. Because a partial stipulation the parties signed before Leia was represented by counsel does not aid in our resolution of the issues, we exclude it from our review.  II. By granting physical care to Joe with extraordinary visitation to Leia, the court sought to balance these parents’ ability to communicate and cooperate, safety concerns, and the need to maximize the children’s contact with both parents.  III. We decline Joe’s request to require that Leia move out of the marital home while it awaits sale.  IV. In considering the totality of Leia’s financial status, we decline to award her spousal support.  V. The evidence does not support a finding that Joseph dissipated marital assets.  VI. We decline to award either party appellate attorney fees and assess costs of the appeal equally to both parties.

Case No. 19-1691:  State of Iowa v. Jeffrey E. Hummell

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1691

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Henry County, Mary Ann Brown and John M. Wright, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (7 pages)

            Jeffrey Hummell appeals his conviction for possession of methamphetamine, second offense, contending the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he knowingly or intentionally possessed the controlled substance.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we find the State presented sufficient evidence from which a jury could reasonably infer that Hummell had knowledge the items in his pocket contained methamphetamine, we affirm his conviction. 

Case No. 19-1787:  In re the Marriage of Wood

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1787

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Michael K. Jacobsen, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., May, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Mahan, S.J.  (4 pages)

            Robert Wood Jr. appeals from the decree dissolving his marriage to Sarah Wood, challenging the district court’s decision to place physical care of their children to Sarah.  Robert requests physical care of the children or, in the event we affirm the court’s physical care decision, additional parenting time.  He also challenges the court’s attorney fee award to Sarah.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court’s factual determinations are supported by the record and affirm the physical care decision and attorney fee award.  We deny the parties’ requests for appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 19-1848:  Lamont Montee Williams v. State of Iowa

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1848

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Amy M. Moore, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Mullins, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Mahan, S.J.  (10 pages)

            Lamont Williams appeals the district court’s denial of his application for postconviction relief, contending his trial counsel was ineffective in “fail[ing] to call witnesses” suggested by Williams and in “fail[ing] to object to prosecutorial misconduct during closing arguments.”  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our review, we affirm the court’s order denying Williams’ application for postconviction relief.   

Case No. 19-1889:  In re the Marriage of Bojanski

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-1889

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Richard H. Davidson, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (16 pages)

            James Bojanski appeals from a dissolution decree denying his request for alimony and dividing the parties’ marital property.  On appeal, he seeks reversal of the denial of his alimony request and asks that we recalculate the value of the marital home for purposes of the distribution of marital property.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the denial of James’s alimony request.  We find it equitable to exclude any premarital credit on the parties’ home when calculating the portion of the home classified as marital property.  We determine a credit for gifted money.  We accordingly increase the property equalization payment due to James.

Case No. 19-2036:  State of Iowa v. Shawn Eastman-Adams

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-2036

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Joel A. Dalrymple, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (6 pages)

            Shawn Eastman-Adams appeals an order for consecutive sentences.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court properly exercised its sentencing discretion.

Case No. 19-2044:  In the Matter of R.B., Alleged to Be Seriously Mentally Impaired

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-2044

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, James A. McGlynn, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (6 pages)

            R.B. appeals the district court’s denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus, contending he is not likely to injure himself or others if released from civil commitment. OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s denial of R.B.’s petition for writ of habeas corpus.

Case No. 19-2132:  Loose v. Wood

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 19-2132

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mary E. Howes, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Mullins and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (8 pages)

            Julie Loose appeals the denial of her motion to reconsider the district court’s order confirming the arbitration award.  She argues her answer to Prospect Funding Partners, LLC’s cross-claim for declaratory judgment should have operated as a timely application to vacate.  OPINION HOLDS: We reverse and remand for consideration of Loose’s motion to vacate the arbitration award on the merits.

Case No. 20-0200:  In the Matter of the John F. Dybvik Revocable Trust

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-0200

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Winneshiek County, Alan T. Heavens, Judge.  AFFIRMED ON APPEAL; AFFIRMED ON CROSS-APPEAL.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (11 pages)

            Julie Andera appeals the district court’s decision to deduct the assessed penalties and interest from the form 706 tax filings against her trust share.  Successor trustee First Citizens, and trust beneficiaries Nola and Jed Dybvik, cross-appeal the district court’s decision to award Andera $20,000 for work she performed prior to her removal as trustee.  And Nola and Jed appeal the denial of sanctions against Andera.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we find Andera breached her duty to not engage in self-dealing, she must repay the resulting costs of that breach.  We affirm the deductions against her trust share.  Finding no abuse of discretion, we affirm the trustee fee award of $20,000.  We agree with the district court that sanctions were not appropriate in this case. 

Case No. 20-0256:  State of Iowa v. Brett Gilden

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-0256

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Thomas A. Bitter, Judge.  SENTENCE VACATED IN PART AND REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, P.J. (4 pages)

            Brett Gilden appeals the sentence imposed upon his conviction of willful injury causing serious injury.  He argues the court failed to exercise the discretion allowed to it under Iowa Code section 901.10(1) (2019) to reduce the five-year mandatory minimum mandated by Iowa Code section 902.7.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the record clear that the sentencing court was unaware of its discretion to reduce the mandatory minimum and that discretion was therefore not exercised, as required, which mandates resentencing.  We vacate the sentence imposed upon count one and remand for resentencing. 

Case No. 20-0266:  In re the Marriage of Ferris

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-0266

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mary E. Howes, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (12 pages)

            Joel Ferris appeals and Christi Ferris cross-appeals the decree dissolving their marriage.  Joel argues that the district court erred in awarding physical care of the couple’s children to Christi and that she engaged in parental alienation.  On cross-appeal, Christi takes issue with several aspects of the district court’s property division and requests appellate attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: On our de novo review, we affirm the district court’s custody determination.  We modify distribution of Fidelity accounts numbered 478 and 059 and the vehicle debts.  We also modify distribution of the marital assets to provide application of the Benson formula to the pension plans, and we modify the decree by correcting the scrivener’s error used in the calculation of the value of the Barry County, Michigan property.  We decline to award appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 20-0294:  David Eric Wolff v. Mindy Ann Wilson n/k/a Mindy Ann Ennis

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-0294

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Webster County, Kurt L. Wilke, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (17 pages)

            Mindy Ennis, formerly Mindy Wilson, appeals the order denying her request to change the custodial arrangement she and David Wolff crafted by agreement regarding their child.  Mindy argues the district court should have given her physical care of the parties’ child; she also asks for an award of appellate attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: After our de novo review of the record, we reverse the decision of the district court and modify the decree to award Mindy physical care of the child.  We remand to the district court for consideration of the appropriate child-support award after considering the responsibility for health insurance and any other orders consistent with our decision.  We decline to award appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 20-0373:  Jason Jay Bringus v. Steve Elifrits and the Webster County Jail Supervisor

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-0373

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Webster County, Angela L. Doyle, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (4 pages)

            Jason Bringus appeals the district court’s ruling dismissing his lawsuit against the defendants on statute-of-limitations grounds.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the dismissal of Bringus’ petition.

Case No. 20-0418:  In re the Marriage of DeMoss

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-0418

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jackson County, Mark J. Smith, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (12 pages)

            Keith DeMoss appeals dissolution decree granting Ashlee Hingtgen physical care of their two sons.  He contends the district court should have awarded him physical care or at least joint physical care.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the parties struggle to communicate and maintain animosity toward each other, we find joint physical care would not be in the best interests of the children.  As to the physical care determination, we affirm the court’s ruling in favor of Ashlee based on the need to maintain long-term stability for the children. 

Case No. 20-0538:  In re the Marriage of Terrones

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-0538

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Alan Heavens, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (10 pages)

            Brenda Bohlke appeals an order modifying her dissolution decree, which denied her request for joint physical care and denied her liberal visitation in the alternative.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no grounds to disturb the district court’s order.  We affirm. 

Case No. 20-0563:  Richard Bauer, Individually and as Trustee for the Kendall Bauer Trust v. Bradley R. Brinkman

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-0563

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

            Richard Bauer filed a defamation suit over comments Bradley Brinkman made on Facebook.  The district court denied Bauer’s motion for partial summary judgment and granted Brinkman’s motion for summary judgment.  OPINION HOLDS: Brinkman’s comments may have been vulgar, offensive, insulting, and just plain rude, but they did not rise to the level of defamatory statements because they were expressions of opinion protected by the first amendment.  Finding the statements at issue did not constitute defamation, we affirm the district court’s denial of Bauer’s motion for summary judgment and grant of summary judgment to Brinkman.

Case No. 20-0668:  State of Iowa v. Nathaniel Ray Deal

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-0668

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Zachary S. Hindman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (4 pages)

            Nathaniel Deal appeals his ten-year prison sentence for possession with intent to deliver cocaine, contending the district court abused its discretion in sentencing by placing too much weight on his past behavior from years ago instead of his current circumstances.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the court properly weighed permissible sentencing factors, including both negative and positive factors, we find no abuse of discretion.  And thus we affirm his sentence. 

Case No. 20-0897:  In the Interest of Z.M.H., f/k/a Baby G.

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-0897

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Stephen A. Owen, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (7 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights in this private termination action.  OPINION HOLDS: We find there is clear and convincing evidence in the record to support termination of the father’s parental rights on the ground of abandonment.  We conclude it is in the child’s best interests to terminate the father’s parental rights.  We affirm the decision of the district court.

Case No. 20-0964:  In the Interest of A.C. and S.C., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-0964

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buchanan County, Linnea M.N. Nicol, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Bower, C.J., May, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (7 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their respective parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The children could not be safely returned to the mother.  The father waived his reasonable-efforts challenge, and his challenge would be unsuccessful if preserved.

Case No. 20-1001:  In the Interest of D.D. and E.D., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1001

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clay County, Andrew Smith, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (6 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his children, contending (1) the State failed to prove the grounds for termination; (2) termination was not in the children’s best interests; (3) the district court should have invoked certain exceptions to termination; (4) the district court should have granted him six additional months to obtain a custody modification order and (5) the district court violated the Equal Protection Clauses of the United States and Iowa Constitutions.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm termination of the father’s parental rights to his children.

Case No. 20-1005:  In the Interest of A.M. and K.M., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1005

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

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We reject the father’s request for guardianship as a permanency option and find his reasonable-efforts argument is unpreserved.  We find termination is in the best interest of A.M. and K.M. and that placing custody and guardianship with DHS for a pre-adoptive placement decision is in the children’s best interest.

Case No. 20-1008:  In the Interest of A.M., Minor Child

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1008

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Deborah Farmer Minot, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (10 pages)

            A father appeals the juvenile court order terminating his parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: Termination of parental rights was the appropriate permanency option for A.M., a one-year-old child.  Reasonable efforts for reunification were provided to the father.  We affirm the decision of the district court.

Case No. 20-1045:  In the Interest of J.M. and C.M., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1045

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Kimberly Ayotte, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (5 pages)

            A father and mother separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to two children.  The father contends (1) the juvenile court should have placed the children in a guardianship; (2) termination was not in the children’s best interests; and (3) the juvenile court should have invoked an exception to termination.  The mother contends: (1) her due process rights were violated when the juvenile court denied her request for an in-person termination hearing; (2) the State failed to prove the grounds for termination cited by the juvenile court; (3) termination was not in the children’s best interests; (4) she should have been granted a six-month extension; and (5) the juvenile court should have invoked an exception to termination.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the parents’ rights to the children.

Case No. 20-1046:  In the Interest of K.B., Minor Child

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1046

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Brent Pattison, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Greer, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Mahan, S.J.  (9 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to their child.  Both challenge the juvenile court’s refusal to grant a six-month extension and argue termination was not in the child’s best interests.  The mother also challenges the court’s denial of her motion to continue for an in-person hearing.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm on both appeals.

Case No. 20-1076:  In the Interest of E.R., Z.R., A.R., K.B., and K.B., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1076

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Kevin Parker, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (7 pages)

            A mother appeals the juvenile court order terminating her parental rights to her five minor children.  On appeal, the mother challenges the statutory grounds for termination and argues termination is not in the children’s best interest.  OPINION HOLDS: The State met its burden of establishing the statutory grounds for termination.  Termination is in the children’s best interest.  We affirm.

Case No. 20-1099:  In the Interest of W.N., Minor Child

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1099

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jones County, Deborah Farmer Minot, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (7 pages)

            A mother and father appeal the termination of parental rights to their son.  OPINION HOLDS: On our de novo review, we find clear and convincing evidence a ground for termination existed under section 232.116(1)(h) (2020) and termination was in the child’s best interest as to both parents.  Because no exceptions apply to preclude termination, we affirm the juvenile court’s termination order. 

Case No. 20-1102:  In the Interest of C.G., Minor Child

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1102

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marion County, Steven Guiter, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Doyle, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J.  (9 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child, born in 2013.  She contends termination is not in the child’s best interests given the parent-child bond, the State failed to make reasonable efforts at reunification, and she should have been granted a six-month extension.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

Case No. 20-1128:  In the Interest of G.N. and C.N., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1128

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Phillip J. Tabor, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Tabor, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (3 pages)

            The mother challenges three of the statutory grounds for termination—paragraphs (d), (h), and (l) of Iowa Code section 232.116(1) (2020).  OPINION HOLDS: The mother’s failure to challenge termination under paragraph (e) waives any error as it relates to that ground for termination, and we affirm on that ground without further analysis.

Case No. 20-1161:  In the Interest of T.W., B.W., and B.W., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1161

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Phillip J. Tabor, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON FATHER’S APPEAL; REVERSED ON MOTHER’S APPEAL.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Tabor, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (12 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the father’s parental rights to his three children and reverse the termination of the mother’s parental rights to her two children.

Case No. 20-1182:  In the Interest of A.D. and A.G., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1182

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Lynn Poschner, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Schumacher, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Potterfield, S.J.  (11 pages)

            The juvenile court terminated the mother’s parental rights to twelve-year-old A.D. and ten-year-old A.G. pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(f) (2020).  Both the mother and the children challenge the termination on appeal.  The children and the mother argue the children could have been returned to the mother’s care at the final day of the termination hearing and the termination petition should have been dismissed.  In the alternative, the children and mother argue that a guardianship should have been established in lieu of terminating the mother’s rights because termination is not in the children’s best interests and permissive factors weigh against termination.  OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the juvenile court that the children could not be returned to the mother’s care at the final day of the termination hearing, so the statutory ground for termination was met.  We take the children’s steadfast desire to have their mother remain in their life, as well as the circumstances involving their older siblings, into consideration regarding the mother’s and the children’s request for a guardianship in lieu of termination.  But establishing a guardianship would leave the children vulnerable to the uncertainty they have already experienced for too long; termination is in their best interests.  We affirm on both appeals. 

Case No. 20-1189:  In the Interest of B.G., Minor Child

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1189

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

            A mother appeals from the termination of her parental rights to her infant daughter.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm, as the mother may not challenge the termination of her parental rights by raising arguments pertaining to the other parent’s position.  We do not address the ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims due to the lack of developed argument.  Lastly, we find termination of the mother’s parental rights to be in B.G.’s best interest.  Accordingly, we affirm the district court order.

Case No. 20-1192:  In the Interest of A.D. and A.D., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1192

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Christopher Kemp, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (7 pages)

            A mother and father separately appeal the termination of their respective parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The State established a statutory ground for termination with respect to both parents.  And termination is in the children’s best interests.

Case No. 20-1194:  In the Interest of C.B., Minor Child

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1194

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Ida County, Mary L. Timko, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Greer and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (10 pages)

            The father appeals the termination of his parental rights to C.B., claiming his consent to termination was not given voluntarily and intelligently, and the district court erred in allowing the State to orally amend the termination petition to reflect consent.  He argues termination was not in the best interest of C.B., asks for more time to work toward reunification, and contests the statutory grounds for termination.  OPINION HOLDS: The father consented to termination voluntarily and intelligently, and the court properly granted the State’s motion to amend its petition to reflect his consent.  The father failed to preserve error on his other claims.  Thus, we affirm the juvenile court’s termination of the father’s parental rights. 

Case No. 20-1198:  In the Interest of W.E. and D.J., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1198

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, Daniel P. Vakulskas, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (10 pages)

            The father appeals the juvenile court order terminating his parental rights to the children.  OPINION HOLDS: On our de novo review, we find a statutory ground for terminating the father’s parental rights, termination is in the children’s best interest, and an additional six months will not alleviate the need for the children’s removal from the father’s care.  As a result, we affirm the juvenile court.

Case No. 20-1213:  In the Interest of M.M. and M.M., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1213

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Jennifer S. Bailey, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (6 pages)

            A mother appeals a permanency order entered in a child-in-need-of-assistance proceeding.  OPINION HOLDS: I. The juvenile court acted within its discretion when it refused to admit the mother’s demonstrative exhibits because they fail to meet the requirements of Iowa Rule of Evidence 5.1006.  II. Error is not preserved on the mother’s claim that the State failed to make reasonable efforts to reunify the family.  III. Based on the record before us, we are unable to find that the need for the children’s removal will be eliminated if we grant the mother more time. 

Case No. 20-1218:  In the Interest of X.A. and A.A., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1218

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Crawford County, Mary L. Timko, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (9 pages)

            The father appeals the termination of his parental rights, contending there is not clear and convincing evidence to support termination and, in any event, termination is not in the children’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no reason to disturb the court’s findings as they are supported by clear and convincing evidence the children cannot be returned to the father’s custody at present.  After two years of juvenile court proceedings, these children deserve permanency.  Termination is in the children’s best interests.  We affirm the termination of the father’s parental rights.

Case No. 20-1221:  In the Interest of K.S., S.T., and A.T., Minor Children

Filed Nov 30, 2020

View Opinion No. 20-1221

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cherokee County, Mary L. Timko, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (10 pages)

            The mother of three children and the father of the middle child separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of both parents’ parental rights. 

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