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Most Recent Court of Appeals Summaries

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

Opinion Summaries

Case No. 19-0929:  State of Iowa v. Shawn Eugene Davis

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-0929

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, William P. Kelly, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  (23 pages)

            Shawn Davis appeals from his conviction for second-degree murder, contending the jury instructions were erroneous, his trial counsel was ineffective, and the court’s evidentiary rulings were faulty in two respects.  OPINION HOLDS: After considering the asserted errors properly preserved, we affirm.

Case No. 19-0966:  Vilaychith Fila Khouanmany v. State of Iowa

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-0966

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Tabor, J., and Vogel, S.J.  May, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Vogel, S.J.  (4 pages)

            Vilaychith Khouanmany appeals the dismissal of her application for postconviction relief.  She asserts “equitable tolling” should allow her to overcome the three-year limitation period set forth in Iowa Code section 822.3 (2018).  OPINION HOLDS: Agreeing with the district court that her application falls outside the limitations period, we affirm.

Case No. 19-1137:  Daniel Lee Jensen v. Karla Ruth Baccam

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1137

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Calhoun County, Gina Badding, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Mullins, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (5 pages)

            Daniel Jensen appeals the district court’s dismissal of his contempt application.  OPINION HOLDS: Substantial evidence supports the district court’s findings, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the contempt application.

Case No. 19-1310:  In re Detention of Galen Shaffer

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1310

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley J. Harris, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Greer, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (8 pages)

            Galen Shaffer appeals the district court’s continuation of his commitment as a sexually violent predator under Iowa Code chapter 299A (2019).  Shaffer argues the district court erred by concluding the State met its burden of showing, beyond a reasonable doubt, Shaffer is likely to engage in predatory acts that constitute sexually violent offenses if discharged.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the the district court’s ruling that Shaffer should remain committed for treatment as a sexually violent predator in a secure setting.

Case No. 19-1336:  State of Iowa v. Randy Louis Linderman

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1336

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Richard B. Clogg, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by May, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (22 pages)

            Randy Linderman appeals his conviction of first-degree murder, claiming the district court erred in denying (1) his motion to strike a juror for cause; (2) his motion for judgment of acquittal on the basis there was insufficient evidence to convict; and (3) his motion for a new trial on the basis the jury’s verdict was contrary to the weight of the evidence.  Linderman also contends newly discovered evidence requires remanding for a new trial.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no abuse of discretion involving jury selection and substantial evidence supports the verdict.  Linderman is not entitled to a new trial, and we affirm the conviction.   

Case No. 19-1363:  State of Iowa v. Juan E. Rosales

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1363

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mary E. Howes, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Ahlers, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (6 pages)

            Juan Rosales appeals his convictions for theft in the second degree and eluding while participating in a felony.  He challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the jury’s verdict on two specific elements: (1) the value of the stolen car and (2) the speed he was driving relative to the speed limit.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Rosales’s motion for judgment of acquittal failed to identify the specific issues raised on appeal, he did not preserve error for review.  We affirm both convictions. 

Case No. 19-1636:  State of Iowa v. Michael Wilson White

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1636

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Brook Jacobsen, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (10 pages)

            Defendant appeals his convictions for operating while intoxicated and driving while revoked, arguing the district court erred in admitting certain evidence over his hearsay and Confrontation Clause objections and that the evidence is insufficient to support the guilty verdict.  OPINION HOLDS: The evidence was properly admitted under an exception to the hearsay rule and was not a violation of the Confrontation Clause as the statements were nontestimonial.  The record contains substantial evidence and is sufficient to support the defendant’s convictions.  

Case No. 19-1656:  Jamie Dean Trickel v. State of Iowa

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1656

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, John D. Telleen, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., May, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (4 pages)

            Jamie Dean Trickel appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Trickel failed to prove both that his trial counsel breached a duty and prejudice resulted, we affirm.

Case No. 19-1765:  State of Iowa v. William Kirby Mann

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1765

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Keokuk County, Crystal S. Cronk, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., May, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J.  (4 pages)

            William Mann appeals his conviction of second-degree sexual abuse.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm Mann’s conviction.

Case No. 19-1821:  Shannon Lee Duncan v. Ford Motor Credit Company, LLC, Bruce Shores, and Repossessors, Inc.

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1821

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Winneshiek County, Richard D. Stochl, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (11 pages)

            Shannon Duncan appeals the district court’s partial grant of summary judgment for her lender and its agents on a punitive damages claim.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the record, when viewed in the light most favorable to Duncan, reflects genuine issues of material fact on whether (1) the elements of extortion were met and (2) the defendants acted with “willful and wanton disregard” for her rights, we reverse the grant of summary judgment and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. 

Case No. 19-1830:  State of Iowa v. Derek Tracy Clark

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1830

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mary E. Howes, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (5 pages)

            Derek Clark challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support his conviction for first-degree theft.  OPINION HOLDS: Because substantial evidence supports that Clark knew the truck he was driving was stolen and the vehicle was worth more than $10,000, we affirm.

Case No. 19-1841:  State of Iowa v. Thomas Patrick Olofson

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-1841

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Lawrence P. McLellan, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (8 pages)

            Thomas Patrick Olofson challenges his convictions of forgery based on the claim there was insufficient evidence of one element of the offenses.  OPINION HOLDS: We find sufficient evidence supporting the conclusion Olofson made and transferred checks that purported to be the act of another who did not authorize the act.  Therefore, the State met its burden of establishing the only element challenged on appeal, and we affirm.

Case No. 19-2029:  State of Iowa v. Jennifer Lynn Tucker

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-2029

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Mark E. Kruse, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J. (13 pages)

            Jennifer Tucker appeals her convictions for possession with intent to deliver drugs.  Among other things, she argues the district court erred in denying her motion to dismiss and to enforce her cooperation agreement.  OPINION HOLDS: The State did not carry its burden to show that Tucker agreed to perform additional duties with the drug task force or to testify a second time at her co-accused’s retrial.  The devil is in the details, and here there were no details.  Although Tucker did not perform as the State wished, Tucker performed as required under her agreement with the State.  In repudiating the agreement, the State breached the agreement.  For these reasons, we grant specific performance here and reverse the denial of Tucker's motion to dismiss.  We vacate the drug convictions and sentences and remand for dismissal of the drug charges in accordance with the agreement.

Case No. 19-2037:  Martin Shane Moon v. State of Iowa

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-2037

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

    The district court summarily dismissed Martin Moon’s third application for postconviction relief (PCR), finding it was time-barred by the statute of limitations established in Iowa Code section 822.3 (2018).  On appeal Moon argues a fact dispute over the date procedendo from his original appeal occurred prohibits summary dismissal of his application.  Put more simply, Moon contends he should be allowed an opportunity to develop his PCR theories and the district court’s summary dismissal was in error.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Moon failed to show his third PCR claim overcomes the time limits of section 822.3, we find the summary dismissal of the third PCR action was correct.  We affirm.

Case No. 19-2061:  State of Iowa v. Ricardo Rodriguez

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-2061

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jefferson County, Joel D. Yates, Judge.  SENTENCES VACATED AND REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J. (5 pages)

            After pleading guilty to possession with intent to deliver (methamphetamine) and possession, third or subsequent offense (heroin), Ricardo Rodriguez challenges the sentencing hearing and his sentences.  Specifically, Rodriguez contends the district court failed to state adequate reasons on the record for the sentence it imposed.  He also maintains the court imposed an illegal sentence because he did not have two qualifying predicate convictions to be sentenced for a third or subsequent offense under Iowa Code section 124.401(5) (2019).  OPINION HOLDS: As the State concedes, the district court erred in sentencing Rodriguez as a third or subsequent offender because he did not commit his second offense after his first conviction.  We vacate Rodriguez’s sentences and remand for resentencing.

Case No. 19-2120:  State of Iowa v. Otoniel Decanini-Hernandez

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-2120

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Washington County, Crystal S. Cronk, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by May, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by May, P.J.  (23 pages)

            Otoniel Decanini-Hernandez appeals his conviction as a felon in possession of a firearm.  OPINION HOLDS: Decanini-Hernandez was not in custody for purposes of Miranda when questioned by law enforcement.  The district court did not abuse its discretion in preventing Decanini-Hernandez from questioning a witness about his pending drug charges.

Case No. 19-2130:  State of Iowa v. Jeffrey Lynn Winters

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-2130

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Kossuth County, Carl J. Petersen, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by May, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J. (24 pages)

            Jeffrey Winters appeals his conviction following a jury trial in which he was found guilty of murder in the first degree.  Winters argues the district court abused its discretion in declining to strike two potential jurors for cause and when it overruled his motion for a mistrial following certain questioning by the prosecution implicating his right to remain silent.  Winters also asserts that the evidence is insufficient to support the jury’s guilty verdict.  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our review, we find no abuse of discretion in the district court’s refusal to strike the jurors and in denying Winters’s motion for a mistrial.  The record contains substantial evidence to support the jury’s verdict.  Accordingly, we affirm.

Case No. 19-2138:  Regional Care Hospital Partners, Inc., and Zurich American Insurance Company v. Roberta Marrs

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 19-2138

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, David Porter, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (6 pages)

            An employer and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier appeal an award of workers’ compensation benefits to an employee.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the commissioner correctly applied the law to the facts and substantial evidence supports the commissioner’s findings regarding causation, the rate of compensation, and penalty benefits, we affirm.

Case No. 20-0047:  Judy Lynn Neumeyer v. Laurel E. Neumeyer

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0047

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Joseph Seidlin, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Greer, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (3 pages)

            Laurel Neumeyer appeals the entry of a final domestic abuse protective order under Iowa Code chapter 236 (2019).  OPINION HOLDS: Because at least two incidents Judy alleged in the petition qualify as domestic abuse, we affirm the entry of the protective order under chapter 236.

Case No. 20-0059:  State of Iowa v. Alexander Vonriedel Burgdorf

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0059

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marion County, Steven W. Guiter, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (16 pages)

            Defendant appeals from three separate jury trials where he was found guilty of driving while license revoked.  He argues the evidence is insufficient to prove he operated a motor vehicle in one of his cases.  Additionally, he asserts his right to self-representation was violated in all three of his cases when he was represented by counsel despite his requests to proceed pro se.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the record contains substantial evidence to support the jury’s verdict and that Burgdorf’s right to self-representation was not violated.  Accordingly, we affirm.

Case No. 20-0062:  Marcia Nemmers v. City of Spencer, Iowa

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0062

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clay County, Nancy L. Whittenburg, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (3 pages)

            Marcia Nemmers appeals the dismissal of her claim of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.  OPINION HOLDS: The Iowa Civil Rights Act provides the exclusive remedy for Nemmers’s claim the City of Spencer discharged her for reporting age discrimination.  Therefore, we affirm the dismissal of her claim of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.

Case No. 20-0074:  Daniel Wayne Ockenfels v. State of Iowa

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0074

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Coleman McAllister, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (8 pages)

            Daniel Ockenfels appeals the district court’s denial of his postconviction-relief application contending his plea attorneys were ineffective in failing to inform him (A) of legal defenses to the burglary charge and (B) the knowledge element of forgery.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the denial of Ockenfels’ postconviction-relief application.

Case No. 20-0105:  Hill Law Firm, PLC v. Shannon Remington

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0105

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marion County, Patrick W. Greenwood, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (3 pages)

            Shannon Remington appeals the judgment against her for breach of contract.  She alleges she does not owe money to Hill Law Firm (Hill) because Hill breached their contract first.  OPINION HOLDS: Hill did not breach.  Remington must pay Hill for the services rendered.

Case No. 20-0179:  State of Iowa v. James Earl Spates, Jr.

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0179

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Andrea J. Dryer, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, P.J.  (7 pages)

            James Spates Jr. appeals his convictions following jury trial.  He argues the district court erred in admitting exhibit B and expert testimony provided by an alleged lay witness and the convictions are reversible on plain error.  OPINION HOLDS: Spates’s hearsay objection following the admission of exhibit B was untimely, and no ruling followed.  Accordingly error was not preserved.  We find no abuse of discretion in admitting the social worker’s testimony regarding her observations.  We decline to adopt the plain-error doctrine. 

Case No. 20-0213:  In re the Marriage of Fox

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0213

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark D. Cleve, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (4 pages)

            Gina Fox appeals the order modifying the child custody and support provisions of the decree dissolving her marriage to Jeremy Fox.  OPINION HOLDS: Gina admits the parties are unable to co-parent, which establishes a substantial change in circumstances.  Because the evidence shows Jeremy is more mature, stable, and better positioned to act in the child’s best interests as her physical caretaker, we affirm the order modifying the decree to place the child in Jeremy’s physical care.

Case No. 20-0216:  In re the Marriage of Duke

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0216

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, Terry R. Rickers, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (11 pages)

            Jeremiah Duke appeals the district court’s dissolution decree contending the court erred in (1) granting Julie Ritter, formerly Julie Duke, sole legal custody and physical care of the children, subject to supervised visitation with Duke; (2) ordering Duke to pay Ritter child support of $906.90 per month; (3) awarding Duke his businesses and transferring an F-250 truck to Ritter; and (4) granting Ritter trial attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s decision and order Duke pay $2000 toward Ritter’s appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 20-0225:  State of Iowa v. Lance Lavern McIver

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0225

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Steven J. Holwerda, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (4 pages)

            Lance McIver appeals his prison sentence resulting from pleading guilty to domestic-abuse assault and going armed with intent.  McIver seeks to have his prison term vacated and replaced with a probationary sentence.  McIver claims that his prison sentence was an abuse of discretion.  OPINION HOLDS: The court articulates several factors that it considered in reaching its sentencing decision.  We find no abuse of discretion.  Thus, we affirm the sentence imposed.

Case No. 20-0272:  Ford Motor Credit Company v. McCleod

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0272

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Chris Foy, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (10 pages)

                Davin McLeod appeals a district court decision granting partial summary judgment to Ford Motor Credit Company, LLC in its suit over a defaulted car loan and declining to stay the proceeding pending resolution of his girlfriend bankruptcy case in federal court.  Ford did not file a brief.  OPINION HOLDS: Because his girlfriend’s bankruptcy filing does not automatically stay debt proceedings against McLeod, we affirm the district court’s denial of his motion to stay.  Ford proved on the undisputed facts and as a matter of law that it is entitled to judgment.  So we also affirm the summary judgment ruling ordering McLeod to pay the balance on the loan.

Case No. 20-0486:  State of Iowa v. Brandon Dinovo

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0486

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

            Brandon Dinovo appeals the sentences imposed for multiple crimes, asserting the district court abused its discretion in not granting him deferred judgments.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no abuse of the district court’s sentencing discretion.  The district court properly considered multiple factors beyond the nature of the offenses in rejecting Dinovo’s request for deferred judgments.

Case No. 20-0516:  State of Iowa v. Steven Corey Palmateer

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0516

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Hardin County, Andrea Miller, Magistrate, and Steven J. Oeth, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J. (8 pages)

            Steven Palmateer appeals his criminal conviction, challenging the denial of his motion to suppress.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding no cause for reversal on the issues presented for our review, we affirm Palmateer’s conviction.

Case No. 20-0564:  In re the Marriage of Grillo

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0564

             Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Rustin T. Davenport, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (7 pages)

            Jacob L. Grillo appeals the district court’s order splitting physical care of the parties’ children. OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court’s split physical care decision. 

Case No. 20-0602:  State of Iowa v. Justin Deal

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0602

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, Kim M. Riley, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (3 pages)

            Justin Deal appeals his prison sentence.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court provided adequate reasoning for imposing consecutive sentences.

Case No. 20-0722:  Jack Lewis Good v. State of Iowa

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0722

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Kellyann M. Lekar, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (6 pages)

            Jack Good appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding no cause for reversal on the issues properly presented for our review, we affirm the denial of Good’s application for postconviction relief.

Case No. 20-0764:  Lowe's Home Centers, LLC v. Iowa Property Assessment Appeal Board

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0764

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Kevin McKeever, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (12 pages)

            The taxpayer, Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC, appeals a district court order affirming the Property Assessment Appeal Board’s (PAAB) valuation of its Coralville property at $10,940,000.  OPINION HOLDS: Finding no merit in Lowe’s contentions that the PAAB’s consideration of the property’s “current use” violated Iowa law and that a fee simple assessment must value a property as vacant, we affirm the district court’s judicial review.

Case No. 20-0772:  In the Interest of D.W., R.W., and M.W., Minor Children

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-0772

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cass County, Jennifer A. Benson, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (10 pages)

            A mother appeals the private termination of her parental rights to three of her children.  OPINION HOLDS: The mother waived her challenge to the father’s failure to comply with Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 1.500(3)(b).  The juvenile court properly took judicial notice of child-in-need-of-assistance proceedings involving the family.  The mother abandoned the children pursuant to Iowa Code section 600A.8(3)(b) (2019), and termination is in the children’s best interests.

Case No. 20-1105:  In the Interest of K.C., Minor Child

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1105

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Charles D. Fagan, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (9 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights in this private termination proceeding.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude the delay of forty-three days between service of the notice of appeal and the date the appeal was filed in the district court was not unreasonable under the instant procedural facts and, therefore, we have jurisdiction to consider the appeal.  We find there is sufficient evidence in the record to support termination of the mother’s parental rights and termination is in the child’s best interests.  We affirm the decision of the district court.

Case No. 20-1381:  In the Interest of A.S., Minor Child

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1381

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Brent Pattison, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., Ahlers, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (4 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  OPINION HOLDS: There is clear and convincing evidence to terminate the mother’s parental rights under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2020).  Termination is in the child’s best interests, and we decline to apply the provisions of section 232.116(3)(a) to avoid termination. 

Case No. 20-1396:  In the Interest of H.W., S.J., J.J., and M.J., Minor Children

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1396

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Romonda Belcher, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Mullins, P.J., and May and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (12 pages)

            A mother appeals the adjudication of her children as children in need of assistance (CINA).  The mother appeals the CINA adjudication pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.2(6)(d) and (n) (2020).  OPINION HOLDS: On our de novo review of the record, we find clear and convincing evidence supports the grounds for adjudication.

Case No. 20-1407:  In the Interest of N.D., Minor Child

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1407

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Kimberly Ayotte, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Tabor, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J.  (7 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his child.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the father’s parental rights.

Case No. 20-1463:  In the Interest of B.S., Minor Child

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1463

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Stephanie Forker Parry, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Carr, S.J.  (4 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the State proved the grounds for termination under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2020) and termination is in the child’s best interests, we affirm.

Case No. 20-1560:  In the Interest of E.H., Minor Child

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1560

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Adam D. Sauer, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by May, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by May, P.J.  (7 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: The State established a statutory ground for termination.  And additional time to work towards reunification is not in the child’s best interest.

Case No. 20-1640:  In the Interest of C.B., Minor Child

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1640

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Cynthia S. Finley, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (8 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights.

Case No. 20-1644:  In the Interest of J.B., Minor Child

Filed Feb 17, 2021

View Opinion No. 20-1644

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Emily Dean, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (8 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to two-year-old J.B.  She asks four questions on appeal.  (1) Did the State introduce a series of recorded jail calls (more than ninety minutes in all) without showing they were relevant and material?  (2) Did the State fail to prove by clear and convincing evidence that J.B. could not return home?  (3) Did the State fail to make reasonable efforts to reunify the family?  And (4) is a guardianship with his maternal grandmother the preferred placement for J.B.?  OPINION HOLDS: On the first issue, we decline to consider the contents of the recordings in our de novo review of the record.  For the other three questions, we answer “no” and decline to grant relief.  Thus, we affirm the termination ruling.

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