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December 2018 Archive | Most Recent Court of Appeals Summaries

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

Opinion Summaries

Case No. 16-1489:  State of Iowa v. Joe Anthony Lopez

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 16-1489

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K. Vaudt, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (30 pages)

            Joe Lopez appeals his conviction for first-degree murder.  Lopez claims insufficient evidence supports his conviction, the district court should have admitted evidence of his willingness to take a polygraph, the district court should have excluded the medical examiner’s manner-of-death testimony, the prosecutor committed error by mischaracterizing expert testimony in closing arguments, and counsel was ineffective for failing to object to prior-bad-acts evidence and failing to request or object to the omission of a jury instruction defining reasonable degree of medical certainty.  OPINION HOLDS: We find Lopez’s conviction supported by sufficient evidence.  Further, the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding evidence of Lopez’s willingness to take a polygraph, nor in admitting Dr. Schmunk’s manner-of-death testimony.  Lopez failed to demonstrate he was prejudiced by the prosecutor’s statements.  And finally, concerning Lopez’s ineffective-assistance claims, we preserve his prior-bad-acts claim for postconviction relief and find no breach of duty for counsel’s lack of request or objection to the omission of an instruction defining reasonable degree of medical certainty.

Case No. 17-0690:  State of Iowa v. Dustin Dean Devries

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-0690

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Chickasaw County, Kellyann M. Lekar and Richard D. Stochl, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., Vogel, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Mahan, S.J.  Dissent by Danilson, C.J.  (8 pages)

            Dustin Devries appeals his convictions for theft in the second degree and absence from custody, claiming the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence found on his property during a warrantless search.  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our review, we affirm the district court’s denial of Devries’ motion to suppress.  DISSENT ASSERTS: I respectfully dissent from the determination of the majority that the officers were in a place they were legally entitled to be.  Without a valid premise of legal entitlement, the warrant cannot stand.   

Case No. 17-0877:  Justin Willis Swan v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-0877

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Monica Wittig, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (11 pages)

            Justin Swan appeals the dismissal of his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS:  We find the trial court substantially complied with Iowa Code section 822.7 (2010), Swan’s mandatory minimum sentence does not amount to cruel and unusual punishment, and Swan’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel fail.

Case No. 17-1194:  State of Iowa v. Marvin Lee Heggebo

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1194

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Andrea J. Dryer, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Danilson, C.J.  (14 pages)

            Marvin Heggebo appeals from his conviction and sentence for second-degree sexual abuse following jury trial.  Heggebo contends the trial court erred in admitting statements the child witness made to her mother and in admitting the video recording of the child’s interview at the Child Protection Center.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we conclude the statements and video were properly admitted, we affirm.

Case No. 17-1369:  State of Iowa v. Todd Junior Landis

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1369

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, David N. May and Donna L. Paulsen, Judges.  CONVICTIONS AFFIRMED; SENTENCING ORDER VACATED IN PART AND REMANDED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (11 pages)

            Todd Landis challenges his convictions for operating while intoxicated (OWI) and possession of a controlled substance arguing the drug evidence should have been excluded when police searched his pocket thirty minutes before arresting him for the OWI.  He contends this search was not substantially contemporaneous with his arrest.  He also challenges the rationale given for his sentence and the sentence imposing court costs on a dismissed simple misdemeanor charge.  OPINION HOLDS: The evidence would have been admissible under the inevitable-discovery doctrine.  The court gave sufficient individualized rationale to explain the sentencing decision.  But the district court should not have imposed court costs from a dismissed charge in the sentencing order.  We vacate that part of the order and remand for entry of a corrected order.  We affirm defendant’s convictions. 

Case No. 17-1417:  State of Iowa v. Glenn Robert Webster

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1417

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, David May and Robert J. Blink, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Mullins, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Scott, S.J.  (6 pages)

            Glenn Webster appeals his convictions of two drug-related crimes, contending the district court erred in denying his motions to dismiss and for judgment of acquittal.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the denial of the motion to dismiss on the ground urged by the State below, that the motion was untimely.  We find the evidence sufficient to establish the challenged elements of the possession-with-intent-to-deliver charge beyond a reasonable doubt.  We affirm Webster’s convictions. 

Case No. 17-1426:  State of Iowa v. Dennis Edgar Chamberlain

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1426

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buchanan County, Joel Dalrymple, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART; REVERSED IN PART AND REMANDED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Doyle, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  Special Concurrence by Potterfield, P.J.  (23 pages)

            Dennis Chamberlain appeals his convictions, sentences, and judgments for attempt to commit murder, kidnapping in the second degree, and two counts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent.  He challenges the district court’s jury instructions regarding intoxication, reasonable doubt, and the definition of “confinement,” as well as the extension of the no-contact order for a period longer than five years.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm Chamberlain’s convictions for attempt to commit murder and two counts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent.  We reverse his conviction for kidnapping in the second degree and remand for retrial.  We also reverse a provision of the extension of the no-contact order and remand for correction.  SPECIAL CONCURRENCE ASSERTS: I disagree with the majority’s conclusion there was insufficient evidence to submit Chamberlain’s proposed instruction on the defense of intoxication.  The majority fails to make the distinction between the requisite amount of evidence necessary to determine whether a trial court should submit an affirmative defense to the jury and the amount of evidence necessary to prove the defense. However, the evidence of Chamberlain’s ability to form specific intent was overwhelming, and I cannot find Chamberlain suffered prejudice from the court’s failure to instruct on Chamberlain’s defense to the intent elements of those crimes.

Case No. 17-1605:  Michael Scott Weiss v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1605

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, James S. Heckerman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Danilson, C.J.  (6 pages)

            Michael Weiss appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Weiss has failed to prove prejudice, and his ineffectiveness claim thus fails. 

Case No. 17-1619:  State of Iowa v. Clarence D. Blanchard

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1619

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Emmet County, Ann M. Gales, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, J.  (5 pages)

            Following a conviction for operating while intoxicated, first offense, Clarence Blanchard appeals the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress.  Blanchard argues there was neither a reasonable articulable suspicion nor probable cause to support the police officer’s investigatory stop of his vehicle.  OPINION HOLDS: Considering the totality of the circumstances, Deputy Bauler’s recognition of the smell of marijuana emanating from Blanchard’s vehicle provides a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to stop the vehicle approximately twenty minutes later.  We affirm the district court’s denial of Blanchard’s motion to suppress.

Case No. 17-1621:  Michael Lamont Black v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1621

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Michael J. Schilling, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, J.  (4 pages)

            Michael Lamont Black appeals the district court’s denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR).  He claims his trial counsel’s erroneous advice compelled him to plead guilty.  OPINION HOLDS: Black has not shown his plea counsel misinformed him about his plea.  Therefore, he has not proven his counsel breached an essential duty, and we affirm the district court’s denial of his PCR application.

Case No. 17-1680:  Undray Jermaine Reed v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1680

           Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Kellyann M. Lekar, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, J. (5 pages)

            Undray Jermaine Reed appeals the district court’s denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR).  He claims his trial counsel was ineffective by not objecting to the prosecutor’s questioning on cross-examination of Reed’s prior criminal convictions of theft, burglary, and a “felony.”  OPINION HOLDS: Reed did not prove the district court would have excluded evidence of the felony if his counsel had objected, and use of the felony for impeachment did not result in prejudice.  Additionally, Iowa has long recognized theft and burglary are crimes of dishonesty and admissible for impeachment.

Case No. 17-1697:  State of Iowa v. Dale Robert Tournier

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1697

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Bremer County, Christopher C. Foy, Judge.  CONVICTION AFFIRMED; SENTENCE AFFIRMED IN PART AND VACATED IN PART AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (6 pages)

            Dale Robert Tournier appeals his conviction and sentence for second degree sex abuse of a child under twelve, raising claims of district court abuse of discretion and fee imposition error.  OPINION HOLDS: We discern no abuse of discretion in the district court’s denial of a new trial and refusal to vacate the judgment and take new testimony.  We conclude the court’s failure to specify the amount of the jail fee was an abuse of discretion.  We vacate the portion of the sentence imposing an obligation to pay the jail fees and remand for a determination of Tournier’s ability to pay a specified amount.  We affirm the balance of the sentence.

Case No. 17-1702:  Jason Kensett v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1702

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Henry County, Lucy J. Gamon, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by McDonald, J.  (4 pages)

            Jason Kensett appeals the dismissal of his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS:  Because Kensett cannot demonstrate his trial counsel’s alleged conflict of interest had an adverse effect on counsel’s performance, he is not entitled to relief.  The district court did not err in dismissing Kensett’s application for postconviction relief.

Case No. 17-1703:  Thomas Kane v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1703

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Susan Christensen, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, J.  (3 pages)

            Thomas Kane appeals the district court’s denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR).  He claims the district court erroneously determined his application is time-barred.  OPINION HOLDS: Kane does not present a new ground of law to overcome the three-year statute of limitations for filing a PCR application.  We therefore affirm the district court without further opinion.

Case No. 17-1816:  State of Iowa v. George James Jackson

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1816

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, James A. McGlynn (plea), James C. Ellefson (sentencing), and Adria Kester (nunc pro tunc order), Judges.  CONVICTIONS AFFIRMED; NUNC PRO TUNC ORDER VACATED; AND REMANDED FOR ENTRY OF A CORRECTED SENTENCING ORDER.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (4 pages)

            George Jackson appeals his guilty-plea convictions of three crimes and a post-judgment nunc pro tunc order.  He contends (1) his counsel rendered ineffective assistance in failing to challenge his guilty pleas on voluntariness grounds by way of a motion in arrest of judgment and (2) the court erred in modifying his sentence by way of a nunc pro tunc order to additionally require he complete a batterer’s treatment program.  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our de novo review, we find Jackson’s pleas were entered knowingly and intelligently, and therefore voluntarily; consequently, we find counsel’s failure to file a motion in arrest of judgment was neither a breach of an essential duty or prejudicial.  The original sentence imposed for domestic-abuse assault was illegal, and the nunc pro tunc order had no legal effect on the illegal sentence.  We therefore vacate that portion of the sentence imposed by the nunc pro tunc order and remand for entry of a corrected sentencing order, which adds the requirement that Jackson participate in a batterers’ treatment program as part of his sentence for his conviction of domestic-abuse assault, and otherwise includes all provisions in the original sentencing order.

Case No. 17-1821:  Larry Dean Bell, Sr. v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1821

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark J. Smith, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (4 pages)

            Larry Bell Sr. appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief.  He contends his trial counsel was ineffective in allowing him to plead guilty despite the State’s contradiction of the release-recommendation terms of the plea agreement.  OPINION HOLDS:  We approve the district court’s findings and ruling on the breach-of-duty prong of Bell’s claim and affirm the denial of his application on that ground pursuant to Iowa Court Rule 21.26(1)(d).  In the alternative, we find Bell has failed to prove any prejudice as a result of any alleged breach of duty by counsel.

Case No. 17-1868:  Jeffery Wheeldon v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1868

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Duane E. Hoffmeyer, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J.  (8 pages)

            Jeffery Wheeldon appeals from the denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR).  He maintains the PCR court should have found his application falls within an exception to the three-year statute of limitations because he was incompetent at the time of his plea and the three years following.  OPINION HOLDS: Substantial evidence supports the PCR court’s finding that Wheeldon was mentally competent at the time he entered his guilty pleas, and Wheeldon has not established he was incompetent for the three years that followed.  Thus, because Wheeldon could have timely raised his claims, his application does not meet an exception to the three-year statute of limitations.  We affirm the dismissal of Wheeldon’s PCR application.

Case No. 17-1887:  State of Iowa v. Misty Kaye Spooner

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1887

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

            The defendant appeals from a conviction for assault causing bodily injury asserting her trial counsel was ineffective in cross-examining a key witness.  OPINION HOLDS: The record is inadequate to address the defendant’s claims.  We preserve the claim for postconviction-relief proceedings where trial counsel can explain their strategy and the defendant can develop evidence as to prejudice.  We affirm the conviction. 

Case No. 17-1927:  State of Iowa v. Samella Simone Bailey

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1927

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Andrea J. Dryer and David P. Odekirk, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (6 pages)

            Samella Simone Bailey appeals her conviction of delivering or possessing with the intent to deliver a simulated controlled substance (more than forty grams of simulated cocaine base) as a second offender, contending (1) the district court erred in denying her motion to dismiss and (2) the sentence was illegal.  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our review, we affirm Bailey’s conviction, judgment, and sentence.

Case No. 17-1962:  State of Iowa v. Sonya L. Stark

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1962

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Timothy T. Jarman, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, P.J.  (7 pages)

            Sonya Stark appeals her conviction and sentence for the crime of theft in the third degree.  Stark argues the district court applied the wrong standard when ruling on her motion for a new trial.  Also, she argues there was insufficient evidence in the record to support a conviction of theft in the third degree.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court did not apply the wrong standard when ruling on the motion for a new trial.  In addition, we find there was sufficient evidence to support a finding of theft in the third degree.

Case No. 17-1973:  In re the Marriage of Barry

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1973

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Harrison County, Gregory W. Steensland, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Heard by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by McDonald, J.  (10 pages)

            Chad Barry appeals the district court’s denial of his petition to modify the custodial and physical care provisions of his dissolution decree.  He also challenges the court’s dismissal of his applications for rule to show cause, alleging his former wife, Kathleen, willfully violated the terms of the decree.  Finally, he challenges the court order that he pay certain expenses.  OPINION HOLDS: Because there was no material or substantial change in circumstances warranting modification, the district court did not err in declining the petition for modification.  Chad failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Kathleen willfully violated the terms of their dissolution decree.  The district court properly required Chad to pay certain pre-dissolution debts in accordance with the terms of the decree.  However, the court erred in ordering Chad pay one half of the children’s medical bills when Kathleen did not show she provided him notice of the amounts due within fifteen days of receipt of the amount due as required by the decree.  Chad’s payment obligation is reduced accordingly.

Case No. 17-2029:  In re the Marriage of Bliek

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-2029

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Fae E. Hoover-Grinde, Judge.  REVERSED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (6 pages)

            Daniel Bliek appeals from the district court’s order granting Lori Bliek’s petition to modify the spousal support provision of the parties’ 2013 dissolution decree.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude Lori failed to establish a substantial change of circumstances not contemplated at the time of the dissolution decree.  Accordingly, we reverse the modification of her spousal support award.  In light of our conclusion, we reverse the award of trial attorney fees and decline Lori’s request for $8303 in appellate attorney fees. 

Case No. 17-2097:  State of Iowa v. Clay Thomas Paulson

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-2097

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Boone County, Steven J. Oeth, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (6 pages)

            Clay Thomas Paulson appeals his convictions for possession of a controlled substance, a tax stamp violation, and possession of a prescription drug without a prescription raising claims of insufficient evidence and trial court error in admitting certain hearsay statements.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude the jury’s findings of guilt on all three crimes were supported by substantial evidence.  We affirm the district court’s evidentiary ruling on the uncontested Iowa Rule of Evidence 5.403 grounds without prejudice to Paulson’s right to raise the hearsay issue in a postconviction relief action. 

Case No. 18-0023:  State of Iowa v. Evan Blake Wooten

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0023

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Joel W. Barrows, Judge.  SENTENCE AFFIRMED IN PART, VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by McDonald, J.  (10 pages)

            Evan Wooten appeals his sentences for attempt to disarm a peace officer of a dangerous weapon and assault on persons engaged in certain occupations.  He requests resentencing alleging: (1) the district court erred in determining attempting to disarm a peace officer of a dangerous weapon is a forcible felony requiring imprisonment, (2) the department of correctional services was not statutorily authorized to include a sentencing recommendation in the presentence investigation report and Wooten’s counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the recommendation’s inclusion, and (3) the sentencing order contained an erroneous provision requiring Wooten to challenge his ability to pay certain restitution rather than requiring the court first make an ability-to-pay determination before imposing restitution.  OPINION HOLDS: Any error relating to the court’s categorization of attempting to disarm a peace officer of a dangerous weapon as a forcible felony was harmless because the sentencing court stated it would impose the same sentence regardless of its determination that attempting to disarm a peace officer of a dangerous weapon amounts to a forcible felony.  We preserve Wooten’s ineffective-assistance claim for further development in future postconviction-relief proceedings.  Finally, we find the sentencing provision requiring Wooten to affirmatively challenge his ability to pay restitution was erroneously included and vacate that portion of the sentencing order.

Case No. 18-0109:  Tristate Adjustments, Inc. v. Janise E. Firman

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0109

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Chickasaw County, Stephanie C. Rattenborg, District Associate Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED FOR DISMISSAL.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., McDonald, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  (8 pages)

            On discretionary review, defendant Janise Firman challenges the entry of a small claim judgment against her under Iowa Code § 597.14 (2017).  OPINION HOLDS: Because we find the evidence was not sufficient to establish Janise was married to Dirk at the time he incurred a necessary medical expense, we reverse the judgment and remand for dismissal of the action against Janise. 

Case No. 18-0185:  Maria Borjas and Fermin Gutierrez, Individually, and as parents and next friends of D.G., a Minor v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0185

           Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Andrew B. Chappell, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, J. (5 pages)

           Maria Borjas and Fermin Gutierrez, parents of their minor child D.G., appeal the district court’s grant of summary judgment in a medical malpractice suit.  The parents argue the district court should have denied summary judgment for both the medical-negligence claim and the negligent-infliction-of-emotional-distress claim.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the parents failed to provide expert testimony to support either claim, we agree summary judgment was appropriate and affirm without further opinion.  Iowa Ct. R. 21.26(a), (e).

Case No. 18-0230:  State of Iowa v. Christopher David Vogel

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0230

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Carol S. Egly, District Associate Judge.  SENTENCE VACATED IN PART AND REMANDED. Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Danilson, C.J.  (5 pages)

            Christopher Vogel appeals from his sentence following his guilty plea to animal abuse, in violation of Iowa Code section 717B.2 (2017), an aggravated misdemeanor.  Vogel contends the sentencing court abused its discretion by considering improper factors in imposing his sentence entered an illegal sentence when it ordered him to pay court costs associated with dismissed charges.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Vogel has not affirmatively shown the court considered improper factors we find no abuse of the court’s sentencing discretion.  However, we vacate the portion of the sentencing order imposing an obligation to pay the costs of dismissed charges and remand for entry of a corrected sentencing order.

Case No. 18-0267:  State of Iowa v. Isaiah Montell Forest

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0267

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Timothy J. Finn, Judge.  SENTENCES VACATED IN PART AND REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (3 pages)

            Isaiah Forest appeals his sentences for two counts of second-degree robbery.  He challenges the applicability of the law-enforcement-initiative surcharge provided in Iowa Code section 911.3 (2017) and the district court’s order requiring him to pay court costs and court-appointed attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: We vacate the law-enforcement-initiative surcharge provisions of each of Forest’s sentences as the offenses to which Forest pled guilty are not subject to that surcharge.  We also find the district court abused its discretion in entering a restitution plan of payment without first determining the amount of attorney fees and Forest’s reasonable ability to pay.  We therefore vacate the portion ordering restitution for court costs and court-appointed attorney fees.  We remand for a determination of the amount of attorney fees and Forest’s reasonable ability to pay.

Case No. 18-0270:  Drew Matthew Moir v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0270

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Plymouth County, Jeffrey A. Neary, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (7 pages)

            Drew Moir appeals the district court order summarily dismissing his application for postconviction relief (PCR).  OPINION HOLDS: Under the specific facts of Moir’s case, we conclude his letter to the district court could be considered a PCR application that was filed within the time limits provided in Iowa Code section 822.3 (2017).  We therefore reverse the order summarily dismissing Moir’s PCR application and remand to the district court for further proceedings. 

Case No. 18-0302:  In re the Marriage of Teter

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0302

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Boone County, Steven J. Oeth, Judge.  REVERSED IN PART AND REMANDED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (6 pages)

            Clarence Teter appeals the district court’s ruling on his petition for modification of spousal support.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court did not properly classify the spousal support award.  We find the spousal support award can be modified and remand for further proceedings.

Case No. 18-0306:  Jackie Knight v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0306

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Webster County, Thomas J. Bice, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by McDonald, J.  (5 pages)

            Knight appeals from the denial of his petition for writ of mandamus and petition for writ of habeas corpus.  OPINION HOLDS: The sentencing order for Knight’s guilty plea for possession of marijuana did not affect his previous conviction for failure to affix a drug tax stamp.  Habeas relief is not available to Knight because he was convicted of a public offense.

Case No. 18-0311:  State of Iowa v. Ramarez M. Gary

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0311

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Linda M. Fangman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Doyle, J., and Scott, S.J.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (3 pages)

            Ramarez Gary appeals his convictions alleging he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we cannot determine whether counsel failed to perform an essential duty and whether Gary was prejudiced, we affirm and preserve any claims of ineffective assistance of counsel for possible postconviction-relief proceedings.

Case No. 18-0320:  In the Matter of C.T., Alleged to Be Seriously Mentally Impaired

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0320

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lee (North) County, Ty Rogers, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (3 pages)

            C.T. disputes a ruling determining him in need of involuntary civil commitment claiming insufficient evidence supports the finding.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we have no recording or transcript of the contested hearing, we are required to affirm the district court’s decision.

Case No. 18-0321:  Zejnudin Abdic v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0321

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, David P. Odekirk, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (5 pages)

            Zejnudin Abdic appeals the summary dismissal of his application for postconviction relief.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the decision he cites as a new ground of law was filed within three years of the date of his conviction, it cannot qualify as an exception for a new-ground-of-law exception to the limitation period.    

Case No. 18-0366:  State of Iowa v. Noah Anthony Moore

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0366

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Appanoose County, Myron L. Gookin, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by McDonald, J.  (2 pages)

            A defendant appeals his conviction of delivery of methamphetamine.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendant’s motion for new trial.

Case No. 18-0413:  State of Iowa v. Tiffany Kay Milbrath

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0413

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Adam D. Sauer, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  Partial Dissent by Vogel, P.J.  (4 pages)

            Tiffany Milbrath appeals her conviction and sentence for possession of a controlled substance, arguing ineffective assistance of counsel.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm Milbrath’s judgment and sentence and preserve the ineffective-assistance claim for postconviction relief.  PARTIAL DISSENT ASSERTS: I believe trial counsel had no duty to make sure the reasons Milbrath was not accepted into the drug court program were provided prior to sentencing.  I would therefore deny the ineffective-assistance claim and not preserve the issue for possible postconviction relief.  

Case No. 18-0419:  In re the Marriage of Neils

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0419

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D. Rosenberg, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (12 pages)

            Thomas Neils challenges the economic, child support, and visitation provisions of the decree dissolving his marriage to Carol Neils.  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our de novo review, we find deviation from the child-support guidelines to use Thomas’s earning capacity as determined by the district court was appropriate under the facts of this case.  Additionally, the court’s determination the parties should create a visitation schedule together is proper under the facts of the case.  Finally, the equalization payment as calculated equitably divided the parties’ marital property.  Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s dissolution decree in all respects.

Case No. 18-0523:  State of Iowa v. Chad L. Erwin

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0523

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Patrick A. McElyea, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., Doyle, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (4 pages)

            Chad Erwin appeals his conviction for operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Erwin never requested reporting of the individual conference with a potential juror struck for cause or objected to the district court about the lack of reporting, he has failed to preserve his claim for our review.    

Case No. 18-0577:  State of Iowa v. Matthew Gene Spaans

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0577

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Sioux County, Tod J. Deck, Judge.  SENTENCES VACATED AND REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Danilson, C.J.  (9 pages)

            Matthew Spaans appeals his sentence after pleading guilty to four counts of child endangerment.  He contends he received ineffective assistance of counsel when his plea counsel failed to object to the State’s alleged breach of the plea agreement.  He also contends the district court considered improper factors during sentencing and challenges a portion of the sentencing order related to appellate attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we conclude the district court relied upon an improper factor during sentencing, we vacate the defendant’s sentences and remand for resentencing.

Case No. 18-0886:  State of Iowa v. Zachary D. Jimerson

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0886

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Delaware County, Stephanie C. Rattenborg, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (2 pages)

            Zachary Jimerson appeals his convictions, following guilty pleas, of two criminal violations.  He argues his counsel was ineffective in failing to adequately review his case prior to advising him to plead guilty.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the record inadequate for us to determine whether counsel failed to perform an essential duty or whether any such failure prejudice Jimerson.  Accordingly, we affirm Jimerson’s convictions but preserve his ineffective-assistance claim for postconviction-relief proceedings to allow for the development of a proper record and to provide counsel an opportunity to weigh in on the matter.

Case No. 18-1212:  In the Interest of M.B., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1212

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (5 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.  The mother does not contest the statutory grounds upon which her rights were terminated but contends termination is not in the child’s best interests and statutory exceptions should be applied to preclude termination.  OPINION HOLDS: We find termination is in the child’s best interests and no permissible exception to termination applies in this case.

Case No. 18-1290:  In the Interest of K.H. and E.H., Minor Children

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1290

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Susan Flaherty, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (6 pages)

            A father appeals from the termination of his parental rights to two children.  He contends the State did not prove the children could not be returned to his custody and termination was not in the children’s best interests because of their strong attachment to him.  OPINION HOLDS: On our de novo review, we find the father has made little progress in addressing the concerns that initially led to removal of the children.  The father conceded the children could not be returned to his care, but an extension also would be inappropriate.  The children’s best interests are served by termination of the father’s parental rights and likely adoption by the paternal grandparents. 

Case No. 18-1297:  In the Interest of A.V., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1297

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

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  She contends the State failed to prove the statutory grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence, termination is not in the best interests of the child, a statutory exception to termination should be applied, and the juvenile court erred in declining her request for additional time to work toward reunification.  OPINION HOLDS: Upon our de novo review, we conclude the State met its burden for termination under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2018), termination is in the best interests of the child, the mother failed to meet her burden to warrant the application of the statutory exception contained in section 232.116(3)(c), and an extension of time is unwarranted.  We affirm.  

Case No. 18-1514:  In the Interest of J.C., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1514

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Joseph W. Seidlin, District Associate Judge.  REVERSED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  Separate Writing by McDonald, J.  Dissent by Vogel, P.J.  (17 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his child.  OPINION HOLDS: The agency’s failure to notify the father of the child-in-need-of-assistance (CINA) proceedings prevented him from being heard in the CINA action and rendered the proceeding void as to him.  We further conclude an intent to abandon the child was not established.  SEPARATE WRITING ASSERTS: There is insufficient evidence supporting the statutory ground authorizing the termination of the father’s parental rights.  The issue of whether the father received notice of the CINA case is not before this court.  Even if the issue of notice was properly before this court, the father’s lack of notice of the CINA case is immaterial to the termination of the father’s parental rights under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(b), which does not require the child first be adjudicated in need of assistance as a prerequisite to termination of parental rights.  DISSENT ASSERTS: Iwould affirm the termination of the father’s parental rights in its entirety.  I believe both issues of notice and abandonment were not properly raised and should not provide a basis to reverse on appeal.

Case No. 18-1544:  In the Interest of S.M., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1544

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Cass County, Amy L. Zacharias, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (4 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the State met its burden to establish the ground for termination under section 232.116(1)(e) (2018) by clear and convincing evidence and termination is in the best interests of the child.

Case No. 18-1708:  In the Interest of C.K., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1708

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dickinson County, David C. Larson, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (12 pages)

            A father appeals the denial of his motion to modify a dispositional order in child-in-need-of-assistance proceedings.  He contends circumstances have so materially and substantially changed that the best interests of the child require transferring custody from the mother to him.  OPINION HOLDS: Without deciding whether the “material and substantial change” test has been superseded by legislative amendment, and giving due weight to the juvenile court’s determinations of witness credibility, we conclude the father did not show evidence meeting that test.  We further find it is in the child’s best interests to remain in his mother’s custody.  Therefore, we affirm. 

Case No. 18-1756:  In the Interest of D.C., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1756

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark Fowler, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, P.J.  (4 pages)

                The mother appeals the permanency order, which transferred guardianship and custody of her child, D.C., to the child’s maternal grandparents.  First, she argues the district court failed to account for the progress she has made.  Second, she argues the Iowa Department of Human Services has failed to make reasonable efforts toward reunification.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the permanency order was appropriate and affirm by memorandum opinion pursuant to Iowa Court Rule 21.26(1)(a), (d), and (e).

Case No. 18-1759:  In the Interest of K.S., P.S., and N.J., Minor Children

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1759

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Adair County, Monty Franklin, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by McDonald, J.  (7 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights in her three children.  OPINION HOLDS: The evidence supports the statutory grounds authorizing termination of the mother’s parental rights.  The mother failed to preserve error on the issue of whether the State made sufficient efforts toward reunification.  The termination is in the best interests of the children.

Case No. 18-1767:  In the Interest of S.W., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1767

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Colin J. Witt, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, P.J.  (8 pages)

            The father and mother separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to S.W., born in July 2015.  The father argues the State failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that grounds for termination exist under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2018).  Both argue the district court should have granted a six-month extension and should have found termination was not in S.W.’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the State proved by clear and convincing evidence the grounds for termination of the father’s parental rights.  Additionally, we find an additional six months would not extinguish the need for removal.  Finally, termination is in S.W.’s best interests and any bond between the parents and child does not preclude termination.

Case No. 18-1769:  In the Interest of V.J., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1769

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Colin J. Witt, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (4 pages)

            A mother appeals from a decision terminating her parental rights to her minor child, contending (1) the State failed to prove the grounds for termination cited by the juvenile court, (2) termination was not in the child’s best interests, and (3) her rights should not have been terminated given the closeness of the parent-child bond.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights to the child.

Case No. 18-1770:  In the Interest of L.C., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1770

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Lynn Poschner, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, P.J.  (5 pages)

            The mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.  The parents both argue the State has not established the grounds for termination by clear and convincing evidence, termination is not in the best interests of the child, and the district court should have granted an extension of time.  OPINION HOLDS: We find grounds for termination have been proved, termination is in the best interests of the child, and an extension of time would not have extinguished the need for removal.  We therefore affirm the termination of both parents’ parental rights.

Case No. 18-1771:  In the Interest of D.M., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1771

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, David F. Staudt, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, J.  (7 pages)

            The juvenile court terminated the mother’s parental rights to D.M.—born in October 2016—pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(g) and (h) (2018).  On appeal, the mother maintains there is not clear and convincing evidence to support the statutory grounds for termination and termination of her parental rights is not in D.M.’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: The mother’s reengagement with services shortly before the termination hearing is insufficient to demonstrate she is willing and able to work toward correcting the situation, and we cannot say that any additional time would enable the mother to achieve a different result.  Thus, there is clear and convincing evidence to support termination of the mother’s parental rights under section 232.116(1)(g).  Because termination of the mother’s parental rights is also in D.M.’s best interests, we affirm. 

Case No. 18-1796:  In the Interest of L.W., M.W., and I.C.-R., Minor Children

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1796

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Stephanie Forker Parry, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (4 pages)

            A mother challenges the reasonable efforts made by the State to reunite her with her children prior to termination of her parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: Visitation would not have remedied the mother’s parenting deficiencies and would have been contrary to the children’s best interests.

Case No. 18-1801:  In the Interest of A.M., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1801

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rachael E. Seymour, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (6 pages)

            A mother appeals, challenging the juvenile court’s order terminating her parental rights to a one-year-old child.  She contends the State did not prove the statutory grounds for termination and termination is not in the child’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: After independently reviewing the record, we find clear and convincing evidence to support termination of the mother’s parental rights.  We further find termination of parental rights to be in the child’s best interests. 

Case No. 18-1804:  In re the Interest of A.R. and A.R., Minor Children

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1804

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Poweshiek County, Rose Anne Mefford, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (6 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to two children, contending (A) the department failed to make reasonable efforts to reunite her with the children; (B) termination is not in the children’s best interests; (C) she should have been afforded an additional six months to work toward reunification; and (D) the district court should not have terminated her parental rights because the children were placed with relatives.  OPINION HOLDS: On our de novo review of the record, we affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights to the children.

Case No. 18-1807:  In the Interest of J.B. and J.B., Minor Children

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1807

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Poweshiek County, Rose Anne Mefford, District Associate Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Danilson, C.J.  (7 pages)

            A father and a mother separately appeal the termination of their parental rights to their two children, Ja.B., born in August 2012, and Jo.B., born in February 2016.  OPINION HOLDS: The juvenile court abused its discretion in failing to continue the permanency and termination hearing in light of the parents’ absence and nonrepresentation by counsel.  We reverse the termination of parental rights.

Case No. 18-1851:  In the Interest of C.B., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1851

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Poweshiek County, Rose Anne Mefford, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, J.  (6 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights.  The mother argues the district court improperly denied her motion for recusal and the State failed to make reasonable efforts at reunification.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the mother’s motion for recusal.  The mother has not preserved her reasonable-efforts argument. 

Case No. 18-1862:  In the Interest of K.G., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1862

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

            The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her one-year-old child, K.G.  The juvenile court terminated the mother’s parental rights pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(g) and (h) (2018).  On appeal, she argues there is not clear and convincing evidence to support the statutory grounds for termination and termination is not in the child’s best interests because of the close bond the mother and K.G. share.  OPINION HOLDS: Clear and convincing evidence supports the termination of the mother’s parental rights pursuant to section 232.116(1)(h), termination is in the child’s best interests, and no permissive factor weighs against termination.  We affirm.

Case No. 18-1889:  In the Interest of M.S., Minor Child

Filed Dec 19, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1889

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Webster County, Angela L. Doyle, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (6 pages)

            A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his child.  OPINION HOLDS: Clear and convincing evidence establishes the grounds for termination of the father’s parental rights under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(e) (2018).  Because termination, rather than delaying permanency an additional six months, is in the child’s best interests, we affirm.

Case No. 17-1015:  Jacque Dukes v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1015

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, George L. Stigler, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Danilson, C.J.  (11 pages)

            Jacque Dukes appeals from the denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR).  He asserts trial counsel was ineffective (1) in failing to challenge the guilty verdicts for first-degree robbery and willful injury and the applicable jury instructions based on joint criminal conduct, (2) in failing to challenge the jury instructions on assault and the corroboration necessary to convict on accomplice testimony, (3) in introducing Dukes’s criminal history, and (4) in failing to strike a juror who was related by marriage to the prosecutor.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Dukes failed to prove trial counsel breached an essential duty resulting in prejudice, we affirm.

Case No. 17-1129:  In the Matter of the Teresa Kasparbauer Revocable Living Trust

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1129

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Carroll County, Gary L. McMinimee, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, J.  (11 pages)

            The six named appellants are siblings and beneficiaries of their deceased mother’s trust—the Teresa Kasparbauer Revocable Living Trust.  In a previous action, three of Teresa Kasparbauer’s grandchildren—the children of a seventh sibling, Shirley Kerber—sued the six siblings for a 1/7 share of the trust.  The district court awarded them the share, and we affirmed.  Here, the trust and siblings argue: (1) the trust’s due process rights were violated because the trust was not a named party and did not have notice of the first action, (2) the statute of limitations in Iowa Code section 633A.3108 (2017) prevents the grandchildren from bringing the second action, (3) the district court violated the constitutional rights of the trust when it granted the grandchildren’s motion for partial summary judgment, and (4) the doctrine of collateral estoppel and res judicata prevents the grandchildren from raising claims against the trust that they initially raised against the siblings in the first action.  OPINION HOLDS: Having considered each of the trust and sibling’s claims insofar as we could ascertain they were properly preserved for our review and supported by legal authority, we find no error with the district court’s ruling granting the grandchildren’s motion for partial summary judgment and denying the sibling’s motion for summary judgment.  We affirm.

Case No. 17-1265:  State of Iowa v. Alan Lee Hergenrader

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1265

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Monona County, Patrick H. Tott, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, J.  (7 pages)

            Alan Hergenrader appeals his conviction and sentence for the crime of operating while intoxicated, first offense.  First, Hergenrader argues his booking video should have been admitted in its entirety with sound, citing Iowa Rule of Evidence 5.106.  Second, Hergenrader argues the video, The Truth is in the Eyes, should not have been admitted as a demonstrative exhibit because the State did not lay a proper foundation and it was irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court did not abuse its discretion in playing the entire booking video without audio and admitting the demonstrative video.

Case No. 17-1298:  In re the Marriage of Barns

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1298

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Christopher L. Bruns, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, J.J.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (13 pages)

            Phillip Barns challenges the economic provisions of the decree dissolving his marriage to Kimberly Barns.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the award of spousal support and the court’s use of appreciation during the marriage of premarital assets equitable given the circumstances of the case.  We award Kimberly $7500.00 in appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 17-1343:  State of Iowa v. Steve Armsted

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1343

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Mark R. Lawson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Bower, J., and Carr, S.J.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (5 pages)

            Steve Armsted appeals his conviction for willful injury causing serious injury.  OPINION HOLDS:  We find the present record is not adequate for us to address Armsted’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel regarding defense counsel’s failure to present expert testimony on the issue of eyewitness identification or request a jury instruction on eyewitness identification, and we determine the issue should be preserved for postconviction proceedings.  We affirm Armsted’s conviction.

Case No. 17-1377:  Linda Agan v. Tammy Krambeck

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1377

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Odell G. McGhee II, District Associate Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED FOR DISMISSAL.  Heard by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, J.  (12 pages)

            Tammy Krambeck appeals from the default judgement entered by the small claims court evicting her from the home she rented from Linda Agan for more than three years.  Tammy maintains the small claims court had jurisdiction to set aside the default judgment and she had good cause for the judgment to be set aside.  Alternatively, she argues the district court should have set aside the judgment entered by the small claims court because the small claims court never had jurisdiction to enter the default in the first place, as the forcible entry and detainer (FED) notice was facially defective—it did not provide the required language about her right-to-cure the alleged clear and present danger—and in violation of her right to summon emergency assistance, found in Iowa Code section 562A.27B (2017).  OPINION HOLDS: Because the notice provided to Tammy failed to include the necessary right-to-cure language, the small claims court lacked jurisdiction to decide the FED action and the default judgment should not have been entered.  We reverse the entry of the default judgment and the writ of removal and possession and remand for dismissal of the underlying action.  As this issue is dispositive, we do not consider Tammy’s other arguments. 

Case No. 17-1388:  State of Iowa v. Isaiah Ramon Henderson

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1388

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Nancy S. Tabor and John D. Telleen, Judges.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Tabor, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (9 pages)

            Isaiah Henderson appeals his convictions for two counts of delivery of crack cocaine and one count of interference with official acts inflicting bodily injury, raising claims relating to the restoration of competency following a finding of incompetency and his speedy trial rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude Henderson’s guilty plea amounted to a waiver of his right to raise challenges relating to the delay in competency-restoration treatment.  We conclude counsel did not breach an essential duty in waiving Henderson’s ninety-day speedy trial rights and Henderson’s one-year speedy trial right was not violated.  We affirm Henderson’s judgment and sentence.

Case No. 17-1500:  Darrell Lamar Thomas v. State of Iowa

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1500

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Mark J. Smith, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Danilson, C.J.  (3 pages)

            Darrell Lamar Thomas appeals from the denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR).  Thomas raises a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel not presented to the PCR court.  OPINION HOLDS: The new ineffective-assistance claim is not properly preserved for our review.  And Thomas has failed to establish PCR counsel was ineffective.

Case No. 17-1569:  In re the Marriage of Freudenberg

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1569

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Linda M. Fangman, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Heard by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (16 pages)

            Christine Freudenberg appeals, and Mark Freudenberg cross-appeals, from the spousal-support and property-distribution provisions of a dissolution decree.  Christine challenges the spousal-support award and property-distribution provisions as inequitable.  Mark argues that if this court modifies any of the economic provisions of the dissolution decree, the court must then reevaluate and adjust the entire decree.  Christine seeks an award of appellate attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the dissolution decree but modify it with respect to the distribution of the parties’ retirement accounts.  We modify the decree to divide Mark’s John Deere pension using the Benson formula and to divide the increases in the values of Christine’s retirement funds which accrued during the marriage equally between the parties.  We award the values of Christine’s retirement accounts at the time of marriage to Christine.  We decline Christine’s request to require Mark to select a joint and survivor annuity option on his pension and name her as beneficiary.  We affirm the court’s award of spousal support.  We award Christine $1500 in appellate attorney fees.  Costs on appeal are assessed equally between the parties.

Case No. 17-1607:  Chuck Steeve and Megan Steeve v. IMT Insurance Company

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1607

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, James S. Heckerman, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J. (10 pages)

           

            Chuck and Megan Steeve appeal from the district court’s summary dismissal of their lawsuit against IMT Insurance Company for breach of their insurance contract and coverage based on the doctrine of reasonable expectations.  Under their breach-of-contract-claim, the Steeves argue the phrase “human force” is ambiguous and thus must be construed against IMT; there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the plumbing failure was caused by “human forces”; and because there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding causation, this issue is not appropriate for summary judgment.  Additionally, the Steeves maintain the district court erred in its refusal to apply the doctrine of reasonable expectations to their loss.  OPINION HOLDS: Because it is undisputed that the damages to the Steeves’ home were the result of earth movement, the earth-movement exclusion applies and IMT did not breach the insurance contract.  Additionally, IMT is entitled to judgment as matter of law on the claim of reasonable expectations.  We affirm.

Case No. 17-1640:  State of Iowa v. William E. Crawford

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1640

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Thomas G. Reidel, Judge.  CONVICTION AFFIRMED, SENTENCE VACATED IN PART, and remanded.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (8 pages)

            William Crawford appeals the judgment and sentence imposed following his second-degree-murder conviction.  OPINION HOLDS: I. The district court acted within its discretion in denying Crawford’s motion to continue the trial.  The record shows the issue was not a matter of counsel’s lack of preparation but one of surprise based on unfavorable deposition testimony given by a witness that Crawford believed would help him at trial, and Crawford failed to make a sufficiently specific statement as to why a continuance was necessary.  II. Even assuming statements made in a video of Crawford’s police interview were inadmissible, Crawford has failed to establish he was prejudiced by the statements when the evidence was cumulative and the court’s instruction limited the purposes for which the jury could consider the statements.  III. We vacate the portion of the sentencing order requiring that Crawford affirmatively request a hearing on his ability to pay appellate attorney fees and remand for entry of a corrected sentencing order.

Case No. 17-1650:  Romoke Olutunde v. Iowa Department of Human Services, Charles M. Palmer, Director

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1650

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Patrick R. Grady, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (14 pages)

            Romoke Olutunde appeals the district court decision affirming the ruling of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) finding she committed dependent adult abuse.  OPINION HOLDS:  We find DHS properly interpreted the term “caretaker” and concluded Olutunde was a caretaker of the patient in question during the relevant period of time.  We also find there is substantial evidence in the record to show staff trained by Olutunde were not consistent in providing medication to the patient in a timely manner, or at the very least, were not consistent in providing documentation to show whether or not the patient was receiving her medication as prescribed.  We affirm the district court’s decision, affirming the decision of DHS finding Olutunde committed dependent adult abuse.

Case No. 17-1662:  State of Iowa v. Brandon Brown

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1662

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeffrey D. Farrell, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, P.J.  (8 pages)

            Brandon Brown appeals his conviction for stalking while in possession of a dangerous weapon.  He argues the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the evidence sufficient to prove he engaged in an unlawful course of conduct and affirm.

Case No. 17-1761:  Doug Jaster and Elizabeth Jaster v. City of Garber

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1761

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clayton County, John J. Bauercamper, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (8 pages)

            The City of Garber seeks reversal of the district court decision granting ownership rights of disputed property to Doug and Elizabeth Jaster.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the Jasters have presented clear and convincing evidence the property should be equitably estopped to them.

Case No. 17-1838:  State of Iowa v. Jonathan Shane Weston

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-1838

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Appanoose County, Randy S. DeGeest, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Danilson, C.J.  (5 pages)

            Jonathan Weston appeals following conviction for domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury, in violation of Iowa Code sections 708.1 and 708.2A(2)(b) (2017).  His challenges are to the sentencing procedure and the sentence imposed.  OPINION HOLDS: Because Weston was allowed his right to allocution and his restitution claim is premature, we affirm.

Case No. 17-2060:  State of Iowa v. Franklin Lee Harris

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-2060

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, William P. Kelly, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (4 pages)

            Franklin Harris appeals his conviction for driving while license denied or revoked.  OPINION HOLDS: Harris failed to raise the issue of inconsistent verdicts to the district court and has therefore failed to preserve error for our review.  Regardless, Harris has failed to show the jury’s verdicts are inconsistent.

Case No. 17-2081:  In re the Marriage of Whitford

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 17-2081

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, John D. Telleen, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, P.J.  (5 pages)

            Richard Whitford appeals an order granting Deborah Whitford’s motion to dismiss Richard’s petition to modify the parties’ 2006 divorce decree as well as her request for attorney fees, claiming the court lacked authority to make its ruling and that it erred in its findings and consideration of factual matters.  OPINION HOLDS: We discern no error in the court’s conclusion.  We discern no abuse of discretion in the court’s imposition of sanctions.  We decline Deborah’s request for appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 18-0001:  Edward J. Kovarik v. Iowa Department of Revenue

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0001

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Howard County, Margaret L. Lingreen, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (18 pages)

            A taxpayer challenges orders by the Iowa Department of Revenue denying him relief under the Iowa Tax Amnesty Act of 2007 and disallowing business losses claimed in four tax years.  OPINION HOLDS: First, substantial evidence supports the finding the taxpayer did not file a 2002 tax return as he was required to do to be eligible for the tax amnesty.  Second, substantial evidence supports disallowing each of the business losses he claimed related to his railroad consulting, condominium rental, and farmland rental business.  Therefore, we affirm. 

Case No. 18-0051:  State of Iowa v. Jose Avalos Covarrubias

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0051

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Karen A. Romano, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (8 pages)

            Jose Avalos Covarrubias appeals his conviction for robbery in the second degree, under Iowa Code section 711.3 (2017).  He contends the State failed to prove he specifically intended to cause a bodily injury.  OPINION HOLDS: Avalos Covarrubias misconstrues the elements of robbery in the second degree: the State did not need to show a specific intent to cause bodily injury, only that Avalos Covarrubias had the specific intent to commit an assault and his act caused bodily injury.  On our review of the evidence, the verdict is supported by substantial evidence.  We affirm. 

Case No. 18-0138:  Johnathan Erdman v. Elizabeth Vopava, n/k/a Elizabeth Mumford

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0138

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D. Rosenberg, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, P.J.  (5 pages)

            Johnathan Erdman appeals from the district court’s order regarding physical care of A.E., his child with Elizabeth Vopava, now known as Elizabeth Mumford.  He argues the district court should not have continued A.E.’s physical care with Elizabeth.  OPINION HOLDS: On our de novo review of the record, we decline to interfere with the district court’s findings and ruling.   We also deny Elizabeth’s request for appellate attorney fees.

Case No. 18-0170:  Lavon M. Brockman v. Glen R. Ruby and Lori A. Ruby

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0170

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Kathleen A. Kilnoski, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (9 pages)

            LaVon Brockman appeals the dismissal of her equitable action to abate a private nuisance and establish a drainage easement.  She contends the district court erred in concluding a circumstance on adjoining land owned by Glen and Lori Ruby does not amount to a nuisance and the court failed to consider the easement issue.  Both parties request an award of appellate attorney fees.  The Rubys request an additional award of expert-witness fees incurred in the district court proceedings.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the denial of Brockman’s petition, deny the parties’ requests for appellate attorney fees, and deny the Rubys’ request for additional expert-witness fees.

Case No. 18-0196:  In re Marriage of Rocksvold and Orvella

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0196

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Winneshiek County, John J. Bauercamper, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED ON APPEAL; AFFIRMED ON CROSS APPEAL.  Heard by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (9 pages)

            Parties to a divorce decree appeal and cross-appeal from the property distribution, spousal support, custody, visitation, and attorney-fee provisions of the decree.  OPINION HOLDS: We modify the dissolution decree to (1) provide that Orvella shall pay Rocksvold $55,580 as a cash property settlement; (2) grant Rocksvold’s reasonable request for rehabilitative alimony in the amount of $1500 per month for three years; and (3) provide that Orvella shall pay the entirety of Rocksvold’s trial attorney-fee bill, totaling $16,214.22.  We affirm the district court’s decision to grant Rocksvold physical care of the child and decline to award Orvella extraordinary visitation rights.  We grant Rocksvold’s request for appellate attorney fees and order Orvella to pay her $3500 toward the obligation.

Case No. 18-0216:  In re the Marriage of Goins

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0216

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Fae E. Hoover-Grinde, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Danilson, C.J.  (4 pages)

            Dewey Goins appeals from the denial of his application to modify support for his former spouse Mary (known as “Pat”) Goins.  OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the trial court that modification of Dewey’s support obligation is not warranted.  Rather, modifying the spousal support would do a positive injustice to Pat.  We therefore affirm.

Case No. 18-0543:  State of Iowa v. Katrina Eubanks

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0543

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D. Rosenberg, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (5 pages)

            Katrina Eubanks appeals her convictions for neglect of a dependent person and dependent-adult abuse resulting in injury.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Eubanks’s post-plea motion to substitute counsel. 

Case No. 18-0544:  In the Interest of V.S. and A.S., Minor Children

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0544

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Karen Kaufman Salic, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, J.  (12 pages)

            The mother and father separately appeal the termination of their parental rights.  Both parents argue the grounds for termination were not met because the children could have been returned at the time of the termination hearing, they were not provided reasonable efforts toward reunification, and the district court should have dismissed the termination petition due to the misconduct of an Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) witness.  The mother additionally argues termination is not in the children’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we find the State proved the grounds for termination under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(f) (2017) by clear and convincing evidence, DHS provided reasonable efforts toward reunification, termination is in the children’s best interests, and the district court correctly found it did not rely on false or fraudulent statements at the termination hearing, we affirm the district court’s order terminating the parental rights of both parents. 

Case No. 18-0701:  State of Iowa v. Lionel Cano Vela

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0701

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Patrick A. McElyea, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (3 pages)

            Lionel Vela challenges the sentence imposed after pleading guilty to one count of forgery.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court properly exercised its discretion in imposing the sentence.  Although Vela cites factors he believes the court should have considered or given more weight, the sentence is not unreasonable or based on untenable grounds.

Case No. 18-0728:  In the Interest of M.M. and I.M., Minor Children

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0728

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Monroe County, William S. Owens, Associate Juvenile Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (7 pages)

            A father appeals from the termination of his parental rights to two children on private petition by their mother.  OPINION HOLDS: The mother showed by clear and convincing evidence the father abandoned the children by rejecting the duties imposed by a parent-child relationship, largely due to his abuse of illegal drugs.  The mother also showed by clear and convincing evidence the children’s best interests are served by allowing them to remain in their current situation with their mother and stepfather, who wishes to adopt them.  We affirm.  

Case No. 18-0739:  In the Interest of J.V. and C.E., Minor Children

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0739

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

            A mother appeals the juvenile court order terminating her parental rights in a private termination action.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the mother abandoned the children and termination is in the children’s best interests. 

Case No. 18-0875:  In the Interest of M.C., A.M., L.M., and A.M., Minor Children

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-0875

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Washington County, Daniel Kitchen, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by McDonald, J.  (10 pages)

            A mother and father challenge an order terminating their rights in their children.  OPINION HOLDS: The State proved by clear and convincing evidence that the children could not be returned to the father at the time of termination.  The Iowa Department of Human Services made reasonable efforts to reunify the father with his children.  The court did not err in denying the mother and father an additional six months toward reunification.  The court did not err in finding that termination was in the best interests of the children.

Case No. 18-1022:  In the Interest of K.C., Minor Child

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1022

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Delaware County, Linnea M.N. Nicol, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (8 pages)

            A mother appeals the district court’s decision denying her petition seeking to terminate the father’s parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS:  We find the court properly determined the mother did not meet her burden to show by clear and convincing evidence the father had abandoned the child.  Due to our finding on this issue, we do not consider whether termination was in the child’s best interests.  We affirm the district court’s decision.

Case No. 18-1083:  In the Interest of W.G. and T.G., Minor Children

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1083

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Hancock County, Karen Kaufman Salic, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, P.J.  (6 pages)

            The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to W.G., born January 2004, and T.G., born March 2002.  She argues the State failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that grounds for termination exist under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(f) (2018), termination is not in the best interests of the children, and there is a strong bond between her and the children that precludes termination under Iowa Code section 232.116(3)(c).  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude the State proved by clear and convincing evidence the grounds for termination of the mother’s parental rights.  Additionally, termination is in the best interests of the children and any bond between the mother and children does not preclude termination.

Case No. 18-1131:  In the Interest of M.C., Minor Child

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1131

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Susan Cox, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.  Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vaitheswaran, J.  (3 pages)

            A mother and father appeal from a decision terminating their parental rights to their minor child, arguing termination is not in the child’s best interests.  OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the district court that termination is in the child’s best interests, and we affirm on both appeals.

Case No. 18-1223:  In the Interest of V.L., Minor Child

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1223

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Joseph W. Seidlin, District Associate Judge.  MOTION TO DISMISS OVERRULED; JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (13 pages)

            A temporary custodian, Linda, appeals a joint permanency and termination order transferring custody and guardianship of her niece to the department of human services (DHS).  The State filed a motion to dismiss the appeal, arguing Linda only intervened in the child-in-need-of-assistance case, not the termination-of-parental-rights case, and the permanency order she now challenges is not a final appealable order.  Linda also appeals the denial of her motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence and an evidentiary issue.  OPINION HOLDS: The motion to dismiss is overruled.  The joint permanency-termination order was not interlocutory but a final ruling on V.L.’s guardianship and custody.  And Linda did not have to intervene in the termination case when the court combined the proceedings.  Nor are the appeal issues moot.  On our de novo review, we reach the same conclusion as the juvenile court, that guardianship and custody should be transferred to the DHS, which can consider whether Linda is an appropriate long-term placement.  We affirm the district court's rulings on the motion for new trial and the evidentiary issue.  Neither would have changed the decision to transfer custody and guardianship to the DHS. 

Case No. 18-1236:  In the Interest of Z.R., Minor Child

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1236

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Page County, Amy L. Zacharias, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, J.  (3 pages)

            The mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child, Z.R.  OPINION HOLDS: The mother does not challenge the ground upon which the court terminated her parental rights, and she raises no other arguments on appeal.  We affirm. 

Case No. 18-1526:  In the Interest of K.L., Minor Child

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1526

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Joseph W. Seidlin, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (4 pages)

            A mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to her child.  OPINION HOLDS: Termination is in the child’s best interests where the record shows that preserving the parent-child relationship would expose the child to more harm than would terminating the mother’s parental rights.

Case No. 18-1651:  In the Interest of R.K. and R.N., Minor Children

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1651

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Colin J. Witt, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Bower, J.  (6 pages)

            A mother of two children and the father of one of the children appeal the juvenile court order terminating their parental rights.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the mother did not preserve error on her claim regarding reasonable efforts and termination is in the best interests of the children.  We affirm the termination of the parents’ rights.

Case No. 18-1725:  In the Interest of L.S., Minor Child

Filed Dec 05, 2018

View Opinion No. 18-1725

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Susan Cox, District Associate Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (7 pages)

            A mother appeals a juvenile court order terminating her parental rights to her minor child.  She challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support termination, argues termination is not in the best interests of the child, and contends the statutory exception to termination contained in Iowa Code section 232.116(3)(c) (2018) should be applied to preclude termination.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude the State met its burden for termination under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h), termination is in the child’s best interests, and the mother failed to meet her burden to establish a statutory exception to termination.  We therefore affirm the termination of the mother’s parental rights. 

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