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Case No. 18-1235

In the Matter of the Guardianship and Conservatorship of Marvin M. Jorgensen

Appellee Mark Jorgensen and the guardian ad litem for the ward seek further review after the court of appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s order modifying farm leases. They argue the court of appeals erred: (1) in holding that a discounted rental rate to a family tenant did not constitute a gift; (2) in determining a district court does not have the authority to rescind orders that are based upon fraudulent misrepresentations and self-dealing by family farm tenants; and (3) in denying the district court the ability to protect a ward after the ward’s conservator admitted to a breach of its fiduciary duty.


Roxann Wheatley, Rick Wheatley, and Dallas Wheatley, Appellants

Attorney for Appellants

Eldon L. McAfee, Julia L. Vyskocil, and Daniel P. Kresowik

Attorney for Appellee Michael Jorgensen

Deborah L. Petersen

Attorney for Appellee Mark Jorgensen

Alexander E. Wonio

Guardian ad Litem for Marvin M. Jorgensen

Leo P. Martin

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Nov 30, 2020

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

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

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