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Case No. 18-1329

Terri Endress
v.
Iowa Department of Human Services

The Department of Human Services seeks further review of the court of appeals opinion affirming in part, reversing in part, and remanding regarding the district court’s decision on judicial review. The court agreed with the district court’s determination that the notice provided to Terri Endress concerning recoupment of Child Care Assistance Program payments made during the appeal process was constitutionally deficient. The court disagreed with the district court’s conclusion that Endress was not entitled to attorney fees and thus, remanded to the district court to determine an appropriate award.

County:
Polk
Trial Court Case No.:
CVCV055284

Resister

Terri Endress

Applicant

Iowa Department of Human Services

Attorneys for Resister

Trent W. Nelson

Attorneys for Applicant

Tabitha J. Gardner

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule

Non-Oral

Dec 16, 2019 9:00 AM

Briefs

Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
18-1329
Date Published:
May 29, 2020

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
18-1329
Date Published:
Jun 19, 2019
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Karen A. Romano, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.  Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  Dissent by Vogel, C.J.  (19 pages)

            The Department of Human Services (DHS) appeals district court’s ruling on judicial review, which determined the DHS violated Terri Endress’s procedural due process rights and exceeded its statutory authority in promulgating administrative rules concerning recoupment of Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) overpayments, and the administrative rules concerning recoupment are unconstitutionally vague.  Terri Endress cross-appeals the denial of her request for attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: I. The DHS violated Endress’s right to procedural due process by seeking recoupment of CCAP payments without providing adequate notice.  The notice provided to Endress concerning recoupment of the CCAP payments made during the appeal process was constitutionally deficient, and we affirm on this basis.  Accordingly, we need not address the other grounds on which the district court granted Endress’s petition for judicial review or Endress’s argument concerning unjust enrichment.  II. Although Endress appealed the DHS’s assessment of CCAP overpayments, she did not challenge the existence of a CCAP overpayment under the DHS’s rules and the amount of that overpayment.  Rather, the DHS’s promulgation of administrative rules concerning overpayment and the procedural due process it afforded Endress were at issue.  Because the agency did not adjudicate the matter on appeal, its role was not primarily adjudicative.  We reverse the district court’s determination that Endress is not entitled to attorney fees under Iowa Code section 625.29 (2018) and remand to the district court to determine an appropriate award.  DISSENT ASSERTS: I do not believe the notice from DHS to Endress violated her right to procedural due process.  I also believe Endress cannot recover attorney fees because the department’s actions were primarily adjudicative.  Therefore, I respectfully dissent.

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