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Case No. 18-1856

Gregory Baldwin
v.
City of Estherville, Iowa, et al.

Plaintiff was arrested for operating an ATV in a ditch beside a city street, which the officers mistakenly believed violated a city ordinance. Plaintiff brought an action against defendants asserting various claims, including claims for violation of his rights under the Iowa Constitution. Pursuant to Iowa Code section 684A.1 (2019), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa certifies the following questions to the Iowa Supreme Court:

(1) Can the City assert qualified immunity to a claim for damages for violation of the Iowa Constitution based on its officers’ exercise of “all due care”? (2) If the City can assert such a defense, on the facts presented in this case, does the City have “all due care” qualified immunity to liability for damages for the violation of Baldwin’s right to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure under article I of the Iowa Constitution? This question necessarily includes questions about the extent to which reliance on a warrant may satisfy the “all due care” standard and whether the “all due care” analysis considers alternative bases for probable cause or a warrant on which the officers did not rely. (3) If punitive damages are an available remedy against an individual defendant for a violation of a plaintiff’s rights under the Iowa Constitution, can punitive damages be awarded against a municipality that employed the individual defendant and, if so, under what standard? (4) If punitive damages are available in answer to the previous question, would a reasonable jury be able to find that the applicable standard was met on the facts presented in this case? (5) If an award of attorney fees would have been available against an individual defendant for a plaintiff who attains some degree of success on a claim of a violation of a plaintiff’s rights under the Iowa Constitution, would they be available against a municipality that employed the individual defendant and, if so, under what standard? (6) If the answer to either Question No. 3 or Question No. 5 (or both) is in the affirmative, will retroactive application to the pending case be appropriate?

Appellant

Gregory Baldwin

Appellees

City of Estherville, Iowa, et al.

Attorneys for Appellant

Jack Bjornstad

Attorneys for Appellees

Douglas L. Phillips
Zachary D. Clausen
Jeffrey S. Thompson
Julie S. Kim

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule

15-15-5

Apr 09, 2019 9:00 AM

Briefs

Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
18-1856
Date Published:
Jun 14, 2019

View archived opinions from prior to November 2017

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