Skip to main content
Iowa Judicial Branch
Main Content

Case No. 19-0821

Michael Merrill and Karen Jo Frescoln
v.
Valley View Swine, LLC and JBS Live Pork, LLC f/k/a Cargill Pork, LLC

Michael Merrill and Karen Jo Frescoln filed nuisance suits against Valley View Swine, LLC, and JBS Live Pork, LLC (JBS), which run confined animal feeding operations. Both Merrill and Frescoln voluntarily dismissed previous suits against these defendants as well as the suits underlying the present appeal. The district court determined the most recent voluntary dismissals operated as adjudications on the merits, and that each had pursued a “losing cause of action.” The court then held their suits were frivolous and required each of them to pay more than $9,000 in costs pursuant to Iowa Code section 657.11(5). Merrill and Frescoln appealed, arguing the court erred: (1) when it held a second dismissal pursuant to Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 1.943 meant they pursued a “losing cause of action,” and their claims were frivolous for purposes of Iowa Code section 657.11(5); (2) when it held a second dismissal pursuant to rule 1.943 meant they were liable for costs pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 625; and (3) when it assigned costs not recoverable by law and allocated to them a share of costs for actions in which they did not participate.

County:
Wapello

Appellants

Michael Merrill and Karen Jo Frescoln

Appellees

Valley View Swine, LLC and JBS Live Pork, LLC f/k/a Cargill Pork, LLC

Attorneys for Appellants

Steven P. Wandro
Jennifer H. De Kock
Benjamin G. Arato

Attorneys for Appellees

William H. Roemerman
Laura Moon Williams
Shannon L. Sole
Robert C. Gallup

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule

15-15-5

Mar 11, 2020 9:00 AM

Briefs

Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
19-0821
Date Published:
Mar 27, 2020

View archived opinions from prior to November 2017

© 2020 Iowa Judicial Branch. All Rights Reserved.