Iowa Supreme Court expects to file opinions in three cases on Friday, May 27, 2022.
19–0453 State v. Davis
Ethan Davis appeals from his judgment of sentence for murder in the first degree in violation of Iowa Code section 707.2(1)(a). He argues, among other things, the district court erred in failing to use a specific part of Iowa Uniform Criminal Jury Instruction 100.10, which provides language defining proof beyond a reasonable doubt, specifically that such proof is “that a reasonable person would not hesitate to act and rely upon it,” and that the court erred in providing a jury deadlock or “Allen Charge” instruction.
21–0098 Meade v. Christie
Employers Mutual Casualty Company, the majority shareholder of EMC Insurance Group, Inc. (EMCI), offered to purchase EMCI’s outstanding publicly-traded shares in a “going-private” transaction. EMCI formed a special committee of the directors elected by the minority shareholders, also known as the independent directors, to analyze the transaction and make a recommendation regarding the sale. In 2019, the independent directors recommended, and a majority of the minority shareholders agreed, to a sale price of $36 per share. Minority shareholder Kendall Meade sued the independent directors, appellants Peter Christie, Stephen Crane, Jonathan Fletcher, and Gretchen Tegeler, alleging breach of their fiduciary duties. In this interlocutory appeal, the independent directors seek review of the district court’s denial of their motion to dismiss Meade’s claims. They argue: (1) Meade’s claims were derivative and not direct, and he failed to pursue his appraisal rights under the Iowa Business Corporation Act; and (2) Meade failed to affirmatively plead facts showing that the Director Shield Statute did not provide them with defenses.
21–0664 State v. Middlekauff
Pamela Middlekauff appeals from her conviction and sentence for possession of marijuana, first offense, in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(5). Middlekauff argues the district court erred in denying her motion to dismiss her possession charge as her Arizona registry card, or the written certification completed by a physician necessary to receive the Arizona registry card, constitutes proof of a valid prescription or order from a practitioner as an affirmative defense to possess marijuana flower under Iowa law. If the Arizona registry card or written certification does not constitute a valid prescription or order under Iowa law, Middlekauff claims section 124.401(5) is unconstitutionally vague or violates equal protection. Middlekauff also claims that the trial information lacked probable cause, continued prosecution was an unconstitutional seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and the denial of the registry card, written certification, and related jury instructions violated her right to present a defense. Middlekauff further argues the district court erred in allowing a Division of Criminal Investigation analyst to testify when the name of the analyst was not presented in the minutes of the testimony and admitting marijuana and the laboratory report testing it under a chain of custody objection.