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Iowa Court of Appeals to Hear Oral Arguments in Davenport

April 25, 2016

Des Moines, April 25, 2016— On Wednesday, May 4, the Iowa Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the Scott County Courthouse, 400 West Fourth Street, Davenport.

Beginning at 1:00 p.m., three-member panels of Iowa Court of Appeals judges will hear the oral arguments in three cases. The panel for the first case is Chief Judge David Danilson, Judge Anuradha Vaitheswaran, and Judge Christopher McDonald. The panel for the second case is Judge Mary Tabor, Judge Michael Mullins, and Judge McDonald. The panel for the third case is Chief Judge Danilson, Judge Vaitheswaran, and Judge Tabor. The three cases are:

14-1549 State v. Howard

The defendant appeals the sentence imposed by the district court following a juvenile resentencing hearing on a second-degree murder offense committed in 2002, when the defendant was sixteen years old. The defendant contends the Iowa Constitution categorically bans the imposition of any minimum term of incarceration upon a juvenile offender, the sentence imposed was illegal, and the court failed to properly apply the law concerning juvenile offenders.

15-1113 Thoeming v. City of Davenport

Plaintiffs filed a negligence and nuisance suit against the city stemming from backups of the sewer system. The nuisance claim was dismissed upon the city's motion for partial summary judgment. The trial on the negligence action resulted in a verdict for the city. On appeal, the Plaintiffs contend the court erred in dismissing their nuisance claim, relying in part upon Iowa Code section 657.1.

15-1694 In re Marriage of Crawford and Fairchild

A former husband appeals from the child custody, visitation, child and spousal support, and property distribution provisions of the parties' dissolution decree. He also objects to the court's award of trial attorney fees.

The oral arguments are open to the public.

The Iowa Court of Appeals is an intermediate appellate court. It reviews appeals from trial court decisions that the supreme court has transferred to the court of appeals. A decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals is final unless reviewed by the Iowa Supreme Court on grant of further review. The majority of appeals filed in Iowa are decided by the court of appeals.

As an appellate court, the Iowa Court of Appeals does not preside over trials. Court of appeals proceedings do not involve witnesses, juries, new evidence, or court reporters. Instead, the court reviews the written record of the trial court to determine whether any significant legal errors occurred.

The court of appeals decides cases with randomly selected panels that change in composition every three months. Cases are assigned for opinion writing randomly in equal numbers to each judge on the court. Each judge on the court authors about 120 opinions per year. This figure does not include dissents and special concurrences each judge might write. In addition, each judge reviews cases decided by the other panels of the court.

Note to Editors: News media are invited to attend the oral arguments. Court rules apply regarding still camera, video camera, audio recording devices, and other electronic devices used during the oral arguments. Information on expanded media coverage is available on the Iowa Judicial Branch website.

The Iowa Court Rules regarding cameras and other electronic devices in courtrooms are available on the Iowa Legislature website (PDF).

For more information about the Iowa Court of Appeals and the Iowa Judicial Branch, visit the judicial branch website

For More Information:

Steve Davis, Court Communications Director, (515)725-8058 or

Iowa Supreme Court 
1111 East Court Avenue 
Des Moines, IA 50319 

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