Iowa Supreme Court Decisions 2012

State v. Howard  
Date: December 21, 2012
Docket Number: 101742

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with second-degree sexual abuse and child endangerment causing bodily injury after he admitted to sexually abusing a seventeen-month-old. Defendant moved to suppress his confession, claiming it was...

Nelson v. Knight  
Date: December 21, 2012
Docket Number: 111857

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff worked for over ten years for Dentist. When Dentist's wife found out that her husband and Plaintiff often texted each other, she demanded that he terminate Plaintiff's employment. Dentist subsequently terminate...

State v. Clay  
Date: December 14, 2012
Docket Number: 110927

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of second-degree burglary, operating a motor vehicle without the owner's consent, and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, second offense. Defendant appealed his bur...

Office of Citizens' Aide/Ombudsman v. Edwards  
Date: December 14, 2012
Docket Number: 111452

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant, an ALJ within the Iowa Department of Corrections (IDOC), presided over the hearing of an inmate charged with assaulting a corrections officer. Appellant found the inmate guilty of assault. The Office of Citize...

IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. PAUL J. BIEBER
Date: December 7, 2012
Docket Number: 121203
State v. Allensworth  
Date: November 30, 2012
Docket Number: 120811

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant received suspended sentences for drug offenses and two years of probation. He was incarcerated after his probation was revoked. At issue on appeal was whether an offender accrues earned time under Iowa Code 903...

Bagelmann v. First Nat'l Bank  
Date: November 16, 2012
Docket Number: 111484

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs purchased a home along the Cedar River. At the time, they were told, incorrectly, that the property was not in a special flood hazard area and that flood insurance would not be required as a condition of their...

Postell v. Am. Family Ins. Co.  
Date: November 16, 2012
Docket Number: 120098

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved a district court's denial of coverage under a fire insurance policy. A husband and wife had an insurance policy on their home. The policy included an intentional loss exclusion, voiding coverage when a...

Lowery v. State  
Date: November 9, 2012
Docket Number: 112097

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1995, Appellant was convicted of first-degree armed robbery. In 2011, the governor commuted Appellant's sentence. Thereafter, Appellant filed an application for postconviction relief seeking recalculation of his earne...

Jack v. P & A Farms, Ltd.  
Date: November 2, 2012
Docket Number: 110877

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether a trial court's entry of a default judgment under Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.971(3) is justified when a party fails to appear personally for trial, but the party's attorney is present and able to...

In re Estate of Myers  
Date: November 2, 2012
Docket Number: 111378

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was whether a surviving spouse's elective share, as defined in Iowa Code 633.238, includes pay-on-death (POD) assets. The probate court ruled that three of Karen Myers's assets, a checking account...

In re Marriage of Schenkelberg  
Date: October 26, 2012
Docket Number: 101919

Justia Opinion Summary: Wife asked the Supreme Court to determine the validity of a premarital agreement, the fairness of a property settlement, the sufficiency of the spousal support, and the denial of expert fees incurred by Wife's attorney i...

State v. Messer  
Date: October 26, 2012
Docket Number: 110469

Justia Opinion Summary: The district court found Defendant guilty of fraudulent practice in the third degree for possessing 218 packs of cigarettes lacking tax stamps. At issue on appeal was whether "the amount of money or value of property or...

Lamasters v. State  
Date: October 19, 2012
Docket Number: 110016

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was convicted of first-degree in murder in 2005. In 2009, Appellant filed an application for postconviction relief alleging his trial was ineffective for (1) failing to raise the defense of temporary insanity o...

IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. PETER SEAN CANNON
Date: October 19, 2012
Docket Number: 120844
IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. DEAN A. STOWERS
Date: October 19, 2012
Docket Number: 121025
IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. TA-YU YANG
Date: September 28, 2012
Docket Number: 120793
In re Marriage of O'Brien  
Date: September 21, 2012
Docket Number: 111551

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court granted further review of this dissolution-of-marriage case to consider the proper distribution of a retired spouse's monthly pension benefits. The district court awarded the entirety of those benefits...

Mueller v. Wellmark, Inc.  
Date: July 27, 2012
Docket Number: 100010

Justia Opinion Summary: In this putative class action, Plaintiffs were doctors of chiropractic who alleged they had been victimized by the discriminatory practices of Iowa's largest health insurer, Wellmark, Inc. The district court (1) granted...

Mall Real Estate, LLC v. City of Hamburg  
Date: July 27, 2012
Docket Number: 100898

Justia Opinion Summary: The operator of an establishment offering nude and seminude dance performances sought an injunction restraining a city from enforcing its ordinance regulating nude and seminude dancing. The district court found that stat...

Iowa Film Prod. Servs. v. Iowa Dep't of Econ. Dev.  
Date: July 27, 2012
Docket Number: 101719

Justia Opinion Summary: This case required the Supreme Court to decide whether filmmakers receiving tax credits from the State of Iowa under the State's tax credit program could enjoin the State from releasing summaries of their films' final bu...

ACLU of Iowa vs. Atlantic Cmty. Sch. Dist.  
Date: July 27, 2012
Docket Number: 110095

Justia Opinion Summary: The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa Foundation submitted an open records request to the Atlantic Community School District records custodian requesting information pursuant to Iowa's Open Records Act concerning th...

State v. Becker  
Date: July 20, 2012
Docket Number: 100631

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with murder in the first degree. Defendant provided notice he would be relying on the defense of insanity to the charge. The jury rejected the insanity defense and found Defendant guilty of first-de...

Lewis v. Jaeger  
Date: July 20, 2012
Docket Number: 110834

Justia Opinion Summary: Tenant brought claims against her landlord, the City of Dubuque, and a City official (Defendants), asserting that they unlawfully caused her eviction from her apartment. Tenant alleged, among other things, that the condu...

Press-Citizen Co. v. Univ. of Iowa  
Date: July 13, 2012
Docket Number: 091612

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, two University of Iowa football players were accused of sexually assaulting another student in a campus dorm room. The incident led to criminal charges, internal actions by the University, an external criticism...

Fry v. Blauvelt  
Date: July 13, 2012
Docket Number: 101336

Justia Opinion Summary: In this breach of contract case, the Supreme Court considered whether the district court erred in denying Defendant's motion for a new trial based on several rulings by the district court that Defendant claimed materiall...

Estate of Anderson v. Iowa Dermatology Clinic, PLC  
Date: July 13, 2012
Docket Number: 110657

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the Supreme Court was asked to review a summary judgment ruling dismissing a wrongful death action because it was commenced later than is allowed under Iowa Code 614.1(9), a statute of repose limiting the t...

State v. Jones  
Date: July 6, 2012
Docket Number: 090146

Justia Opinion Summary: Following his sentencing to consecutive prison terms totaling thirty-five years, Defendant asked the Supreme Court to review the district court's determinations that the written entry of the verdict was proper, that a fo...

Waldinger Corp. v. Mettler  
Date: July 6, 2012
Docket Number: 100502

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case the Supreme Court was asked to determine whether Iowa's workers' compensation statute allows a claimant to recover healing period benefits - after he had reached maximum medical improvement and returned to s...

Pitts v. Farm Bureau Life Ins. Co.  
Date: July 6, 2012
Docket Number: 110117

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was (1) whether a life insurance agent owes a duty of care to the intended beneficiary of a life insurance policy, and (2) whether a life insurance agent can be liable for negligent misrepresentatio...

Chicago Cent. & Pac. R.R. Co. v. Bd. of Supervisors  
Date: June 29, 2012
Docket Number: 100061

Justia Opinion Summary: Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad Company (CCP) voluntarily performed repairs on a drainage improvement. When its request for reimbursement for those repairs was denied by the Calhoun County Board of Supervisors, the...

Whitley v. C.R. Pharmacy Serv., Inc.  
Date: June 29, 2012
Docket Number: 100843

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case the Supreme Court was asked to decide whether the district court erred in admitting exhibits directed to the issue of fault in a pharmacy malpractice action that were not disclosed during the pretrial discov...

L.F. Noll Inc. v. Eviglo  
Date: June 29, 2012
Docket Number: 101677

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff corporation filed an action against Defendant, a resident of Nebraska, for damages related to the termination of an apartment lease in Iowa where Defendant formerly resided. Plaintiff attempted to serve notice...

Robinson v. Allied Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co.  
Date: June 29, 2012
Docket Number: 101721

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was whether to judicially invalidate an insurance contract requirement that the insured file her lawsuit for underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) within two years of her auto accident. Plaintiff a...

Peoples Trust & Savings Bank v. Sec. Savings Bank  
Date: June 22, 2012
Docket Number: 101291

Justia Opinion Summary: This case presented a battle between banks over the proceeds of the sale of cattle by a financially strapped borrower who had financial dealings with both banks. When Security Savings Bank (Security) obtained the proceed...

State v. Sanford  
Date: June 22, 2012
Docket Number: 110156

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Dontay Sanford was convicted for first-degree burglary for entering the car of a victim who later died from injuries received during the encounter. Sanford was sentenced to an indeterminate term in prison not t...

In re A.B.  
Date: June 22, 2012
Docket Number: 120133

Justia Opinion Summary: A juvenile court terminated Father's parental rights to his two children. Father appealed, arguing, among other things, that the juvenile court violated his due process rights when it ordered him to provide a fingernail...

In re Block  
Date: June 22, 2012
Docket Number: 120256

Justia Opinion Summary: The Iowa Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed an application for imposition of discipline against Daniel Block, an associate juvenile court judge, for conduct that resulted in his arrest for the crime of operating...

Minor v. State  
Date: June 15, 2012
Docket Number: 091010

Justia Opinion Summary: After the State filed a child in need of assistance (CINA) petition, the juvenile court issued a temporary removal order removing Child from Mother's custody and placing her in foster care. Once the CINA proceeding was d...

Rowedder v. Anderson  
Date: June 15, 2012
Docket Number: 101172

Justia Opinion Summary: In this real estate dispute, some of the defendants filed a motion for sanctions, alleging Defendant brought the action to harass, cause unnecessary delay, and needlessly increase the cost of litigation. The district cou...

State v. Clark  
Date: June 8, 2012
Docket Number: 100511

Justia Opinion Summary: Donald Clark was convicted of sexual abuse in the second degree for molesting a fifth-grade student while employed as a guidance counselor at the elementary school. Clark appealed, arguing that his constitutional rights...

Perez v. State  
Date: June 8, 2012
Docket Number: 101315

Justia Opinion Summary: Sergio Perez pled guilty to a misdemeanor drug possession charge in 2000. Perez later filed an application for postconviction relief seeking to have his conviction set aside, claiming that he did not receive advice from...

Nextera Energy Res., LLC v. Iowa Utils. Bd.  
Date: June 8, 2012
Docket Number: 102080

Justia Opinion Summary: NextEra Energy Resources, LLC appealed the Iowa Utility Board's decision to grant advance ratemaking principles to MidAmerican Energy Company for a proposed wind generation facility. The district court affirmed the Board...

State v. Long  
Date: June 8, 2012
Docket Number: 110197

Justia Opinion Summary: Peter Long was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse. Based on two prior convictions for lascivious acts with a child, the district court found that Long had committed a class A felony and sentenced Long to life in pris...

Flynn Builders, L.C. v. Lande  
Date: June 1, 2012
Docket Number: 101278

Justia Opinion Summary: An owner and contractor entered into an agreement for the construction of a new home. During construction, the owner refused to pay the contractor after discovering markups on the cost of materials. In response, the cont...

Employers Mut. Cas. Co. v. Haaften  
Date: June 1, 2012
Docket Number: 110699

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, an alleged embezzler, entered an Alford plea to first-degree theft and entered a deferred judgment on that charge. The subrogated insurer (EMCC) of Defendant's employer brought a civil action against Defendant...

Dier v. Peters  
Date: June 1, 2012
Docket Number: 111581

Justia Opinion Summary: This case presented the question of whether an individual who made voluntary expenditures based on a mother's fraudulent representation that the individual had fathered her child has a cause of action against the mother...

Lee v. State  
Date: May 25, 2012
Docket Number: 071879

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this employment case was whether the State was immune from claims under the self-care provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in state court. The district court denied the State's posttrial motio...

McCormick v. Nikkel & Assocs.  
Date: May 25, 2012
Docket Number: 101889

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether a subcontractor that properly performs electrical work on a jobsite, then locks up the work and transfers control to the property owner, owes a duty of care to an employee of the owner e...

Johnson v. Metro. Wastewater Reclamation Auth.  
Date: May 18, 2012
Docket Number: 110444

Justia Opinion Summary: In this interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Court reviewed the district court's ruling consolidating condemnation appeals from proceedings by two separate condemning authorities taking property from the same parent tract o...

State v. Kurth  
Date: May 11, 2012
Docket Number: 110525

Justia Opinion Summary: This case presented the question of whether an officer is justified in activating his emergency lights and blocking a driver into a parking space under the "community caretaking function" exception to the warrant require...

E. Central Cmty. Sch. Dist. v. Miss. Bend Area Educ. Agency  
Date: May 11, 2012
Docket Number: 111498

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case the Supreme Court considered whether an area education agency (AEA) acted lawfully when it approved for submission to the voters a petition that proposed a consolidation of two community school districts, Pr...

Burton v. Hilltop Care Ctr.  
Date: May 4, 2012
Docket Number: 091633

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee sought workers compensation benefits after receiving two injuries at her place of employment. While working for Employer, Employee received a salary increase of $1000. Although Employee received a salary increas...

Ennenga v. State  
Date: May 4, 2012
Docket Number: 101911

Justia Opinion Summary: Roger Ennenga was arrested for failing to stop his vehicle when police attempted to pull him over and for possession of methamphetamine. The State failed to file a trial information within forty-five days, and Ennenga's...

Kolzow v. State  
Date: May 4, 2012
Docket Number: 110293

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue here was sex offenders serving prison time on a "revocation of release" from a "special sentence" under Iowa Code 903B.2 and whether the maximum time incarcerated was reduced by "earned-time credit" or "jail-tim...

In re Marriage of Vaughan  
Date: April 27, 2012
Docket Number: 110325

Justia Opinion Summary: Philip Vaughan and Arleen Wentworth divorced pursuant to a divorce decree that ordered Philip to pay child support until the couple's child, Allison, turned twenty-two if Allison continued a course of higher education. P...

King v. State  
Date: April 20, 2012
Docket Number: 082006

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, students or parents of students who attended Iowa public schools, filed a petition contending that Iowa's educational system was inadequate and urging the courts to impose additional public school standards,...

State v. Madsen  
Date: April 20, 2012
Docket Number: 091500

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant Kenneth Madsen was convicted of two counts of sexual abuse in the second degree and one count of lascivious acts with a child. Madsen appealed, arguing (1) the district court erred in failin...

Hall v. Employment Appeal Bd.  
Date: April 20, 2012
Docket Number: 110389

Justia Opinion Summary: The Employment Appeal Board (Board) denied Willie Hall's application for unemployment insurance benefits. Hall filed a petition for judicial review. The district court affirmed the decision of the Board and assessed cost...

In re Estate of Bockwoldt  
Date: April 13, 2012
Docket Number: 091914

Justia Opinion Summary: As part of an order approving the final report of the executor of the estate of Loren S. Bockwoldt, the district court approved extraordinary attorney fees for Pete Wessels and the law firm of Stanley, Lande and Hunter (...

Hall v. Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hosp.  
Date: April 13, 2012
Docket Number: 101516

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs sued a surgeon, alleging negligent performance of a pancreaticoduodenectomy, and a hospital, contending it negligently granted credentials to the surgeon. The district court entered judgment in favor of Defend...

State v. Polk  
Date: April 6, 2012
Docket Number: 100335

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Anthony Polk confessed in a jailhouse interview to firing his handgun at the scene of a gang-related shooting that left two men with gunshot wounds. Polk filed a motion to suppress his conviction, contending th...

State v. Oliver  
Date: March 30, 2012
Docket Number: 101751

Justia Opinion Summary: Charles Oliver was convicted a second time of third-degree sexual abuse, and Oliver stipulated that he had a prior conviction for third-degree sexual abuse. Because of his prior conviction, Oliver was guilty of a class A...

State v. Ragland  
Date: March 30, 2012
Docket Number: 101770

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner, a juvenile offender whom the State tried as an adult, brought a postconviction relief action claiming that his conviction for first-degree murder should be overturned and that his sentence was illegal because...

Homan v. Branstad  
Date: March 16, 2012
Docket Number: 112022

Justia Opinion Summary: On July 27, 2011, the Governor item vetoed several provisions in an appropriations bill passed in the General Assembly. Primarily at issue was $8.66 million the legislature appropriated in section 15 for the operation of...

State v. DeWitt  
Date: March 9, 2012
Docket Number: 090141

Justia Opinion Summary: Police officers initiated an investigatory encounter with William DeWitt in Walmart based initially on information provided to them by a confidential informant. The officers decided to confront DeWitt and take him outsid...

Hall v. Broadlawns Med. Ctr.  
Date: March 9, 2012
Docket Number: 100971

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the Supreme Court considered whether an internal audit created by Broadlawns Medical Center as a result of the theft of drugs by an employee was a public record under the Iowa Open Records Act. The district...

State v. Dist. Court  
Date: March 9, 2012
Docket Number: 110488

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of possession of marijuana as an accommodation offense. Defendant was previously convicted of simple possession of marijuana. Defendant requested a sentencing hearing to determine whether he shoul...

Kragnes v. City of Des Moines  
Date: March 2, 2012
Docket Number: 091473

Justia Opinion Summary: This case was remanded to the district court for determination of whether a class should be certified and for determination of what, if any, part of the City's franchise fees for gas and electricity services are related...

Neal v. Annett Holdings, Inc.  
Date: March 2, 2012
Docket Number: 102117

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee injured his shoulder while working for Employer. Employer offered Employee light-duty work in Des Moines, which was 387 miles from Employee's residence. Employee declined Employer's offer to perform light-duty w...

Hawkeye Foodservice Distrib., Inc. v. Iowa Educators Corp.  
Date: February 24, 2012
Docket Number: 082056

Justia Opinion Summary: Hawkeye Foodservice Distribution filed a petition for declaratory and injunctive relief against the Iowa Educators Corporation (IEC) and ten Area Education Agencies (AEAs) comprising IEC, seeking (1) a declaration that t...

IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. ROBERT J. HEARITY
Date: February 24, 2012
Docket Number: 111645
State v. Overbay  
Date: February 17, 2012
Docket Number: 101955

Justia Opinion Summary: Rachel Overbay, the driver of a vehicle, was involved in an accident and transferred to the hospital. A law enforcement officer requested a blood sample from Overbay. Overbay, however, was incorrectly informed that her r...

In re Marriage of Morris  
Date: February 17, 2012
Docket Number: 110118

Justia Opinion Summary: Kathy Morris and Dennis Morris divorced in 2003 pursuant to a stipulated decree of dissolution adopted by the district court. Trial counsel for the parties did not expressly address survivor rights when dividing retireme...

Westling v. Hormel Foods Corp.  
Date: February 10, 2012
Docket Number: 100795

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee filed a petition with the state workers' compensation commissioner, alleging that he suffered an injury to his shoulder while working for Employer and that his injury caused a permanent disability. The workers'...

Mitchell County v. Zimmerman  
Date: February 3, 2012
Docket Number: 101932

Justia Opinion Summary: Members of the Old Order Groffdale Conference Mennonite Church are forbideen from driving tractors unless their wheels are equipped with steel cleats. A Mitchell County road protection ordinance forbade driving such vehi...

Estes v. Progressive Classic Ins. Co.  
Date: January 27, 2012
Docket Number: 091673

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved a dispute between Insured and Insurer regarding underinsured motorist benefits. The district court denied Insurer's motion for summary judgment and entered judgment in favor of Insured with interest ru...

State v. Mootz  
Date: January 27, 2012
Docket Number: 100418

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jerin Mootz was convicted for assault on a police officer resulting in bodily injury. During voir dire, Mootz sought to use a peremptory challenge to remove a Hispanic juror. The district court found Mootz was...

State v. Adams  
Date: January 20, 2012
Docket Number: 080513

Justia Opinion Summary: After his vehicle collided with and killed a bicyclist, Defendant was convicted of homicide by vehicle, operating while intoxicated, and leaving the scene of an accident. The court of appeals affirmed his convictions but...

State v. Lowe  
Date: January 20, 2012
Docket Number: 101454

Justia Opinion Summary: Robert Lowe was charged with several criminal counts related to Lowe's alleged manufacture of methamphetamine. Lowe moved to certain suppress statements he made to the police. The district court granted the motion, deter...

State v. Richards  
Date: January 13, 2012
Docket Number: 100218

Justia Opinion Summary: Dennis Richards was convicted of second-degree murder and second-degree arson for strangling his ex-wife to death and setting her house on fire. The court of appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial after concluding...

State v. Breuer  
Date: January 6, 2012
Docket Number: 091170

Justia Opinion Summary: Lee Breuer was the apparent driver in a one-car accident. Breuer and the passenger were transported to the hospital, where a deputy sheriff asked Breuer to provide a breath test. Breuer refused. An officer then obtained...

IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. GORDON LILES
Date: January 6, 2012
Docket Number: 110799
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