Iowa Supreme Court Decisions 2015

McQuistion v. City of Clinton  
Date: December 24, 2015
Docket Number: 140413

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, who was employed as an engineer and paramedic for the City of Clinton fire department, requested light-duty assignments when she became pregnant. The fire chief denied Plaintiff’s request, determining that she...

Baker v. Bridgestone/Firestone  
Date: December 18, 2015
Docket Number: 142062

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee strained his back while working for Employer. Two years later, Employer notified Employee that it would no longer pay for his medical care, believing that the two-year statute of limitations for workers’ compens...

Bryant v. Rimrodt  
Date: December 11, 2015
Docket Number: 131883

Justia Opinion Summary: Kevin Bryant, a salesperson at an auto dealership, was in the passenger seat of a car when Lori Parr, who was testing driving the car, made an illegal left turn, and the car was struck by a car driven by Robert Rimrodt....

In re Property Seized from Robert Pardee  
Date: December 11, 2015
Docket Number: 140029

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was a passenger in an out-of-state vehicle that had been pulled over for traffic violations. The state trooper decided to detain the drive and Appellant while a narcotics dog was called in. The narcotics dog al...

Concerned Citizens of Southeast Polk Sch. Dist. v. City Dev. Bd. of Iowa  
Date: December 11, 2015
Docket Number: 141317

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners petitioned for judicial review of a decision by the City Development Board approving the annexation of certain land. The district court affirmed. Petitioners filed a notice of appeal and a motion for extensio...

State v. Lopez  
Date: December 4, 2015
Docket Number: 140284

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to a plea agreement, Defendant pled guilty to child endangerment causing bodily injury. The plea agreement recommended a deferred judgment and probation. At the sentencing hearing, however, without objection by...

STATE OF IOWA vs. CHANSEY JORDALE LEWIS
Date: December 4, 2015
Docket Number: 142042
Brandstad v. State ex rel. Nat. Res. Comm’n  
Date: November 6, 2015
Docket Number: 140205

Justia Opinion Summary: After an investigation, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) determined that the release of sweet corn silage runoff from Appellant’s farming operation caused fish kill on the Winnebago River. The DNR submitted...

STATE OF IOWA vs. ERIC WILLIAM QUERREY
Date: October 30, 2015
Docket Number: 131937
Crow v. Simpson  
Date: October 30, 2015
Docket Number: 132046

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was injured when he crashed his moped at a work site. Plaintiff sued Defendant, a contractor, alleging that his injuries were caused by the contractor’s negligence at the site. After a trial, the jury returned...

State v. Ceretti  
Date: October 23, 2015
Docket Number: 131573

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to a plea agreement, Defendant pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, attempted murder, and willful injury causing serious injury. Defendant appealed, arguing that attempted murder and willful injury convicti...

State v. Walden  
Date: October 23, 2015
Docket Number: 141280

Justia Opinion Summary: A teenage girl reported that Defendant had molested her eight years earlier. Defendant was subsequently charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor, indecent contact with a minor, and kidnapping with intent to com...

State v. Iowa Dist. Court for Dubuque County  
Date: October 23, 2015
Docket Number: 142161

Justia Opinion Summary: After Defendant, who had been released from custody on an unsecured appearance bond, made threatening remarks about Assistant Dubuque County Attorney Brigit Barnes, the district court revoked Defendant’s bond and set the...

IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. BLAKE D. LUBINUS
Date: September 11, 2015
Docket Number: 150672
IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. FRANK SANTIAGO
Date: September 4, 2015
Docket Number: 150024
State v. Tyler  
Date: June 30, 2015
Docket Number: 130588

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murder in the second degree for the death of her newborn son (Baby Tyler). The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the district court abused its discretion in allow...

STATE OF IOWA vs. HILLARY LEE TYLER
Date: June 30, 2015
Docket Number: 130830
State v. Gaskins  
Date: June 30, 2015
Docket Number: 131915

Justia Opinion Summary: Upon stopping Defendant for an expired license plate, a police officer smelled marijuana and confiscated a marijuana blunt from Defendant. After arresting Defendant for the possession of marijuana the police searched the...

Rivera v. Woodward Res. Ctr.  
Date: June 30, 2015
Docket Number: 140194

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff was hired by Employer as a probationary employee for a six-month period but was terminated within the probationary period. Plaintiff filed a wrongful discharge suit against Employer. The jury returned a verdict...

State v. King  
Date: June 26, 2015
Docket Number: 131061

Justia Opinion Summary: After Defendant was released on parole, Defendant’s parole officer made a home visit to check on Defendant and conducted a search of Defendant’s bedroom. The search uncovered evidence used to prosecute and convict Defend...

Sanon v. City of Pella  
Date: June 26, 2015
Docket Number: 131438

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, two teenage boys drowned at the Pella Aquatics Center. Plaintiffs, the parents of the children, filed a claim for negligence against the City of Pella under the state-created danger doctrine. The district court...

Sioux Pharm, Inc. v. Eagle Labs., Inc.  
Date: June 26, 2015
Docket Number: 131525

Justia Opinion Summary: In this battle between two domestic producers of chondroitin sulfate, Plaintiffs filed suit claiming trade-secrets violations against Defendants. Before the Supreme Court was an interlocutory appeal on a discovery issue....

State v. Seats  
Date: June 26, 2015
Docket Number: 131960

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was seventeen years old when he committed first-degree murder. Defendant was sentenced to life without parole, as required by Iowa law. Defendant later filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence. Before the...

State v. Louisell  
Date: June 26, 2015
Docket Number: 140175

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial in 1988, Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder. Defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole (LWOP), as required by Iowa law at that time. At the time she committed the crime, D...

State v. Webster  
Date: June 19, 2015
Docket Number: 131095

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of second-degree murder. Defendant appealed, arguing that his conviction should be vacated because of juror misconduct and juror bias and because of assorted errors in the d...

State v. McNeal  
Date: June 19, 2015
Docket Number: 131229

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of theft in the first degree. Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress the search of his trailer, arguing that there was no probable cause to support the sear...

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Inc. v. Iowa Bd. of Med.  
Date: June 19, 2015
Docket Number: 141415

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2013, the Iowa Board of Medicine passed a rule establishing standards requiring physicians who prescribe or administer abortion-inducing drugs to personally perform a physical examination and to be physically present...

Iowa Ins. Inst. v. Core Group of the Iowa Ass’n for Justice  
Date: June 12, 2015
Docket Number: 131627

Justia Opinion Summary: The Workers’ Compensation Core Group of the Iowa Association for Justice filed a petition for declaratory order with the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner seeking a determination whether Iowa Code 85.25(2) mandates that...

State v. Paye  
Date: June 12, 2015
Docket Number: 140183

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether the front steps of a single-family home are a public place under Iowa’s public intoxication statute. Defendant was charged with public intoxication in violation of Iowa Code 123.46 after...

In re Marriage of Thatcher  
Date: June 5, 2015
Docket Number: 132044

Justia Opinion Summary: After Susan Thatcher was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she filed a petition for dissolution of her marriage to Ronald Thatcher. Susan subsequently filed a motion to bifurcate dissolution, requesting that the Supreme Co...

Des Moines Area Reg’l Transit Auth. v. Young  
Date: June 5, 2015
Docket Number: 140231

Justia Opinion Summary: Employee was injured while working for Employer. Employee filed a workers’ compensation claim and submitted a report from a physician from whom she received an examination that was not authorized by Employer. The deputy...

Warren Props. v. Stewart  
Date: May 29, 2015
Docket Number: 130474

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2006, Appellant was injured while working at Wal-Mart. In 2009, Appellant was injured while working at Warren Properties. Appellant filed a complaint against Warren Properties to recover compensation for her 2009 inju...

Man v. Branstad  
Date: May 29, 2015
Docket Number: 140178

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2013, the General Assembly appropriated funds for the operation of the Iowa Juvenile Home (IJH) in Toledo for the 2014 fiscal year, but five months into 2014, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) decided to clo...

State v. Hernandez-Galarza  
Date: May 22, 2015
Docket Number: 130917

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant pleaded guilty to fraudulent practice in the fourth degree. The district court granted Appellant a deferred judgment and placed him on probation. After Appellant was discharged from probation he filed a petitio...

Baker v. City of Iowa City  
Date: May 22, 2015
Docket Number: 131877

Justia Opinion Summary: Employers filed a petition against the City claiming that a city ordinance prohibiting discrimination by all employers violated their constitutional rights. The Supreme Court held that the antidiscrimination ordinance ex...

Dolphin Residential Coop., Inc. v. Iowa City Bd. of Review  
Date: May 15, 2015
Docket Number: 131031

Justia Opinion Summary: Dolphin Residential Cooperative, Inc. owned an apartment complex in Iowa City that consisted of twenty-two buildings comprising four hundred residential units. The Iowa City assessor classified the multiunit apartment bu...

City of Iowa City v. Iowa City Bd. of Review  
Date: May 15, 2015
Docket Number: 140495

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, the Iowa City Board of Review reclassified eighteen properties from commercial to residential for property tax purposes because the properties had recently been organized as multiple housing cooperatives. Two Io...

In re Marriage of Hoffman  
Date: May 8, 2015
Docket Number: 131757

Justia Opinion Summary: Father and Mother married in 1996 and had two children. The parties divorced in 2006. The divorce decree granted the parents joint legal custody of the children but allocated primary physical care of the children to Moth...

Sanford v. Lawler  
Date: May 8, 2015
Docket Number: 140411

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, Joseph and Suzanna Sanford, filed suit against a beach resort for damages resulting from an injury Joseph received during an assault committed by James Lawler when all the parties were guests of the resort. J...

Ostergren v. Iowa Dist. Court for Muscatine County  
Date: May 8, 2015
Docket Number: 141372

Justia Opinion Summary: On July 22, 2014, the Muscatine County District Court issued an administrative order prescribing a formal procedure through which persons protected by orders of protection entered in criminal proceedings may seek to have...

State v. Hoyman  
Date: May 1, 2015
Docket Number: 140262

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of first-degree fraudulent practice and sentenced to an indeterminate term of ten years in prison. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in its instructions...

Nelson v. Lindaman  
Date: April 24, 2015
Docket Number: 130719

Justia Opinion Summary: A physician (Dr. Lindaman) participating in a child abuse assessment of a three-week-old infant (E.N.) treated E.N.’s broken arm and told the investigator for the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) that the father’s...

McKee v. Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.  
Date: April 24, 2015
Docket Number: 140802

Justia Opinion Summary: Patron won 185 credits, or $1.85, while playing a penny slot machine at a Casino. However, at the same time, a message appeared on the screen stating, “Bonus Award - $41797550.16.” The Casino refused to pay the alleged b...

State v. Nicoletto  
Date: April 24, 2015
Docket Number: 141193

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee, a former high school basketball coach, was convicted of sexual exploitation of a student. Within hours of his sentencing, Appellee filed a notice of appeal, posted the appeal bond, and was released from custody...

State v. Penn-Kennedy  
Date: April 17, 2015
Docket Number: 131615

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was arrested for public intoxication. The State filed a criminal complaint 120 days later charging Defendant with operating while intoxicated (OWI). The complaint arose from the same incident that resulted in t...

State v. Lyon  
Date: April 17, 2015
Docket Number: 131938

Justia Opinion Summary: A police officer stopped Defendant’s vehicle based upon a suspicion that Defendant was operating a vehicle without proper illumination. Defendant was subsequently arrested for, and charged with, driving while intoxicated...

State v. Thacker  
Date: April 17, 2015
Docket Number: 140374

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to a plea bargain, Defendant pled guilty to harassment in the first degree, an aggravated misdemeanor. The district court imposed a sentence, but the sentencing order did not contain the provisions of the plea b...

State v. Rooney  
Date: April 10, 2015
Docket Number: 130618

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of third-degree burglary for entering a soon-to-be demolished, dilapidated house to obtain scrap metal. Defendant appealed, arguing (1) the evidence was insufficient to support...

LSCP, LLLP v. Kay-Decker  
Date: April 10, 2015
Docket Number: 140494

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was the constitutionality of the statutory framework under which Iowa taxes the delivery of natural gas at variable tax rates depending on volume and the taxpayer’s geographic location within the...

Clarke County Reservoir Comm’n v. Abbott  
Date: April 10, 2015
Docket Number: 140774

Justia Opinion Summary: The Clarke County Reservoir Commission, comprised of several agencies located in Clarke County, decided to move ahead with plans to build a new public reservoir for drinking water. The Commission filed a declaratory acti...

Iowa Dep’t of Human Servs. v. Cmty. Care, Inc.  
Date: April 10, 2015
Docket Number: 141522

Justia Opinion Summary: DeWitt Bank & Trust Company (Bank) held perfected security interests on real and personal property of Community Care, Inc. (CCI). When the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) determined that CCI had committed Medicai...

Iowa Dep’t of Human Servs. v. Morse Healthcare Servs., Inc.  
Date: April 10, 2015
Docket Number: 141542

Justia Opinion Summary: This case was the companion interlocutory appeal with facts that mirrored Iowa Dep’t of Human Servs. v. DeWitt Bank and Trust Co., decided on the day of this opinion. As in DeWitt Bank, the Iowa Department of Human Servi...

State v. Young  
Date: April 3, 2015
Docket Number: 130983

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with theft in the third degree based on her current crime and two prior theft convictions. Defendant moved to strike her 2003 conviction of theft in the third degree as a basis to support the charge...

Roberts Dairy v. Billick  
Date: April 3, 2015
Docket Number: 131009

Justia Opinion Summary: Grady Billick sought workers’ compensation benefits for a series of work-related injuries. Roberts Dairy, Billick’s current employer, contended that its liability for Billick’s industrial disability should be apportioned...

Fagen v. Grand View Univ.  
Date: April 3, 2015
Docket Number: 140095

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff brought a tort action against, among other defendants, a fellow university student (Defendant), claiming monetary damages for his injury. Plaintiff’s damage claim included damages for mental pain and mental dis...

State v. Cordero  
Date: March 20, 2015
Docket Number: 122122

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of first-degree murder and attempt to commit murder. The trial court imposed a sentence of life imprisonment for the murder conviction and a term of twenty-five years for th...

Amish Connection, Inc. v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co.  
Date: March 20, 2015
Docket Number: 130124

Justia Opinion Summary: Amish Connection Inc. purchased a business insurance policy from State Farm Fire and Casualty Company that only insured damage “caused by rain” if an insured event first ruptured the roof or exterior walls to allow the r...

Dempsey v. State  
Date: March 13, 2015
Docket Number: 130543

Justia Opinion Summary: After the State withdrew its first plea offer and proposed a second, less favorable plea offer, Defendant accepted the second plea offer and pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and assault with intent to commit sexu...

State v. McKinley  
Date: March 13, 2015
Docket Number: 131226

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with first-degree murder. The district court appointed two attorneys from the Des Moines adult public defender’s office to represent Defendant. When the two attorneys discovered that other attorneys...

In re Detention of Curtiss  
Date: March 13, 2015
Docket Number: 131241

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, the district court placed Stephen Curtiss in the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders (CCUSO). In 2011, the district court found the State failed to meet its burden to prove Curtiss was likely to commit a...

In re Detention of Matlock  
Date: March 13, 2015
Docket Number: 132022

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2001, Calvin Matlock was confined to the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders (CCUSO). In 2013, the district court found the State failed to meet its burden to prove Matlock’s mental abnormality made him likely...

State v. Hopkins  
Date: March 6, 2015
Docket Number: 131103

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of six drug-related crimes. After Defendant was sentenced, the court of appeals reversed one of Defendant’s convictions, and Defendant received a resentencing hearing on...

Dindinger v. AllSteel, Inc.  
Date: March 6, 2015
Docket Number: 131411

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs initiated suit in federal district court against Defendant, their former employer, alleging employment discrimination. Plaintiff’s complaint included claims that Defendant had violated Iowa Code 216.6A, Iowa’s...

Book v. Voma Tire Corp.  
Date: March 6, 2015
Docket Number: 131793

Justia Opinion Summary: Jim Book, the owner of an auto repair shop in Iowa, bought from an Iowa retailer four Treadstone tires manufactured in China by Doublestar Dongfeng Tyre Company, Ltd. Jim’s son, Dylan Book, was airing up one of the tires...

State v. Thorndike  
Date: February 27, 2015
Docket Number: 131403

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of sexual abuse in the second degree and one count of lascivious acts with a child. Defendant appealed, arguing, among other things, that trial counsel was ineffe...

Mueller v. Wellmark, Inc.  
Date: February 27, 2015
Docket Number: 131872

Justia Opinion Summary: Wellmark, Inc., an Iowa-based health insurer that belongs to the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) network, contracted with health care providers in Iowa to provide services at certain reimbursement rates. Wellm...

Ghost Player, LLC v. State  
Date: February 27, 2015
Docket Number: 140339

Justia Opinion Summary: The Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) and Ghost Player, LLC executed a contract for tax credits under which Ghost Player believed it would receive certain tax credits for a documentary film it produced. CH I...

IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. VERLA JEAN BARTLEY
Date: February 27, 2015
Docket Number: 140757
City of Sioux City v. Jacobsma  
Date: February 20, 2015
Docket Number: 131502

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011, the City of Sioux City enacted an automatic traffic enforcement (ATE) ordinance. In 2012, a vehicle registered to Appellant was detected by ATE equipment traveling at an excessive speed. As a result, the City is...

In re Krull  
Date: February 20, 2015
Docket Number: 141596

Justia Opinion Summary: Magistrate Douglas A. Krull, in his private practice, represented a mother in a pending action against her ex-husband to modify child custody provisions of their dissolution decree. A police officer sought a search warra...

State v. Tomkins  
Date: February 13, 2015
Docket Number: 122270

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the court of appeals and affirmed, holding (1) trial counsel was not ineffective in f...

Vossoughi v. Polaschek  
Date: February 13, 2015
Docket Number: 131381

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs filed an amended petition against two attorneys who prepared documents in connection with the sale of real and personal property, alleging that Defendants negligently performed legal services in negotiating, d...

State v. Robinson  
Date: February 6, 2015
Docket Number: 121323

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of first-degree kidnapping allegedly arising out of a sexual assault. The court of appeals affirmed the conviction. Defendant appealed, raising eight allegations of error. The Supreme Court affirm...

State v. Vaughan  
Date: February 6, 2015
Docket Number: 130224

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of first-degree arson. On appeal, Defendant requested a judgment of acquittal or, alternatively, a new trial, claiming that the evidence was insufficient to support the conv...

Plaintiff v. Defendant  
Date: January 30, 2015
Docket Number: 131756

Justia Opinion Summary: An Iowa plaintiff sued a nonresident corporation (Defendant) for unfair competition and civil conspiracy. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The district court denied the motion, concl...

IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. CAMI N. ESLICK
Date: January 30, 2015
Docket Number: 141577
Jack v. Booth  
Date: January 23, 2015
Docket Number: 130257

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, individually, and on behalf of her children, sued two physicians for medical malpractice. During the ensuing trial, one of the jurors fainted while she was sitting in her chair in the jury box. One of the defe...

State v. Love  
Date: January 23, 2015
Docket Number: 130738

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving a violent domestic altercation, Defendant was charged with kidnapping in the first degree, attempted murder, and willful injury causing bodily injury. The jury was instructed on each of the offense...

In re Marriage of Gust  
Date: January 16, 2015
Docket Number: 130356

Justia Opinion Summary: In its order dissolving the marriage of Steven Gust and Linda Gust, the district court required Steven to pay traditional child support in the amount of $1400 and then in the amount of $2000 per month upon termination of...

Veatch v. City of Waverly  
Date: January 9, 2015
Docket Number: 130417

Justia Opinion Summary: After Plaintiff visited her mother at a residential home staff members reported that Plaintiff may have mistreated her mother. The officer who investigated the allegations arrested Plaintiff and charged her with simple m...

State v. Morris  
Date: January 9, 2015
Docket Number: 130702

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner, a prison inmate, was ordered to pay restitution as part of his sentence and was required to pay fifteen percent of his income to his institutional account as restitution. When Petitioner began working for a p...

State v. McIver  
Date: January 9, 2015
Docket Number: 131106

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with operating while intoxicated, first offense. Defendant moved to suppress the evidence against her, arguing that the stop of her vehicle was made without probable cause or reasonable suspicion an...

State v. Stewart  
Date: January 9, 2015
Docket Number: 131113

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of possession of a controlled substance and introduction of a controlled substance into a detention facility. Defendant appealed, arguing that the district court entered an ill...

State v. Halverson  
Date: January 2, 2015
Docket Number: 130446

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was in custody of a residential facility commonly referred to as a halfway house when he was charged with knowingly possessing marijuana on the grounds of a facility “under the management of the department of c...

State v. Ambrose  
Date: January 2, 2015
Docket Number: 130450

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree and other criminal offenses. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Defendant failed to preserve for appeal his argument that an instruction give...

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