Iowa Supreme Court Decisions 2021

Buboltz v. Birusingh  
Date: June 11, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1724

Justia Opinion Summary: In this lawsuit to set aside a will the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court for Plaintiffs on their undue influence claim and dismissing their tortious interference with inheritance claim, holding t...

Colwell v. MCNA Insurance Co.  
Date: June 11, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0545

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the district court against Defendant and in favor of Plaintiff finding breach of contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, holding that the district...

EMC Insurance Group, Inc. v. Shepard  
Date: June 11, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0698

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment against an investor on grounds that he failed to exercise his appraisal rights in a merger, holding that the investor failed validly...

Poller v. Okoboji Classic Cars, LLC  
Date: June 4, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0875

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court concluding that Plaintiffs were not entitled to relief on their contract claim and that Defendant was entitled to a verdict on it...

Andrew v. Hamilton County Public Hospital  
Date: June 4, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0023

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court denying Hamilton County Public Hospital's motion for summary judgment concerning Plaintiff's defamation claim and Iowa Wage Payment Collection Law (IWPCL) cla...

State v. Sewell  
Date: June 4, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0445

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction and sentence for operating while intoxicated on two alternative theories, holding that neither Iowa law nor the Iowa Constitution guarantee a suspected drunk driver the r...

Williams v. Bullock  
Date: June 4, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0822

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the district court ruling that Plaintiff's employer had complied with Iowa Code 35C.6 when it terminated the employment of Plaintiff, a military veteran, from his job as a police...

NCJC, Inc. v. WMG, L.C.  
Date: May 28, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0241

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals reversing in part the ruling of the district court that Plaintiff was the prevailing party entitled to fees, holding that when a plaintiff recovers less at...

State v. Treptow  
Date: May 28, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1276

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed Defendant's appeal challenging the factual basis supporting his guilty plea to a drug offense, holding that Defendant failed to establish good cause to pursue a direct appeal as a matter of ri...

In re Guardianship & Conservatorship of Marvin M. Jorgensen  
Date: May 21, 2021
Docket Number: 18-1235

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the order of the district court insofar as it modified the rent rates, duration, and for-profit subleasing rights in certain farm leases entered i...

Koster v. Harvest Bible Chapel–Quad Cities  
Date: May 21, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0236

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment to Defendants and dismissing Plaintiff's breach of fiduciary and defamation claims, holding that summary judgment was proper. Ryan...

Liquor Bike, LLC v. Iowa District Court for Polk County  
Date: May 21, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0268

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court sustained Liquor Bike LLC's petition for writ of certiorari and vacated the district court's order disqualifying Liquor Bike's counsel on the ground that counsel's representation of Liquor Bike in this...

In re A.W.  
Date: May 21, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1406

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the adjudication of the juvenile court adjudicating Mother's fourth child, A.W., a child in need of assistance (CINA), holding that the State failed to offer clear and convincing evidence that...

Rieder v. Segal  
Date: May 14, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0767

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Mercy Medical Center and dismissing Plaintiffs' suit for the negligent credentialing of Dr. David Segal, holding that th...

State v. McGee  
Date: May 14, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1219

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's conviction of operating while intoxicated (OWI), holding that Mitchell v. Wisconsin, 588 U.S. __, __, 139 S. Ct. 2525 (2019) (plurality opinion), applies to cases of suspected drivi...

State v. Jordan  
Date: May 14, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1442

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's prison sentence, holding that Defendant forfeited any rights to enforce the plea agreement in this case when he breached it. The plea agreement provided that Defendant would plead...

Luigi's Inc. v. United Fire & Casualty Co.  
Date: May 14, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1669

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the district court's judgment denying Insurer's motion for directed verdict on this action concerning Insurer's alleged delay in paying a claim, holding that the district court erred in denying...

Barkalow v. Clark  
Date: May 14, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1790

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court decreeing dissolution of a limited liability company (LLC), holding that, for the most part, the district court properly adjudica...

Rilea v. State  
Date: May 14, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0710

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellant's cause of action for unjust enrichment against the State, holding that the district court correctly dismissed the matter as an unlawful...

Holmes v. Pomeroy  
Date: May 7, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1162

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the determination of the district court that evidence of approximately twenty instances of Defendant's cell phone use while in a vehicle over an a...

State v. Fetner  
Date: May 7, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1561

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the district court sentencing Defendant to consecutive sentences of incarceration in connection with his plea of guilty to possession of a controlled substance, third or subseque...

State v. Tucker  
Date: May 7, 2021
Docket Number: 19-2082

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed Defendant's appeal challenging his guilty plea to theft in the second degree, holding that Defendant's challenge to the constitutionality of new legislation limiting his ability to appeal was...

Xenia Rural Water District v. City of Johnston  
Date: May 7, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1027

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Iowa Code 357A.2 grants cities the primary right to provide water services within two miles of of the city limits that were not already being served by a rural water district. The Supreme Cou...

State v. Goodson  
Date: April 30, 2021
Docket Number: 18-1737

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions but reversed the illegal portion of Defendant's sentence, holding that Defendant's sentence was illegal because it specified a duration for sex offender registry obligat...

Kindsfather v. Bowling  
Date: April 30, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0008

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the ruling of the district court finding that an amended pleading by the Estate of Francis O. Glaser related back to i...

Stateline Cooperative v. Iowa Property Assessment Appeal Board  
Date: April 30, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0674

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court upholding the ruling of the Property Assessment Appeal Board (PAAB) concluding that bins that primarily hold raw material until i...

Estate of Vera E. Cawiezell v. Coronelli  
Date: April 30, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1214

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming a probate court ruling that a restriction on the transfer of devise property was a restraint on alienation and void, holding that the provision wa...

Morris v. Legends Fieldhouse Bar & Grill, LLC  
Date: April 30, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1349

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of a strip club and dismissing this common law wrongful-death-negligence action, holding that Defendants owed no continuing...

Sand v. Doe  
Date: April 30, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0477

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's order sustaining a subpoena served on a state agency for various categories of information related to a potential transaction, holding that the subpoena was not invalid. T...

State v. Dessinger  
Date: April 23, 2021
Docket Number: 18-2116

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for child endangerment and remanded the case to the district court for resentencing, holding that the court of appeals properly vacated the restitution portion of the sen...

State v. Fontenot  
Date: April 23, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0295

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction and sentence for two counts of indecent contact with a child, holding the trial court did not err by allowing the jury to s...

State v. Zacarias  
Date: April 23, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0838

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for assault "us[ing] any object to penetrate the genitalia or anus of another person" in violation of Iowa Code 708.2(5), holding that there was sufficient evidence to su...

State v. Holmes  
Date: April 23, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0335

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal from a 2019 order that declined to modify Defendant's court-ordered restitution in a criminal case, holding that Senate File 457 (S.F. 457) required dismissal of this appeal. Defe...

Johnston v. Iowa Department of Transportation  
Date: April 16, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0048

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reaffirmed its holding in Schilling v. Iowa Department of Transportation, 646 N.W.2d 69 (Iowa 2002), that a deferred judgment counts as a "final conviction" for purposes of mandatory license revocation...

Marek v. City Development Board of State of Iowa  
Date: April 16, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0759

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case arising out of the discontinuance of the City of Mt. Union, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court dismissing Plaintiffs' claim against the City Development Board, holding that the dis...

Hrbek v. State  
Date: April 16, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1571

Justia Opinion Summary: In this interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court prohibiting Defendant from filing any additional pro se supplemental documents in a postconviction relief proceeding, holding that...

Toney v. Parker  
Date: April 16, 2021
Docket Number: 19-2121

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the ruling of the district court striking Plaintiff's resistance to a motion for summary judgment and vacated the resulting summary judgment and bench trial judgment, holding that the district...

Bauer v. Brinkman  
Date: April 16, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0563

Justia Opinion Summary: In this defamation action, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's order granting Defendant's motion for summary judgment, holding that the district court did not err in concluding that the statement at issue was...

Bribriesco-Ledger v. Klipsch  
Date: April 9, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1397

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying Defendants' motion for summary judgment and holding that the City of Davenport's mayor was required to show cause to remove an appointee from the Davenpo...

Fortune v. State  
Date: April 9, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1721

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court denying Defendant's application under Iowa Code 692A.128 to modify the requirement that he register as a sex offender, holding that because the district court did...

State v. Smith  
Date: April 9, 2021
Docket Number: 19-2011

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court dismissing the trial information in this case, holding that the State's delay in arresting and formally charging Defendant did not amount to a due process vio...

Becher v. State  
Date: April 9, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0353

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court denying Appellant's application to modify his sex offender registry requirements, holding that the district court erred in penalizing Defendant for his years...

In re A.B.  
Date: April 2, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1266

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the termination of parental rights as to Mother but not as to Father, holding that the juvenile court erred in finding each required element for a termination of Mother's custody under Iowa Cod...

In re W.M.  
Date: April 2, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1319

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court terminating the parental rights of Father to his child and denying the State's petition to terminate Mother's parental rights and...

State v. Donahue  
Date: March 26, 2021
Docket Number: 18-2239

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of sexual abuse in the third degree, holding that there was no trial error and that there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction. Specifically, the Supreme Co...

Daniels v. Holtz  
Date: March 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1674

Justia Opinion Summary: In this action seeking to set aside a sheriff's sale of the stock of Plaintiff's farm business the Supreme Court vacated the decision of the court of appeals reversing the decision of the district court concluding that P...

Carter v. Carter  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: 18-0296

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court determining that Jason Carter was civilly liable for the death of his mother, Shirley Carter, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion. J...

Fulps v. City of Urbandale  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0221

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court dismissing this lawsuit brought by an injured pedestrian against a city over a defective city sidewalk, holding that the trial court erred in dismissing the case...

State v. Hillery  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0725

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court granting Defendant's motion to suppress physical evidence and statements based on a police officer's alleged promise of leniency, holding that there was no im...

Valles v. Mueting  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1066

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal from a jury verdict in favor of Defendants in this medical malpractice action, holding that Plaintiff failed to timely file her notice of appeal. Plaintiff, individually and on be...

Lewis v. Howard L. Allen Investments, Inc.  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1640

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the district court granting summary judgment dismissing Kristina Lewis's negligence claims against Howard L. Allen Investments, Inc. (Allen Investments), holding that Allen Invest...

GreatAmerica Financial Services Corp. v. Natalya Rodionova Medical Care, P.C.  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0491

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of a finance company in this contract dispute, holding that the contract was properly ratified despite any allegation of forg...

Commerce Bank v. McGowen  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1994

Justia Opinion Summary: In this garnishment proceeding, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court concluding that Robert McGowen's deferred compensation plan benefits paid upon him reaching the age of sixty-seven were not ex...

Kostoglanis v. Yates  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: 19-2078

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court granting Defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissing Plaintiff's claims for negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation, and breach o...

Jones v. Glenwood Golf Corp.  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0303

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the ruling of the district court ordering a new trial on damages in this action against a golf course for owner liability under Iowa Code 321.493 and common law premises liability, holding that...

In re A.B.  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1032

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the order of the juvenile court terminating Mother's parental rights to her two children, holding that the juvenile court appropriately handled th...

In re C.Z.  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: 20-1371

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the juvenile court terminating Father's parental rights to his two-year-old daughter, holding that the phrase "the proceeding" in Iowa Code 232.114(3) includes the appeal from the...

Wermerskirchen v. Canadian National Railroad  
Date: March 5, 2021
Docket Number: 18-2039

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court in favor of Defendants in this personal injury case, holding that the Federal Railroad Safety Act preempted Plaintiff's excessive speed claims and that summar...

State v. Swift  
Date: March 5, 2021
Docket Number: 18-2197

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals and the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of attempted murder and related crimes, holding that any error that occurred in the proceedings...

State v. Warren  
Date: March 5, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0267

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of driving while intoxicated (OWI), holding that defense counsel was not ineffective in declining to seek suppression of certain evidence on the basis that Defendant was...

Clark v. State  
Date: February 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1558

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court granting partial summary judgment on Donald Clark's legal malpractice claim, holding that Clark may not use his prior successful ineffective assistance of counse...

Earley v. Board of Adjustment of Cerro Gordo County  
Date: February 26, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1672

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the court of appeals affirming the decision of the district court concluding that the county board of adjustment legally granted an area variance to certain property owners, hold...

State v. Buman  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0981

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's conviction for wanton neglect of a resident of a health care facility, holding that the admission of a certain exhibit, when coupled with a certain instruction, posed a serious risk...

State v. Struve  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1614

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Defendant's motion to suppress, holding that observations of a driver holding a phone in front of his face and actively manipulating the screen for at...

In re Guardianship & Conservatorship of Radda  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: 19-2088

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the district court on declaratory judgment declining to adjudicate the validity of two wills the ward, who was still alive, executed while he was in a voluntary conservatorship, h...

In re D.D.  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0330

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the juvenile court dismissing this child-in-need-of-assistance proceeding in which the child victim of sexual abuse had been returned to the home with the perpetrator and in whi...

State v. Thompson  
Date: February 5, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1259

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for attempting to obtain a prescription drug by deceit, as a habitual offender, and conspiracy to commit a nonforcible felony, holding that Defendant's constitutional ch...

State ex rel. Dickey v. Besler  
Date: February 5, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1598

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying a citizen's quo warranto action asserting that a district judge was holding his office unlawfully, holding that this case presented a nonjusticiable c...

State v. Ernst  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: 18-1623

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for attempted burglary with intent to commit theft, holding that the State's evidence, and all reasonable inferences from that evidence, was sufficient to support Defenda...

State v. Boldon  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: 19-1159

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's sentence imposed following his pleas of guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon, interference with official acts while armed with a firearm, and carrying weapons, holding that...

State v. Waigand  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0089

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the restitution order of the district court, holding that the State failed to prove the full amount of restitution was caused by the crime of conviction. Defendant pled guilty to ongoing crimi...

No Boundry, LLC v. Hoosman  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: 19-0431

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying Defendant's motion to set aside a default judgment awarding Plaintiff immediate and exclusive possession of Defendant's home, holding that the district c...

State v. Wieneke  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0126

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated Defendant's sentence for domestic abuse assault while displaying a dangerous weapon, holding that the district court exceeded its statutory sentencing authority in this case. The district court...

Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board v. Michael H. Said
Date: January 8, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0797
Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board v. R. Scott Rhinehart
Date: January 8, 2021
Docket Number: 20-0824
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