Burnett v. SmithAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment to Defendants and dismissing Plaintiff's various legal theories of direct damages liability under the Iowa Constitution, holding that Godfrey v. State, 898 N.W.2d 844 (Iowa 2017), is hereby overruled.
Plaintiff, a garbage truck driver, was stopped on a busy high by a Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) officer for a cracked windshield. During the interaction, Plaintiff was arrested and later charged with interference with legal acts. He was later acquitted of the charge, and subsequently sued the State and the IDOT officer, arguing that his passive noncooperation did not give the officer probable cause to arrest him. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. Plaintiff appealed and asked the Court to endorse his constitutional tort claim under Godfrey. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) this Court overrules Godfrey and restores the law as it existed before 2017; and (2) this Court no longer recognizes a standalone cause of action for money damages.