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Iowa Supreme Court Grants Further Review in Five Cases

by Ryan Koopmans | March 28, 2012

By Ryan Koopmans

Today the Iowa Supreme Court granted further review in five cases:

In re Marriage of Schenkelberg, No. 10-1919: The Court of Appeals ruled that the parties’ prenuptial agreement was enforceable, rejecting Ms. Schenkelberg’s argument that the agreement was voidable because her ex-husband had legal counsel and she did not.

In re Marriage of McDermott, No. 11-0445:  The Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s divorce decree because, among other things,  the district court failed to consider the tax implications of its property allocation.  The district court ordered Mr. McDermott to pay his ex-wife over $1 million.  To do that, however, Mr. McDermott must sell farmland, and that in turn will lead to significant tax obligations.  Those obligations, according to the Court of Appeals, should be allocated equally between the parties.

Lamasters v. State, No. 1-853/11-0016: A jury convicted Lynn Lemasters of first-degree murder in 2005.  He filed for postconviction relief, claiming that his counsel was ineffective for “(1) failing to raise issues of temporary insanity and/or diminished capacity, and (2) failing to sufficiently support the request for bifurcation of his trial.”  The Court of Appeals ruled that Lemasters failed to preserve either issue in the district court.

State v. Long, No. 1-898/11-0197: Peter Long was convicted of committing lascivious acts with a child and sentenced to life in prision.  During the sentencing phrase of the trial, the State moved to reopen the record so it could submit additional evidence of Long’s prior convictions.  The district court granted the motion, and the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for resentencing.

Boelman v. Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co., No. 11-0570: Dale and Nancy Boelman submitted a claim to their insurer, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance, based on the death of of roughly $24,000 of livestock that were owned by a third party but housed on the Boelman’s farm.  The Court of Appeals concluded that the policy was ambiguous and construed it against Grinnell Mutual.

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