UPDATES & ANALYSIS

12.15

Iowa Supreme Court to Issue Four Opinions Tomorrow

by Ryan Koopmans | December 15, 2011

By Ryan Koopmans

Tomorrow, the Iowa Supreme Court will file opinions in Oberillig v. West Grand Towers Condo. Association, Cedar Rapids Community School District v. Pease, Brandon v. Iowa District Court, and State v. Rainsong.  The issues presented in those cases, as described by the Court, are listed after the jump.

Oberbillig v. West Grand Towers Condo. Ass’n

Condominium association appeals from a district court judgment in favor of plaintiff members, who brought a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that the association’s board of directors acted outside its authority in approving repairs to the condominium’s garage without a vote of the association’s membership. The association contends the court erred: (1) in its interpretation of a provision of the association’s bylaws concerning the approval of expenditures exceeding $25,000; (2) in failing to uphold the board’s action as having been taken within the business judgment rule; (3) in failing to find that, because plaintiffs had waited to bring suit until after the repairs were substantially completed, their action was barred by the doctrine of laches; (4) in failing to find plaintiffs were otherwise contractually obligated to pay their share of the repairs; and (5) in not awarding the association attorney fees.

Cedar Rapids Cmty. Sch. Dist. v. Pease

The petitioners appealed from the district court’s ruling on judicial review, which affirmed the workers’ compensation commissioner’s award of permanent total disability benefits. The court of appeals reversed, finding there was insufficient evidence to connect the claimant’s right ankle injury with any worsening of her back, her left ankle, or of her symptoms of depression. 

Brandon v. Iowa Dist. Ct.

Plaintiff is a prison inmate serving sentences for third-degree kidnapping, impersonating a public official, and indecent contact with a child who refused to participate in sex offender treatment and whose eligibility for accruing earned time credits was consequently affected by a recent amendment to Iowa Code section 903A.2. He has filed a certiorari petition challenging whether that amendment can apply to inmates such as himself who were already serving their sentence at the time of its 2005 enactment.

State v. Rainsong

The State was granted discretionary review to challenge the district court’s denial of its request to submit the victim’s deposition in lieu of live testimony at trial. The State argues the Confrontation Clause of the U.S. Constitution allows for the admission of a deposition of an unavailable witness where the defendant was given ample opportunity to cross-examine the witness by attending his deposition but declined to do so.

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