Iowa Supreme Court expected to release opinions in two cases Friday

by Rox Laird | March 25, 2021

Opinions in two cases are expected to be released by the Iowa Supreme Court Friday, March 26. Following are On Brief’s previously published summaries of the cases. Go to On Brief’s Cases in the Pipeline page to read briefs filed with the Court in these appeals.

State v. Donahue

 Argued Jan. 20

Issues:  Should a defendant accused of sex abuse have been allowed to cross-examine the victim regarding a previous abuse allegation?

Charles Donahue seeks further review of a July 22, 2020 Iowa Court of Appeals ruling affirming Donahue’s conviction by an Audubon County jury of third-degree sexual abuse of T.G., his granddaughter’s step-daughter. Donahue argues the trial judge erred in not allowing his counsel to cross-examine T.G. about a previous abuse accusation, introduced at trial by the State, to correct the impression he was a repeat offender. Donahue asks the Supreme Court to reverse the Court of Appeals’ holding that the trial court properly applied Iowa’s rape shield law to prevent cross-examination on the uncharged allegation of sexual abuse.

Daniels v. Holtz

 Submitted to the Court without oral argument Feb. 17.

Issue: Did a trial court properly dismiss a suit regarding a sheriff’s sale of real property on statute of limitations grounds?

John Holtz seeks further review of a Nov. 4, 2020, Iowa Court of Appeals ruling reversing a Lucas County District Court order granting Holtz’s motion to dismiss on statute-of-limitations grounds Curtis Daniels’ suit against him and others regarding a sheriff’s sale of real property. The Court of Appeals said it found “no valid basis for dismissing the case at this earliest stage of the proceedings.”


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March 2024 Opinion Roundup

The Iowa Supreme Court entered opinions in ten cases during March 2024. These opinions are summarized below.

Iowa Supreme Court sends ‘stand your ground’ case back for new trial

Lasondra Johnson was tried for first-degree murder for the shooting death of Jada Young-Mills outside a Waterloo residence. Johnson argued she acted in self defense and the shooting was justified under Iowa’s “stand your ground” law that says a person is justified in the use of reasonable force in the belief that such …



On Brief: Iowa’s Appellate Blog is devoted to appellate litigation with a focus on the Iowa Supreme Court, the Iowa Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.


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