UPDATES & ANALYSIS

10.25

Federal appeals court to hear arguments in three cases at Drake Law School Oct. 26

by Rox Laird | October 25, 2023

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit will hear arguments in three Iowa cases at Drake University Law School Oct. 26. The session is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the Neal and Bea Smith Law Center at 2400 University.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has courthouses in St. Louis and St. Paul, has jurisdiction to hear federal appellate cases in Iowa and six other Midwest states. The Oct. 26 arguments will be heard by Eighth Circuit Judges James B. Loken of Minneapolis and Jane Kelly of Cedar Rapids and Senior Judge Michael Melloy of Cedar Rapids.

Following are brief summaries of the cases to be heard at Drake.

 

Derrick Bates v. Tyler Richardson, Wayne Jerman, and the City of Cedar Rapids

Derrick Bates appeals a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa dismissing on summary judgment his claim of false arrest for interference with official acts against Cedar Rapids Police Officer Tyler Richardson and related claims against Police Chief Wayne Jerman and the City of Cedar Rapids. The Eighth Circuit previously affirmed the trial court’s summary judgment for the defendants on all of Bates’ claims against the defendants except his false arrest claims, which were remanded to the district court. On remand, the trial court again granted summary judgment to the defendants, citing a 2022 decision of the Iowa Supreme Court that clarified Iowa law on what constitutes interference with official acts. [Appellee brief; Appellant brief]

 

United States v. Michael Coulson

Michael Coulson appeals from his conviction and sentence by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). Coulson pleaded guilty to failure to register as a sex offender, and he was classified by the trial court as a Tier III offender based on his prior conviction and sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment followed by a five-year term of supervised release. Coulson argues on appeal that the district court erred by sentencing him as a Tier III offender, which enhanced his penalty. [Appellee brief; Appellant brief]

 

Menard Inc. v. Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Co.

Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Co. appeals a decision from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa that Farm Bureau is liable for a customer’s injuries suffered while helping a Menards employee move a piece of lumber from a storage rack to her vehicle. Menards argued that the customer’s injuries should be covered by her Farm Bureau automobile policy, saying Menards and its employee were unnamed insureds. Farm Bureau argued the automobile policy contained an “intrafamily immunity” provision that excludes coverage for any bodily injury to any insured or any member of an insured’s family residing in the insured’s household. The district court ruled that Menards and its employee were unnamed insureds and thus entitled to coverage under the policy, saying the “intrafamily immunity” exclusion did not bar coverage because the Menards employee was not related to the customer and “is therefore outside the family,” making the exclusion inapplicable. [Appellee brief; Appellant brief]

The oral arguments are open to the public, and audio recordings of the arguments will be posted on the Eighth Circuit’s website later in the day.

 

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