UPDATES & ANALYSIS

11.14

Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in nine appeals Nov. 18 and 19

by Rox Laird | November 14, 2019

The Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in nine cases Nov. 18 and 19. Eight more cases will be submitted to the Court without oral argument. Following are brief summaries of the cases. Go to On Brief’s Cases in the Pipeline page to read briefs submitted to the Court by the parties.

Olutunde v. Iowa Department of Human Services

Set for oral argument Nov. 18, 9 a.m.

Romoke Olutunde appeals a Dec. 5, 2018, decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals affirming a Linn County District Court decision that the Department of Human Services’ finding of dependent adult abuse was correct. The Court of Appeals held that Olutunde was a caretaker of J.N., a dependent adult, and that Olutunde was negligent in the supervision of employees, who were not consistently providing J.N.’s medications.

Standard Water Control Systems v. Jones

Set for oral argument Nov. 18, 9 a.m.

Standard Water Control Systems appeals a Feb. 6 decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals holding that a homestead may not be sold to recover attorney fees in a lien foreclosure action for the home owner’s failure to pay for work done on the home. The appeals court also held that the Polk County District Court erred in ruling that defendant-appellants Michael and Cori Jones waived their homestead rights.

Homeland Energy Solutions v. Steven J. Retterath, Jason Retterath and Annie Retterath, et. al

Set for oral argument Nov. 18, 9 a.m.

Steven Retterath appeals a Polk County District Court judgment in favor of Homeland Energy Solutions regarding the ratification of a Membership Unit Repurchase Agreement (MURA). Steven Retterath argues that the district court erred in granting summary judgment to Homeland Energy Systems. Jason and Annie Retterath also appeal, arguing that the District Court erred in determining a member vote was not required to ratify the MURA.

In the interest of B.H.A., minor child

Will be submitted to the Court without oral argument Nov. 18.

The mother of three-year-old B.H.A. appeals a June 5 decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals, which was divided  2-1, affirming a Floyd County District Court holding that despite the father’s incarceration and history of drug abuse, termination of his parental rights is not in the child’s best interests. The majority held that even if the father is not able to assume caretaking duties immediately after being released in 2024, it is in the child’s best interest to preserve the relationship.

Sladek v. Employment Appeal Board and Kelly Services USA

Will be submitted to the Court without oral argument Nov. 18.

Teresa L. Sladek seeks further review of a May 15 decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals decision affirming a decision of the Employment Appeal Board’s determination that she voluntarily quit her temporary services job with Kelly Services USA without good cause attributable to the employer.

Estate of Franken

Set for oral argument Nov. 18, 1:30 p.m.

John and Dessie Rottinghaus appeal a May 1 Iowa Court of Appeals decision affirming a Black Hawk County District Court ruling that the deed on real estate they sold in 1973, which gave them the right to match any subsequent offers to purchase the property, was not violated in 2016 because, by statute, the right to establish an interest in real estate is not enforceable if the claim is made more than 10 years after the interest was established.

33 Carpenters Construction, Inc. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.

Set for oral argument Nov. 18, 1:30 p.m.

33 Carpenters appeals a Scott County District Court holding on summary judgment that its insurance claim was based on an invalid assignment agreement obtained without the necessary Iowa public adjuster license, and that 33 Carpenters could not recover from State Farm based on an invalid assignment.

33 Carpenters Construction, Inc. v. IMT Insurance Company

Will be submitted to the Court without oral argument Nov. 18.

33 Carpenters Construction appeals a Scott County District Court ruling on summary judgment that an assignment of a homeowner’s insurance claim to 33 Carpenters was unenforceable because 33 Carpenters had been acting as unlicensed public adjuster in obtaining assignment of the insurance claim.

33 Carpenters Construction, Inc. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co.

Will be submitted to the Court without oral argument Nov. 18.

33 Carpenters seeks further review of a Feb. 6 Iowa Court of Appeals ruling affirming a Scott County District Court summary judgment dismissal of the company’s suit against Cincinnati Insurance for a contract violation for its failure to fully pay a claim assigned to 33 Carpenters by a property owner insured by Cincinnati.

T.H.E. Insurance Co. v. Estate of Stephen Paul Booher; Gladys F. Booher, administrator; Gladys F. Booher individually

Set for oral argument Nov. 19, 9 a.m.

The Estate of Stephen Paul Booher, et al., appeal a Polk County District Court ruling on summary judgment that T.H.E. Insurance had neither the duty to defend nor to indemnify an Adventureland employee in a negligence claim by the Boohers in an action now pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The Boohers allege that plaintiff/appellant Gladys Booher’s husband died as a result of negligent acts of an Adventureland ride operator who prematurely started a ride, which pulled decedent into the ride and caused his death from a head injury.

State v. Fordyce

Set for oral argument Nov. 19, 9 a.m.

Steve W. Fordyce II seeks further review of a June 5 decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals affirming his conviction by the Black Hawk County District Court for voluntary manslaughter. The appeals court held that substantial evidence disproved Fordyce’s justifications for a self-defense defense, and that the District Court did not err in refusing to apply the stand-your-ground law in Fordyce’s case.

Hollingshead v. DC Misfits

Will be submitted to the Court without oral argument Nov. 19.

Jeremy Hollingshead seeks further review of a May 15 decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals affirming a Polk County District Court decision dismissing Hollingshead’s dramshop claim against defendant/appellee DC Misfits. The appeals court, divided 2-1, held that Hollingshead failed to substantially comply with the Iowa Code notice requirements by failing to identify the proper licensee.

Harold Youngblut v. Leonard Youngblut

Set for argument Nov. 19, 1 p.m.

Leonard Youngblut appeals a $596,000 jury verdict against him in Black Hawk County District Court, in Harold Youngblut’s favor, in a dispute between Harold and Leonard over distribution of the family’s farm. The question in this appeal is whether Harold can bring a tortious interference claim after accepting the benefits of his mother’s will rather than contesting it in a timely manner.

Julie Pfaltzgraff v. Iowa Department of Human Services

Set for oral argument Nov. 19, 1 p.m.

The Department of Human Services seeks further review of a June 19 decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals, divided 2-1, reversing a Polk County District Court in part because the notice by DHS regarding the recoupment of Child Care Assistance Program payments was constitutionally deficient.

Terri Endress v. Iowa Department of Human Services

Will be submitted to the Court without oral argument Nov. 19.

The Department of Human Services seeks further review of a June 19 decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals, divided 2-1, affirming in part and reversing in part a Polk County District Court decision. The appeals court held that the department violated Endress’ right to procedural due process by seeking to recoup Child Care Assistance Program payments without providing adequate notice.

State v. Moore

Will be submitted to the Court without oral argument Nov. 19.

Dairramey Moore seeks further review of a Sept. 11 decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals affirming his conviction by the Clinton County District Court for intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent and reckless use of a firearm. The appeals court affirmed Moore’s convictions but vacated restitution provisions of the sentence and remanded the case to District Court for a final restitution plan and determination of Moore’s reasonable ability to pay restitution.

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