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Iowa Death Law
United States of America v. Alvin Stanley Briggs, Jr.

Cedar Rapids, IA - A man whose conviction for distributing heroin to a person who died of a heroin overdose was overturned earlier this year was sentenced in federal court to serve 30 years in prison.

Alvin Stanley Briggs, Jr., age 51, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after a October 30, 2014, guilty plea to distribution of heroin resulting in death. Briggs initially pled gui... More...
   $0 (12-23-2014 - IA)

United States of America v. Alvin Stanley Briggs, Jr.

Cedar Rapids, IA - A man who sold heroin to a person who overdosed and died from using the heroin pled guilty for the second time on October 30, 2014.

Alvin Stanley Briggs, Jr., age 50, from Dubuque, Iowa, was convicted of distribution of heroin resulting in death. At the plea hearing, Briggs admitted that on July 3, 2012, he sold $100 worth of heroin to an individual identified as S.R.... More...
   $0 (10-31-2014 - IA)

United States of America v. Ramon Cortez Freeman

Cedar Rapids, IA - A Cedar Rapids man who distributed heroin that caused a heroin overdose death pled guilty on November 24, 2014, in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Ramon Cortez Freeman, age 35, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was convicted of distribution of heroin resulting in death, three counts of distributing heroin, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

At t... More...
   $0 (11-26-2014 - IA)

Christine Wagner v. State of Iowa

Christine Wagner, individually and as the executor of Janice Brissey’s estate, appeals from the district court’s denial of her motion for new trial and judgment notwithstanding the verdict. She asserts the verdict is inconsistent with the facts of the case because the driver of the vehicle that struck Brissey’s car was—at least to some degree—negligent. Because we conclude that, given th... More...   $0 (10-15-2014 - IA)

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF MATTHEW R. SEVERIN AND BOUAPHAN S. SEVERIN Upon the Petition of MATTHEW R. SEVERIN, Petitioner-Appellant/Cross-Appellee, And Concerning BOUAPHAN S. SEVERIN, Respondent-Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

Matthew Severin appeals from the decree dissolving his marriage to Bouaphan Severin. Matthew asserts (1) the district court’s award of alimony is excessive and (2) the district court erred in awarding Bouaphan the marital home without requiring a cash equalization payment to Matthew of half the home’s equity. Bouaphan cross-appeals arguing the award of alimony is insufficient. We affirm as to ... More...   $0 (08-13-2014 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. KENDALL LEE WARE, Defendant-Appellant.

Kendall Lee Ware appeals his conviction for homicide by vehicle by operating while intoxicated, in violation of Iowa Code sections 321J.2 and 707.6A(1) (2011). Ware claims the district court erred in refusing to instruct on homicide by vehicle by reckless driving as a lesser included offense. See Iowa Code §§ 321.277, 707.6A(2)(a). We find homicide by vehicle by reckless driving is not a lesser ... More...   $0 (08-14-2014 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. JUSTIN DONALD HUFFMAN, Defendant-Appellant.

Justin Huffman appeals his conviction and sentence for theft in the second degree, pursuant to Iowa Code sections 714.1(1) and 714.2(2) (2011). Huffman maintains there was insufficient evidence to support the guilty verdict. He also maintains the district court erred by accepting inconsistent verdicts. Because we find substantial evidence supports Huffman’s conviction and the verdicts were not l... More...   $0 (08-13-2014 - IA)

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF NEWELL JOSEPH SCHMIDT AND MARSHA GAIL SCHMIDT Upon the Petition of NEWELL JOSEPH SCHMIDT, Petitioner-Appellant/Cross-Appellee, And Concerning MARSHA GAIL SCHMIDT, Respondent-Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

Newell Joseph Schmidt (Joe) appeals from the district court’s order for spousal support issued with its decree of dissolution of his marriage to Marsha Schmidt. He asserts the district court improperly awarded Marsha lifetime spousal support and requests the support order be modified to expire in three years. Marsha cross-appeals the order and requests the support order be modified to increase t... More...   $0 (08-13-2014 - IA)

Martha Duban v. Waverly Sales Co.

Thomas and Martha Duban brought a negligence action against Waverly Sales
Company (Waverly) arising out of injuries Martha sustained when she was stepped
on by a horse at a Waverly draft horse auction. The district court1 denied Waverly’s
1The Honorable Jon Stuart Scoles, United States Magistrate Judge for the
Northern District of Iowa, to whom the case was referred for final dis... More...
   $237535 (07-28-2014 - IA)

United States v. William Robison

On April 18, 2012, Cedar Rapids police officers responded to a report that a
shot had been fired at the residence of Laura Fluke, the mother of eighteen-year-old
William Robison. The officers interviewed individuals present at Fluke’s residence,
including Jenna Moser, and learned that Fluke had been assaulted by her boyfriend,
Shane Manley, on the front porch. Moser told the offi... More...
   $0 (07-22-2014 - IA)

Theresa Huck v. Wyeth, Inc. d/b/a Schwarz Pharma,Inc. and PLIVA, Inc.

This products liability action against pharmaceutical companies presents several issues involving the interplay between state tort law and federal prescription drug regulation. This case is one of many litigated in state and federal courts nationwide alleging severe side effects from prolonged use of metoclopramide, sold under the brand name Reglan and as a competing generic formulation. The plain... More...   $0 (07-11-2014 - IA)

Velma J. Hussemann v. Herbert J. Hussemann, Jr.

This conflict-of-laws case requires us to determine whose state law governs the enforceability of mutual clauses in a postnuptial agreement that waived each spouse’s elective share. Two Florida residents were married in Florida in 1991. A few months later, they signed a postnuptial agreement in Florida. The agreement expressly provided that Florida law would apply. The married couple subsequentl... More...   $0 (05-23-2014 - IA)

United States of America v. Lafayette James Twyner, Jr.

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, announces that Lafayette James Twyner, Jr., age 64, a former doctor in Newton, Iowa, pleaded guilty in United States District Court on February 21, 2014, to one count of health care fraud and one count of illegal distribution of a schedule III controlled substance resulting in death, announced United States Attor... More...   $0 (02-21-2014 - IA)


Melissa Haakenson, on behalf of the estate of her deceased husband Troy Haakenson, as parent and next best friend of her children, and in her individual capacity, filed suit against the Chicago, Central & Pacific Railroad Company, d/b/a the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad Company (“Chicago Central”), as well as two of its employees, George Peterson Jr. and Rick Mabe (collectively, hereinafter â... More...   $0 (03-12-2014 - IA)

United States of America v. Lafayette James Twyner, Jr

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, announces that Lafayette James Twyner, Jr., age 64, a former doctor in Newton, Iowa, pleaded guilty in United States District Court on February 21, 2014, to one count of health care fraud and one count of illegal distribution of a schedule III controlled substance resulting in death, announced United States Attor... More...   $0 (02-21-2014 - IA)

Larry Dean White v. State of Iowa

In 2002, Larry Dean White was convicted of first-degree kidnapping, in violation of Iowa Code sections 710.1 and .2 (2001).1 White appeals the denial of his second application for postconviction relief, which he filed in January 2012. Because several claims in the application were time-barred, see Iowa Code § 822.3 (2011), and because we reject his claim that his sentence constitutes cruel and un... More...   $0 (02-05-2014 - IA)

Lawrence W. Hamby v. State of Iowa

Lawrence Hamby appeals from the denial of his application for postconviction relief. He argues he was provided ineffective assistance of counsel when his trial lawyers failed to move to suppress statements he made to police during four interviews and when his appellate counsel failed to appeal the denial of his motion for new trial. We affirm.

I. Facts and Proceedings.

This is th... More...
   $0 (02-05-2014 - IA)

SHERRY A. DUVAL, JODI R. FRANKLIN, and JOEL A. FRANKLIN, Plaintiffs-Appellees, vs. JAY FOX, As Trustee of the Residuary Trusts of Kenneth L. Albertson and of Vera A. Albertson, Defendant-Appellant.

Sherry Duval and her children, Jodi and Joel Franklin, are beneficiaries of two testamentary residual trusts established pursuant to the last will and testament of Sherry’s parents, Kenny and Veva Albertson. The Albertsons’ wills named as trustee of both trusts Jay Fox, who was a cousin, friend, and neighbor of the Albertsons. Following Veva’s death in 1989, Fox became trustee of the trusts,... More...   $0 (12-18-2013 - IA)


This legal malpractice action presents three questions of first impression. In Hook v. Lippolt, we held the defendants in plaintiff Pamela Hook’s personal injury action—the State of Iowa and a volunteer driver for the Iowa Department of Human Services—were entitled to summary judgment under the statute of limitations and volunteer-immunity provisions of the Iowa Tort Claims Act, respectively... More...   $0 (01-08-2014 - IA)


The district court modified Kenneth Michael’s obligation to pay Melissa Michael traditional alimony, concluding the payments should cease when Kenneth reaches age sixty-seven. The court’s order also terminated immediately Kenneth’s obligation to pay for Melissa’s health insurance. The court of appeals affirmed the termination of Kenneth’s health insurance obligation, but found no substan... More...   $0 (11-15-2013 - IA)

William L. Burkhalter v. Steve P. Burkhalter

William Burkhalter challenged an unfavorable modification of his father’s revocable trust that occurred just prior to his father’s death. William claimed his brother, Steven Burkhalter, unduly influenced their father and tortiously interfered with the trust. William also alleged his father lacked the necessary testamentary intent when he made the modification. At trial, the district court dire... More...   $0 (12-20-2013 - IA)


This case requires us to decide whether a financial advisor to an individual can be sued by identified beneficiaries of the individual’s signed written estate plan when, due to the advisor’s allegedly negligent performance of his duties, those beneficiaries do not receive what they were supposed to get under the plan. We conclude the rationale of Schreiner v. Scoville, 410 N.W.2d 679, 682 (Iow... More...   $0 (12-27-2013 - IA)

Joshua N. Thomas v. Officers Tim Gavin, Chuck Tygart, Jess Bernhard and Adam Olson

While attending North Liberty Fun Days in 2007, the plaintiff alleges he was wrongfully assaulted and arrested by officers of the North Liberty Police Department and deputies of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. He filed suit against the City of North Liberty, Johnson County, and the officers and deputies involved. The district court dismissed his case, finding the defendants were entitled to... More...   $0 (11-04-2013 - IA)

State of Iowa v. David Lee Masingale

David Masingale appeals from the sentence imposed following his guilty pleas to operating while intoxicated, third offense, in violation of Iowa Code section 321J.2 (2011), and driving while barred, in violation of Iowa Code section 321.561. He asserts the district court failed to state on the record its reasons for imposing consecutive sentences and argues, in the alternative, that the court abus... More...   $0 (06-12-2013 - IA)

City of Waterloo v. Tim Everett

This case involves the City of Waterloo’s efforts to be reimbursed under Iowa Code section 411.22 (2011) for its payment of medical expenses and temporary disability benefits on behalf of an injured police officer. The district court rejected the city’s indemnification claim to proceeds of the officer’s settlement of his tort claim against third parties. Because section 411.22 only contempla... More...   $0 (05-16-2013 - IA)

Estate of John A. Herman v. Overhead Door Company of Des Moines, Inc.

After John Herman’s death, the Estate of John Herman was substituted as the appellant in the instant action. The Estate appeals a district court decision upholding the workers’ compensation commissioner’s denial of benefits for Herman’s right foot injury. Because we find the commissioner’s outright rejection of uncontroverted medical opinions is not supported by substantial evidence when... More...   $0 (05-16-2013 - IA)

Dale Boelman v. Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company

This appeal involves the question of whether an insurance policy provides coverage to a custom farming operation. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment. The district court overruled the insurance company’s motion for summary judgment. The district court granted the insureds’ motion for summary judgment and entered judgment for the insureds based on the reasonable expectations doctrin... More...   $0 (02-01-2013 - IA)

Jeannie Schlichte v. William Schlichte

On the day her father died, Jeannie Schlichte finally felt free. Six months after his death she sued his estate, alleging he sexually abused her across three decades and asking for one million dollars in damages. The estate moved for summary judgment, arguing the suit was barred by the statute of limitations. The district court granted summary judgment, finding Jeannie knew of the abuse and was aw... More...   $0 (01-24-2013 - IA)

Betty Gunderson v. Dianna K. Engelbrecht

Betty Gunderson appeals an order granting partial summary judgment on her June 16, 2010 petition seeking compensation for care-taking services she performed for Shirley Marts. The district court found the two-year statute of limitations at Iowa Code section 614.1(8) (2009) barred Gunderson’s claim for unpaid wages for the period from January 2005 through June 2006. Gunderson argues that because ... More...   $0 (01-24-2013 - IA)

Estate of Andy Samuel Ayala-Gomez v. Steven D. Sohn, M.D.

A child’s estate appeals a summary judgment ruling concluding a medical malpractice action was not timely filed.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

The record reveals the following undisputed facts. See Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.981(3) (requiring summary judgment movant to show the absence of any genuine issue of material fact). In 2008, the parents of a one-year-old child took him to a h... More...
   $0 (10-17-2012 - IA)

Julianne R. Schenkelberg v. Gary W. Schenkelberg

On further review, a spouse asks us to determine the validity of a premarital agreement, the fairness of a property settlement, the sufficiency of the spousal support, and the denial of expert fees incurred by a spouse’s attorney in preparation of the case for trial. The court of appeals affirmed the district court decision upholding the premarital agreement, the property settlement, and the awa... More...   $0 (10-26-2012 - IA)

Kayla Nemmers v. Ford Motor Company

Plaintiff Kayla Nemmers filed a products liability action against Defendant Ford Motor Company, alleging that a lap-only seatbelt installed in the front-center seat of a 2002 Ford F-250 pickup failed to restrain her torso during an accident. After trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Ford. Nemmers appeals, arguing the district court committed reversible error 1 in its evidentiary rulings... More...   $0 (07-11-2012 - IA)

Michele M. Pitts v. Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company

This case requires us to determine whether a life insurance agent owes a duty of care to the intended beneficiary of a life insurance policy. Additionally, we must decide whether a life insurance agent can be liable for negligent misrepresentation when he provides information to the insured and the intended beneficiary regarding the beneficiary designation listed on the life insurance policy. If w... More...   $0 (07-06-2012 - IA)

Jaysen McCleary v. Reliastar Life Insurance Co.

This appeal hinges on whether Jaysen McCleary, as the administrator of his mother’s estate, or ReliaStar Life Insurance Company (ReliaStar), owns claims that McCleary alleged against ReliaStar. The district court2 granted summary judgment in favor of ReliaStar. We affirm.


Sandra Emas owned a $100,000.00 life insurance policy issued by ReliaStar. The policy named her estate a... More...
   $0 (06-29-2012 - IA)

In re the Marriage of David M. Casten and Susanne Roesch Casten

David Casten appeals and Susanne Roesch Casten cross-appeals from the economic provisions of the district court’s dissolution decree. Because the district court achieved an equitable division of property, we largely affirm the economic provisions of the decree. We modify the decree in the following respects: (1) we eliminate the district court’s provision that David split with Susanne future d... More...   $0 (05-23-2012 - IA)

Christopher A. Low v. Lindsey S. Brookings

Christopher Low appeals from a district court’s ruling that placed physical care of the parties’ son with the mother, Lindsey Brooking. Because we agree with the district court’s ruling that placing physical care with Lindsey is in the best interests of the child, we affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

Chris and Lindsey had a brief relationship in the summer of 2008. Li... More...
   $0 (12-07-2011 - IA)

In Re The Marriage of Allison Kay Larson and Roger Marlyn Larson

Following twenty-five years of marriage, Allison and Roger Larson are before us appealing the economic provisions of the decree dissolving the union. The question presented on appeal is whether the 160 acres of farmland Roger inherited from his parents is subject to division in light of the contributions Allison made during the marriage. We also consider whether it was equitable to award Allison e... More...   $0 (10-19-2011 - IA)

Robert L. Kettler v. The Security National Bank of Sioux City

In this appeal we examine a case where a joint bank account holder unilaterally withdrew funds from several accounts and placed them in his own name. The district court found this action did not destroy the right of survivorship held by his wife and ordered the return of all the funds to the wife. We conclude that because the withdrawals were valid transactions made with the intent to terminate th... More...   $0 (09-21-2011 - IA)

Patti Beeler v. Michael J. Astrue

The Social Security Act authorizes the payment of benefits to the dependent children of deceased workers. This case requires us to determine whether a child conceived through artificial insemination more than a year after her father’s death qualifies for benefits under the Act. The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) interprets the Act to provide that a natural child o... More...   $0 (08-29-2011 - IA)

Lindsey Light v. Midwest Hospitality Investments, LLC d/b/a The Lumberyard

Luca Pasa suffered a fatal stab wound while patronizing a strip club in Des Moines. His family sued the owners and operators of the club, claiming they were at fault in his death. Following a verdict in favor of the defendants, the plaintiffs appeal contending the district court erred in instructing the jury. Because we find the plaintiffs failed to preserve error on their claims, we affirm.
<... More...
   $0 (08-10-2011 - IA)

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