Eight oral arguments on tap for the Iowa Supreme Court this week

By: Rox Laird on September 11th, 2018

The Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in eight cases Wednesday and Thursday, and six cases will be submitted to the Court without oral argument. Following are brief summaries of the cases.

Puntenny, et al. v. Iowa Utilities Board

Scheduled for argument Sept. 12, 9 a.m.

Appellants, landowners in the path of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, appeal a Polk County District Court ruling upholding a decision of the Iowa Utilities Board granting a permit to Dakota Access for construction of the pipeline. They argue that the board wrongly based its decision on the pipeline’s safety and economic benefits, that taking farmland for a private purpose is unconstitutional, and that the pipeline is not a “public use.”

Natalie Slaughter v. Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Scheduled for argument Sept. 12, 9 a.m.

Slaughter, a student at Des Moines University appeals a Polk County District Court ruling dismissing her claim that she was wrongly dismissed from the medical school for failing grades. Slaughter argues the university failed to accommodate her disability due to depression.

State v. Cody Tyler Smith

Will be submitted to the court Sept. 12 without oral argument

Smith argues that evidence used in his drunken-driving conviction should have been suppressed because it violates the U.S. and Iowa Constitutions and it does not fit under the community caretaking exception.

State v. Owen Benson

Will be submitted to the Court Sept. 12 without oral argument

Benson seeks reversal of his convictions or a new trial for assault causing bodily injury and child endangerment.

Michael Jefferson v. Scott County District Court

Scheduled for oral argument Sept. 12, 1:30 p.m.

Jefferson argues his sentence of lifetime placement on the sex-offender registry for sex abuse in the second degree is unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment, and that legal counsel should have been appointed to assist him in post-conviction proceedings. 

Rickie Rilea, Timothy Riley v. Iowa Department of Transportation

Scheduled for argument Sept. 12, 1:30 p.m.

The Iowa Department of Transportation appeals a Polk County District Court ruling that, with certain exceptions, DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement officers lack statutory authority to stop drivers or issue citations for violations of law unrelated to vehicle operating authority, registration, size, weight, and load. The DOT argues that in addition to enforcing vehicle operating violations, Motor Vehicle Enforcement officers have the legal authority to issue citations and make arrests for drunken driving, school bus safety and any public offense under the “citizen’s arrest” doctrine.

State v. Jeremy Werner

Will be submitted to the Court Sept. 12, without oral argument

This appeal from the Iowa County District Court raises the same issues as Rilea and Riley v. Iowa Department of Transportation, except that the roles are reversed. The District Court ruled that a DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement officer had authority to take enforcement action for a public offense committed in the officer’s presence.

State v. Darryl Shears Jr.

Scheduled for oral argument Sept. 13, 9 a.m.

Shears appeals a Scott County District Court order that he pay $7,093.83 in restitution for three patrol vehicles damaged when Davenport officers used their vehicles to block Shears from eluding officers. Shears argues the vehicles were damaged in the normal course of duty, not because of criminal conduct on his part.

Susan Cox and Edward Cox v. Iowa Department of Human Services

Scheduled for oral argument Sept. 13, 9 a.m.

The Coxes appeal from a Polk County District Court ruling upholding a decision of the Iowa Department of Human Services delaying the Coxes’ Medicaid eligibility as a penalty for transferring assets into a special-needs trust at less than fair market value. An amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of appellants was filed by the Special Needs Alliance and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Inc.

State v. Quinten Brice McMurry

Will be submitted to the Court Sept. 13 without oral argument

McMurry seeks review of an Iowa Court of Appeals ruling upholding his sentences following guilty pleas for child endangerment and false report of an incendiary device.

State v. Tyson Ruth

Will be submitted to the Court Sept. 13 without oral argument

Ruth seeks review of an Iowa Court of Appeals ruling upholding a District Court order that he pay court costs.

Richard Eugene Noll v. Iowa District Court for Muscatine County

Scheduled  for argument Sept. 13, 1:30 p.m.

Noll appeals his sentence of up to 15 years in prison as a habitual offender with two prior felony drunken-driving convictions, arguing his habitual-offender sentence is illegal.

Deandre Goode v. State of Iowa

Scheduled for argument Sept. 13, 1:30 p.m.

Goode seeks review of an Iowa Court of Appeals upholding a District Court decision denying his application for post-conviction relief following a conviction for robbery in the third degree, citing ineffective assistance of post-conviction counsel.

Ronald Dwight Kunde v. Estate of Arthur Bowman and Diane Engelkins

Will be submitted to the Court Sept. 13 without oral argument.

Appellant seeks review of an Iowa Court of Appeals ruling regarding a farm lease and sale agreement.

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On Brief is devoted to appellate litigation, with a focus on the Iowa Supreme Court, the Iowa Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
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