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Iowa fence law has long sought to protect agricultural interests. Iowa fencing statutes date from earliest times, predating the Iowa Code of 1851. Of the current Iowa fence statute, Iowa Code ch. 359A, the Iowa Supreme Court has stated, “It is difficult to imagine a more deeply rooted Iowa statutory provision.”[i]
The Iowa Court of Appeals issued its opinion today in the seemingly never-ending Baur Farms litigation. The court affirmed the district court’s order, which dismissed the minority shareholder’s lawsuit seeking to dissolve the corporation on grounds of “shareholder oppression.”
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution designed to draw conflicts to a close without costly and time-consuming litigation. Typically, a neutral third-party mediator works with two sides to a dispute in an attempt to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. If a mediation agreement is signed, the parties are bound by the terms, as they would be bound by any contract.
By now you’ve probably read about the Pennsylvania woman who was recently sentenced to prison for various crimes stemming from her decades-long scam of posing as a lawyer. She had no law license and had never gone to law school, yet she practiced tax and estate law for 10 years, even becoming a partner of her small firm in rural Pennsylvania and president of her local bar association. Which, of course, begs the question, “How was this possible?”
Click for a list of pleadings and motions regarding the Des Moines Water Works case.
It’s legislation that completely satisfies no one. However, to the majority of lawmakers, it is a better choice than the prospect of food manufacturers, producers, and retailers facing 50 different standards for disclosing the presence of genetically engineered ingredients in food.
When a court orders a farm lease to continue in light of a contentious relationship, additional litigation is likely to ensue. And that's just what happened in a case decided by the Iowa Court of Appeals yesterday.
No, the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit has not been settled! Rather, the Iowa Court of Appeals today issued an opinion interpreting a section of Iowa drainage law and determining that it imposes no legal duties on a county board of supervisors.
As of 2012, Iowa had 88,637 farms.[i] Of those, 40 percent were farmed under a cash rent lease, and 7.1 percent were farmed pursuant to a crop share lease.[ii] Given these numbers, it is crucial that Iowa landowners and producers understand the legal implications and requirements of their farmland leases.
The Iowa Court of Appeals—while denying a minority owner’s request to have his family LLC dissolved—breathed life back into his quest to receive “fair value” for his 27% ownership interest. The court reversed a trial court order that had directed the brother to transfer his interest in the LLC to the other two owners for no consideration.
The United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled today that an approved jurisdictional determination from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finding that property contains “waters of the United States” is “final agency action” subject to judicial review. This is a big victory for landowners throughout the country.
A federal bankruptcy case has been shaping interpretation of the Iowa agricultural supply dealer lien statute since the operator of a farrow-to-finish hog facility declared bankruptcy in 2009.
We’ve recently received a number of inquiries regarding wind energy agreements. This article, while not offering legal advice, is intended to inform landowners as to some of the key legal issues they should consider when evaluating a wind energy agreement proposed by a developer.
This week, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued two opinions analyzing farm leases. We told you Wednesday about a most interesting case where the court held that a residential acreage tenant with a single horse was entitled to September 1 statutory termination notice.
In a most interesting case from the Iowa Court of Appeals today, the letter of the law prevailed, and the court ruled that a single, 38-year-old grazing horse was all that was needed to create a “farm tenancy” on a six-acre parcel. Thus, the court found that landlords were required to send statutory termination notice by September 1 to properly terminate a lease for a residential acreage (less than 40 acres) where the only "agricultural activity" was one grazing horse.
It’s a common situation that often leads to conflict. A father dies without a will and his three children inherit his farm through the rules of intestate succession. Or maybe an aunt dies with a will leaving a one-third share of her 80-acre pasture to her nephew and the remaining two-third’s share to her niece. In both cases, the parties inheriting the property are tenants in common.
A recent case from the Iowa Court of Appeals shines the spotlight on Iowa’s private condemnation statute, Iowa Code § 6A.4(2). The statute, which takes some people by surprise,[i] grants private landowners a narrow power of eminent domain to acquire an access route to a landlocked parcel.
If there’s a takeaway sentence from the latest Iowa Court of Appeals decision to analyze a breach of warranty claim, it is this: The doctrine of unconscionability…does not rescue people from bad bargains.
In other words, be careful what you sign, it could come back to bite you.
A case from the Iowa Court of Appeals yesterday demonstrates the need for clear contractual language in farm leases. Some may say this principle is important even when family members are involved. This case demonstrates the importance of this principle especially when family members are involved.
The drainage districts in the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) lawsuit have now filed their second motion for partial summary judgment. Last fall, they asked the judge to rule in their favor as a matter of law on DMWW’s state law tort claims, such as nuisance and negligence.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in a case that tests the authority of a federal agency to effectively restrict a property owner’s land use choices without an opportunity for judicial review. U.S. Army Corps v. Hawkes
The 2016 Iowa Legislative Session is still underway, but many bills have already become law this session. Most of the high profile debate has centered on school funding, water quality, and tax coupling, which we have written about extensively.
For many Iowa taxpayers and practitioners, this tax season has generated more than its usual amount of angst. Some faced the possibility of Iowa tax bills exceeding their expectations by thousands of dollars. That is because it looked doubtful in the first months of 2016 that the Iowa Legislature would pass “coupling” legislation to sync Iowa tax law with federal tax provisions enacted by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the Path Act).
Ambiguous wills often lead to unfortunate family disputes. And such a dispute came before the Iowa Court of Appeals recently.
The Iowa Utilities Board voted 3-0 today to grant a hazardous liquid pipeline permit to Dakota Access, LLC under Iowa Code § 479B. The Board determined that the project would “promote the public necessity and convenience” as is required by the law.
Yesterday, the Iowa Court of Appeals granted a new trial to an excavation company in a trespass action. At trial, the jury found the excavation company liable for $118,900 in damages for trespassing onto a farmer’s property and clearing trees and brush from a 12-foot wide strip of his fence row. The new trial was not granted because of any question as to the actual trespass.
Welcome to March 1, a day with much significance for farmers:
- Farm Tax Returns Due
- Remember to Perfect Your Landlord's Lien
Parents often make lifetime gifts to their children, often as part of a farm or business transition planning strategy. These gifts often come under great scrutiny when the party receiving the gift is divorced from his or her spouse. During the dissolution proceeding, the spouse often argues that the gifted property should be subject to a fair division between the parties.
It is looking much more promising that the Iowa Legislature will eventually decide to retroactively integrate federal tax extenders from the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) into Iowa law for the 2015 tax year. Farmers have been offered an extension while we wait to see if a coupling bill emerges from the Legislature.
As of this writing, it is difficult to predict whether the Iowa Legislature will eventually decide to retroactively integrate federal tax extenders from the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) into Iowa law for the 2015 tax year. It is certain, however, that the lack of certainty has caused great angst, primarily among preparers and farmers.
In a divided 2-1 opinion, a three-judge panel ruled yesterday that the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has original jurisdiction to determine the validity of the Clean Water Rule.
During it's last public meeting on February 19, the Iowa Utilities Board stated that it will present its order regarding the Dakota Access LLC petition to build a crude oil pipeline across Iowa on March 9 or 10. That order will also determine whether Dakota Access will be allowed to exercise eminent domain over the nearly 300 tracts of land for which voluntary easements have not been granted.
Although recent talk of eminent domain has centered on high profile projects such as the Dakota Access pipeline, a less discussed provision of Iowa law confers a narrow power of eminent domain upon private citizens in certain cases where a landowner has a “land locked” parcel. A recent case from the Iowa Court of Appeals details how this law is applied.
This month has seen several important developments in the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) lawsuit against drainage districts in three northwest Iowa counties. On January 11, Judge Bennett ruled that the Iowa Supreme Court should decide four questions of Iowa law implicated by the lawsuit's tort and constitutional claims.
In Iowa we see a large variation in the way farm leases are structured. Many are oral, one-year leases that automatically renew from year to year. Others are written, five-year leases that must be recorded. And still others have their own unique approach. The Iowa Supreme Court recently reviewed one such lease and found it constitutionally infirm.
A recent case from the Iowa Court of Appeals should again remind landowners to protect their boundaries or lose them.
As March 1 approaches, many landlords will see new tenants farming their property. Others will face lingering disputes from last crop year. This is a good time to review several important rights and obligations of landlords and tenants under Iowa farm leases.
Yesterday saw a big development in the Des Moines Water Works case against three northwest Iowa drainage districts. Judge Bennett certified four questions of Iowa law to the Iowa Supreme Court.:
The Iowa Supreme Court issued an opinion today that may change the way many cases against insurance companies are tried. Because insurance coverage and farming operations go hand in hand, agricultural law attorneys should pay attention to Villarreal v.
Regrets exist, for many farmers and bankers from the 1980s Farm Crisis days, over opportunities-lost.
As we store away the wrapping paper and pull out the New Years’ hats and horns, we thought it would be a good time to review the significant agricultural law developments of 2015. While this review is not comprehensive or intended to rank the topics in order of importance, it does demonstrate how much can change in a year. So, pour that last glass of egg nog and savor the last few hours of the year. If this list is any indication, it’s going to be a busy 2016.
IRS Notice 2015-87, issued December 17, 2015, provides the latest IRS guidance regarding the Affordable Care Act's impact on employer health reimbursement plans. Although IRS unveiled no new “bombshells” in the Notice, it does provide further clarification important to small employers offering health care reimbursement arrangements to their employees.
On December 18, President Obama signed into law an 887-page package of legislation designed to fund the government through 2016. Called the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, the legislation made permanent or further extended many tax breaks important to farm producers and small businesses.
On Friday, December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law a massive bill authorizing $1.1 trillion in spending and $680 billion in tax cuts. While we have become accustomed to waiting until year-end (or sometimes new year) to see already-expired tax cuts temporarily revived, this new law actually makes permanent (or largely extends) several important tax breaks.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a new rule today requiring registration of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds.. The official weight of the UAS includes any payloads, such as cameras.
The defendants included a husband and wife who owned a number of poultry-related companies. They each owned a 50 percent share of an LLC they established in August of 2010. The purpose of the LLC was to purchase eggs for hatching, coordinate delivery of hatched chicks to contracted growers, and coordinate the delivery of the grown birds to a family-owned poultry processing company.
The Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation does not provide legal advice. Any information provided on this website is not intended to be a substitute for legal services from a competent professional. The Center's work is supported by fee-based seminars and generous private gifts. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material contained on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of Iowa State University.