Ag Docket Blog

May 11, 2016 | Kristine A. Tidgren

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.

April 28, 2016 | Kristine A. Tidgren

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.

Last week, the Iowa Legislature enacted new legislation to require that an agreement to terminate a farm lease be in writing. The Governor signed HF 2344 into law on April 13, 2016.

April 14, 2016 | Kristine A. Tidgren

The multidistrict Syngenta litigation, which is now deep in discovery for the first bellwether trial, saw several important developments last week. Judge Lungstrum entered several orders worth noting.

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.

April 7, 2016 | Kristine A. Tidgren

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.

March 31, 2016 | Kristine A. Tidgren

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.

March 17, 2016 | Kristine A. Tidgren

Ambiguous wills often lead to unfortunate family disputes.  And such a dispute came before the Iowa Court of Appeals recently.

March 10, 2016 | Kristine A. Tidgren

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.

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