Ag Docket Blog

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.

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
February 28, 2016 | Kristine A. Tidgren

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.

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.

February 11, 2016 | Kristine A. Tidgren

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.

January 26, 2016 | Kristine A. Tidgren

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.

January 26, 2016 | Kristine A. Tidgren

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.

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