Iowa Resources


We have written detailed reviews of Iowa law impacting agricultural producers and landowners. Access these reviews by clicking on the tiles below. You can also review Iowa cases on a particular subject by searching our list of Iowa case law reviews at the bottom of this page.

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On July 21, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict in favor of a daughter in a will contest between two siblings. The dispute arose because the deceased mother had intentionally omitted her son from her will, leaving her farmland to her daughter alone.

Background

After her husband passed away, Gladys Troendale updated her will, dividing her estate equally between her son and daughter, Steven and Michele. Gladys had health issues and suffered a stroke in 2002. She relied on her daughter, who had already moved back to the family farm, to assist her.

June 29, 2021 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On Friday, June 25, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion determining the availability of an extension to the small refinery[i] hardship exemption within the renewable fuel standards program (RFS).

On June 18, 2021, the Iowa Supreme Court released an opinion involving the proposed buyout of two shareholders of a family farm corporation. After the two plaintiffs petitioned for judicial dissolution, the corporation sought to buy their shares at fair market value. The Iowa Supreme Court found that the transaction costs for asset liquidation should be included in the valuation. Conversely, because this was an S corporation, the Court ruled that potential capital gains liability would create a second tax and thus should be excluded.

On June 18, the Iowa Supreme Court—in a 4-3 decision—dismissed a water quality lawsuit filed against the State of Iowa[i] by two social justice groups, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Food and Water Watch.

On June 16, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling involving a proposed $3,678,000 drainage district improvement. As stated by the court, “This case falls into the category of be careful what you ask for.”

June 16, 2021 | Kitt Tovar Jensen

On June 16, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals released an opinion regarding rights to use a driveway easement. The court clarified that without evidence of intent, there can be no public dedication. While the landowner in this case did allow some public use of an easement, this was insufficient to show that he intended to publicly dedicate it.

On June 16, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling involving a trustee’s request for reimbursement from his mother’s estate and the family trust. Because there was no evidence of an understanding to repay the expenditures, the court affirmed the denial of reimbursement.

On June 16, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued a ruling involving the reclassification of drainage benefits and an assessment for repairs. The court ruled that the board of trustees improperly considered non-drainage benefits to shift some of the costs of repair to a railroad company to prevent painfully large assessments against some agricultural landowners.

On June 16, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals released an opinion involving two sisters’ request for attorney fees incurred during their father’s guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. The guardians repeatedly objected to the sisters’ participation while the district court found that the sisters did not have standing to intervene. Therefore, the Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of their request for fees. The case provides a helpful overview of when attorney fees are properly awarded in a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding.

On June 11, 2021, the Iowa Supreme Court released an opinion involving a claim of interference with an inheritance. The year before she passed away, the decedent changed the beneficiaries of her will. On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed that the new beneficiaries did not have the required knowledge to meet the elements of tortious interference with an inheritance.

On May 12, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment in favor of the executor in a will contest filed by the decedent’s son. After the son failed to respond to numerous requests for admission during discovery, the district court deemed the unanswered questions admitted and entered judgment for the executor. In affirming the judgment, the Court of Appeals found that there was no evidence of “insane delusions” or undue influence and that the executor would be prejudiced if the court allowed the son to withdraw his answers.

On May 28, 2021, the Iowa Supreme Court released an opinion involving a farm lease dispute between a landlord and tenant. The tenant brought this lawsuit claiming breach of contract and sought attorney fees under the terms of the lease. Because the tenant had given the landlord a reasonable opportunity to pay the debt, the Supreme Court affirmed that the tenant, as the prevailing party, was entitled to attorney fees. The Court ruled, however, that the tenant was not entitled to any fees accruing after rejecting a settlement offer from the landlord.

On May 14, 2021, the Iowa Supreme Court released an opinion regarding a family dispute over an LLC. The district court dissolved the LLC after disagreement broke out between several members. The Supreme Court reversed the dissolution, finding that the district court resolved the issues creating deadlock and that the LLC could fulfill its intended purpose.  

On May 21, 2021, the Iowa Supreme Court determined that a district court had improperly reformed farm leases entered into between a farmer’s conservator and his family members. The decision affirmed an earlier order from the Court of Appeals that had overturned the district court’s modification. On review, the Supreme Court agreed that the conservator had the authority to enter into the leases on behalf of the ward and that the conservator did not breach its fiduciary duty.

Update: On June 16, 2021, Governor Reynolds signed this bill into law.

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