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 October 5, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a petition contesting the distribution of trust assets. After her father passed away, a beneficiary brought a lawsuit claiming that her father lacked testamentary capacity and that the trustees had exerted undue influence over him. Because the beneficiary only provided “suspicion and surmise,” the court affirmed that she failed to meet the burden to establish either claim.

On October 5, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the division of two properties between a farmer and his two sisters. Relying on the factors set forth in Iowa Code § 651.31, the farmer claimed he would experience “great prejudice” if he was not awarded both farms. However, the court must only consider these factors when weighing the whether the presumption of a partition in kind is equitable. After the court orders a partition in kind, “the proceedings shall be governed by the procedures set forth in subchapter II that are applicable to a partition in kind.” Iowa Code § 651.32.

On August 31, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals held that a creditor cannot collect distributions from a spendthrift trust until the funds are in the beneficiary’s control. A creditor attempted to garnish funds of two spendthrift trusts which were being held by a trustee for the debtor’s benefit. The district court denied the debtor’s motion to quash the garnishment. Because the debtor had not yet received the distributions, the Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s order.

On August 31, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a motion for a new trial in an erosion lawsuit. Landowners claimed that their neighbor’s construction caused erosion damage on their farmland. Because there was sufficient evidence that the landowners’ failure to maintain the waterway contributed to the damage, the court affirmed the denial. 

On August 3, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals settled a boundary dispute between two neighboring family members. Because neither party established their allegations of boundary by acquiescence or easement by prescription, the court affirmed the denial of their claims.

On August 17, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed that two sisters could not have interfered with their brother’s alleged contract with their parents to become the sole owner of an 80-acre parcel of farmland. The brother claimed to have an oral contract with their mother. Because the farmland was owned by the siblings’ father, the brother did not have a contract with the owner of the property.

As production costs continue to rise, farmland owners and tenants may be reconsidering the terms of their farm leases. Both tenants and landlords should be aware of Iowa’s farm lease auto-renewal statute.

On August 23, 2022, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) announced that the court-appointed receiver for B & B Farm Store Inc., a grain dealer and warehouse operator from Jesup, Iowa, had consented to a voluntary revocation of its Iowa warehouse and grain dealer l

On August 3, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed that the plaintiff failed to prove that his sibling exercised undue influence over their father. For personal reasons, a farmer intentionally left two of his three children out of his will and trust. The court concluded that it was unlikely the farmer was susceptible to coercion; thus, no undue influence occurred.

On July 20, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed a $960,000 jury verdict against a swine management company and its owner. A group of farmers began a business venture with the management company to purchase, feed, and sell pigs. The business was financially unsuccessful. The investor-farmers brought this lawsuit against the management company and its owner alleging breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty.

August 2, 2022 | Kitt Tovar Jensen

On July 20, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a petition to void the transfer of a farm. A farmer filed for divorce five months after the couple gifted two-thirds of their farm operation to their son. His ex-spouse brought this lawsuit for fraudulent misrepresentation and sought to void the farm transfer. The Court of Appeals concluded that the circumstances surrounding the farm transfer did not indicate an intent to defraud, but instead supported a finding that the farmer desired to keep the farming operation in the family.

On July 20, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that the statute of limitations to set aside a trust established by a decedent during his lifetime cannot be tolled using the discovery rule. The applicable statute, Iowa Code § 633A.3108, unambiguously states that any such claim must be brought within one year of death. The court found, however, that a claim of equitable estoppel could extend the statute of limitations if the petition was filed within a reasonable time after alleged fraud was discovered. The court ruled that it was for a fact finder to decide whether that happened.

On July 20, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a petition asking for a writ of mandamus to compel the Madison County Board of Supervisors to destroy noxious weeds on a neighbor’s land. While the county Weed Commissioner can destroy the weeds and charge the expense to the landowner, that is not the exclusive remedy available for a landowner’s noxious weed violation. Instead, a county weed commissioner can work with a landowner over extended periods of time to address noxious weed violations. The Court further reasoned that a writ of mandamus is an inappropriate legal remedy in this circumstance since the landowner could file a nuisance lawsuit against the neighbor.  

July 29, 2022 | Kitt Tovar Jensen

On July 20, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed that a farmland owner’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filing listing a farm tenant’s crops as collateral did not constitute “tortious conduct.” The farm tenant claimed that the UCC financing statement was false and interfered with his ability to obtain a loan after the lease terminated. The court disagreed with the tenant, instead finding that there was no genuine issue of material fact that the filing was false or that it caused the tenant’s injuries.

On June 29, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a negligence lawsuit against a title company. The title company prepared an abstract for a sale of land, but failed to identify a sewer easement. Although the title company made an error, the Court of Appeals held that this mistake was not the proximate cause of the buyer’s alleged injury.

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