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 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.

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.

On June 15, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals determined the primary beneficiary of a $3.5 million individual retirement account (IRA). Before passing away, the decedent opened an IRA and executed a beneficiary designation form. The court affirmed that the form was not ambiguous and clearly showed the decedent’s intent to name his wife as the primary beneficiary of the IRA.

On July 20, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed that a surviving spouse inherited one-half of the deceased spouse’s interest in real property as well as the proportional share of the mortgage. The court held that the probate code does not give a surviving spouse a special privilege to inherit an unencumbered homestead at the expense of the other beneficiaries.

On June 29, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued an opinion involving a partition action and the subsequent assessment of attorney fees and costs. After three siblings filed a petition seeking a partition in kind against their other two siblings, the five siblings agreed to a partition in kind for the “heirs property” they owned as tenants in common. See Iowa Code § 651.1(5). Because the division was equitable and practicable, the Court of Appeals affirmed the referee’s recommendation. However, the court held that the district court erred in taxing all costs against the defendants.

July 10, 2022 | Kristine A. Tidgren

On June 30, 2022, the Iowa Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, overruled 18-year-old precedent to find that Iowa’s right to farm statute, Iowa Code § 657.11, does not violate the inalienable rights clause of the Iowa Constitution. This decision generally restores statutory immunity from nuisance lawsuits seeking special damages for many animal feeding operations.

June 1, 2022 | Tax Implications of a Farmland Lease

On June 24, 2022, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed that allowing the public to use an easement does not establish a public dedication. A landowner granted a written access easement to his family members and invitees. Because there was clear evidence the landowner did not intend to dedicate the easement, the Court affirmed that the driveway was not for public use.

On June 17, 2022, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed that the ten-day deadline to post a notice of commencement of work applies to general contractors, not subcontractors. See Iowa Code § 572.13A. After a developer defaulted on a residential project, the bank initiated a foreclosure action claiming to have priority over the mechanics’ liens filed by two subcontractors on the property. Considering the statute as whole, the Court concluded that the subcontractors properly filed the required notices and, thus, had priority over the bank’s mortgages.

On June 15, 2022, the Iowa Court of Appeals reversed a grant of summary judgment in a drainage dispute in favor of the City of Council Bluffs, the owner of the dominant estate. A couple alleged that improvements on the city property caused erosion and flood damage to the couple’s two servient properties. The court held that the express drainage easement only governed one property. Additionally, the statute of limitations did not bar the plaintiffs’ nuisance claim because the alleged offense was continuous rather permanent. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the city and remanded the action for further proceedings.

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