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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August 19, 2021 | Kitt Tovar Jensen

On August 4, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals released an opinion affirming a district court’s finding that a private zoo was a public nuisance.

August 17, 2021 | Kristine Tidgren and Wendong Zhang

In this study conducted in conjunction with the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Kristine Tidgren and Wendong Zhang analyze Iowa farmland data, including estimated basis and fair market value, to estimate the impact of the proposed tax provisions in the American Families Plan on Iowa farmland owners during lifetime and at death and gift.

August 18, 2021 |

We have been seeing renewed interest and activity associated with a market for carbon credits, in particular credits created through new land management and conservation practices farmers implement on their land. Last week, we participated in a webinar providing information on this emerging topic.

On August 18, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals determined the priority of three creditors’ claims against a real estate developer. After the developer defaulted on several mortgages, the bank initiated this foreclosure action claiming to have priority over the mechanic’s liens filed by two subcontractors on the property. Because the subcontractors began work on the properties before the bank recorded the mortgages, the Court of Appeals affirmed that the bank had a junior interest under Iowa Code § 572.18(1).

On August 4, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of farmers seeking title to property through boundary by acquiescence. The court held that a reasonable fact finder could infer from the record that the farmers did not believe they owned the land.

On August 4, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals addressed the validity of a petition filed by landowners to elect private trustees, rather than the county supervisors, to manage their drainage district. This is the second case in two months involving a dispute within this drainage district. This time, the court ruled that the landowners’ petition was valid and that they were entitled to hold their requested election.

On July 21, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals released an opinion involving a CEO’s agreement to repay stolen funds. In reversing a district court decision, the Court of Appeals determined that the beneficiary of a spendthrift trust cannot make an irrevocable transfer of his beneficial interest. Although the CEO’s irrevocable transfer of his interest in the trust was unenforceable, the court ruled that the CEO breached a restitution agreement with the company. As such, the company could initiate collections.

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.

On July 21, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued an opinion involving a subcontractor’s attempt to foreclose on a mechanic’s lien. The district court dismissed the case, finding that the subcontractor had not property provided written notice to the owners. Ruling that the district court went beyond the pleadings to make that determination, the Court of Appeals reversed the case and remanded for further proceedings.

On July 21, 2021, the Iowa Court of Appeals determined that a Township had acquired ownership of a cemetery, as well as an access easement, through adverse possession.

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 another opinion in a family dispute involving several litigious siblings. This time, the court considered whether Iowa Code § 489.408(1) allows attorney “fees-on-fees” to be awarded. Because the costs arose from the plaintiff seeking indemnification as the LLC manager, the court determined that the additional fees constituted a debt under the statute and should be included in the award.

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.”