Decisions
This section of the Web Site contains opinions selected by individual Judges for posting and is not intended to constitute a complete set of opinions for the district or any Judge. The decisions are organized by categories listed on the lower left portion of this page. If you would like to do a word search of the entire database or individual categories you may do so by clicking on the search button below.


Case NameDate Filed
-Eugene Nelson v Charles City Comm. School Dist.01/18/2017
-Estate of Leighton Fitz01/18/2017
-Roeder v. DIRECTV, et al. -- Memorandum opinion and order on cross motions for summary judgment. Court concluded there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether plaintiffs were independent contractors or employees of DIRECTV subject to the overtime requirements of the FLSA. Court also found that neither side had established they were entitled to judgment on application or non-application of the 7(i) exemption of the FLSA.01/13/2017
-James Robert Ernst III v Black Hawk County Jail, et al12/22/2016
-Eastern Iowa Plastics v PI, Inc.12/09/2016
-U.S. v. Jeremy Terrell (Motion to Strike Information raised an issue of first impression: May the executive branch of the United States government refuse to allow a defendant to continue to cooperate with law enforcement with the expectation (but no promise) of receiving a substantial assistance motion, simply because he exercises his statutory rights to a preliminary hearing and detention hearing after turning himself in to authorities? Reviewing standards for vindictive prosecution claim and concluding that while defendant did not present any evidence of actual vindictiveness, the context and objective circumstances presented a reasonable likelihood of vindictiveness. Thus, the court found defendant presented objective evidence giving rise to a presumption of vindictive motivation which was not rebutted by the prosecution and granted motion. 12/09/2016
-Minnesota Laweyers Mutual Ins. Co.11/29/2016
-Baldwin v. City of Esherville, et al (A resident brought claims against a city and city police officers pursuant to the Iowa and United States Constitutions and a state law claim for false arrest following his arrest for driving his ATV in violation of a state statute that was not, in fact, incorporated into the City Code; cross-motions for summary judgment: Iowa constitutional claims stayed pending determination by the Iowa Supreme Court of whether such a claim will lie; summary judgment granted for the defendants on the federal constitutional claims and state false arrest claim, because, while there was no probable cause or qualified immunity based on a “mistake of law” for an arrest pursuant to an ordinance that the arresting officers should reasonably have known was not part of the City Code, there was probable cause under another ordinance that the officers could reasonably, if mistakenly, believed was applicable, prior to the Iowa district court’s interpretation of it in the underlying criminal case)11/18/2016
-Catherine Bohn v Cedar Rapids Community School District11/18/2016
-Eugene J Nelson v Charles City Community School District11/08/2016
-Lequita Ennard v Transamerica Corporation10/28/2016
-Smith v. Smith, et al. -- Memorandum opinion and order accepting report and recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's Section 1983 claims. Plaintiff alleged deliberate indifference to a serious medical need and failure to train based on his work assignment at a landfill. Court found there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether plaintiff suffered an objectively serious medical need from his alleged exposure to bio-hazardous material and whether defendants were deliberately indifferent. Plaintiff also failed to demonstrate a fact issue on his failure to train claim. Court concluded defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the undisputed facts of each of these claims and granted defendants' motions for summary judgment.09/29/2016
-USA v $33,621.0008/17/2016
-Glenn McGhee v State of Iowa08/16/2016
-Na-Churs Plant Food v IRS08/16/2016
-Charleen Corrado v Life Investors Insurance Company08/11/2016
-USA v $33,621, et al07/29/2016
-Patrick James Sr vs Cedar Rapids, City of, Grant Rasmussen and Bruce Payne07/19/2016
-USA v. Wright -- Memorandum Order and Opinion regarding defendant's post-trial motion for a judgment of acquittal and post-trial motion for a new trial. Among other issues, defendant argued that his Sixth Amendment rights were violated by not being allowed to cross-examine a co-conspriator regarding the co-conspriator's exculpatory evidence regarding cooperating witnesses. The court denied both of defendant's motions, holding that his Sixth Amendment rights were not violated and that although the government clearly violated Brady v. Maryland by failing to disclose evidence, there is no probability that the suppressed evidence would have changed the outcome of the trial. 07/11/2016
-Randy Blanchard v. William Sperfslage07/05/2016
-Lequita Dennard, et al v. Aegon USA, et al07/05/2016
-Willis, et al v. Palmer, et al (The court denies the defendants' objection to court appointed experts under Federal Rule of Evidence 706. Pursuant to the court's prior order, the parties are given 45 days to nominate four witnesses. Of those four witnesses, Magistrate Judge C.J. Williams will select up to two experts to appoint in this case. Judge Williams will then over see the cultivation of the expert testimony and direct how compensation for the experts will be provided)(06/20/2016
-Willis, et al v. Palmer, et al (Following the court's order denying the defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court directs the parties to show cause why the court should not appoint its own expert under Federal Rule of Evidence 706 to answer three primary questions: 1) how Iowa’s civil commitment program compares to other civil commitment programs throughout the country; 2) what practices are medically accepted to treat sexual offenders; and 3) what is the likelihood that the treatment employed by the defendants will result in the plaintiffs progressing through treatment at CCUSO and achieving eventual release.)05/25/2016
-Spanier v. American Pop Corn Company, et al. (Diversity products liability action, motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, finding that because two of the defendant maintained registered agents for service of process in Iowa, they had consented to jurisdiction in Iowa and all reside in Iowa for the purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c), also applying five factor test, the court concludes that it has specific personal jurisdiction over defendants who were bulk suppliers of butter flavoring to Iowa popcorn plants and, consequently, defendants’ actions in Iowa allegedly resulted in dangerous popcorn products being manufactured in Iowa which harmed plaintiffs, and defendants had not established that another manufacturer of butter flavoring was an indispensable party to this lawsuit.)04/14/2016
-Willis, et al. v. Palmer, et al.(Patients at the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders (CCUSO) sued arguing their constitutional rights have been violated in a number of ways.)03/30/2016
-Grim v. Centrum Valley Farms, LLP (Action by laborer for egg producer alleging, inter alia, constructive discharge in violation of Iowa public policy, in retaliation for his claim for workers compensation benefits, by his employer’s failure to accommodate his work restrictions, and by his employer’s failure to pay overtime wages as required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); defendant’s motion to dismiss the constructive discharge claims: whether failure to accommodate will support a claim of constructive discharge in retaliation for filing a workers compensation claim; whether a retaliation/constructive discharge claim can be based on nothing more a statutory violation of failure to pay overtime wages)03/18/2016
-Zhou v. IBM -- Memorandum opinion and order on plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction and restraining order. The court summarily denied the motion on grounds that it was based on claims and allegations that are not currently encompassed in plaintiff's complaint. The court noted that preliminary injunctive relief is not appropriate if there is no relationship between the proposed injunction and the claims that are pending in the case.03/11/2016
-Langenbau v. Med-Trans Corp. -- Memorandum opinion and order regarding the parties' evidentiary motions. The court addressed various motions to exclude expert witness opinions at trial and found with some limited exceptions, that the challenged opinions were not subject to exclusion. The court also denied plaintiffs' request for jury view of wreckage and denied a motion to strike a declaration filed in support of defendant's motion for partial summary judgment. . 03/09/2016
-Newkirk v. GKN Armstrong Wheels, Inc. & John Does (Employment case, motion for partial summary judgment concerning civil rights violations Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. and pendent state law claims for breach of contract, wrongful termination, defamation, negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and intentional infliction of emotional distress; analysis under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 concerning whether plaintiff sufficiently pled claim for civil rights violation under VII for reverse race discrimination; and analyzing whether plaintiff’s pendent state law claims fail as a matter of law.) 03/09/2016
-Foster v. Anderson, et al. -- Memorandum opinion and order on defendants' motion for summary judgment. Court found there were no genuine issues of material fact regarding the care Foster received while committed to the care and custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections. As such, Court dismissed all claims and entered judgment in favor of the defendants and against Foster. 02/29/2016
-Barajas v. USA -- Post remand ruling on Barajas' 28 U.S.C. section 2255 petition. Although Judge O'Brien previously found that petitioner's trial counsel failed to advise petitioner about the collateral consequences of his plea, the Supreme Court decision in Chaidez v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 1103 (2013) controls this case. In Chaidez the Supreme Court found that Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356, 360 (2010) announced a new rule, and under existing precedent, new rules are not applicable to cases that arose prior to the announcement of the new rule. Thus, because petitioner's case occurred before the Supreme Court announced its decision in Padilla, the petitioner is not entitled to Padilla type relief. Additionally Barajas' argument that Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989) should not aply to federal prisoners is not supported by any Eighth Circuit precedent and is denied. Finally, neither Barajas' argument that Judge O'Brien made a secondary holding, or that Barajas received material misrepresentation, are supported by the record in this case and are denied. The petitioner is entilted to a certificate of appealability on the issues of whether Teague v. Lane applies to federal prisoners. 02/29/2016
-Stinton v. Old Republic Insurance Company -- Order on defendant's motion for summary judgment. Court found there were no genuine issues of material fact concerning the payment of uninsured motorist benefits. Court found that Archer Daniels Midland Alliance Nutrition, Inc., the company employing Mr. Stinton at the time of his death, had declined uninsured motorist coverage and as such, Mr. Stinton's estate was not entitled to any payments from the policy. Court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment. Judgment entered in favor of defendant Old Republic Insurance Company and against plaintiff Diane Stinton02/10/2016
-Margaret Foster v. Cerro Gordo County, an Iowa Municipal Corporation, et al. -- Order on the County Defendants' motion for summary judgment. Court found there were no genuine issues of material fact and that defendants had not been deliberately indifferent to Foster's serious medical need. Additionally, Court found defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. Court delcines to continue to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Foster's State law claims against County Defendants due to the failure of Foster to argue the claims should be retained even if the federal claims against County Defendants are dismissed as well as the fact that these claims do not arise from the same facts and circumstances of the federal claims remaining in this case. Court orders all claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. secton 1983 against the County Defendants (Cerro Gordo County, Kevin Pals, Shad Stoeffler, Terry Allen-Burns, Justin Faught, Chad Harkema, Rusty Pals, Brenda Crom, Marc Kappmeyer and "Additional Unidentified Cerro Gordo County Jail Staff") dismissed with prejudice. Court orders remaining state law claims alleged against County Defendants dismissed without prejudice. Court orders County Defendants dismissed from this action. 01/28/2016
-Jason Bringus v. Steve Elifrits -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion for summary judgment. Court found Bringus failed to exhaust the jail's grievance procedures. Court found Bringus failed to submit any admissible evidence illustrating a material dispute of fact, as such, Court recommends defendant's motion for summary judgment be granted.01/20/2016
-United States of America v. Arlyn Johnson -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss. Court found defendant was not entitled to have the evidence weighed at this point in the criminal proceeding. Additionally Court found that due to Iowa's process for removing firearms disabilities, defendant was unable to show that 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(4) was unconstitutional as applied to him. Court recommends defendant's motion to dismiss be denied. 01/19/2016
-Adefris v. Wilson Trailer Company, et al. -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion to dismiss. Court found Adefris failed to exhaust administrative remedies under the Iowa Civil Rights Act and any claims of retaliatory discharge under Title VII or the ADA. Court found all claims of individual liability under Title VII and the ADA should be dismissed as the acts do not allow inidividual liability. Additionally Court found that Adefris failed to present a plausible claim for relief under race or national origin discrimination under Title VII and Section 1981. Court found Adefris did not state a claim for disability discrimination. Court found the complaint did not state a plausible claim for a hostile work environment. Court recommends all claims be dismissed except for (1) the ADA failure to accommodate claim, as against Wilson and (2) The Section 1981 retaliatory discharge claim, as against Wilson and Kreber. 01/12/2016
-Raveling v. Tyson Foods, Inc., et al -- Memorandum opinion and order on defendants' motion for summary judgment. Court found Raveling failed to discredit defendants' reasons for discharging him. Additionally Court found that Raveling failed to show age motivated defendants' decision to discharge him. Court orders defendants' motion be granted with regard to all claims. 12/21/2015
-Scott v. Benson & Smith (Civilly detained sexual offender brought a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action for declaratory relief. In his principal claim, detainee argued that he had a due process right to refuse unwanted medical treatment, pursuant to Supreme Court precedent in Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 720 (1997). Detainee also argued that the defendants were deliberately indifferent by providing him a medically restricted diet, making decision regarding his prosthetic leg and wheelchair, and not allowing him to travel to the University of Iowa for medical services. The court held that although citizens have a general right to refuse unwanted medical treatment, no law supported detainee's request for prospective injunctive relief because, after applying the Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78 (1987) factors, the government often has a countervailing interest in the course of a detainee's medical treatment. Accordingly, the propriety of injunctive relief must be determined on a case by case basis. The court also held that the detainee had failed to establish that the defendants were deliberately indifferent regarding detainee's prosthetic leg and wheelchair; the detainee's claim related to a medically restricted diet was barred by the doctrine of res judicata; and the detainee had no constitutional right that would allow him to choose where he received medical services.)12/17/2015
-U.S. v. Dennis Neil Yorgensen (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress and granting defendant’s motion to suppress in which he seeks to suppress evidence seized during a search of his residence conducted pursuant to a search warrant, finding: that defendant established a Franks violation regarding the search warrant for his residence. Accordingly, the search warrant was invalid and all evidence seized during the execution of the warrant was suppressed. In addition, concluding that the taint of the illegal search and arrest had not dissipated by the time defendant was interviewed by the police and, therefore, defendant’s statements to the police were required to be suppressed as the fruits of an unlawful search and seizure. Alternatively, addressing, and rejecting, defendant’s claim that his post-arrest statements must be suppressed because they occurred after he invoked his right to counsel.) 12/07/2015
-Mary E. Roth and Michael A. Roth, Individually and as Co-Executors of the Estate of Cletus Roth, et al. v. The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society (Motion by nursing home to compel arbitration of claims of decedent’s estate and decedent’s adult children for loss of consortium: effect of arbitration provision submitting “arbitrability” and other “threshhold” questions to the arbitrator; certification to the Iowa Supreme Court of questions concerning the effect of Iowa Code § 613.15 on whether the loss of consortium claims must be brought by the estate and arbitrated or whether the circumstances made it impossible, impracticable, or not in the best interest of the adult children for the estate to bring the consortium claims, such that the consortium claims should not be arbitrated)12/04/2015
-Lorenz v. Tyson Foods, Inc. -- Memorandum opinion and order on defendants' motion for summary judgment. Court found Lorenz established facts sufficient to raise a genuine issue as to whether the dismissal was motivated by age animus. Court denied defendants' motion for summary judgment. 12/03/2015
-Henderson v. Crimmins, et al. (Motion for attorneys fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 pursuant to § 1988 fee-shifting statute: Attorney seeks recovery for over 60 hours before alerting defense counsel or defendants of the incoming lawsuit, where a resolution was achieved two days after the attorney contacted defense counsel; a high hourly rate is reasonable for someone with extensive experience, partially because it is expected that experienced attorneys will be more efficient with the use of their time, so, a percentage reduction is warranted where a request for an amount of hours is disproportionate to level of expertise, represented by the attorney’s hourly rate; a percentage reduction is warranted where an attorney repeatedly requests awards for unreasonably excessive and unnecessary work performed)12/01/2015
-U.S. v. Randy Feauto (Opinion on resentencing of defendant pursuant to Amendment 782, the “All Drugs Minus Two” amendment to the Sentencing Guidelines: whether policy statement U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10(c), which implements Amendment 782, exceeds the Sentencing Commission’s authority and/or violates the non-delegation doctrine under the separation-of-powers principle by nullifying mandatory minimum sentences on resentencing, producing pernicious consequences, including different sentences on original sentencing and resentencing of a defendant who faced a mandatory minimum, but received a substantial assistance motion pursuant to § 3553(e))11/23/2015
-Stokes v. Hacker and Anderson -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' unresisted motion for summary judgment. Court found, even when the evidence is considered in a light most favorable to plaintiff, he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, as a matter of law. As such, court found no genuine issues of material fact existed as to plaintiff's complaint. Court recommends the defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted. 11/18/2015
-Lynch v. Custom Welding & Repair, et al. -- Order on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. Court found plaintiff failed to demonstrate defendants had violated the FDCPA as a matter of law and as such entered judgment in favor of defendants. Court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction on the remaining state law claims and dismissed them without prejudice. Court ordered plaintiff's motion for summary judgment denied in whole. Court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment as to FDCPA claims and dismissed the remaining state law claims with prejudice. 11/06/2015
-Hanson v. Hagerty Insurance Agency, LLC and Essentia Insurance Co. -- Order on plaintiff's motion for leave to amend responses to defendants' requests for admissions. Court found that granting plaintiff's motion would allow the case to be heard and decided on its merits. Court found the defendants were unable to demonstrate prejudice following Hanson's failure to respond to requests. Court granted plaintiff's motion for leave to amend responses to defendants' request for admissions. 11/06/2015
-Doss v. McKinney, et al. -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment. Court found that plaintiff failed to establish deliberate indifference to a serious medical need and as such defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law on that claim. Court additionally found plaintiff failed to show retaliation and defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law on that claim as well. Court recommended defendants' motion be granted as to both claims and the case be dismissed with prejudice. 11/04/2015
-Levi Wilson, et al v. Scott Lamp, et al. (Police officers, in search of a black suspect accused of stealing gasoline, initiated a traffic stop of a black driver and his six year old son with firearms drawn on them; plaintiffs complied with all of defendant officers’ orders, however, officers searched the plaintiff’s truck after they determined he was not the suspect they sought, officers kept a gun pointed at the child through the duration of the stop; claims for Fourth Amendment excessive force, made pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, state-law invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims, made pursuant to Iowa Tort Claims Act, survive Motions to Dismiss; negligence claim dismissed for failure to comply with the administrative requirements of the Iowa Tort Claims Act; determination of state constitutional claims analogous to federal Bivens claims reserved until the Iowa Supreme Court rules on Conklin v. State.) 11/03/2015
-Jones v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title XVI Social Security income benefits. Court found that the ALJ properly developed the record and the ALJ did not fail to fulfill his duty in this request. Court also found the record contained substantial evidence for the ALJ's credibility determination. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.10/30/2015
-Peterson v. Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., et al. -- Order on defendants' motion to compel discovery. Court found that plaintiff was unable to establish the sought after information was protected by the work product doctrine. As such, Court ordered plaintiff to comply with defendants' discovery request. 10/13/2015
-Behr, et al v. AADG, Inc. -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on plaintiffs' motion for conditional class certification and court authorized notice. Court granted plaintiffs' request for conditional class certification. Additionally court found the notice unfairly prejudiced AADG as to one part and ordered it be replaced in order to avoid prejudice. Court granted conditional class certification and ordered the notice to be modified. 10/06/2015
-USA v. Yorgensen -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion for Franks hearing and motion to suppress. Court found the defendant made the required showing to be entitled to a Franks hearing. Court determined in the Franks hearing that the defendant was able to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the affidavit in support of the warrant contained material omissions and a reckless disregard for the truth. As such, court found the evidence obtained as a direct and indirect result of the warrant needed to be suppressed. Additionally court found that if the district court finds the Franks hearing was unwarranted or the defendant failed to meet his burden during the Franks hearing that the defendant did not make an unequivocal request for counsel and as such, the statements made after he mentioned counsel do not warrant suppression. Court recommends the evidence obtained as a direct and indirect result of the warrant be suppressed. 10/02/2015
-U.S. v. Bruce Jeffers (Sentencing opinion concerning defendant who pleaded guilty to separate counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a felon in possession of ammunition; upward variance based on insufficiency of the advisory guidelines sentence, where the defendant had five different prison terms for crimes—including voluntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon, arson of an inhabited structure, evading a police officer and disregarding safety, being a felon and addict in possession of a firearm, and burglary of a home—in three different states and nine jail terms for other crimes, but could not be sentenced as an Armed Career Criminal after Johnson v. United States, ___ U.S. ___, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), and most of his prior convictions were too old to count in the computation of his criminal history category)09/30/2015
-Christensen v. Cargill, Inc. & Mark Struve (Employment discrimination, suit by former employee against former employer and co-employee alleging she was subjected to a sexually hostile work environment and retaliation under both the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and under Iowa Code 216; defendants’ motion for partial dismissal to dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint; among the issues in dispute in this litigation was whether claims that arose four years before the filing of an administrative charge are timely; whether the "harassment" employee suffered was based on her gender; whether plaintiff adequately plead facts showing that she suffered an adverse employment action for which her employee defendant was responsible; and, whether plaintiff adequately pleaded that employee defendant knew about her protected activity.)09/30/2015
-Afshar v. WMG, L.C., et al -- Order denying plaintiff's motion for leave to amend pleadings. Court found that plaintiff's motion was untimely. Court found plaintiff was unable to show good cause for leave to amend the pleadings after the deadline to amend had lapsed. Court alternatively found defendants would be prejudiced by this late stage amendment. Court denied plaintiff's motion for leave to amend pleadings. 09/14/2015
-Vega v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title XVI Supplemental Security income benefits. Court found the ALJ erred in applying adult criteria when K.I.V. is a child. Court reversed and remanded with instructions for the ALJ to apply the correct "child" criteria.09/10/2015
-USA v. Clark -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. Court found the officer had probable cause to arrest Clark and therefore evidence obtained as a direct result of that arrest did not merit suppression.09/04/2015
-USA v. Federico Jimenez Hernandez -- Order denying defendant's motion for court ordered writ. Court found defendant has failed to cite any legal authority under which this court can grant relief. Court denied defendant's motion. 08/24/2015
-Howes v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II Social Security disability insurance benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security income benefits. Court found the ALJ's RFC determination is supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole and the ALJ properly analyzed the claimant's credibility. Court found the ALJ's failure to ask the VE if his testimony was consistent with the DOT was harmless error that does not require remand. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed. 08/24/2015
-Liguria Foods, Inc. v. Griffith Laboratories, Inc. -- Order on plaintiff's motion to compel the production of documents and information from defendant. Court found that plaintiff had made a showing that it was likely the defendant possessed the requested documents. Court ordered production of any responsive documents in defendant's possession. 08/24/2015
-Great Lakes Communication Corp. v. AT&T Corp. (Billing dispute between the plaintiff “competitive local exchange carrier” or CLEC, and an “interexchange carrier” or IXC over charges to the IXC by the CLEC for routing telephone calls to the CLEC’s purported “end users,” who are “Free Calling Parties” or FCPs, resulting from what the IXC contends is “access stimulation”: CLEC’s motion to enforce purported settlement agreement: the effect of the court’s intervening order referring issues to the FCC on ability to accept a settlement offer; requirement of a signed writing; sufficiency of the offer; and whether a party made a counteroffer of inquiry before accepting an offer)08/21/2015
-Hillman v. Wagers, et al. -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment. Court found defendants have accurately described the applicable law and have properly applied that law to the undisputed material facts. Court found that the record, even if viewed in a light most favorably to the plaintiff, fails to establish a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendants violated the plaintiff's constitutional rights and whether defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. Court granted the motion for summary judgment and ordered the judgment be entered against plaintiff in favor of defendants. 08/20/2015
-Xcentric Ventures v. Smith -- Report and Recommendation on plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. The court found that plaintiffs demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the defendant, a county prosecutor, has used his authority to retaliate against them for the exercise of their First Amendment rights. The court also found that the other factors relevant to the consideration of a motion for preliminary injunction weigh in favor of relief. As such, the court recommended the issuance of a preliminary injunction to preserve the status quo pending trial on the merits. 08/19/2015
-Stokes v. Hacker -- Order on defendant's motion to set aside default entry and motion to set aside default judgment. Court determined that good cause existed to set aside the clerk's entry of default due to the blameworthiness of both parties in allowing this default to occur. Court determined that plaintiff was not prejudiced by this delay. Court also found that the motion to set aside default judgment was moot after setting aside the clerk's entry of default. Motion was denied in part and granted in part. 08/17/2015
-Hawkeye Land Company v. ITC Midwest LLC and ITC Holdings, Corp. (Motion to Dismiss; Unreasonable Interference with Private Property; Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Benefit; Malicious Prosecution; and Abuse of Process)08/11/2015
-Thedford v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II Social Security disability insurance benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security income benefits. Court found that the ALJ's RFC determination is supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole and that the ALJ properly analyzed the claimant's credibility. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed. 07/30/2015
-U.S. v. Teresa Ann Simeon (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress, finding probable cause existed to search defendant’s car before deputy and his drug detection dog conducted a free air dog sniff. Alternatively, find that the prosecution established that drug detection dog was a properly trained, certified, and reliable at the time of the free air dog sniff, that the deputy conducted the free air dog sniff properly, that the drug detection dog alerted and then indicated at the driver’s side of defendant’ car, and thus, the combination of the free air dog sniff results and other information known established probable cause to search defendant’s car. Finally, finding that because the evidence the prosecution relied upon to obtain the search warrant for defendant’s cell phones was gathered lawfully, there was no legal basis to suppress the evidence gathered from the execution of that search warrant.) 07/20/2015
-Crum v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II Social Security disablity insurance benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security income benefits. Court found the law of the case doctrine did not preclude the ALJ, on remand, from making new findings as to Crum's RFC. Court also found the ALJ properly analyzed evidence that could support inconsistent conclusions and made RFC findings that are within the permissible zone of choice. The Court concluded the ALJ's second RFC determination is supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole. Court also found the VE identified available positions in the national economy and the VE's testimony concerning both positions is consistent with the DOT. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed. 07/17/2015
-Duane & Julie Davids v. North Iowa Community School District, et al. (Residents of an Iowa school district brought constitutional and state-law claims arising from an Iowa school district’s refusal to pay for the plaintiffs’ children to attend school in Minnesota; defendants’ motion for summary judgment: lack of a state-law right upon which to base equal protection, substantive due process, or procedural due process claims; lack of any genuine issues of material fact of “unjust enrichment”)07/16/2015
-USA v. Lobsinger -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment. Court found that the State had promised in the plea agreement that no federal criminal charges would be filed after defendant pled guilty. Court found the State prosecutor did not have express actual authority to bind the Government to that promise. Nor did the State prosecutor have implied actual authority to bind the Government to a promise made in the state plea agreement. Court recommended that the motion to dismiss be denied. 07/02/2015
-Susan R. Parks, wife and next kin of Timothy Glen Parks v. Ariens Company (Diversity products liability case, motion for summary judgment; analyzing whether Iowa recognizes strict liability as a theory of recovery in products liability; determination of whether, under Iowa law, a manufacturer has a duty to retrofit a product; and analyzing whether decedent was aware of the availability and safety benefits of a Roll-Over Protection System for lawn mower at the time of or immediately after his purchase of the lawn mower. ) 06/30/2015
-Welsh v. Andrews, et al. -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion to dismiss. Court found there were no genuine issues of material fact regrding Welsh's excessive force claim. Court also found the use of pepper spray, under the circumstances, was not used maliciously, did not cause the type of injury required for an Eighth Amendment claim and was reasonable. Court concluded Welsh failed to exhaust all available administrative remedies prior to filing the lawsuit. Court further found prison staff and officials were entitled to qualified immunity and the Iowa Department of Corrections was entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. Court recommdnded the motion to dismiss be granted with respect to all claims. 06/30/2015
-Great Lakes Communication Corporation v. AT&T Corporation (Billing dispute between the plaintiff “competitive local exchange carrier” or CLEC, and an “interexchange carrier” or IXC over charges to the IXC by the CLEC for routing telephone calls to the CLEC’s purported “end users,” who are “Free Calling Parties” or FCPs, resulting from what the IXC contends is “access stimulation”: IXC’s request for referral of this action to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), on the basis of that agency’s “primary jurisdiction” over pertinent issues. Three issues, one identified by the IXC and two “supplemental” issues identified by the CLEC were referred, the case was stayed, and the jury trial was stricken)06/29/2015
-McIntire v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial for Title II Social Security Disabiltiy benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security income benefits. Court found the ALJ erred in using McIntire's return to work as evidence that she was not disabled without first considering whether she was entitled to a trial work period. Court also found the ALJ failed to properly analyze the psychological consultant's opinion, as directed, on remand. Court found the ALJ did not commit error by failing to take additional steps to develop the record concerning McIntire's employment. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. 06/25/2015
-Schnee v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI Supplemental Security income benefits. Court found the ALJ's findings were not inconsistent with regard to Schnee's drug addiction and alcoholism impairment. Court found substantial evidence on the record as a whole supported the ALJ's findings that Schnee was disabled prior to February 17, 2012, and that drug addiction and alcoholism was a contributing factor material to disability. Court found the ALJ properly found that Schnee was no longer disabled after February 17, 2012. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.06/25/2015
-JTV Manufacturing, Inc. v. Braketown USA, Inc., et al -- Memorandum Opinion and Order denying third-party defendant's motion to dismiss on grounds of forum non conveniens. Court found the forum-selection clause was not reasonably communicated and freely negotiated and therefore, did not become a part of the parties' agreement. Court found the private interest and public interest factors weighed against dismissal and Antil S.p.A. did not demonstrate that the case presented an exceptional circumstance necessary to justify dismissal due to forum non conveniens. Court denied third-party defendant's motion to dismiss. 06/23/2015
-Ackerman v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II Social Security Disability benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security income benefits. Court found the ALJ gave proper weight to the opinions of a non-treating medical source and a licensed mental health counselor. Court found the ALJ gave sufficient reasons for discounting the opinions. Court also found the Appeals Council properly refused to consider a psychologist's report when the report did not address medical conditions occurring during the relevant time period. Court found substantial evidence supported the ALJ's RFC assessment. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed. 06/16/2015
-Platts v. Kelly Services, Inc. (Action by employee of temporary employment service and “client” for whom the employee worked alleging disability discrimination under ICRA: defendants’ motions for summary judgment and to strike errata from plaintiff’s deposition: whether the plaintiff’s “errata” were unauthorized or permissible substantive changes to deposition testimony under Rule 30(e); whether the plaintiff’s “public policy” claim was preempted by the ICRA; whether the “client” of the temporary employment service could be held liable for alleged disability discrimination; and whether the plaintiff had generated genuine issues of material fact on his ICRA disability discrimination claim) 05/26/2015
-United States v. Thirty-Two Thousand Eight Hundred Twenty Dollars and Fifty-Six Cents ($32,820.56) in United States Currency -- Order on claimants' motion for attorney fees, costs and interest. Court found claimants were not entitled to attorney fees because claimants did not substantially prevail under CAFRA. Court concluded a voluntary dismissal without prejudice did not entitle claimants to prevailing party status, as there was no material alteration of the parties' legal relationship. Nor were the claimants entitled to reconsideration of the order to dismiss. Court found that the claimants were entitlted to certain court costs pursuant to the court's inherent authority to assess such costs under Section 1920. Claimants' motion was denied in part and granted in part. 05/22/2015
-Bruhn Farms Joint Venture v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Company -- Memorandum opinion and order on defendant's motion for summary judgment. Court found there were no genuine issues of material facts relating to plaintiff's breach of contract claim or bad faith claim. Court found plaintiff failed to demonstrate the existence of any genuine issues of material fact as to whether defendant violated Section 3(c) of the insurance policy's general provisions. Court also found that plaintiff's other alleged breaches of the insurance policy were little more than customer-service related complaints. Court found plaintiff did not demonstrate that defendant lacked a reasonable basis for refusing to pay the higher amount plaintiff demanded. Defendant's motion for summary judgment was granted. 05/08/2015
-U.S. v. Mark Weller (Sentencing opinion concerning defendant who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine; defendant’s objection to counting a prior conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor (contributing to a curfew violation) in the determination of his criminal history pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 4A1.2(c): application of the “multi-factor test” in Amendment 709 and Application Note 12)05/05/2015
-Oyens Feed & Supply, Inc. v. Primebank and Crooked Creek Corp. v. Primebank and Oyens Feed & Supply, Inc. -- Report and Recommendation on appeal from a decision and judgment entered by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Iowa. Court concluded two questions of statutory construction should be certified to the Iowa Supreme Court for resolution.05/05/2015
-Starbuck v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al (Smoker brought product liability and fraud claims against tobacco companies for damages from lung cancer, as an individual claim in the wake of decertification of a class in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., 945 So.2d (Fla. 2006), cert. denied, 552 U.S. 941 (2007); smoker’s motion for new trial: whether jury foreperson’s consultation of dictionary definitions of “addiction” tainted the verdict; whether the jury’s threshold determination that he was not addicted to cigarettes containing nicotine was against the great weight of the evidence; and whether a jury instruction imposing a temporal limitation on when the smoker was addicted was confusing and prejudicial)05/04/2015
-Cowles v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II Social Security disability insurance benefits. Court found the medical evidence substantially supports the ALJ's decision regarding the severity of Cowles' impairments and that the ALJ pointed to specific portions of the record showing that Cowles' impairment had no more than a minimal effect on her ability to work. Court also found the ALJ provided good reasons, supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole, for affording little weight to the medical opinions of Cowles' nurse practitioner and examining physical thearpist. Court found substantial evidence supports the ALJ's finding that Cowles has past relevant work as a waitress because she performed that job at the substantial gainful activity level in 1997. Count affirmed ALJ's decision.04/24/2015
-Mann v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II Social Security disability insurance benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security income benefits. Court found the ALJ did not impose an "objective evidence" requirement when determining Mann's RFC and there was substantial evidence to support the RFC determination. However, Court found the ALJ failed to address Listing 11.03 when determining whether Mann's severe migraines meet or medically equal the severity of a listed impairment. Court also found the ALJ failed to develop the record fully and fairly, as the record contains no opinion evidence from any treating or examining source as to Mann's RFC. Case reversed and remanded for further proceedings. 04/23/2015
-Whitney v. Franklin General Hospital, et a (Action by medical records clerk arising from sexual harassment by the medical director of a hospital, including sexual harassment, retaliation, disability, and FMLA claims: defendants’ motion for summary judgment: timeliness of the sexual harassment claims, sufficiency of the evidence of violations of the ICRA, Title VII, the ADA, and the FMLA, whether two entities providing management services to the hospital could be held liable where they were not the plaintiff’s employer, and individual liability of the chief executive officer of the hospital; plaintiff’s motion to amend her complaint to add “whistleblower” and “discharge in violation of public policy” claims: timeliness and diligence of the plaintiff in seeking leave to amend)l 04/21/2015
-U.S. v. Quality Egg, LLC, et al (Memorandum opinion and order on defendants’ pre-sentencing motions; defendants pleaded guilty to violating 21 U.S.C. § 331(a) by shipping and selling shell eggs that contained Salmonella Enteritidis across state lines as responsible corporate officers; defendants subsequently filed motions alleging that a term of imprisonment for their offenses would be unconstitutional under the Eighth and Fifth Amendments and that a finding by the Court that defendants had relevant knowledge of the conduct underlying their strict liability offenses would be unconstitutional under the Sixth Amendment; the Court rejected defendants’ motions, finding defendants had relevant knowledge and imposed a three-month term of imprisonment.)04/14/2015
-Younie v. City of Hartley, Iowa -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on defendant's motion to dismiss. Court found there is federal question subject matter jurisdiction over Count I. Court found plaintiff sufficiently plead a claim for retaliation under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Court also found that there is supplemental jurisdiction over Counts II, III and IV. Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is denied. 04/09/2015
-JTV Manufacturing, Inc. v. Braketown USA, Inc., et al -- Memorandum Opinion and Order denying third-party defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Court found Braketown and Ermak have made a prima facie showing of specific jurisdiction. Antil S.p.A. has sufficient minimal contacts with Iowa that requiring Antil S.p.A. to litigate in Iowa will not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. Court denied third-party defendant's motion to dismiss. 04/08/2015
-United States of America v. Simeon -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized from a vehicle after a free air dog sniff. Court found that the defendant's detention was not unreasonably prolonged. Court found there was reasonable suspicion to conduct a free air dog sniff of defendant's vehicle in the parking lot. Court found there was probable cause to search defendant's vehicle, before the free air dog sniff was conducted. However, Court also found that the narcotics-detector dog was reliable and certified and that his indication of narcotics on defendant's vehicle provided probable cause to search the vehicle. Court recommended defendant's motion to suppress evidence be denied. 04/07/2015
-Scott v. City of Sioux City, Iowa & Paul Eckert (Action by a long-time city employee asserting claims, pursuant to Title VII and ICRA that, over a period of almost nine years, she was retaliated against by the city and the former city manager for her 2004 complaint that the city manager sexually harassed her from 2000 to 2004; ruling on unsealing the ruling on the parties’ motions in limine.)04/06/2015
-Severe v. O'Reilly Automotive Stores, Inc. -- Memorandum Opinion and Order granting in part and denying in part defendant's motion for summary judgment. Court found plaintiff pointed to sufficient evidence to raise genuine issue of material fact on the issue of pretext regarding both plaintiff's age discrimination and FMLA discrimination claims. Court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment on Counts I and II. Court found Severe conceded that the evidence revealed in discovery does not support a FMLA interference of rights claim. Court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment on Count III.03/23/2015
-Scott v. City of Sioux City, Iowa & Paul Eckert (Action by a long-time city employee asserting claims, pursuant to Title VII and ICRA that, over a period of almost nine years, she was retaliated against by the city and the former city manager for her 2004 complaint that the city manager sexually harassed her from 2000 to 2004; parties’ motions in limine, redacted public version.)03/17/2015
-FDIC v. Dosland, et al. (action by FDIC, as receiver for a failed bank, seeking damages from the former officers and directors of the failed bank for gross negligence, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty, and third-party complaint by officers and directors against the United States, acting as the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), alleging violation of duties to the bank, officers, directors, shareholders, and accountholders by failing to analyze accurately the bank’s investments and to take more timely action to remedy the bank’s alleged investment violations; OTS’s motion to dismiss third-party complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) under the “discretionary function exception” to Federal Tort Claims Act jurisdiction) 03/06/2015
-US v. Martinez-Hernandez -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss Count One which charges Martinez-Hernandez with being an aggravated felon found after illegal re-entry in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sections 1326(a) and 1326(b)(2). Court found that the two-day delay between the defendant's arrest and his initial appearance in front of a United States Magistrate Judge was not a violation of his rights under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 5(a). Court also found that had the two-day delay been a violation of Rule 5(a), dismissal of the charges would not be the proper remedy under United States v. Chavez. Court recommended the motion to dismiss be denied. 02/25/2015
-Parks v. Ariens Company -- Order on defendant's motion for protective order. Court found defendant failed to meet the heavy burden of showing the deposition of Daniel Ariens would cause undue burden. Court found plaintiff provided a sufficient explanation as to why the deposition might result in the discovery of relevant information. Court denied motion for protective order in part and granted in part. 02/25/2015
-Berry v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II Social Security Disability benefits. Court found there was substantial evidence supporting the ALJ's conclusion that Berry's migraine headaches were non-severe. Court also found there was substantial evidence supporting the ALJ's finding that Berry had the RFC to perform light work with no additional limitations for pace and concentration. Court found the ALJ properly considered all impairments and reviewed the record as a whole. Court entered judgment in favor of the Commissioner and against Berry.02/24/2015
-Wikstrom v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found that the ALJ properly weighed the medical opinion evidence and properly evaluated Wikstrom's credibility. Court found the ALJ's formulation of Wikstrom's RFC was supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.02/23/2015
-FDIC-R v. Dosland, et al. (action by FDIC, as receiver for a failed bank, seeking damages from the former officers and directors of the failed bank for gross negligence, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty, and third-party complaint by officers and directors against the United States, acting as the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), alleging violation of duties to the bank, officers, directors, shareholders, and accountholders by failing to analyze accurately the bank’s investments and to take more timely action to remedy the bank’s alleged investment violations; third-party plaintiff’s motion for additional jurisdictional discovery to overcome the “discretionary function exception” to jurisdiction under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)) 02/11/2015
-U.S. v. Anthony Bartleson (Bartlesonpleaded guilty to embezzling from an employee benefit plan in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 664. This memorandum opinion and order confronts two of the key fighting issues at his sentencing hearing on February 6, 2015: (1) whether Bartleson abused a position of private trust under U.S.S.G. § 3B1.3; and (2) whether his criminal restitution order, pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA), 18 U.S.C. § 3663A, was to include the thirteen employees’ lost investment earnings and tax liabilities incurred in 2007, in addition to the $41,878.22 already paid to the government by Bartleson. In applying the three-factor test for determining whether Bartleson abused a position of private trust, the Court held that Bartleson occupied a position of private trust; his position facilitated the commission and concealment of his embezzlement; and the sentencing enhancement is not included in the base offense level or specific offense characteristic. Bolstering its finding that the abuse-of-trust enhancement applied, the Court analyzed the applicability of Note 5 of the Commentary under U.S.S.G. § 3B1.3. In addition, in considering the full amount of the victims’ losses for restitution purposes, the Court made a conservative estimate by using the S&P 500 to calculate lost investment earnings and the lowest tax rate for 2007 to calculate tax liabilities for that year. In doing so, the Court ordered Bartleson to pay an additional $20,838.99 (i.e., $19,640.57 for lost investments and $1,198.42 for tax liabilities) in restitution to the victims. Finally, Bartleson’s candor and genuine and sincere remorse during his sentencing allocution in part influenced the Court’s decision that a sentence of probation for two years was appropriate).02/10/2015
-Garcia De Alvarez v. U.S. (Motion for relief from sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 by a federal prisoner asserting ineffective assistance of counsel; petitioner’s claims denied without hearing as to trial counsel’s failure to seek a bill or particulars, explain alternatives to trial in “laymen’s” terms, and failure to challenge drug quantity and purity; evidentiary hearing granted on petitioner’s claim that trial counsel failed to interview and present potential witnesses that the petitioner had identified)02/06/2015
-Fiore v. Drew, et al -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment. Court concluded Fiore failed to properly exhaust all available administrative remedies by not submitting grievances based on the allegations in his complaint and by not following the correct grievance procedures. Court also concluded Fiore could not create any genuine issues of material fact regardng his allegations of deliberate indifference towards his medical needs, verbal sexual harassment and failure to respond to grievances. Court recommended defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted and Fiore's complaint be dismissed with prejudice.02/05/2015
-Gann v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found that the ALJ properly determined certain impairments to be non-severe and that the ALJ's formulation of plaintiff's RFC was supported by substantial evidence. Court also found that the ALJ provided good reasons for discounting plaintiff's credibility. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.01/30/2015
-USA v. Dimmick -- Order on motion for release filed by defendant appearing on a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. Defendant requested that he be returned to state custody pending trial in order to participate in state parole proceedings. He argued that the release considerations set forth in the Bail Reform Act do not apply under these circumstances. The court denied the motion, holding that the Bail Reform Act applies and that the Government met its burden of proving that the defendant should be detained in federal custody while awaiting trial.01/30/2015
-Catipovic v. Turley (A former Iowa resident sued to recover damages for breach of contract and unjust enrichment from an Irish citizen arising from the failure of an alleged partnership to develop ethanol production facilities in Eastern Europe, and the jury found no contract, but awarded $2 million for unjust enrichment; parties’ motions post-trial motions: defendant’s renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law and alternative motion for remittitur of damages or new trial; plaintiff’s motion to amend complaint post-trial to add a fraud claim purportedly tried by implied consent)01/29/2015
-Shawn Kampfe v. PetSmart, Inc. and Matthew Boos -- Order on plaintiff Shawn Kampfe's motion to quash subpoena and for protective order. Court found Kampfe's employee personnel records, including performance evaluations and disciplinary records from a prior employer were relevant to issues in the case and defendants were entitled to discovery of the employment files. Court further found Kampfe did not meet her burden for a protective order and found the interests of litigants in discovering relevant information outweighed the general privacy interest an employee has in the contents of his or her employment file. Court ordered defendants may serve a subpoena duces tecum for Kampfe's employment files. 01/29/2015
-Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as Receiver, et al. (Action by an insurer of former bank officers and directors against the FDIC, as receiver for a failed bank, seeking declaratory judgment concerning coverage of the FDIC-R’s claims against the officers and directors for gross negligence, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty; plaintiff’s motion to strike affidavit of one director in support of opposing party’s motion for summary judgment; cross-motions for summary judgment on interpretation and construction of policy exclusions and plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on directors’ and officers’ counterclaims for breach of contract and breach of implied warranty)01/23/2015
-Katherine Allen v. Carolyn W. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits. Court found ALJ's decision that Allen's asthma was not a severe impairment is supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole. Court found ALJ's failure to develop a full and fair record was unfair and prejudicial. Court also found ALJ did not provide good reasons for discrediting other medical source opinions or Allen's credibility. Court recommended the ALJ's determination be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. 01/23/2015
-Richard Trevino v. Woodbury County Jail, et al. -- Report and Recommendation on motion for summary judgment by defendants Woodbury County Jail, Lieutenant Phillips and Carlos LNU. Court concluded Trevino failed to exhaust all available administrative remedies by not submitting grievances to the Jail regarding all his allegations, by not following the Jail's procedures for filing grievances and by not filing any complaints with the Department of Justice. Court also concluded no genuine issues of material fact exist with regard to the elements of Trevino's ADA claim. Court recommended the motion for summary judgment be granted with respect to all Trevino's claims.01/22/2015
-USA v. Ingmar Hernandez - Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss Count One, which alleges a conspiracy to defraud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 371. Court found that the allegations of the indictment, when accepted as true and read as a whole, describes a conspiracy that targeted the United States. Court also found that, when accepted as true and read as a whole, the indictment describes actions by defendant sufficient to charge him with conspiracy to defraud the United States.01/21/2015
-United States of America v. Thirty-Two Thousand Eight Hundred Twenty Dollars and Fifty-Six Cents ($32,820.56) in United States Currency -- Order on United States of America's motion to dismiss without prejudice. Court found that USA had a valid reason for seeking dismissal pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2) and that there was no indication that USA is engaged in forum shopping. Court further found that granting USA's motion would not waste judicial resources and would not cause prejudice to claimants. Court ordered the action be dismissed without prejudice.01/09/2015
-Richard Trevino v. Woodbury County Jail, et al. -- Report and Recommendation on United States Marshals Service's Motion to Dismiss. Court concluded Trevino's action alleging the United States Marshals Service violated his constitutional rights and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act was not frivolous under 28 U.S.C. Section 1915. Court further concluded Trevino's claims against the United States Marshals Service were barred by sovereign immunity. Court recommended the motion to dismiss be granted and all claims asserted against the United States Marshals Service in this action be dismissed with prejudice. 01/07/2015
-USA v. Baker -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss count 1, which alleges a conspiracy to defaud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 371. Court found that the allegations of the indictment, when accepted as true and read as a whole, describe a conspiracy that targeted the United States. Court recommended that the motion be denied.12/29/2014
-U.S. v. Jamal & Levon Dean (Post-trial motions for judgment of acquittal and new trial, concluding: taken in the light most favorable to the prosecution, the evidence at trial was sufficient to support the finding of a single conspiracy; the prosecution presented sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that defendants knew that the object of the conspiracy was to rob drug dealers; the prosecution also established a jurisdictional nexus between interstate commerce and defendants’ robberies of both victims; the evidence at trial was sufficient to establish that defendant possessed a 22 rifle in furtherance of the robberies, either personally or under an aiding and abetting theory; and there was sufficient evidence to establish that defendant intended to cause death or serious bodily injury during the carjacking of victim’s car.)12/23/2014
-Scott v. City of Sioux City, Iowa & Paul Eckert (Action by a long-time city employee asserting claims, pursuant to Title VII and ICRA that, over a period of almost nine years, she was retaliated against by the city and the former city manager for her 2004 complaint that the city manager sexually harassed her from 2000 to 2004; defendant city’s motion for summary judgment: application of Morgan to an alleged “continuing violation” retaliation claim, availability of a “retaliatory hostile work environment” claim, and existence of a jury question on timely incidents of alleged retaliation; defendant city’s motion to exclude testimony from two experts: damages expert’s calculations of damages based on untimely incidents of alleged retaliation and non-treating psychologist’s opinions that the plaintiff’s behavior was consistent with that of sexual harassment victims and that it was “reasonable” “[f]rom a psychological perspective,” and that the city’s anti-harassment policy, procedures, and investigations were deficient for various reasons, where no “sexual harassment” claim was asserted) 12/22/2014
-Wells, et al. v. Lamplight Farms, Inc., et al. -- Order on defendant's motion to quash a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition notice. Court found plaintiffs were not entitled to depose witnesses or seek additional information to support new expert opinions after the expert witness disclosure deadline passed. Court also found plaintiffs could not seek the additional information for other, non-expert reasons because plaintiffs failed to discuss those other, non-expert reasons in meet-and-confer discussions with opposing counsel. Court granted defendant's motion to quash the deposition notice.12/18/2014
-USA v. Hernandez-Morales -- Report and Recommendation on third-party petition for return of money pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 853(n). Court found Rafael E. Chavez Lujan did not meet his burden of proof and was not entitled to the return of forfeited money. Court recommended the petition be denied.12/16/2014
-Mathies v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ did not provide good reasons for discrediting treating physicians' opinions and failed to provide good reasons for giving great weight to a non-examining source's opinion. Court also found ALJ referenced relevant factors and provided an explanation supported by substantial evidence for discrediting claimant's testimony. Court recommended the ALJ's determination be reversed and remanded for further proceedings.12/09/2014
-U.S. v. Shirley Weimer (Shirley Weimer pleaded guilty to Count 1 of her Indictment, Conspiracy to Use Fire to Commit Wire Fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1343, pursuant to a binding Rule 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement. In this memorandum opinion and order that followed Weimer’s sentencing on November 25, 2014, the Court explains that it had the statutory authority to order restitution based on the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3663A. The Court sets forth the two-step standard to apply to determine whether to award restitution. In doing so, the Court finds that State Farm is a “victim” as defined under 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(a)(2), and the “full amount” of State Farm’s loss was not represented by $78,593.25, or the lost insurance company’s premiums, as that figure did not include pre- and postjudgment interest. The Court’s summary of the relevant case law bolsters the Court’s decision to apply pre- and postjudgment interest. Lastly, the Court articulates how it calculated the interest Weimer owes based on the dates State Farm paid four separate checks to Weimer and the Treasury Bill rate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1961.)11/25/2014
-Halstead v. McKinney -- Report and Recommendation on respondent James McKinney's motion to dismiss petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Court concluded petitioner did not exhaust the grounds in his petition in the Iowa state courts prior to filing his petition for writ of habeas corpus. Court further concluded petitioner's grounds are now procedurally defaulted. Therefore, petitioner lacks a cognizable legal theory in his petition for writ of habeas corpous. Court recommended respondent's motion to dismiss be granted. 11/12/2014
-Smith v. McKinney -- Report and Recommendation on petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Court found the Iowa Courts identified Strickland as the correct governing law and reasonably applied Strickland to petitioner's ineffective assistance of counsel claim for failure to advise petitioner if he pled guilty, he would be sentenced to a mandatory lifetime term of parole. Court concluded the Iowa Courts' finding that counsel's failure was deficient, however, petitioner, failed to show prejudice was reasonable. Court recommended the petition be denied. 11/12/2014
-Life Insurance Company of North America v. Erasmo Eufracio, Charlene Baas and Ronald Baas -- Report and Recommendation on defendants Charlene and Ronald Baas' motion for sanctions. Court recommended the motion be granted due to defendant Eufracio's inaction in the case and violations of procedural rules. Defendant Eufracio failed to appear at the final pretrial conference, did not serve any witness or exhibit lists, and failed to participate in the preparation of the proposed final pretrial order. 11/04/2014
-John Denton Myers v. Hog Slat, Inc. -- Order on defendant's motion for partial summary judgment. Court granted in part defendant Hog Slat, Inc.'s motion for summary judgment on Count III (violation of the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Act) and Count V (breach of contract). Court denied in part defendant's motion on Count I (associational discrmination in violation of the ADA) and Count II (interference with employee benefits in violation of ERISA). Court found genuine issues of material fact existed as to the issues of casual connection and pretext. Court entered judgment accordingly for each count. 10/24/2014
-Stults v. International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. & Bush Boake Allen, Inc. (products liability action, seeking damages for a lung injury to a consumer of microwave popcorn allegedly caused by diacetyl in the popcorn’s butter flavoring; post-trial motions after defense verdict: motion for new trial based on allowing jurors to hear two defense experts’ testimony before their testimony was excluded in whole or in part, and admission of another expert’s testimony over Daubert objections; motion for judgment as a matter of law based on the defendants’ specific defenses and on certain elements or parts of elements of the plaintiffs’ “breach of implied warranty” claim)10/23/2014
-Daniels v. City of Sioux City (Action by arrestee pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting an “excessive force” claim against a city police officer; police officer’s motion for summary judgment: qualified immunity to § 1983 claim of “excessive force” and state law claim of “assault”) 10/23/2014
-Nunley v. Erdmann, et al. -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims under Section 1983. Court recommended the motion be granted with regard to any and all claims asserted on behalf of plaintiff's minor child without prejudice. Court also recommended the motion be granted with regard to all claims asserted against the Iowa State Patrol, all plaintiff's state law tort claims and Counts IV, VI and VII with prejudice. Court recommended the motion be granted with regard to Counts I, II and V unless plaintiff is able, by amendment, to cure the pleading deficiencies. 10/08/2014
-FDIC-R v. Dosland, et al. (action by FDIC, as receiver for a failed bank, seeking damages from the former officers and directors of the failed bank for gross negligence, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty, and third-party complaint by officers and directors against the United States, acting as the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), alleging violation of duties to the bank, officers, directors, shareholders, and accountholders by failing to analyze accurately the bank’s investments and to take more timely action to remedy the bank’s alleged investment violations, third-party plaintiff’s motion for jurisdictional discovery to overcome the “discretionary function exception” to jurisdiction under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)) 10/07/2014
-Aguilera v. Wright County (Action by state prisoner granted post-conviction relief from a second-degree murder conviction in 1996 for a Brady violation who subsequently pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter before a new trial in 2012: State defendants’ motion to dismiss: federal claims: sufficiency of allegations of “bad faith” by investigator defendants and their responsibility for nondisclosures to support Brady claim, qualified immunity, and “favorable termination” requirement under Heck v. Humphrey; state tort claims: whether certain state tort claims were functional equivalents of intentional torts excepted from the waiver of sovereign immunity under the Iowa Tort Claims Act, Iowa Code § 669.14(4); availability of a state tort claim for obstruction of justice analogous to a criminal offense defined by Iowa Code § 719.3) 10/06/2014
-USA v. Rojas -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence. Court found that the defendant was lawfully stopped and arreted and that two search warrants were properly issued based on probable cause arising from legally-obtained evidence. Court recommended that the motion to suppress be denied.10/03/2014
-Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, et al. (action by an insurer of former bank officers and directors against the FDIC, as receiver for a failed bank, seeking declaratory judgment concerning coverage of the FDIC-R’s claims against the officers and directors for gross negligence, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty; plaintiff’s motion to strike certain affirmative defenses: appeals by the insurer and one of its reinsurers of magistrate judge’s order denying attorney-client privilege and work-product protection for documents consisting of communications between the insurer and its reinsurers, sought by the FDIC-R)10/03/2014
-Van Stelton v. Van Stelton (Federal civil rights litigation, motions for summary judgment concerning civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and pendent state law claims for false arrest, malicious prosecution, slander and libel, breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference with prospective business advantage; motion for summary judgment; reviewing whether plaintiffs satisfied § 1983’s under color of state law requirement as to two groups of defendants; determining whether defendants violated a plaintiff’s First Amendment rights by not permitted him to state his side of an incident before being arrested or by interfering with plaintiffs’ ability to see their stepmother; analyzing whether defendants violated a plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, by their warrantless arrest of him and their subsequent search of that plaintiff’s tape recorder without a search warrant; reviewing whether plaintiffs’ claims against defendants for violation of their Fifth Amendment due process rights failed as a matter of law because the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause applies only to the federal government or federal actions; determining whether defendants violated plaintiffs’ due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment in their actions related to one plaintiff’s arrest for assault and trespassing; analysis of whether plaintiffs’ false arrest claims against one group of defendants failed as a matter of law because those defendants had probable cause for arresting one of the plaintiffs; determining whether a false arrest claim under Iowa law would lie against a person who reported a crime but did not instigate the arrest; analysis of whether plaintiffs’ claims for malicious prosecution failed as a matter of law because there was probable cause for one plaintiff’s arrest and prosecution; analyzing whether defendants’ alleged statement in booking information constituted defamation; determining on plaintiffs’ breach of fiduciary duty claims whether lawyer owed a fiduciary duty to plaintiffs and whether such a claim was bared by res judicata; and analysis of whether a genuine issue of material fact existed in the summary judgment record which would permit a reasonable fact finder to conclude that defendants had interfered with plaintiffs’ prospective business opportunities.) 09/30/2014
-USA v. Mosley -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of a warrantless search of a duffel bag dropped by defendant in his own yard during flight from law enforcement. Court found that the defendant did not abandon the bag by leaving it within the curtilage of his own home. Court further found that the plain view/plain smell doctrine did not justify law enforcement's search of the bag without first obtaining a warrant. Court recommended that the motion to suprress be granted.09/26/2014
-Katrina West v. Abendroth & Russell Law Firm -- Order on defendant's motion for summary judgment. Court granted defendant Abendroth & Russell's motion for summary judgment with regard to all counts. Court found no genuine issue of material fact existed as to the alleged FDCPA violation. Court also found no genuine issue of material fact existed on plaintiff Katrina West's state law claims. Court entered judgment for defendant and against plaintiff. 09/16/2014
-Kennedy v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II Social Security Disability benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security income benefits. Court found ALJ's assessment of plaintiff Kennedy's credibility was proper and supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. Court also found ALJ afforded proper weight to Kennedy's subjective allegations and ALJ's determination that Kennedy was not disabled was supported by substantial evidence in the record. Court entered judgment in favor of the Commissioner and against Kennedy.09/16/2014
-Rollefson v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's analysis and consideration of Rollefson's credibility, VE's testimony, and vocational evaluation were proper and supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. Court affirmed ALJ's decision.09/08/2014
-U.S. v. Richard Allen Shaffer (Is a court-martial a Court of the United States under § 3559(c) which would mean implementing the federal three strikes law?)09/05/2014
-Pick v. City of Remsen (former long-time operations director of the utilities department of a city brought numerous claims against the city and various city officials arising from or related to his termination when his position was ostensibly “eliminated” by the city’s utilities board; former employee’s motion in limine: exclusion of evidence of IPERS benefits on the condition that the former employee excluded from any claim for back pay any unpaid contributions to IPERS that the city had not paid since his discharge; the city’s motion in limine: evidence of settlement discussions, evidence of liability insurance, evidence of a “tire-slashing” incident, testimony from law enforcement officers, evidence supporting “due process” claims no longer at issue, and evidence that there was no “going away” party for the former employee)09/02/2014
-Nathan A. Martin v. Champion Ford, Inc. -- Order on cross motions for summary judgment. Court granted defendant Champion Ford, Inc.'s motion for summary judgment and denied plaintiff Nathan A. Martin's motion for summary judgment. Court found no genuine issue of material fact existed as to hostile work environment or race discrimination by defendant Champion Ford, Inc. Court entered judgment in favor of defendant and against plaintiff.08/28/2014
-Pick v. City of Remsen, et al. (Employment discrimination case, motion for summary judgment; analyzing whether defendants’ alleged statements constituted defamation; analyzing whether defendants violated plaintiff’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, by searching plaintiff’s public office for a trail camera and then seizing that trail camera without a search warrant; review of whether plaintiff’s intentional infliction of emotional distress claims were preempted by the Iowa Civil Rights Act to the extent plaintiff relies on the same discriminatory acts alleged in support of his claims of unlawful discrimination under that act; determination of whether plaintiff had generated a genuine issue of material fact as to whether defendants’ stated reason for eliminating his position was pretextual so as to preclude summary judgment on plaintiff’s Pick’s disability discrimination claim; analysis of whether plaintiff had established a prima facie case of age discrimination; granting summary judgment on plaintiff’s withdrawn claim of gender discrimination; and determining whether plaintiff could establish the causation element of his disability retaliation and First Amendment retaliation claims.) 08/27/2014
-Progressive Casualty Insurance Company v. FDIC -- Order on defendant Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s motion to compel plaintiff to comply with court order and motion to compel Everest Reinsurance Company to comply with subpoena. Court granted in part motion to compel plaintiff's compliance and directed plaintiff to provide unredacted reinsurance documents. Court denied in part motion to compel plaintiff to produce certain electronically stored information. Court granted in part motion to compel Everest's compliance and directed Everest to produce documents responsive to the subpoena.08/22/2014
-Wells v. Lamplight Farms, Inc, et al. -- Order on defendant Lamplight's motion to compel answers to interrogatories and discovery of health records. Court granted in part motion to compel and directed plaintiff to supplement their answers to interrogatories. Court denied in part motion to compel discovery of health records.08/15/2014
-USA v. Tome Rojas -- Order denying defendant's motion to compel discovery. Court found defendant had not established a need to learn the identity of a confidential informant in Texas who did not witness the alleged offenses in Iowa and did not provide information that led to the return of a federal indictment against defendant based on those alleged offenses. Nor did defendant demonstrate that information contained in a Texas investigative file might be helpful and material to his defense in Iowa. 08/12/2014
-USA v. Jose Orellana -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence from a post-Miranda interview. Court found that the defendant expressly waived his Miranda rights before making a statement and that the waiver was made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently. Court recommended that the motion to suppress be denied. 07/31/2014
-Security National Bank v. Abbott Laboratories (Order sanctioning lawyer for obstructive disposition practices; Court discusses the impropriety of “form” objections, witness coaching, and excessive interruptions during depositions.)07/28/2014
-Foster v. Cerro Gordo County, et al. -- Order granting plaintiff's motion for leave to file amended complaint. Court found that existing defendants had not demonstrated that amendment naming previously unidentified defendants was futile based on a statute of limitations defense and alleged failure to relate back to the original complaint under Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(c)(1)(C).07/25/2014
-Rozeboom v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ did not provide good reasons for discrediting treating therapist's opinion and did not explain how medical evidence supported RFC determination. Court recommended that case be reversed and remanded for further proceedings for the ALJ to either obtain additional medical evidence from claimant's treatng psychiatrist or a consultative examiner or explain how existing medical evidence supports the RFC determination.07/23/2014
-U.S. v. Michael Clayton (Post-trial motions for judgment of acquittal and new trial, concluding: that defendant’s due process rights were not violated by the police’s interview technique with two witnesses because the police’s conduct was not an attempt to “spoon feed” the witnesses facts but an effort by the police to convince the witnesses to abandon their efforts at minimization and deception, and to be truthful, and defendant was not unfairly prejudiced by the police’s interview technique since the jury was fully aware of witnesses prior inconsistent statements and was free to take them into account in assessing the witnesses’ credibility; and that the evidence supporting the jury’s verdict did not lead to the conclusion that a serious miscarriage of justice may have occurred.)07/22/2014
-Hearing v. Minnesota Life v. Holloway -- Order granting defendant's motion to deposit interpleader funds and plaintiff's motion to dismiss/motion for summary judgment on third-party defendant's counterclaim. Court found Minnesota Life was entitled to deposit funds with the court, recover attorney fees and costs and be dismissed with prejudice as the facts demonstrated it had a real and reasonable fear of exposure to double liability. However, third-party defendant's counterclaim ultimately could not survive summary judgment because the insured had not done all he could to comply with the policy requirements for changing a beneficiary and there were no facts suggesting unconscionable conduct to justify imposing a constructive trust. As such, plaintiff was entitled to policy proceeds. 07/21/2014
-Wilkins v. Ludwick -- Order on pending motions and Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. 2254. Court denied motions to add a supplemental claim and expand the record because supplemental claim was barred by statute of limitations. As to the petition, court found Iowa Supreme Court did not identify Strickland as the correct governing law for petitioner's ineffective assistance of counsel claim for failure to object to use of the nickname "O.J." at trial. In conducting de novo review, court found petitioner failed to demonstrate prejudice under Strickland. Court found that Iowa Court of Appeals decision on other ineffective assistance of counsel claim for failure to investigate a witness and call him at trial did not result in an unreasonable application of federal law. Court recommended the petition be denied. 07/21/2014
-Killer Joe Nevada, LLC v. Leigh Leaverton, Brittany Bolan, & Jason Fills (Action for infringement of a copyright for a motion picture by transferring copies of that motion picture among peer-to-peer network users; plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal of claim against an alleged infringer identified from her IP address: whether the voluntary dismissal, with prejudice, of the copyright infringement claim mooted the defendant’s counterclaim of non-infringement and whether the defendant is entitled to damages as a “prevailing party” as a condition of dismissal) 07/17/2014
-David & Barbara Stults v. International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. and Bush Boake Allen, Inc. (Diversity products liability action, motions for summary judgment; analyzing plaintiffs’ failure to warn, implied warranty, and design defect negligence claims; rejecting defendants’ argument that plaintiffs could not establish proximate cause for their failure to warn claim, concluding that, given the circumstances of the case, questions of proximate cause were for the jury to determine; concluding that plaintiffs’ breach of implied warranty claims did not merge with their design defect negligence claims; and denying summary judgment on plaintiffs’ design defect negligence claim because the materials submitted by plaintiffs was sufficient for a jury to conclude that a reasonable alternative design was available to defendants’ butter flavorings with diacetyl.) 07/11/2014
-Goettsch et al v. Goettsch et al -- Order on plaintiffs' motion to strike defendants' jury demand pursuant to Rule 39(a)(2). Court found defendants were not entitled to a jury trial on Count One in which plaintiffs alleged oppressive conduct and sought judicial dissolution of the corporation or a mandatory buyout of their stock. Court found defendants were entitled to a jury trial on Count Two in which plaintiffs alleged breach of fiduciary duty and sought compensatory damages. Court rejected defendants' arguments that affirmative defense of breach of contract and "common issues" entitled them to a jury trial on all claims. 07/08/2014
-Community Voice Line LLC v. Great Lakes Communication Corp., et al (Action by provider of conference call services, recorded content, audio streams, and other business services, against an Iowa competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), which “hosted” the telephone numbers that the service provider’s customers would call to obtain the provider’s services, and against various audio content providers; one “new” defendant’s motions to dismiss for forum non conveniens pursuant to Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, ___ U.S. ___, 134 S. Ct. 568 (2013): pertinent factors weigh against dismissal for forum non conveniens, notwithstanding applicability of forum-selection clause to at least some of the claims)07/07/2014
-Barrows v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ had appropriately indicated he considered obesity in determining the claimant's RFC and ALJ's evaluation of claimant's mental RFC was supported by substantial evidence. Court found ALJ's evaluation of claimant's physical RFC was not supported by substantial evidence and ALJ had failed to fully and fairly develop the record to support a Step Five determination that claimant could perform other work available in the national economy. Court recommended the case be reversed and remanded for further proceedings.07/01/2014
-U.S. v. Darran Lohse (Motion to dismiss, order granting in part and denying in part motion. Finding that the four possession counts are not multiplicitous because each count of possession required the jury to determine that the defendant possessed a video containing child pornography on a separate device. Therefore, this portion of the motion was denied. Additionally, finding that, as to possession count 3, the defendant was convicted of receiving the same images that he was also found to have possessed, and a double jeopardy violation would occur if he was sentenced for both convictions. Therefore, the defendant’s motion was granted as to Count 3. However, possession counts 4, 5, and 6 were supported by separate conduct from the defendant’s receipt of child pornography underlying Count 2, and the defendant’s motion was denied as to possession counts 4, 5, and 6.)06/30/2014
-Gutierrez v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found new and material evidence from treating physician was not credible and did not require reversal. Court also found ALJ's credibility determination and RFC and hypothetical question to the VE were supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.06/25/2014
-GLCC v. AT&T Corp. -- Report and Recommendation on GLCC's motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment. Court recommended the motion to dismiss be denied based on GLCC's standing argument and with regard to Count I of AT&T's counterclaim. Court recommended the motion be granted as to Counts II and III of AT&T's counterclaim pursuant to the primary jurisdiction doctrine. As for GLCC's motion for summary judgment on the issue of AT&T's liability, the court recommended the motion be denied as GLCC had not demonstrated it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.06/24/2014
-DIRECTV v. Klingenberg, et al. -- Report and Recommendation on plaintiff's motion for entry of judgment by default against defendant Last Call Saloon, LLC. Court found it had subject matter and personal jurisdiction and plaintiff had demonstrated that Last Call Saloon was liable under 47 U.S.C. 605(a). Court recommended the motion be granted and judgment be entered against Last Call for basic statutory damages, enhanced damages and costs and attorney fees.06/20/2014
-Life Insurance Company of North America v. Baas, et al. -- Order granting in part and denying in part plaintiff's application to recover costs and attorney fees in interpleader action. Court concluded plaintiff was only entitled to recover $1000 for attorney fees and expenses related to locating and serving defendant in Mexico. Plaintiff was also entitled to recover full amount of attorney fees related to legal research and drafting pleadings, motions and briefs. Court found plaintiff was not entitled to recover local counsel expenses or filing and mailing fees as plaintiff had not provided the appropriate documentation.06/17/2014
-Celia v. North Central Correctional Faciltiy, et al. -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's Section 1983 claim of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Court found plaintiff failed to demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact as to whether defendants actually knew of and disregarded a substantial risk of serious harm to plaintiff in the treatment and timing of treatment for his ankle injury. In addition, the undisputed evidence showed plaintiff had not exhausted his administrative remedies as required by 42 U.S.C. 1997e(a) and defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. Court recommended defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted.06/13/2014
-USA v. Patrie, Court sentencing memorandum 06/12/2014
-U.S. v. Kailib David Hendrickson (Granting a sua sponte downward variance under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) based on Defendant’s youth and addiction)06/11/2014
-Scott v. City of Sioux City, et al. -- Order denying defendant's motion to amend answer to add affirmative defense of "after-acquired evidence." Court found proposed defense was purely anticipatory because the City had not yet decided to discharge Scott, and in any event, the defense would not apply because the evidence of misconduct was discovered prior to any termination. Court concluded the proposed defense was "legally insufficient" pursuant to Rule 12(f) and futile for purposes of Rule 15(a).06/04/2014
-Hagen v. Siouxland Obstetrics & Gynecology, PC, et al. (Post-trial order denying defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial, and denying plaintiff’s motion for an additur, but granting plaintiff’s motion for pre- and post-judgment interest; issues include what activities are “protected activities” supporting the tort of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, sufficiency of evidence, evidentiary rulings, additur, and judgment interest) 05/30/2014
-First Security Bank & Trust Company v. Herman Vander Vegt, et al. (Bankruptcy, appeal by bank creditor from a decision of the bankruptcy court permitting debtors to incur additional debt for farm improvements, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 364(d), from a new creditor and the bankruptcy court’s denial of the bank’s motion to dismiss debtors’ Chapter 12 case for failure to timely file a reorganization plan; analysis of whether the bankruptcy court erred in its determinations that debtors had satisfied the requirements of 11 U.S.C. § 364(d) to permit them to incur secured debit and that the debtors had met the required standard, under 11 U.S.C. § 1221, for an extension to file their proposed reorganization plan; affirming the bankruptcy court in its entirety.)05/28/2014
-Thimmesch v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's analysis of medical opinions, credibility and VE testimony was supported by substantial evidence. However, ALJ erred at Step Three by failing to discuss whether claimant's impairments were medically equal to Listing 12.05C or why this Listing was ignored. Court recommended the case be reversed and remanded for further proceedings.05/27/2014
-Langdeaux v. Lund -- Order on motion to expand the record and Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. 2254. Court denied motion to expand the record under 28 U.S.C. 2254(e)(2). As to the petition, court found Iowa Court of Appeals decision did not result in any unreasonable application of federal law when it concluded the petitioner was not prejudiced by his counsels' failure to advise him about the felony-murder rule in the context of whether to accept the state's plea offer. Court also found Iowa Court of Appeals reasonably applied Strickland in concluding counsels' decision not to call the sheriff as a witness or conduct further investigation based on his statement did not amount to deficient performance. Court recommended the petition be denied. 05/20/2014
-Rasmussen v. Hacker, et al -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's Section 1983 claim of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Court found plaintiff failed to demonstrate genuine issue of material fact as to whether defendants actually knew of a substantial risk of serious harm to plaintiff's health and disregarded it. Defendant McKinney also could not be held liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior and both defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. Court recommended that defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted. 05/07/2014
-Community Voice Line, LLC v. Great Lakes Communication Corp, et al. (Action by provider of conference call services, recorded content, audio streams, and other business services, against an Iowa competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), which “hosted” the telephone numbers that the service provider’s customers would call to obtain the provider’s services, and against various audio content providers; “new” and “old” defendants’ motions to dismiss “new” claims in second amended complaint: Virginia defendant’s motion to dismiss for improper venue, based on a forum-selection clause, denied in light of Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, ___ U.S. ___, 134 S. Ct. 568 (2013), and for lack of personal jurisdiction denied, because placement of 16 servers in Iowa to conduct the defendant’s business provided sufficient contacts with the forum; Iowa and Nevada defendants’ motion to dismiss denied as to fraud claims, because facts plausibly suggesting intent to defraud were adequately pleaded, and as to a conversion claim, because a possessory interest in telephone numbers could be “converted” under Iowa law, but granted as to a claim of a violation of the “anti-slamming” statute, 47 U.S.C. § 258, because, although a private right of action by a subscriber existed, the plaintiff had not alleged an unauthorized change in carrier) 05/06/2014
-U.S. v. Charmagne LaPoint (Proposed Rule 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement to probation in case involving mail theft by a postal worker; issue involved fairness of agreed-upon sentence of probation; ruling rejecting the plea agreement as unfair in light of significant non-monetary harm caused by the theft)05/01/2014
-Urban v. Sells, et al. -- Report and Recommendation for entry of order dismissing action with prejudice and imposing monetary sanctions on plaintiff. Court found dismissal was appropriate because allegations were totally implausible, attenuated, unsubstantial, frivolous, devoid of merit or no longer open to discussion. Judgment had been entered against plaintiff four times on claims arising out of some or all of the same events alleged in current complaint and new claims were barred by doctrines of res judicata, prosecutorial immunity, Rooker-Feldman, the Eleventh Amendment, statute of limitations and Rule 12(b)(6). After giving plaintff the opportunity to show cause, the court also recommended imposing monetary sanctions under Rule 11. Plaintiff filed sixth federal lawsuit despite the court having explained the law, advised him of his right to appeal, cautioned him that filing frivolous repetitive lawsuits would result in sanctions and told him what the likely amount of those sanctions would be.04/25/2014
-Pick v. City of Remsen, et all. -- Order granting defendants' motion for order directing destruction of an inadvertently-produced privileged document. Court found that no waiver occurred as a result of the inadvertent disclosure because defendants' attorney took reasonable precautions to prevent disclosure and acted quickly to seek relief upon discovering the error. Plaintiff also would not be unfairly prejudiced by the requested relief. Plaintiff was directed to destroy all copies of the privileged communication.04/25/2014
-Kruger v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's analysis of claimant's mental impairments was supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. However, ALJ did not meet burden at Step Five concerning claimant's physical impairments because there was no medical opinion from a treating or examining source and the medical evidence was insufficient to establish claimant's ability to perform competitive work. Court recommended the case be reversed and remanded for further proceedings.04/21/2014
-Catipovic v. Turley (A former Iowa resident seeks to recover damages for breach of contract and unjust enrichment from an Irish citizen, and damages for unjust enrichment from a Minnesota citizen and a Minnesota company, arising from the failure of an alleged partnership to develop ethanol production facilities in Eastern Europe; parties’ motions in limine to exclude numerous categories of evidence, including expert testimony and alleged witness intimidation.)04/18/2014
-FDIC v. Dosland, et al -- Order granting defendants' motion to compel discovery. Court found that FDIC-R had not met its burden of demonstrating internal OTS documents at issue were so plainly irrelevant that they were not discoverable. Court also found that under 12.U.S.C. Section 1821(o), FDIC-R had the legal right to obtain the documents meaning they were within it's "possession, custody, or control" under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34(a).04/04/2014
-King v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's analysis of consultative examiners' opinions and treating psychiatrists's notes were supported by substantial evidence as was ALJ's credibility determination. Court found ALJ did not meet burden at Step Five though because there were no medical opinions from a treating or examining source on work-related limitations associated with claimant's physical impairments. Case reversed and remanded for further proceedings.04/04/2014
-Walker v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's credibility determination was supported by substantial evidence, but ALJ did not meet burden at Step Five because there was no medical evidence from a treating or examining source on the work-related limitations associated with claimant's severe impairment of recurrent headaches. Court recommended the case be reversed and remanded for further proceedings. 04/03/2014
-Streeter v. Premier Services, Inc. -- Memorandum Opinion and Order granting defendant's motion for summary judgment. Court found plaintiff could not point to evidence that defendant knew of plaintiff's alleged disability for his disability discrimination claim. With regard to his race discrimination claim, the undisputed evidence showed plaintiff failed to meet his employer's legitimate expectations and employees who committed similar violations as plaintiff were treated the same, regardless of race. Plaintiff was also not entitled to relief under FMLA because he was not employed by the defendant for at least 12 months.04/01/2014
-Nick Harvey, et al. v. AB Electrolux, et al. (Employment law, motions for partial summary judgment; suit by employees against employer alleging that defendant’s failure to compensate them for the time to don personal protective equipment (“PPE”), walking to their work stations after donning PPE and the time spent washing PPE violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FSLA”), 29 U.S.C. § 203(o) and the Iowa Wage Payment and Collections Law (“IWPCL”), Iowa Code § 91A.1 et seq.; analysis of whether donning of workers’ PPE is “changing clothes” under the FLSA; analysis of whether plaintiffs’ claims for time spent walking to their work stations after donning their PPE is compensable under the Portal-to-Portal Act, 29 U.S.C. § 254; analysis of whether plaintiffs’ claims for the time they spent washing their gloves and arm guards at home is compensable under the FSLA; analysis of whether plaintiffs’ claims were viable under the IWPCL.) 03/28/2014
- Cornell v. Jim Hawk Truck Trailer, Inc., et al -- Order denying plaintiff's motion for leave to file second amended complaint. Court found that plaintiff had not met the "good cause" requirement under Rule 16(b) to add a party several months after the deadline. Plaintiff had sufficient information about the proposed party to be put on inquiry notice several months before the deadline. Plaintiff did not follow up on this information before the deadline and did not act promptly when she received an unambiguous answer concerning the proposed party's role in the corporate organization. Court found plaintiff had failed to show that despite diligence, her proposed amendment could not reasonably have been offered sooner.03/26/2014
-Murphy v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found that substantial evidence supported ALJ's finding that claimant could perform past relevant work and ALJ appropriately considered claimant's receipt of unemployment benefits in evaluating her credibility. Court found ALJ erred, however, by failing to discuss the weight he gave the consultative examiner's opinion and failing to provide good reasons supported by substantial evidence for discrediting the treating physician's opinion. Case reversed and remanded for further proceedings.03/26/2014
-Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company v. Agency One Insurance, Inc., et al -- Memorandum Opinion and Order denying plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment against defendant Agency One. Court found there were genuine issues of material fact on plaintiff's claim of negligence, negligent supervision, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. 03/25/2014
-Meighan v. TransGuard Insurance Company of America, Inc. -- Order on plaintiff's motion to compel responses to discovery. Court found that defendant must produce some documents where work product privilege did not apply because the documents were not prepared in anticipation of litigation. Court found work product privilege and attorney client privilege applied to all other documents.03/24/2014
-DeVary v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found that substantial evidence supported ALJ's finding that claimant had RFC to perform sedentary work. Court also found substantial evidence supported ALJ's credibility assessment and Step Five determination that other work existed in the national economy that claimant could perform. ALJ's decision was affirmed.03/19/2014
-Wells, et al. v. Lamplight Farms, Inc., et al. - Order on defendant Lamplight's motion to quash or modify a subpoena and motion for protective order. Court granted motion to quash or modify subpoena and directed recipient to comply to the extent that the requested information related to the product at issue. Court also granted motion for protective order and directed defendants to submit a proposed protective order consistent with the terms described by the court.03/12/2014
-Bauerly v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's evaluation of the medical evidence and claimant's credibiltiy was supported by substantial evidence. Court also found ALJ obtained appropriate testimony from a vocatonal expert on claimant's ability to perform work available in the national economy. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.03/11/2014
-Progressive Casualty Insurance Company v. FDIC, et al -- Order on defendant's motion to compel production of documents from privilege logs and motion to compel discovery. Court directed plaintiff to serve a supplemental privilege log providing more information concerning 14 disputed documents. Court also found defendant was entitled to production of documents concerning other similar claims, reinsurance information and document retention policies. Court denied defendant's request for production of reserve information and regulatory filings in states other than Iowa. 03/10/2014
-Target Training International, LTD v. Michelle K. Lee (patent holder’s action for judicial review of a determination by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) that an alleged infringer’s inter partes reexamination request was filed on the last day before the statute authorizing such proceedings expired; PTO Director’s motion to dismiss: whether the motion raised a bar to subject matter jurisdiction or failure to state a claim based on the exception to judicial review for a decision “committed to agency discretion by law” in 5 U.S.C. § 701(a)(2) of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA); whether § 701(a)(2) excepted from review a decision by the PTO under Patent Rule 183; whether the patent holder’s “due process” claim was “colorable,” so as to avoid the § 701(a)(2) exception) 03/05/2014
-Niebaum v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ failed to fully and fairly develop the record by not obtaining medical opinions from an examining source as to claimant's mental and physical work-related limitations. ALJ's credibiltiy determination was also not supported by good reasons or substantial evidence. Court recommended the case be reversed and remanded for further proceedings.03/04/2014
-Daniels v. The City of Sioux City, et al -- Order on defendants' motion to strike plaintiffs' expert witness disclosures and plaintiffs' motion to extend the deadline for their expert witness disclosures. Court found that plaintiffs barely demonstrated good cause to extend their expert witness disclosure deadline and because the scheduling order could be amended without causing unfair prejudice, the court granted plaintiffs' motion to extend the deadline and denied defendants' motion to strike plaintiffs' disclosure of expert witnesses without prejudice.03/04/2014
-Stults v. American Popcorn, et al (Diversity products liability action, motion to reconsider, in part, motion for summary judgment; analyzing whether under Michigan law, a statutory discovery rule found in Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.5833 applies to plaintiffs’ implied warranty claims, and whether plaintiffs implied warranty claims were timely filed under that statute.)02/25/2014
-Pick v. City of Remsen, et al. -- Order granting in part and denying in part plaintiff's motion to file fourth amended complaint. Court allowed plaintiff to add new allegation of defamation against a particular defendant, but denied amendments to add new factual allegations in support of plaintiff's wrongful termination claim and a new claim of intentional interference with employment contract as plaintiff did not demonstrate good cause for these untimely amendments.02/25/2014
-John and Dave LLC v. Society Insurance -- Order on defendant's motion for summary judgment and plaintiff's motion to strike defendant's reply in support of its motion for summary judgment. Court granted summary judgment to defendant on plaintif's claim of unjust enrichment, reasonable expectations, bad faith and punitive damages, but denied summary judgment on plaintif's breach of contract claim as there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the plaintiff was entitled to additional payments under the Policy. Court denied plaintiff's motion to strike defendant's reply, but disregarded the improper new arguments made therein.02/21/2014
-Cornell v. Jim Hawk Truck Trailer, Inc. et al. -- Order on plaintiff's motion to quash subpoenas duces tecum and for protective order. Court found that defendants were entitled to discover disciplinary reports from subsequent employers but not former employers. Court also found defendants were entitled to obtain performance evaluations from plaintiff's employers dating back to January 1, 2007. As for plaintiff's current employer, court found plaintiff could either obtain her entire personnel file herself and produce it in its entirety to defendants or defendants could enforce the subpoena.02/20/2014
-Mendoza v. Silva (Action by a Mexican woman, pursuant to the 1980 Hague Convention On Civil Aspects Of International Child Abduction and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 11601-11610, to secure the return of her daughters to Mexico, their alleged “habitual residence,” after their father, a United States citizen, allegedly wrongfully retained them in the Northern District of Iowa: prevailing petitioner’s motion for attorney’s fees and expenses pursuant to Hague Convention Art. 26 and ICARA, 42 U.S.C. § 11607(b)(3): whether or not an award of fees and expenses would be “clearly inappropriate” in the circumstances) 02/19/2014
-Scott v. City of Sioux City, et al. -- Order on plaintiff's motion to take more than ten depositions. Court found that plaintiff made a "particularized showing" why additional depositions were necessary and that none of the factors listed in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(2)(C) were present to justify limiting discovery. Court granted leave, pursuant to Rule 30(a)(2), for plaintiff to conduct the additional proposed depositions.02/11/2014
-Tennyson v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's evaluation of the treating psychologist's opinion and claimant's credibility was supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. Court also found that ALJ's decision remained supported by substantial evidence when considering the new evidence in the record from claimant's nurse practitioner and vocational rehabilitation services.02/10/2014
-Whitney v. Franklin General Hospital, et al. (Action by medical records clerk arising from sexual harassment by the medical director; defendants’ motion to dismiss state and federal discrimination claims for lack of administrative exhaustion against unnamed, but purportedly related entities; sufficiency of the pleading of FMLA claims of “interference/entitlement,” “retaliation,” and “discrimination”)02/03/2014
-General Electric Capital Corporation v. FPL Service (Motion by plaintiff commercial leasing corporation for summary judgment against defendant commercial lessee on liability and damages under commercial equipment lease; issues include: whether plaintiff is entitled to deficiency damages under the parties’ contract and, if so, how much; ruling grants summary judgment on the issue of damages, holding that plaintiff is entitled to, and correctly calculated, damages under the parties’ contract) 02/03/2014
-Hanzl v. Collier -- Report and Recommendation on plaintiff's motion for entry of a preliminary deficiency judgment against defendants. Court found plaintiff was entitled to deduct attorney's fees from the sale price of the West Street property, but that the total amount of attorney's fees should be reduced based on the scope of services and hourly rate. Court recommended a preliminary deficiency judgment be entered pursuant to the order enforcing the parties' settlement agreement, but that entry of final judgment be deferred until it was determined whether the amount should be adjusted to reflect any income tax liability from the sale of the property.01/31/2014
-Koons v. United States of America (Motion for relief from sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 by a federal prisoner asserting ineffective assistance of counsel; respondent’s motion to dismiss as untimely converted to petitioner’s motion for summary judgment on equitable tolling of the statute of limitations: whether counsel hired to file § 2255 Motion engaged in misconduct sufficient to constitute “extraordinary circumstances” that prevented the petitioner from timely filing her § 2255 Motion, and whether the petitioner acted “diligently” before and after the deadline for filing her § 2255 Motion before filing the Motion pro se three months after the deadline)01/31/2014
-Ramos v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found the ALJ properly evaluated the medical opinions and claimant's credibilty. Although the ALJ mistakenly used a more limited RFC in determining if claimant could perform other work in the national economy and referred to a non-treating source as a treating source, the court found these errors did not warrant reversal. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.01/29/2014
-Kunik v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ failed to consider relevant medical evidence in evaluating claimant's RFC and credibility. Court reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings to allow the ALJ to consider the evidence and additional evidence that had been submitted to the Appeals Council.01/27/2014
-USA v. McCammon -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence from a post-Miranda interview and subsequent search of his residence. Court found that defendant's statements were not involuntary due to his impaired state or any alleged coercive police activity. Defendant also provided a voluntary, knowing and intelligent waiver of his Miranda rights before making a statement. Court recommended that the motion to suppress be denied. 01/23/2014
-U.S. v. Darran Lohse (Motion by defendant for a judgment of acquittal and a new trial; issue involves whether nine photographs produced by defendant depicted “lascivious exhibition of genitals”; ruling denying defendant’s motions)01/21/2014
-Bonnie & Lyle Cole as next friends of P.C., a minor v. Trinity Health Corporation (ERISA case, motion for summary judgment; analyzing whether defendant employer’s failure to give former plaintiff employee timely notice of her COBRA right to elect continued health insurance as required by 29 U.S.C. § 1166(a)(4) warranted a statutory penalty for its notice violation where plaintiff’s alleged damages were of considerably less value than the free health care insurance coverage she received over an extended period as a result of the notice mistake.)01/21/2014
-Jay & Deanna Clasing v. Hormel Foods Corporation (Action by hog finishers against a meat packing company for alleged breach of a 2008 oral contract between the parties for continued purchases of the hog finishers’ Canadian-born hogs after legislation implementing mandatory “country of origin labeling” (COOL) for pork became effective; meat packing company’s motion for summary judgment: notice required for changes to “pricing” and “delivery” terms and breach of those terms; nature of a claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; viability of implied contract claims where the parties do not dispute the existence of an enforceable express contract)01/21/2014
-Gulick v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's weighting of the medical opinions and RFC determination were supported by substantial evidence but Commissioner did not meet burden at Step Five in determining whether claimant could perform work that existed in significant numbers in the national economy. Court recommended the case be reversed and remanded for further proceedings.01/17/2014
-Virgil & CArol Van Stelton v. Jerry Van Stelton, et al. (Federal civil rights litigation, motions to dismiss concerning defendants’ counterclaim for abuse of process, reviewing requirements for abuse of process claims under Iowa law and analysis under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) concerning whether defendants’ sufficiently pled their counterclaim for abuse of process.)01/15/2014
-Whited v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's evaluation of the medical opinions was supported by substantial evidence and the ALJ adequately accounted for all of the claimant's impairments and related limitations in the RFC and hypothetical question to the VE. ALJ's credibility determination was also supported by substantial evidence. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.01/09/2014
-Aguilera v. Wright County, et al. (Action by state prisoner granted post-conviction relief from a second-degree murder conviction in 1996 for a Brady violation who subsequently pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter before a new trial in 2012: State defendants’ motion to dismiss: federal claims: sufficiency of allegations of “bad faith” by investigator defendants and their responsibility for nondisclosures to support Brady claim, qualified immunity, and “favorable termination” requirement under Heck v. Humphrey; state tort claims: whether certain state tort claims were functional equivalents of intentional torts excepted from the waiver of sovereign immunity under the Iowa Tort Claims Act, Iowa Code § 669.14(4); availability of a state tort claim for obstruction of justice analogous to a criminal offense defined by Iowa Code § 719.3) 01/06/2014
-Serverside Group, Ltd. v. Tactical 8 Technologies (Patent infringement action involving patents for an invention that allows customers to use a secure process on the internet to select personalized images, which are printed on their bank credit or debit cards, even if the customer, the images, the image manipulation software, the customer’s account information, and the card printer are all in different locations; plaintiff’s motion for partial reconsideration of summary judgment ruling finding non-infringement by defendants of the “secure unique identifier” limitation of one patent and the “encrypted customer information” limitation of the other patent) 01/06/2014
-Driesen v. Smith, et al. (Federal civil rights litigation, motions to dismiss concerning claims brought civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), and pendent state law claims for unjust enrichment and conspiracy to defraud; analysis under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) concerning whether the Rooker–Feldman doctrine bars the court's subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiffs’ claims. 01/02/2014
-Figgins v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ did not err in weighing medical evidence or discrediting claimant's allegations, but the ALJ should have obtained a medical opinion from a treatment source or consultative examiner regarding claimant's work-related limitations. Court recommended remand for the ALJ to obtain this evidence and re-evaluate whether claimant retained the RFC necessary to perform work that exists in the national economy.01/02/2014
-USA v. Himes -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence resulting from impoundment and inventory of vehicle. Court found that decision to impound was not based on community caretaking function or standardized criteria and was therefore an unreasonable seizure and search under the Fourth Amendment. Court recommended that evidence found in vehicle be suppressed as well as subsequently-gathered evidence from defendant's residence and statements he made to officers while in custody.12/30/2013
-USA v. Montoya-Echeverria -- Order granting defendant's motion to strike portions of the indictment. Court found that 8 U.S.C. 1326(a) identifies the elements of the alleged offense (reentry of deported alien) and subsection (b)(2) describes circumstances relevant to sentencing. Court ordered that references to aggravated felon, subsection (b)(2) and defendant's alleged prior conviction be stricken as surplusage pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 7(d).12/30/2013
-Stults v. American Pop Corn, et al (Diversity products liability action, motions for summary judgment; analyzing which state's substantive law should apply—the law of Michigan, where plaintiffs reside and where plaintiffs purchased, and consumed product giving rise to this case, or the law of Iowa, the state where some of the product was produced and packaged; dismissing plaintiffs’ strict liability claims because Michigan does not recognize strict liability as a theory of recovery in products liability cases; analyzing which state's statute of limitations should apply—the law of Iowa, the forum state, or the law of Michigan, the state found to have the most significant relationship to the parties and the occurrence; dismissing plaintiffs’ negligence and breach of implied warranty claims as time barred under Michigan law, and dismissing loss of consortium claim as a matter of law because it is entirely derivative.) 12/24/2013
-FDIC v. Michael Dosland, et al (Action by the FDIC, as receiver for failed bank, pursuant to the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), 12 U.S.C. § 1811 et seq., against the former officers and directors of the bank, asserting claims of gross negligence, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty; plaintiff’s motion to strike certain affirmative defenses: Rule 12(f) standards for striking an affirmative defense; applicability of the Twom-bal pleading standard to affirmative defenses; legal sufficiency of affirmative defenses based on equitable doctrines, including estoppel, laches, unclean hands, and/or waiver; the FDIC-R’s failure to mitigate damages; damages resulting from the acts or omissions of someone other than the defendants; and an exculpation provision in the bank’s articles of incorporation, which bars the defendants’ liability)12/23/2013
-Sanders v. McKinney, et al. -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's Section 1983 claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Court found that plaintiff had failed to demonstrate genuine issue of material fact as to whether defendants actually knew of a substantial risk of serious harm to Sander's health and disrgarded it. Alternatively, defendants were entitled to a qualified immunity and there was insufficient factual evidence to support Sander's claim against certain defendants. Court recommended that defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted.12/17/2013
-Cornell v. Jim Hawk Truck Trailer, Inc., et al -- Order denying plaintiff's motion regarding sequencing of discovery. Court found that plaintiff had failed to demonstrate good cause for withholding audio recordings from defendants until certain witnesses had been deposed. Plaintiff was ordered to produce the requested audio recordings without further delay. 12/16/2013
-Omaha Steaks International v. Frontier Choice Steaks, LLC, et al. (Trademark infringement action; plaintiff’s for preliminary injunction) 12/10/2013
-Maria Guadalupe Aguilar Mendoza v. Moises Medina Silva (Action by a Mexican woman, pursuant to the 1980 Hague Convention On Civil Aspects Of International Child Abduction and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 11601-11610, to secure the return of her daughters to Mexico, their alleged “habitual residence,” after their father, a United States citizen, allegedly wrongfully retained them in the Northern District of Iowa: consolidated bench trial on the merits and preliminary injunction hearing: requirements for return of wrongfully retained children and affirmative defenses) 12/10/2013
-Serverside Group Limited & Serverside Graphics, Inc. v. Tactical 8 Technologies, LLC & Bank Iowa Corporation (Patent infringement action involving patents for an invention that allows customers to use a secure process on the internet to select personalized images, which are printed on their bank credit or debit cards, even if the customer, the images, the image manipulation software, the customer’s account information, and the card printer are all in different locations; post-Markman motion for summary judgment of non-infringement by defendants and defendants’ motion to strike the plaintiff’s expert) 12/09/2013
-Community Voice Line LLC v. Great Lakes Communication Corp. -- Order granting plaintiff's motion for leave to file second amended complaint. Count found that plaintiff's motion was timely and defendant had not demonstrated undue delay, undue prejudice, harassment, bad faith or futility of claims that would justify denial of the motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a). Court also rejected defendant's argument that the motion should be denied because some of the proposed claims were being pursued in Maryland state court. 12/04/2013
-United States of America v. Delgado -- Order granting motion for pretrial detention. Court found the Government had the right to seek pretrial detention because defendant had been convicted of two or more offenses decribed in subparagraphs (A) through (C) as pvoided in 18 U.S.C. section 3142(f)(1)(D). Court found pretrial detention was warranted based on the weight of the evidence against the defendant and her history and characteristics.12/04/2013
-General Electric Capital Corporation v. FPL Service Corp. (Motion by plaintiff commercial leasing corporation for summary judgment against defendant commercial lessee on liability and damages under commercial equipment lease; issues include: (1) whether an act of God discharges commercial lessee, (2) whether lease contract was a lease or a secured transaction, (3) whether commercial lessor complied with Article 9 disposition requirements, and (4) the amount of damages, if any; ruling grants summary judgment on the issue of liability, holds that the lease was really a secured transaction; and grants the parties additional time to submit evidence affecting the issue of damages)12/03/2013
-United States of America v. Dean -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss counts for lack of jurisdiction. Court found that it had subject matter jurisdiction over counts based on alleged violations of the Hobbs Act and that defendant could not challenge the sufficiency of the Government's evidence prior to trial. Court recommended the motion be denied without prejudice to defendant's right to make a motion for acquittal pursuant to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 29.12/03/2013
-Catipovic v. Turley, et al -- Order denying plaintiff's renewed motion for leave to amend his complaint. Court found that plaintiff had failed to show good cause for his untimely amendment under FRCP 16(b). Alternatively, his amendment would not be allowed under Rule 15(a) because the proposed new fraud claim was futile and adding the claim at such a late stage in the case would be unduly prejudicial to all defendants.11/20/2013
-Vantuyl v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ did not err by failing to address all of the limitations identified by the state agency consultants or by failing to discuss certain evidence in evaluating the claimant's credibility. Court found ALJ's decision was supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. ALJ's decision was affirmed.11/20/2013
-Ditsworth v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported ALJ's analysis of claimant's credibility and the medical opinion evidence. Court also found the ALJ properly applied the Act's definition of disability and asked hypothetical questions that incorporated all of the claimant's proven impairments. ALJ's decision was affirmed. 11/12/2013
-DaCosta Daniels, et al v. The City of Sioux City, et al (Action by arrestee pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting an “excessive force” claim against a city police officer and the city, and “infliction of emotional distress” claims on behalf of the plaintiff’s daughter against the city and a community school district based on the showing of a video of the plaintiff’s arrest, months later, to her daughter’s middle school class by a different city employee and a school district employee; the school district’s motion to dismiss for lack of supplemental subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a) over the state law claims against it) 11/08/2013
-Sneller v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application of Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found the ALJ provided good reasons supported by substantial evidence for discrediting the opinions of the treating physician and the claimant's subjective allegations. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.11/07/2013
-Clay v. Woodbury County, Iowa, et al. (Action by pretrial detainee pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting “strip search” and “free speech retaliation” claims in violation of the United States and Iowa Constitutions: plaintiff’s motion to exclude defendants’ expert’s testimony for applying the wrong legal standard and offering legal conclusions; defendants’ motions (2) for summary judgment: whether the “strip search” claim alleged both a “violation of privacy” claim and an “excessive force” claim; whether the defendant officers had qualified immunity to the claims; and whether the alleged “strip search” was in retaliation for complaining about the plaintiff’s detention and a search of her purpose) 11/06/2013
-International Bortherhood of Electrical Workers, et al v. Pottebams Service Electric, LLC, et al (Action involving claims for unpaid ERISA contributions and damages and unpaid union wages pursuant to the LMRA, based on successor or alter ego liability; plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment: genuine issues of material fact on successor or alter ego liability) 11/06/2013
-Phalakhone v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found the ALJ erred by failing to order a new consultative examination after rejecting the first consultative examiner's opinion because she was not an acceptable medical source. The ALJ further erred by drawing his own inferences from the medical evidence when he cited the lack of objective medical evidence as the basis to discredit only the medical opinions identifying a sitting limitation, but found the same evidence sufficient to support other opinions/limitations. Court recommended the case be reversed and remanded for further proceedings.11/04/2013
-Al-Hameed v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application of Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ did not provide good reasons for giving no weight to the claimant's treating physician's opinion and failed to obtain a medical opinion addressing the claimant's work-related limitations for her mental impairment. Court recommended the case be reversed and remanded for further proceedings.11/04/2013
-Huerta-Orosco v. Cosgrove -- Order granting plaintiff's motion for leave to file a first amended complaint. Court found plaintiff had filed his motion to amend within the time allowed by the court's scheduling order and defendant would not suffer undue prejudice by allowing plaintiff to amend his complaint at this time. While defendant raised valid statute of limitations arguments, the outcome was not so apparent based on the limited information in the record that plaintiff's claims in the new complaint could be considered futile. 10/30/2013
-Redd v. Lutgen -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment where plaintiff alleged a violation of his First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. Court found defendants were entitled to summary judgment because plaintiff had not raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendants' conduct imposed a substantial burden on his religious beliefs. Alternatively, defendants would be entitled to qualified immunity because plaintiff failed to show that a reasonable officer would have had notice that the alleged conduct was unconstitutional.10/28/2013
-Peters v. Woodbury County (Action by pretrial detainee pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting a “strip search,” use of “excessive force,” and “free speech retaliation”: defendants’ motions (2) for summary judgment: whether alleged “strip search” was a “search” at all or a “clothing exchange” and whether the defendant officers had qualified immunity; whether “excessive force” was used to compel compliance with an order to change into a jail uniform in front of officers; and whether the alleged “strip search” was in retaliation for complaining about the order to change into a jail uniform in front of officers) 10/25/2013
-Redd v. Lutgen -- Report and Recommendation on plaintiff's application for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. Court found plaintiff had not demonstrated a relationship between the injury described in the application and the events alleged in the complaint. Therefore, the court recommended plaintiff's application be denied.10/23/2013
-Velazquez-Ramirez v. Fayram -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. 2254. Court found Iowa Court of Appeals unreasonably applied Strickland's prejudice prong to claims of ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to file a motion for change of venue and investigate prejudice in the jury pool and failure to raise issue of compliance with the Vienna Convention. However, under de novo review the court found petitioner was unable to demonstrate prejudice. Court found Iowa Court of appeals reasonably applied Strickland in concluding counsel's alleged failure to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence to support first-degree murder did not amount to deficient performance. Finally, court found claim of ineffective assistance for failure to file a motion to suppress based on Miranda violation was procedurally barred. Court recommended petition be denied.10/23/2013
-Graney v. Mercy Health Services - Iowa Corp. (Action for wrongful death, loss of parental consortium, and failure to provide an appropriate medical screening examination of the plaintiff’s sixteen-year-old son, resulting in his death from probable cardiac arrhythmia; report and recommendation of magistrate judge recommending dismiss as sanction for failure to comply with discovery and other orders pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 37 and 41(b))10/23/2013
-U.S. v. Jose Sandoval (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress, finding: that the information in search warrant application was not stale; that the issuing judge could reasonably consider and rely upon the information from all of the informants mentioned in the search warrant application to conclude that probable cause existed; that, based on the totality of circumstances, probable cause supported the state judge’s issuance of the search warrant, and alternatively finding, that, if the search warrant application was not supported by probable cause, the Leon good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies because the law enforcement officer obtaining the search warrant acted in reasonable reliance on the state magistrate's determination of probable cause for issuance of the warrant.)10/23/2013
-Loftis v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ did not meet burden at Step 5 because there were no medical opinions supporting the claimant's RFC to perform other work available in the national economy. Court reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings to allow the ALJ to attempt to obtain medical opinions.10/16/2013
-USA v. Boykin -- Order granting in part and denying in part defendant's motion to sever. Court granted part of motion requesting severance of defendant's trial from his codefendant's, but denied part of motion requesting severance of the four counts against defendant into two separate trials.10/15/2013
-Community Voice Line LLC v. Great Lakes Communications Corp. (Action by provider of conference call services, recorded content, audio streams, and other business services, against an Iowa competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), which “hosting” of the telephone numbers that the service provider’s customers would call to obtain the provider’s services; provider’s motion for summary judgment on CLEC’s counterclaims for indemnity)10/11/2013
-Meighan v. Transguard Ins. Co. (Action by insured asserting claims of breach of contract and bad faith denial of claims; defendant insurance agency’s motion to dismiss, inter alia, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), on the ground that insured’s attempt to remedy failure to plead any factual basis for liability of agency, as opposed to insurer, by the simple expedient of alleging that the defendant insurer and defendant insurance agency individually and jointly engaged in the wrongful conduct at issue and are “jointly and severally liable” for it, then changing all of the former references to a single defendant to mean both defendants “collectively”; standards for post-dismissal leave to amend)10/11/2013
-Van Stelton, et al v. Van Stelton, et al -- Order on plaintiffs' motions for discovery sanctions and contempt sanctions. Court found witness and attorneys had violated rules of civil procedure and court's previous order outlining appropriate deposition procedures by refusing to answer questions or instructing the witness not to answer questions on certain topics based on relevance. Court imposed sanctions on witness and attorneys and denied motions for contempt sanctions.10/09/2013
-Honken v. United States of America, Order Regarding Motion to Vacate Set Aside or Correct Convictions and Sentences10/04/2013
-Kohn v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application of Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found the ALJ provided good reasons for discrediting the claimant and her husband and properly weighed the medical opinions in determining the claimant's RFC. The ALJ appropriately incorporated the limitations from his RFC finding into the hypothetical question to the VE. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.09/26/2013
-Carter v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application of Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's evaluation of the medical evidence was supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole and the hypothetical question submitted to the VE accounted for all of the claimant's credible impairments. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.09/26/2013
-Graney, et al v. Mercy Health Services-Iowa Corp. -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss or, alternatively, for other sanctions. Court found dismissal was warranted based on plaintiffs' failure to comply with multiple court orders including discovery orders, which repeatedly advised plaintiffs of their obligations and that failure to comply could result in dismissal of their case. Court found that plaintiffs' total lack of action was willful and had prejudiced defendant. Court recommended the case be dismissed with prejudice.09/18/2013
-Hattig v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's decision was not supported by substantial evidence because there was no medical evidence of the claimant's work-related limitations to support the ALJ's finding at Step Five that the claimant could perform other work available in the national economy. Court recommended the case be reversed and remanded for further development of the record.09/16/2013
-Daniels v. The City of Sioux City, et al. -- Order denying the City of Sioux City's motion to bifurcate claims and stay discovery and trial. Court found that it was too early in the case to determine if bifurcation was apporpriate and plaintiff was entitled to conduct discovery with regard to all claims at this point.09/13/2013
-Van Stelton, et al v. Van Stelton, et al -- Order denying plaintiffs' motion for leave to file fourth amended complaint. Court found that plaintiffs had failed to show good cause for seeking leave to file a fourth amended complaint six months after the deadline. Court also found defendants would be unfairly prejudiced by a fourth amended complaint that sought to add new claims, reinstate a dismissed claim and add new parties at this stage of the case. 09/09/2013
-Streeter v. Premier Services, Inc,. et al. -- Memorandum Opinion and Order granting summary judgment in favor of defendant Tur-Pak Foods, Inc. Court found that Tur-Pak was entitled to summary judgment because plaintiff was not an employee of Tur-Pak. Even if he could be considered an employee, the court found his claims would still fail as a matter of law because he had not established a prima facie case for his discrimination claims or that he was "eligible employee" for his FMLA claim.09/06/2013
-Henn v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found the ALJ's analysis of whether the claimant suffered repeated episodes of decompensation and whether substance use was a contributing factor material to a finding of disability were not supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole. The ALJ also erred in his evaluation of the medical evidence and the credibility of the claimant and third parties. Court recommended remand with instructions to conduct new analyses on these issues.09/05/2013
-USA v. Sandoval -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized from a search of his house and from a post-Miranda interview. The court found the information supporting the search warrant was not stale, it was reaonable for the issuing judge to rely upon information from all informants and there was sufficient evidence to connect the defendant and his residence to information about "Nacho." Court also found that exclusion of the evidence was not appropriate under United States v. Leon and recommended defendant's motion be denied.09/03/2013
-Hagen v. Siouxland Obstetrics, et al. (Post-trial order certifying questions to the Iowa Supreme Court in a wrongful discharge in violation of Iowa public policy case; three questions certified: (1) whether Iowa’s public policy protects a doctor from being fired for (a) reporting nurses’ malpractice to a hospital, (b) disclosing malpractice to a patient’s family, or (c) consulting with an attorney about whether to report another doctor’s malpractice to the board of medicine; (2) whether contractual employees can sue for wrongful discharge in violation of Iowa public policy; and (3) whether an employer’s lack of an “overriding business justification” for firing an employee an independent element of a wrongful discharge claim)08/29/2013
-USA v. Barragan -- Report and Recommendation denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized from a search of his hotel room and from a post-Miranda interview. The court found that defendant gave voluntary consent to search his hotel room, the search did not exceed the scope of consent and the defendantprovided a voluntary, knowing and intelligent waiver of his Miranda rights.08/27/2013
-Dumont Telephone Company v. Power & Telephone Supply Company, et al (Motion by defendant telecommunications supply company seeking to compel arbitration in contract dispute against plaintiff telecommunications provider; issue involves whether arbitration clause in one party’s forms became part of UCC contract between two merchants; ruling granting defendant’s motion to compel, and issuing a discretionary stay over plaintiff’s claims against co-defendants)08/26/2013
-Jason Martin and Amber Martin v. Apex Tool Group, LLC -- Order denying defendant's motion to exclude plaintiffs' expert's opinions and motion for summary judgment. Court found that plaintiffs' expert's opinions should not be excluded because his findings were based on recognized methods and were relevant and likely to aid the jury. Court also concluded that defendant was not entitled to summary judgment regardless of whether the plaintiffs' expert's opinions were excluded because viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs there was sufficient circumstantial evidence to support their claim.08/16/2013
-U.S. v. Douglas Young (Sentencing memorandum for defendant who pled guilty to drug charges pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 851: Although the defendant was safety-valve eligible, so that he had no mandatory minimum sentence to double, he remained subject to the doubling of his maximum; examination of data from the US Sentencing Commission’s 2011 Report To Congress, the only assembly of data concerning § 851 application, demonstrating shocking intra-state, intra-Circuit, regional, and national disparities in the application of § 851 enhancements, at least prior to the Holder 2013 Memo; discussion of continuing concerns with tracking and transparency in § 851 applications after Holder 2013 Memo)08/16/2013
-Lopez v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ provided good reasons for the weight she gave to the medical opinions in the record and for discrediting claimant's subjective allegations. The VE's testimony based on the ALJ's hypothetical question was also supported by substantial evidence. Court affirmed the ALJ's decision that claimant was not disabled. 08/13/2013
-Community Voice Line LLC v. Great Lakes Communication Corp. -- Order granting in part and denying in part defendant's motions to compel discovery concerning five interrogatories and ten document requests. 08/01/2013
-U.S. v. Ryan Gene Hansen (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress, finding that Deputy’s noncompliance with Iowa law in applying for warrants to install Global-Positioning-System (“GPS”) tracking devices on automobile was not deliberate and intentional where deputy assumed, incorrectly, that a warrant application to install GPS devices was governed under the same rules and requirements as other search warrant applications and that he was authorized to apply for and execute GPS warrants. Thus, suppression of the evidence was not required.)07/31/2013
-Branimir Catipovic v. Mark Turley, Ronald Fagen, & Fagen, Inc. (A former Iowa resident seeks to recover damages for breach of contract and unjust enrichment from an Irish citizen, and damages for unjust enrichment from a Minnesota citizen and a Minnesota company, arising from the failure of an alleged partnership to develop ethanol production facilities in Eastern Europe; plaintiff’s objections to magistrate judge’s denial of leave to amend to add a fraud claim: standard of review for magistrate judge’s order on a non-dispositive matter; relationship between Rule 15 standards for leave to amend and Rule 9 pleading standards for fraud; whether magistrate judge’s order was clearly erroneous or contrary to law in denying leave to amend, based on magistrate judge’s determination that the plaintiff failed to allege facts sufficient to give rise to an inference of intention not to perform a promise at the time the promise was made)07/31/2013
-McCormick v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ erred in evaluating the treating physician's opinion and the claimant's credibility. Court recommended the case be reversed and remanded for further consideration and findings.07/26/2013
-Dennis & Melissa Eggerling v. Advanced Bionics, LLC) (Diversity action by parents of minor child who received a cochlear implant alleging negligence and product defect claims against manufacturer; manufacturer’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that the Medical Device Amendments (MDA) to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FDCA) preempted the plaintiffs’ claims: rejection of plaintiffs’ assertions of issue preclusion and a requirement of “approval” of the device as a prerequisite to preemption; determination of which and to what extent negligence and product liability claims concerning design, manufacturing, and testing, based on non-compliance with the pre-market approval (PMA) for the device and Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) were preempted or were viable “parallel” claims) 07/24/2013
-U.S. v. James Edward Poole (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress, finding: that state trooper’s expansion of the traffic stop was justified and the length of the traffic stop reasonable, and that there was sufficient reason to trust the drug-detection dog’s alert and indication based on his training and history, and thus probable cause to search defendant’s vehicle.)07/22/2013
-Simmonds v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ's credibility determination and hypothetical question to the VE were supported by substantial evidence and affirmed the ALJ's decision that claimant was not disabled. 07/19/2013
-Virgil Van Stelton, et al v. Jerry Van Stelton, et al. (Federal civil rights litigation, motions to dismiss concerning claims brought civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1961, et seq.; and pendent state law claims for false arrest, fraud, malicious prosecution, slander and libel, and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage; analysis under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) concerning whether plaintiffs’ sufficiently pled claims for civil rights violations under § 1983; RICO, First Amendment right to petition, slander and libel, tortious interference with prospective business relations claim, Ongoing Criminal Conduct violation, false arrest, malicious prosecution, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty.)07/17/2013
-Clay v. Woodbury County, et al - Order denying plaintiff's motion to quash subpoena and discovery deposition of her treating psychiatrist. Court found that the patient-litigant exception applied because the plaintiff asserted a claim based on emotional injry and she could not undo the exception by withdrawing only part of that claim. In the alternative, the court found plaintiff had waived the physician-patient privilege by voluntarily providing copies of her records, signing a waiver that allowed defendants to obtain her records and testifying about her treatment with the psychiatrist.07/17/2013
-Mapleton Processing, Inc. v. Society Insurance Company -- Memorandum Opinion and Order granting in part and denying in part defendant's motion for summary judgment and denying plaintiff's motion to compel appraisal. Court found there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether plaintiff's violation of a condition precedent caused prejudice to defendant, allowing its breach of contract claim to proceed to trial. Plaintiff's other claims of bad faith and punitive damages failed as a matter of law. Court denied plaintiff's moton to compel appraisal, finding that although plaintiff had a contractual right to appraisal, it had waived that right through various decision and actions. 07/10/2013
-Community Voice Line LLC v. Great Lakes Communication Corp. -- Order granting plaintiff's motion for sanctions against defendant for failure to comply with court's discovery order. Court found that defendant failed to produce requried documents by the deadline set forth in the discovery order and qualified its supplemental responses against the court's instructions. Court ordered a monetary sanction and prohibited defendant from offering certain documents into evidence. 07/09/2013
-Tedford v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ's decision was not supported by substantial evidence because he failed to consider her somatization disorder diagnosis at step two and at step four in conducting his credibility analysis while determining her RFC. Case reversed and remanded for further proceedings. 07/02/2013
-Peters v. Woodbury County, et al and Clay v. Woodbury County, et al -- Order denying plaintiffs' joint motion to consolidate cases. Court found that although cases demonstrate common questions of law, there are no common issues of fact which could create a serious risk of prejudice to defendants. Additionally, the burden on parties, witnesses and resources outweighed any benefits of consolidation.06/24/2013
-Perzynski v. Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, et al -- Order granting defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's claim under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 and her state law claims of malicious prosecution and false imprisonment Court found that plaintiff failed to demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact as to whether probable cause existed at the time of her arrest, whether she was arrested pursuant to an official governmental policy and whether individual defendants knowingly made a false statement to law enforcement, instigated her arrest or acted with malice.06/24/2013
-The Foreign Candy Company, Inc. v. Tropical Paradise, Inc., d/b/a Cool Tropics; (action by a candy importer against a fruit juice seller, involving federal and state law claims of trademark, trade dress, and copyright infringement and unfair competition; fruit juice seller’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue: sufficiency of internet “contacts” to satisfy due process, based on a link from fruit juice seller’s otherwise passive website to a third-party retailer’s website from which the fruit juice seller’s products can be and were purchased by the candy importer’s CEO for delivery in the forum)06/24/2013
-USA v. Hansen -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained from the placement of a GPS tracking device on defendant's vehicle. Court found that although the search warrant applications violated Iowa law because the applicant was not a "special state agent," the search did not violate the defendant's Fourth Amendment rights because the warrants were supported by probable cause. Court also found that exclusion of the evidence was not appropriate under United States v. Leon and recommended defendant's motion be denied. 06/19/2013
-USA v. Clayton -- Order denying pro se motion to proceed under a pseudonym and prohibit public disclosure of defendant's physical description. Court held that defendant's concern for anonymity was speculative and unsupported and did not fall within the limited scope of legitimate reaons for anonymity in criminal proceedings. Additionally, the court noted that under these circumstances, an oder prohibiting public disclosure of defendant's physical description would violate the First Amendment.06/14/2013
-U.S. v. Angel Amaya (Criminal law, sentencing opinion and statement of reasons pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c) on sentencing of defendant convicted of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of pure methamphetamine or a mixture or substance containing 500 grams of methamphetamine, 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, and marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), 841(b)(1)(C), and 846, and conspiring to commit money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956(a)(1)(A)(i), 1956(a)(1)(B)(i), 1956(a)(1)(B)(ii), and 1956(h). Facing a possible life sentence, defendant moved for a downward variance from his advisory guideline sentence based on what he characterized as the prosecution’s “double jeopardy violation” as well as the need to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparity among defendants. Applying the § 3553(a) factors, the court granted a downward variance because a sentence within the advisory guideline sentence range was “greater than necessary” to accomplish the goals of sentencing, in light of all of the pertinent factors, and imposed a sentence of 180 months imprisonment followed by 120 months of supervised release.)06/11/2013
-Rogers v. U.S. : (federal prisoner’s pro se motion to set aside sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, on guilty plea to bank fraud via a check cashing scheme: ruling without evidentiary hearing: granting a new sentencing on the basis of ineffective assistance of trial counsel by failing to object to a two-level enhancement pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1(b)(10), for use of an “access device” because the bad checks used to perpetrate the bank fraud scheme in this case did not constitute an “access device,” and ineffective assistance of trial counsel by failing to investigate adequately the petitioner’s mental health as an explanation of his prior violent conduct for which his sentence had been enhanced) 06/11/2013
-U.S. v. Willie Hayes (Criminal law, sentencing opinion and statement of reasons pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c) on sentencing of defendant convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 35 grams or more of methamphetamine actual, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(b)(1)(B). The court granted defendant’s objection to the career offender enhancement, in part. Based on a policy disagreement with the methamphetamine Guidelines, the court found that the methamphetamine Guidelines are not based on empirical data and national experience and they yield an excessive sentence, when individualized consideration is given to the 18 U.S.C. §3553(a) factors. After considering these factors, the court varied downward by one third to the sentencing range of 100 to 124 months. The court further granted the prosecution’s motion for substantial assistance, reduced defendant’s sentence by 25%, and imposed a sentence of 75 months.)06/07/2013
-U.S. v. Nathan Melton (1 Appeal of Magistrate Judge’s order granting prosecution’s motion to disqualify defense counsel because his representation of defendant at trial would make defense counsel an unsworn witness, and because of the possibility that defense counsel might be called as either a prosecution or defense rebuttal witness; concluding magistrate’s decision was contrary to law because the prosecution had not met its heavy burden of demonstrating that defense counsel’s continued representation would cause him to be an unsworn witness that would impair the fact finding process or prejudice the prosecution and because defense counsel was not a necessary witness likely to be called under Iowa Rule of Professional Conduct 32:3.7, which requires disqualification of an attorney as a necessary witness only if that attorney has relevant and material information that no one else can provide.)06/06/2013
-Plymouth County v. MERSCORP, Inc. (Putative class action by one Iowa county on behalf of all Iowa counties against corporations that operate a national registry that tracks ownership interests and servicing rights associated with residential mortgage loans, and against various member mortgage companies that use those services; ruling granting plaintiff’s contested motion for certification pursuant to Rule 54(b) that there is no just reason for delay of the entry of judgment, on orders dismissing all claims and denying leave to amend as futile, as to all but one bankrupt defendant, and directing entry of final judgment as to the dismissed defendants)06/05/2013
-Guillermo Escobedo v. Mark Lund (Action for federal habeas relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 by a state prisoner challenging his conviction for first-degree murder on the ground that his trial counsel failed to seek an “automatic” mistrial when the trial judge excused a juror for bias after deliberations had started and replaced the excused juror with an alternate contrary to Iowa law, which required a mistrial or the defendant’s agreement to continue deliberations with the eleven remaining jurors)06/03/2013
-Van Stelton v. Van Stelton -- Order on defendants' motions to strike plaintiffs' disclosures of expert witnesses. Court granted motions based on plaintiffs' failure to comply with Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(B) and 26(a)(2)(C) after the court warned plaintiffs they may not have been in compliance, directed them to the rule, and gave them extra time to comply. Because plaintiffs still failed to comply with the rule and did not demonstrate that noncompliance was harmless or substantially justifiable, the court ruled that exclusion of expert opinion testimony was the appropriate sanction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(c)(1).06/03/2013
-The Secuirty National Bank of Sioux City, Iowa, as Conservator for JMK, a Minor v. Abbott Laboratories (Diversity action by conservator of infant who suffered brain damage from bacterial meningitis asserting product defect, warranty, and fraud claims against the manufacturer of powdered infant formula (PIF) that allegedly caused the infant’s injuries; the manufacturer’s motion to exclude “sham” affidavit by the infant’s mother concerning onset and progression of the infant’s symptoms as contrary to the mother’s and the grandmother’s depositions and medical records; the manufacturer’s Daubert motion to exclude testimony of the conservator’s “causation” experts based on flawed “ruling in” and “ruling out” methodologies to establish that the PIF was the most likely cause of the infant’s bacterial infection; and the manufacturer’s motion for summary judgment on all claims for inability to establish causation of the infant’s injuries by the manufacturer’s PIF, for summary judgment on warranty claims for inability to show a “sale” of the PIF to the hospital, which provided the PIF in a “gift bag” to the infant’s mother, for summary judgment on the fraud claim for inability to show “actual reliance” by the mother on alleged misrepresentations on the PIF label, and for summary judgment on the warning defect claim for inability to show “factual causation” where warnings on the label allegedly played no part in the mother’s decision to use the PIF, but the mother asserts that she would not have used the PIF if adequate warnings had been given) 06/03/2013
-Keyser v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ erred by relying heavily on claimant's noncompliance with recommended treatment to discredit her subjective complaints without considering whether noncompliance was related to her mental impairments. Court recommended remand to obtain medical opinion on this issue and reconsider her RFC in light of this evidence and new evidence that had been submitted to the Appeals Council.05/31/2013
-U.S. v. James Sumner; Order granting in part and denying in part the defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal and motion for new trial. The court found that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury's guilty verdict as to Count 1; however, the court concluded that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's guilty verdicts as to Count 2 through 4. In the event that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reverses the court's ruling as to Count 1, the court granted the defendant's motion for new trial as to that count. 05/16/2013
-Buckeye State Mutual Insurance Co. v. Moens, et al. (Interpleader action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1335, 1397, and 2361, initiated by an insurance company, because it asserts that claims for “bodily injury” coverage, arising from a multi-vehicle accident, exceed policy limits: plaintiff’s insureds’ motion to stay related state court action: whether the stay on the state court action would exceed the authority for an injunction under § 2361, as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court in State Farm Fire & Casualty Company v. Tashire, 386 U.S. 523 (1967))05/13/2013
-Henning v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ erred at step two by failing to conduct a careful evaluation of the medical findings and consider the claimant's subjective complaints in determining whether her skin condition was severe. Court recommended remand with instructions to conduct a new step two analysis, consider whether her skin condition met or equaled a listing at step three and consider the effects of her skin condition both separately and in combination with her mental impairment in determining her RFC at step four. 05/09/2013
-Miller v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred at step two by failing to consider the claimant's subjective allegations and the combination of all his impairments. ALJ also erred at step four by failing to consider both severe and non-severe impairments in determining the claimant's RFC. Case reversed and remanded for further proceedings.05/07/2013
-Boss v. Ludwick (Action for federal habeas relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 by a state prisoner challenging his conviction for the first-degree murder of his foster son on the ground that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance (1) by revealing the location of the child’s body and (2) by failing to advise and consult with the petitioner adequately before convincing the petitioner to reveal the location of the child’s body; parties’ objections to report and recommendation by magistrate judge finding “prejudice” from trial counsel’s performance, but denying federal habeas relief; stating standards for review by the district court of a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation; construing the nature of the petitioner’s underlying constitutional claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and his claims for federal habeas relief pursuant to § 2254(d); considering whether the federal court is required to review de novo both prongs under Strickland, if the state court stated the wrong standard of review for one prong; considering whether denial of relief by the state courts on the basis of failure to find “deficient performance” under Strickland were “contrary to” or “unreasonable applications of” federal law or “unreasonable determinations” of the facts in light of the evidence before the state courts pursuant to § 2254(d)(1) and (2); and declining to consider the “prejudice” prong under Strickland, where the lack of deficiency in the state court decisions concerning “deficient performance” was fully dispositive of the petitioner’s claims)05/03/2013
-Meyerhoff v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ did not obtain additional medical evidence as required by the previous remand order, improperly excluded a previously identified limitation and provided a new RFC that was not supported by substantial evidence. Court recommended the case be reversed and remnded for further proceedings. 05/02/2013
-USA v. Poole -- Report and Recommendation denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized from a vehicle after a traffic stop. The court found that the initial stop was lawful and the extension of the stop to bring a narcotics-detecting canine to the scene was supported by the officer's reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. The court also found that the canine was certified and reliable and that his indication of narcotics provided probable cause to search the vehicle.04/18/2013
-Harrington v. Holder -- Report and Recommendation granting defendant's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff filed this action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 alleging defendant had violated his constitutional rights by disclosing a complaint he had written about two other inmates which led to an assault by a third inmate. Court found that plaintiff had not produced evidence showing that defendant knew of a risk to plaintiff and failed to take action to protect him. Court also found that the defendant was entitled to qualified immunity. 04/12/2013
-Robertson v. Siouxland Community Health Center & Michelle Stephan (Action by female former human resources director for a medical practice alleging that the medical practice and its female chief executive officer discriminated and harassed her because of her sex and/or her sexual orientation, retaliated against her for complaining about a sexually hostile work environment, and discriminated against her because of her age in violation of federal and state law: defendants’ motion to dismiss: lack of Title VII protection for sexual orientation; failure to exhaust administrative remedies for claims based on sex; failure to state a claim of harassment based on sex, rather than based exclusively on sexual orientation; and failure to state a retaliation claim where the plaintiff failed to state a claim of sex harassment)04/10/2013
-Kinseth v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the ALJ's evaluation of the medical opinions and recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.04/04/2013
-Perzynski v. Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, et al -- Order denying defendants' motion to strike portions of plaintiff's summary judgment appendix. Court concluded that transcripts of unsworn recorded interviews were properly authenticated by plaintiff and included in the summary judgment record. 04/02/2013
-Buckeye State Mutual Insurance Co. v. Moens, et al. (Declaratory judgment action, motion for summary judgment; analyzing whether an automotive passenger, who is a covered person under the terms of an automobile insurance policy covering the host automobile, and who is injured in an automobile accident, may recover underinsurance benefits under the insurance policy covering the host automobile, when that passenger is entitled to receive liability coverage benefits under that same policy.)03/25/2013
-Tomlinson v. Colvin -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the ALJ's evaluation of the treatiing source opinion and claimant's credibility and recommended the ALJ's decision be affirmed.03/15/2013
-The Estate of Scott W. Thompson, et al. v. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, LTD, et al. (Diversity action under Iowa products liability law, arising from a motorcycle accident, involving a “design defect” claim against the motorcycle manufacturer; manufacturer’s motion to reconsider or clarify the scope of evidence and argument that the manufacturer may offer to show that an alleged “design defect” in the motorcycle was not a cause of the plaintiff’s death almost three years after the accident) 03/11/2013
-The Estate of Scott W. Thompson, et al. v. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, LTD, et al.(Diversity action under Iowa products liability law, arising from a motorcycle accident, involving a “design defect” claim against the motorcycle manufacturer; manufacturer’s challenges to plaintiffs’ use in their case-in-chief of deposition testimony of manufacturer’s Rule 30(b)(6) representative and deposition testimony of a former defendant’s Rule 30(b)(6) representative; plaintiffs’ motion to exclude litigation testing evidence, described by the manufacturer as “demonstrative” exhibits) 03/11/2013
-Deborah & Steven Daughetee v. CHR. Hansen, et al. (Diversity products liability action, motions for summary judgment; analyzing whether: defendants had a duty to warn plaintiff about the harms allegedly associated with exposure to their products; General Mills and ConAgra were “sophisticated” intermediary users of defendants’ products and thus defendants were entitled to rely on General Mills and ConAgra to provide appropriate warnings to consumers; defendants were entitled to summary judgment on plaintiff’s failure to warn claims on the ground that defendants were bulk suppliers of butter flavorings to General Mills and ConAgra; plaintiff could establish that defendants’ failure to warn plaintiff was the proximate cause of her lung condition; plaintiff’s breach of implied warranty claims are redundant to her negligent claims; plaintiff has offered no proof of a product defect sufficient to sustain a breach of implied warranty claim; a breach of warranty claim based on a breach that occurred after February 2000 would have a causal relationship to plaintiff’s her alleged diagnosis; any claim based on plaintiff’s exposure to one of the defendants’ products was barred under Iowa’s statute of repose, Iowa Code § 614.1; and plaintiff’s claims for punitive damages fail as a matter of law because no evidence exists that defendant willfully and wantonly disregarded plaintiff’s safety.)03/06/2013
-Newcomb v. Colvin -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the ALJ's evaluation of the medical evidence, the credibility analysis, the hypothetical question to the VE, and his ultimate decision that claimant was not disabled.03/06/2013
-U.S. v. Angela Johnson (“Penalty retrial” of capital defendant after death and life sentences for five murders in furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise (CCE murder), in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 848(e), a provision of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act (ADAA), were set aside on her § 2255 Motion: prosecution’s motion to reconsider parts of the ruling on scope of the scope of the “penalty retrial” challenging rulings: (1) that the new jury will not redetermine the defendant’s eligibility for the death sentence; (2) that the court will instruct the new jury that the defendant’s only possible sentences are death or life without parole; and (3) that evidence of the defendant’s future dangerousness outside of prison will be excluded; defendant’s motion to reconsider ruling that non-statutory aggravating factors, like mitigating factors, may assert separate incidents as separate factors)03/05/2013
-Serverside Group Limited & Serverside Graphics, Inc. v. Tactical 8 Technologies, LLC & Bank of Iowa Corp. (Patent infringement action involving patents for an invention that allows customers to use a secure process on the internet to select personalized images, which are printed on their bank credit or debit cards, even if the customer, the images, the image manipulation software, the customer’s account information, and the card printer are all in different locations; Markman patent claim construction decision after briefing, submission to the parties of a tentative ruling, and a Markman hearing involving additional evidence and argument, construing 3 disputed claim terms.) 03/04/2013
-The Estate of Scott W. Thompson, et al. v. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd, et al. (Diversity action under Iowa products liability law, arising from a motorcycle accident, involving a “design defect” claim against the motorcycle manufacturer; manufacturer’s pretrial motions: motion to exclude hearsay testimony of a person traveling with the victim at the time of the accident, but who did not see the accident, motion to exclude hearsay statements of the victim’s father, motion to bifurcate liability and punitive damages phases of the trial, motion to exclude evidence of “similar incidents,” and motion to exclude causation opinions of the plaintiffs’ expert; plaintiffs’ pretrial motion to exclude the following evidence: evidence of an alleged lack of “similar incidents”; evidence that the victim caused his own death or that he failed to mitigate his damages; evidence of alleged alcohol use by the victim; evidence of opinions of emergency responders; evidence of the posted 55 mph speed limit and that the victim violated Iowa law by allegedly traveling in excess of speed limit at the time of the motorcycle accident; evidence regarding compliance with or the absence of minimum Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; evidence supporting a “state of the art” defense; evidence of the defendants’ “good acts”; evidence of collateral source benefits; evidence of any previous pleadings; and evidence of any previous adverse Daubert rulings concerning the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses) 02/25/2013
-Boss v. Ludwick -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. 2254. Petitioner claimed ineffective assistance of counsel based on his attorney's advice to disclose the location of the deceased's body and allegedly-inadequate consultation by his attorney prior to Boss giving consent. In recommending the petition be denied, the court found the petitioner failed to show that the Iowa Court of Appeals unreasonably applied Strickland v. Washington in concluding counsel's representation did not amount to deficient performance.02/19/2013
-Comstock v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ did not properly evaluate the credibility of the claimant or her husband concerning the severity and limitations of her migraines. Case reversed and remanded for re-evaluation of credibility and further development of the record if necessary.02/14/2013
-Thompson v. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., et al. (Diversity action under Iowa products liability law, arising from a motorcycle accident, involving, inter alia, “design defect” and “manufacturing defect” claims against the motorcycle manufacturer and the manufacturer of an adjustable steering damper incorporated into the motorcycle’s steering mechanism: motorcycle manufacturer’s motion for partial summary judgment on all claims but the plaintiffs’ “design defect” claim, and steering damper manufacturer’s motion for summary judgment on all of the plaintiffs’ claims: elements of a “manufacturing defect” claim under Iowa law, focusing on proof of an intended design and departure from that design; liability of a component manufacturer for a “design defect” based on “substantial participation” in the design; and requirements for proof of “punitive damages” on an underlying cause of action under Iowa law.) 02/11/2013
-Wells Enterprises, Inc. v. Olympic Ice Cream -- Order granting defendant's motion for stay of proceedings pending appeal. Court found defendant's appeal to the Eighth Circuit divested the court of jurisdiction while the appeal was pending, and even if it did not, the case should be stayed in the interests of justice and judicial economy.01/31/2013
-Kling v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ did not properly evaluate treating physician's medical opinion in that she did not give it controlling weight or explain why it was not given controlling weight as required by the regulations. Court recommended the ALJ's decision be reversed and remanded.01/31/2013
-Rattray, et al. v. Woodbury County, Iowa (Action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging county jail’s strip-searches of three misdemeanor arrestees: one plaintiff’s motion to reconsider summary judgment in favor of the county on her “manner” strip-search claim pursuant to Rule 52(b) and Rule 59(e) concerning, inter alia, whether the plaintiff must show that a non-participant was actually present who could have observed the strip search, whether or not any non-participant actually did observe the strip search) 01/30/2013
-U.S. v. Lori Newhouse (Criminal law, sentencing opinion and statement of reasons pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c) on sentencing of defendant convicted of manufacturing or attempting to manufacture 5 grams or more of pure methamphetamine, or a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B), and 841(b)(1)(C). Based on quasi-categorical policy disagreements with the Career Offender guideline, the court rejected because the defendant was a low-level, non-violent drug addict engaged in the drug trade to obtain drugs to feed her addiction. Alternatively, the court found that application of the Career Offender guideline yielded an excessive sentence, when individualized consideration is given to the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors. After considering these factors, the court varied downward from the advisory Career Offender guideline sentencing range of 262 to 327 months to the mandatory minimum of 120 months. The court further granted the prosecution’s motions for substantial assistance, reduced defendant’s sentence by 20%, and imposed a sentence of 96 months imprisonment followed by 96 months of supervised release.)01/30/2013
-Gro Master, Inc. v. Farmweld, Inc. (Action by an out-of-state patent holder for infringement of its patent for an “animal feeder with adjustment of a feed discharge opening” against another out-of-state corporation that allegedly manufactures and sells an infringing animal feeder; defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue: whether Federal Circuit or regional circuit law governs each challenge; sufficiency of contacts with Iowa involving appearance at a single tradeshow, publication in a national journal, and a single sale of the accused product in Iowa; propriety of venue based on contacts with the district, where district must be treated as a separate state; appropriateness of transfer pursuant to either § 1404 or § 1406, if venue is improper) 01/24/2013
-Hanzl v. Collier -- Report and Recommendation on plaintiff's motion to enforce settlement. The court found the parties agreed upon a settlement in which plaintiff is entitled to payment in the amount of $262,500. The parties agreed that plaintiff must be given a deed to the West Street property so that she may sell it and apply the net sale proceeds towards the settlement amount. They also agreed that defendants would be entitled to any proceeds in excess of $262,500, but that they would be liable for any deficiency.01/09/2013
-Rohwer v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the ALJ's decision that claimant's impairment did not meet the listing requirements of Section 12.04. Substantial evidence also supported the limitations provided in the hypothetical question to the vocational expert and the ALJ was entitled to rely on the expert's testimony in concluding the claimant could perform other work and was not disabled.01/09/2013
-Jansen v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found substantial evidence in the record supported the ALJ's credibility analysis, RFC determination, and the finding that claimant's hearing loss did not meet or equal any of the listed impairments. 01/08/2013
-Tracy v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ did not provide "good reasons" for giving the treating physician's opinion less than controlling weight and there was overwhelming evidence that claimant could not lift more than 10 pounds since his alleged onset date. Because claimant could not return to past relevant work and had no transferrable skills under this limitation, the court recommended the ALJ's decision be reversed and remanded.12/28/2012
-Sangel v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application of Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ properly evaluated the medical opinions, analyzed claimant's credibility, and concluded claimant could perform other work in the national economy, with findings supported by substantial evidence.12/21/2012
-USA v. Sigillito et al, Court sentencing memorandum12/20/2012
-USA v. Ramirez-Hernandez; USA v. Millan-Vasquez; and USA v. Roque-Castro -- Order on detention for defendants facing charges of illegal reentry. Court held that Government met burden of showing no condition or combination of conditions could reasonably assure the defendants' apperance as required based on the testimony of an ICE officer that removal was certain if defendants were released and taken back into ICE custody and based on the court's lack of authority to impose conditions that could prevent removal.12/19/2012
-USA v. Ramirez-Hernandez; USA v. Millan-Vasquez; and USA v. Roque-Castro -- Order on detention for defendants facing charges of illegal reentry. Court held that Government met burden of showing no condition or combination of conditions could reasonably assure the defendants' apperance as required based on the testimony of an ICE officer that removal was certain if defendants were released and taken back into ICE custody and based on the court's lack of authority to impose conditions that could prevent removal.12/19/2012
-USA v. Ramirez-Hernandez; USA v. Millan-Vasquez; and USA v. Roque-Castro -- Order on detention for defendants facing charges of illegal reentry. Court held that Government met burden of showing no condition or combination of conditions could reasonably assure the defendants' apperance as required based on the testimony of an ICE officer that removal was certain if defendants were released and taken back into ICE custody and based on the court's lack of authority to impose conditions that could prevent removal.12/19/2012
-US v. Mathison -- Order granting motion for severance of trial. Defendant raised a legitimate Bruton concern and the Government was unable to offer any concrete solutions to avoid a violation of defendant's Sixth Amendment rights at a joint trial. In addition, the court identified a serious risk of a "spillover" effect if defendant was tried with codefendants based on the nature of the charges. The defendant therefore met his burden of demonstrating a joint trial would cause him to suffer real prejudice.12/13/2012
-Rattray, Lambert, & Mathes v. Woodbury County, IA (Action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging county jail’s strip-searches of three misdemeanor arrestees: defendant county’s motions for reconsideration of a prior order granting summary judgment in one plaintiff’s favor on her claim and seeking summary judgment in the county’s favor on all of the plaintiffs’ claims in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington, ___ U.S. ___, 132 S. Ct. 1510 (2012): whether Florence states a general rule that reasonable suspicion is not required to strip search detainees, subject to as-yet not fully defined exceptions, or only a very narrow exception to the requirement of reasonable suspicion in the case of detainees who will be admitted to “general population”; whether Florence is a change in the law warranting reconsideration and withdrawal of prior summary judgment in favor of one plaintiff on her “no reasonable suspicion” strip-search claim; whether Florence warrants summary judgment in favor of the county on all plaintiffs’ “no reasonable suspicion” and “manner” strip-search clalims) 12/10/2012
-Hagen v. Siouxland Obstetrics, et al -- Order granting St. Luke's Regional Medical Center's motion to quash a subpoena issued by defendants based on the peer review privilege because Hagen's professional competence is not at issue and the privilege extends to credentialing documents as held by the Iowa Court of Appeals in Day v. The Finley Hospital.12/07/2012
-Vails v. United Community Health Center, Inc., et al -- Order on defendants' and plaintiff's motions for partial summary judgment. Court granted defendants' motion in part dismissing the claims of wrongful termination in violation of public policy and promissory estoppel against UCHC and the claims of tortious interference with employment contract and fraud against the individualdefendants. Defendants' motion was denied as to their argument that plaintiff's alleged damages relating to the sale and maintenance of her home should be stricken. Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on her breach of contract claim was denied.12/05/2012
-U.S. v. Jaime Almazan (Criminal law, sentencing memorandum opinion and order regarding sentencing of defendant convicted of producing child pornography. After considering the totality of the circumstances in light of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors, the court found that no downward variance was warranted and imposed a sentence at the statutory maximum of 360 months imprisonment, followed supervised release for life.) 12/03/2012
-Morrison v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance benefits and disabled widow's benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in discrediting treating physician's opinion and claimant's subjective allegations relating to mental disorder based on her efforts to gain employment and an improper inference that her disorder was situational which was not supported by substantial evidence. Case reversed and remanded for calculation and award of benefits.11/28/2012
-Syngenta Seeds, Inc. v. Bunge North America, Inc. (Action by seed producer based on defendant grain elevator company’s refusal to accept transgenic corn grown from the seed producer’s seeds, because it had not been approved for import in China, and placement of signs at the grain elevator company’s facilities stating its reasons for refusing to accept such corn; grain elevator’s motion to dismiss the seed producer’s claims for violation of the United States Warehouse Act (USWA), violation of Iowa warehousing laws, declaratory and injunctive relief, and breach of contract as a third-party beneficiary; grain elevator’s motion for partial summary on the seed producer’s Lanham Act false advertising claim)11/21/2012
-USA v. Troy Fulkerson -- Order overruling defendant's relevancy objection to his criminal history and circumstances of arrest offered by the Government to be used in determining revocation of pretrial release. Court found that evidence of dangerousness did not have to relate to the charged offense and the requirements for revocation and detention under 18 U.S.C. section 3148(b) were met.11/21/2012
-Van Stelton, et al v. Van Stelton, et al -- Order granting plaintiffs' motion for leave to file a second amended complaint and granting in part and denying in part plaintiffs' motion for extension of scheduling order as to Rule 26(f) meeting and plaintiffs' initial disclosure under FRCP 26(a) and renewed request for scheduling conference under FRCP 16(b). Court found that the motion to amend was timely and defendants did not demonstrate futility or other available grounds to deny the motion. The parties were directed to prepare a new proposed scheduling order and discovery plan and necessity of 16(b) conference would be determined at a later date.11/09/2012
-USA v. Barber -- Order denying Dominic Barber's motion for severance of trial. Defendant failed to show his Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses would be violated by anticipated statements from a co-defendant. Defendant also did not demonstrate such unique circumstances that the jury would not be able to compartmentalize the evidence against him or that appropriate jury instructions would not be able to prevent any prejudicial "spillover."11/02/2012
-U.S. v. Angela Johnson (“Penalty retrial” of capital defendant after death and life sentences for five murders in furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise (CCE murder), in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 848(e), a provision of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act (ADAA), were set aside on her § 2255 Motion: defendant’s first set of motions: (1) “omnibus motion” to dismiss the “special findings” from the second superseding indictment and to strike notice of intent to seek the death penalty; (2) motion to dismiss particular aggravating factors from the second superseding indictment, and to strike particular aggravating factors from the second notice of intent to seek the death penalty, and for other relief; (3) motion to compel discovery of evidence in support of United States Attorney’s reasons not to seek the death penalty, or, in the alternative, for in-camera review of the death penalty evaluation form; (4) motion to preclude capital sentencing hearing; and (5) motion for discovery to support a motion to strike the death penalty based upon the influence of arbitrary factors of race and gender of victims)10/25/2012
-Kofron v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ properly considered the medical opinions and new medical evidence did not provide a basis for changing the ALJ's decision. Substantial evidence supported the ALJ's credibility analysis, RFC determination, hypothetical question to the VE, and his ultimate decision that claimant was not disabled.10/25/2012
-U.S. v. Britt Lander (considering whether motion for substantial assistance pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(e) and U.S.S.G. § 5K1.1 may be based in part on substantial assistance of a third party; granting prosecution’s motion for substantial assistance based in part on the substantial assistance rendered by defendant’s spouse) 10/23/2012
-Wells Enterprises, Inc. v. Olympic Ice Cream -- Order denying defendant's motion to stay case in favor of arbitration and denying plaintiff's motion to stay arbitration proceedings. Olympic, as a nonsignatory, was unable to bind Wells to arbitration based on its agreements with another company, Marina, through alternative estoppel. Wells was not entitled to stay the arbitration proceeding brought by Olympic and Marina because it had agreed to let the arbitrator determine arbitrability and Marina and its breach of contract claim were not a part of Wells' civil action.10/22/2012
-Plymouth County, Iowa v. Merscorp, et al. (Putative class action by one Iowa county on behalf of all Iowa counties against corporations that operate a national registry that tracks ownership interests and servicing rights associated with residential mortgage loans, and against various member mortgage companies that use those services; county’s post-dismissal motion: request, pursuant to Rule 59(e), to consider the conditional request to amend overlooked in the court’s ruling on the defendants’ motion to dismiss; post-dismissal request to amend to assert a new legal theory for an “unjust enrichment” claim; clarification of standards applicable to conditional and post-dismissal motions to amend)10/16/2012
-Earl Foy, Jr. v. United States of America -- Order granting in part and denying in part petitioner's motion for psychological evaluation in a Section 2255 case. Petitioner has shown the necessary good cause to allow the requested discovery. However, the court does not have the authority to compel the Bureau of Prisons to move petitioner to a facility closer to Fort Dodge, Iowa, for purposes of the proposed evaluation. In addition, petitioner's request for advance authorization of payment for the expert's fee must be approved by the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit because the proposed fee exceeds the cap set forth in the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 3006A(e)(3).10/15/2012
-Agan v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits. Court found ALJ properly determined claimant's credibility and fully developed the record as to claimant's work-related limitations, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and mental impairments, with findings supported by substantial evidence.10/15/2012
-Hagen v. Siouxland Obstetrics, et al. -- Order denying motion to extend discovery deadline. Defendants failed to show good cause as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b) to modify the scheduling order due to lead counsel leaving law firm when three other attorneys from the same firm had entered appearances and did not specify what additional discovery was necessary.10/12/2012
-United States of America v. Ruben Olivares-Rodriguez -- Report and Recommendation on plaintiff's motion to dismiss defendant's petition for writ of error coram nobis. Court recommended that the motion be denied and the petition re-filed as a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct a federal sentence under 28 U.S.C. section 2255. The defendant is procedurally barred from relief under a coram nobis petition because he is still "in custody" while under supervised release, but his petition may be construed as a section 2255 motion given the alleged errors and requested relief.10/02/2012
-Fraserside IP LLC v. Gamma Entertainment, et al -- Order granting defendants' motion to quash subpoena and granting in part and denying in part plaintiff's motion to compel discovery and defendants' motion for protective order relating to the scope of permissible jurisdictional discovery concerning the defendants' websites and their contacts in Iowa. Defendants must generate Google Analytics reports formatted as HTML pages or as otherwise agreed that reveal the number of visits to defendants' websites from Iowa-based IP addresses. The websites are limited to only those owned by defendants nd not by their subsidiaries and the time period is limited to visits since January 1, 2009.09/28/2012
-Foster v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits. Court found ALJ failed to fully develop the record regarding claimant's past work and should have made findings regarding claimant's vocational rehabilitation and whether claimant met criteria under Listing 12.05C. Court recommended remand for further development of the cord. 09/26/2012
-Escobedo v. Lund -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Petitioner claimed ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failure to move for a mistrial when a juror was substituted during deliberations. In recommending the petition be denied, the Court found the petitioner fialed to show that the decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals involved an unreasonable application of Supreme Court precedent.09/06/2012
-Precision Press, Inc. v. MLP U.S.A., Inc. (Contract law; motion for partial summary judgment; in dispute over sale of commercial printer, determination of whether findings in an arbitration award should be given collateral estoppel effect, under Illinois law, on issues relating to the seller’s claim for monetary damages from the buyer.)08/24/2012
-Plymouth County v. Merscorp, Inc. (Putative class action by one Iowa county on behalf of all Iowa counties against corporations that operate a national registry that tracks ownership interests and servicing rights associated with residential mortgage loans, and against various member mortgage companies that use those services; defendants’ motion to dismiss: whether the county’s claims allege and depend upon a legal requirement to record mortgage assignments; whether Iowa law requires the recording of mortgage assignments; whether the county’s claim for “unjust enrichment” depends upon a legal requirement to record mortgage assignments)08/21/2012
-Carter v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application of Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the ALJ's decision that claimant was not disabled.08/20/2012
-Vails v. United Community Health Center, Inc., et al. -- Order denying motion to extend discovery deadline. Plaintiff failed to show good cause as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b) to modify the scheduling order. In particular, she failed to demonstrate diligence in attempting to schedule the deposition she now seeks to take after the close of discovery.08/20/2012
-Gilster v. Primebank & Joseph Strub (Considering parties’ post-trial motions following jury verdict in favor of plaintiff on sexual harassment and retaliation claims under Title VII and Iowa Civil Rights Act: defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law, new trial, or remittitur; plaintiff’s motion for front pay and equitable relief; plaintiff’s motion for attorney fees and costs)08/14/2012
-Fraserside LLC v. Sergej Letyagin d/b/a SunPorno.com, et al. (Copyright and trademark infringement, defendants’ motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2); analysis of whether plaintiff had made a prima facie showing that defendants, an individual residing in Gibraltar and a corporation headquartered in the Republic of Seychelles, had sufficient minimum contacts with Iowa to satisfy due process and permit the exercise of personal jurisdiction over them, and determination of whether plaintiff should be permitted limited jurisdictional discovery)08/07/2012
-USA v. Baisden -- Order granting government's motion for psychiatric examination of defendant. Defendant has pled guilty and has been evaluated by a mental health professional selected by the defense. The defense intends to rely on the professional's opinion as a mitigating factor for sentencing purposes. The government seeks to compel defendant to undergo a second evaluation by an expert selected by the government in order to address and rebut the defense expert's opinion. Defendant correctly notes that this situation does not fall within Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 12.2. However, the court finds that it has the inherent authority to compel the requested examination and that it is appropriate to do so under these circumstances.08/01/2012
-Dorrah v. United States of America -- Order granting in part and denying in part the defendant's motion to conduct limited discovery while its motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jursidiction and for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted is pending. The court had previously granted plaintiff leave to conduct limited discovery to gather facts that may be relevant to defendant's argument concerning subject matter jurisdiction. The court now determines that defendant, too, may conduct limited written discovery but may not depose plaintiff at this stage of the case.07/31/2012
-Todd Johnson v. Dollar General, et al (Action by former employee of retail store chain asserting state-law claims of retaliation for processing workers compensation claims and intentional infliction of emotional distress and a federal claim of violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 2612–2615, arising from the termination of his employment, and a claim pursuant to the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Law (IWPCL), Iowa Code Ch. 91A, to recover a quarterly bonus allegedly due him at the time his employment ended; defendants’ for summary judgment: FMLA “interference” and “retaliation” claims; individual liability for workers compensation retaliation and viability of the claim; and legality of eligibility requirements for quarterly bonuses under the IWPCL)07/30/2012
-French v. Cummins Filtration, Inc. -- Order denying plaintiff's motion to amend his complaint to add a new claim. The motion was filed long after the deadline for amendments to pleadings and after the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment on the only existing claim. The court found that the plaintiff failed to establish good cause for the untimely amendment as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b).07/19/2012
-Nicolls v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security Income. Court found substantial evidence supported Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled.07/12/2012
-Progressive Casualty Insurance Company v. FDIC, et al. -- Order denying defendant FDIC's motion for early discovery, finding that a request for discovery materials needed to defend an anticipated (but not yet filed) motion for summary judgment was not good cause for early discovery and defendant's concerns could adequately be addressed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(d).07/11/2012
-U.S. v. Dana Gleaves Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress and denying defendant’s motion to suppress in which he seeks to suppress evidence seized during a search of his residence conducted pursuant to a search warrant, finding: the search warrant affidavit, when considered in a commonsense, practical way, would lead a prudent person to believe that there was a fair probability that evidence of the sexual exploitation of a minor would be found at defendant’s residence. Accordingly, probable cause existed to issue the search warrant. In addition, concluding that even if there was no probable cause to issue the search warrant, the Leon good-faith exception applies because a reasonably well-trained officer would not have known that the search was illegal despite the issuing magistrate’s authorization.(07/02/2012
-USA v. Stephenson -- Report and Recommendation denying defendant's motion to suppress statements made to law enforcement while a search warrant was executed at his home. Although the defendant was not Mirandized prior to being questioned, The circumstances show that he was not in custody. As such, the lack of a Miranda warning does not render the statements inadmissible.06/27/2012
-Jackson v. Green -- Order granting defendants' motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff alleged his employment was terminated unlawfully on the basis of his race and in retaliation for his complaints. The court held that the summary judgment record contained no evidence creating a genuine issue of material fact with regard to either claim. Plaintiff failed to show the defendants' proferred non-discriminatory reason for termination was false or that his termination was motivated by discrimination or retaliation.06/26/2012
-EAD Control Systems, LLC v. Besser Company, USA (Considering whether claim for unjust enrichment survives under Iowa law where express contract exists between the parties)06/19/2012
-Catipovic v. Mark Turley, Ronald Fagen, & Fagen, Inc. (A former Iowa resident seeks to recover damages for breach of contract and unjust enrichment from an Irish citizen, and damages for unjust enrichment from a Minnesota citizen and a Minnesota company, arising from the failure of an alleged partnership to develop ethanol production facilities in Eastern Europe; Irish defendant’s Rule 12(b)(2) motion to dismissfor lack of personal jurisdiction; Minnesota defendants’ motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(3) motion, for improper venue, and Rule 12(b)(6), for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted.) 06/08/2012
-Wagner v. Astrue (denying as untimely prevailing plaintiff’s application for attorney fees and expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act) 06/08/2012
-Toye v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for supplemental security income. In recommending remand for further proceedings, court found that the ALJ erred in considering the claimant's daily living activities in determining his credibility. 06/01/2012
-U.S. v. Jason Dodd (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress and denying defendant’s motion to suppress in which he seeks to suppress evidence seized during a search of his vehicle conducted pursuant to a search warrant, finding: the search warrant affidavit, when considered in a commonsense, practical way, would lead a prudent person to believe that there was a fair probability that a firearm would be found in defendant’s vehicle. Accordingly, probable cause existed to issue the search warrant. In addition, concluding that even if there was no probable cause to issue the search warrant, the Leon good-faith exception applies because a reasonably well-trained officer would not have known that the search was illegal despite the issuing magistrate’s authorization.)05/24/2012
-Barkley, et al v. Woodbury County (Persons arrested on serious misdemeanor charges assert individual and class claims that they were unconstitutionally strip-searched pursuant to an across-the-board jail policy without individualized determinations of probable cause or reasonable suspicion; defendants’ motion to dismiss: timeliness (or tolling) of individual and class claims, pursuant to the “American Pipe rule,” after denial of class certification in a predecessor case involving nearly identical claims of a nearly identical putative class; whether tolling ends with the district court’s decision denying certification or with the appellate court’s decision affirming the denial; whether the reasons for denial of class certification, which determine whether or not class claims are tolled, are those of the district court or the appellate court)05/23/2012
-U.S. v. Donald K. Washburn; order denying defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal and motion for new trial. The court found that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's guilty verdicts as to Counts 1-8, 10-30 and 31-49. The court further found that the interests of justice did not require the court to grant defendant a new trial.05/21/2012
-Garvin & Murphy v. Siouxland Mental Health Services, Inc., et al. (Employment discrimination, suit by former employees against former employer alleging they were subjected to a sexually hostile work environment and retaliation under both the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and under Iowa Code 216; defendants’ motions for summary judgment; among the issues in dispute in this litigation was whether claims that arose four years before the filing of an administrative charge are timely; whether the "harassment" employees suffered was sufficiently severe and pervasive to be actionable; the applicability of Ellerth/Faragher affirmative defense; and, whether plaintiffs’ suffered material adverse employment actions after their complaint of harassment sufficient to sustain their retaliation claims.) 05/18/2012
-USA v. Dodd -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending denial of defendant's motion to suppress, Court found defendant's argument that law enforcement lacked probable cause for search warrant to be without merit. Defendant's contention that law enforcement acted unreasonably in relying on second witness' information was without merit.05/15/2012
-USA v. Tran -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending denial of defendant's motion to suppress, Court found that exigent circumstances justified police officers' entry into defendant's residence after executing arrest warrant on defendant's boyfriend. Police observed marijuana and weapon in plain view in defendant's vicinity. Furthermore, officers had right to conduct protective sweep before obtaining search warrant.05/15/2012
-USA v. Malcom -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending denial of defendant's motion to suppress, Court found that search warrant affidavit contained ample evidence to support conclusion that defendant possessed contraband. Facts recited in affidavit were sufficient to lead prudent person to believe that there was a fair probability that contraband wold be found in the defendant's home or business. The reasonable inference that defendant would have contraband at his residence or business provided nexus between the items sought in the search warrant and the places to be searched. Alternatively, officers could reasonably rely in good faith on the search warrant issued.05/14/2012
-USA v. Gagen -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending granting in part and denying in part defendant's motion to suppress, Court found that defendant was not in custody when he made voluntary statements during interview with state parole officer and deputy sheriff, so Miranda warnings were not required. Furthermore, Court found that defendant was not in custody after subsequent traffic stop by deputy sheriff until sheriff arrested and handcuffed defendant for possessing methamphetamine. Miranda warnings by sheriff thus were not required until defendant was under arrest.05/10/2012
-U.S. v. Angel Amaya (granting prosecution’s motion to reconsider the court’s finding that DEA special agent acted in bad faith; imposing no sanctions for prosecution’s discovery violation)05/01/2012
-Boss v. Ludwick (state prisoner’s § 2254 petition; petitioner’s objections to report and recommendation on petitioner’s motion to stay unexhausted claims: standards of review for a report and recommendation; rules of unexhausted and procedurally defaulted claims; availability of “stay and abeyance” procedure when claims are procedurally defaulted)05/01/2012
-USA v. Murillo-Figueroa -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending denial of defendant's motion to suppress, Court found that probable cause did not justify traffic stop based on multiple air fresheners' purported obstruction of driver's view. Court found, however, that probable cause or at least a reasonable suspicion justified stop based on circumstances leading up to stop.04/27/2012
-DeWalle v. Clarion- Goldfield Community School (Employment; former teacher’s aide’s action for race discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the Iowa Civil Rights Act, Iowa Code Ch. 216, and 42 U.S.C. § 1981; defendant’s motion for partial summary judgment, analysis of whether plaintiff’s claims under both Title VII and the ICRA are time barred; analysis of whether defendant’s decision not to renew her contract was motivated by racial discriminationDistrict)04/25/2012
-Arnzen v. Palmer, et al -- Report and Recommendation recommending granting of plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction, in light of Dataphase/Winter factors, where plaintiffs showed likelihood of success on the merits and likely irreparable harm absent an injunction. Furthermore, the court's consideration of the balance of equities and the public interest favored the issuance of a preliminary injunction.04/12/2012
-The Prudential Insurance Company of America, et al. v. Inlay (Action by insurance company against former agent seeking FINRA arbitration action to address claims of breach of confidentiality and non-solicitation agreements, misappropriate of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of duty of loyalty, intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic advantages, and conversion; insurance company’s motion to confirm arbitration award: standards for confirmation of an arbitration award pursuant to 9 U.S.C. § 9)04/11/2012
-U.S. v. Angel & Javier Amaya (considering defendant’s motion to suppress GPS evidence based on United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945 (2012); analyzing whether good faith exception applies under Davis v. United States, 131 S. Ct. 2419 (2011); evaluating whether GPS evidence should be suppressed as a sanction for prosecution’s discovery violation). 04/10/2012
-Miller v. Astrue -- Order remanding under sixth sentence of 42 USC 405(g) for ALJ to consider additional evidence. Court found that good cause existed for not submitting new, material evidence to ALJ that reasonably would have changed ALJ's decision.04/05/2012
-U.S. v. Isaiah Earl Thomas (Motion to withdraw guilty pleas pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11; after pleading guilty to the charged offenses, defendant sought to withdraw guilty pleas on the ground that his guilty pleas were invalid because he did not understand the nature of the conspiracy offense and that his counsel, as well as the prosecutor, grossly underestimated his guideline sentencing range at the change of plea hearing; analysis of whether these grounds constituted a fair and just reason to permit defendant to withdraw his guilty plea)04/05/2012
-Frasierside IP, LLC v. Gamma Entertainment, et al. (Copyright and trademark infringement, defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) and to dismiss for improper venue under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3) and/or forum non conveniens; analysis of whether plaintiff had made a prima facie showing that defendants, a Canadian corporation and its Barbadian subsidiary, had sufficient minimum contacts with Iowa to satisfy due process and permit the exercise of personal jurisdiction over them; assessment of whether the Complaint must be dismissed for improper venue or under the doctrine of forum non conveniens; determination of whether plaintiff should be permitted limited jurisdictional discovery.)04/05/2012
-USA v. Quintero-Felix -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending defendant's motion to suppress be denied, court found that, once officer had probable cause for traffic stop, placing defendant in police cruiser while conducting records check was not unlawful detention. Defendant was not seized after officer completed writing traffic warning, at which point defendant's encounter with police was consensual. Officer also had reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to justify further detention.04/03/2012
-Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund v. Sebelius (Challenge by individuals and an advocacy group to the validity of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations requiring “milk” in final package form for beverage use to be pasteurized or ultrapasteurized, see 21 C.F.R. § 131.110, and prohibiting the delivery into interstate commerce of any milk in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized. See 21 C.F.R. § 1250.61: defendants’ renewed motion to dismiss and alternative motion for summary judgment: standing of plaintiffs to assert their challenges to the regulations in the absence of any enforcement actions against them by the FDA.)03/30/2012
-Mosley v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security Income. Court reversed Commissioner's decision and remanded for an award of benefits because substantial evidence did not support ALJ's adverse determination of claimant's credibility.03/29/2012
-Aerostar, Inc. v. Haes Grain & Livestock, Inc., et al. : (Diversity action by manufacturer of wind systems against purchasers who paid an unauthorized dealer for, but never received, the manufacturer’s wind systems seeking declaratory judgment establishing the absence of any basis for liability of the manufacturer to the purchasers for payments that the purchasers made to the unauthorized dealer or for any damages or attorney’s fees; purchasers’ Rule 12(b)(1) motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction based on insufficient amount in controversy: identification and application of standards for determining amount in controversy in declaratory judgment cases, effect of refusal of defendants to stipulate to an amount in controversy below the jurisdictional amount) 03/27/2012
-Angela Johnson v. U.S. : (capital defendant’s § 2255 Motion asserting 64 grounds for relief from her convictions and death sentences for murders in furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise (CCE murder) pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A) and 18 U.S.C. § 2: grounds that the petitioner chose to emphasize in her post-hearing brief included the following: her attorneys' failure to pursue a disposition for a sentence less than death before trial; her attorneys' failure to adjust her medications or otherwise address the effects of her medication on her demeanor and competence during the merits phase of her trial; her attorneys' failure to confront aggravating evidence, or to prepare and present an effective mitigation case, and prosecutorial misconduct during the penalty phase of her trial; and a claim that the Bureau of Prisons' method of carrying out her execution would violate the Fifth and Eighth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the Controlled Substances Act. Convictions upheld, but relief from death sentences granted, and new penalty-phase trial ordered, on 4 of 48 claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.)03/22/2012
-Scott v. Benson, et al, -- Report and Recommendation recommending denial of plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction, in light of Dataphase/Winter factors, where plaintiff showed neither likelihood of succes on the merits nor likely irreparable harm absent an injunction. Furthermore, the court's consideration of the balance of equities and the public interest did not favor the issuance of a preliminary injunction.03/21/2012
-Harvey, et al v. AB Electrolux, et al. (putative collective action pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., and a putative class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure pursuant to the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Law (IWPCL), Iowa Code Ch. 91A, alleging failure to pay hourly, non-exempt “production employees” or employees in “other similarly titled positions” at the defendants’ now-closed plant for time or overtime for donning protective equipment and preparing for work before their shifts began and for time spent and expenses for cleaning and maintaining some of their safety equipment outside of the work place; plaintiffs’ motion for conditional certification of collective action pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), requiring defendant to provide contact information for putative collective action members, and approving notice to the putative collective action plaintiffs: standards for conditional certification of a collective action pursuant to § 216(b); appropriateness of ordering the defendant employer to produce telephone numbers of putative collective action members) 03/09/2012
-Fraserside LLC v. Igor Kovalchuk, et al. (Copyright and trademark infringement, defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2); analysis of whether plaintiff had made a prima facie showing that defendant, a Russian citizen who resides in Russia, had sufficient minimum contacts with Iowa to satisfy due process and permit the exercise of personal jurisdiction over him. )03/05/2012
-Fraserside LLC v. Waterweg, et al. (Copyright and trademark infringement, defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2); analysis of whether plaintiff had made a prima facie showing that defendant, a Dutch citizen who resides in the Phillippines, had sufficient minimum contacts with Iowa to satisfy due process and permit the exercise of personal jurisdiction over him.)02/24/2012
-Fraserside IP LLC v. Mark Faragalla, et al. (Copyright and trademark infringement, plaintiff’s motion for default judgment, analysis of whether plaintiff had properly pled claims for copyright infringement, and violations of the Lanham Act; assessment of plaintiff’s request for statutory damages under 17 U.S.C. § 504, actual damages for Lanham Act violations, injunctive relief, prejudgment interest, post judgment interest, and attorney’s fees.)02/14/2012
-Bell v. Astrue -- Order granting in part plaintiff's motion for remand under sixth sentence of 42 USC 405(g) for ALJ to consider additional evidence attached to plaintiff's motion. Court found that evidence was new and material and that plaintiff showed good cause for not incorporating it in the administrative record.02/10/2012
-Lampman, et al. v. Ternus, et al. (Motion for Summary Judgment, § 1983 case involving Fourteenth Amendment due process claim, plaintiffs, court reporters for Iowa District Associate Judges, alleged that they were entitled to due process, including notice and an opportunity to be heard, prior to employment termination or reduction in hours; cross motions for summary judgment; analysis of whether, assuming arguendo that Iowa law creates a property interest in plaintiffs’ employment, plaintiffs were not entitled to pre-termination notice and an opportunity to be heard under the “reorganization exception” to the general rule that requires due process prior to a public employee’s termination.)02/06/2012
-Middleton, Inc. v. Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. (Summary judgment motion in the Southern District of Iowa; considering whether plaintiff in patent infringement case had constitutional standing as an exclusive licensee)01/31/2012
-Minten v. Weber (Action by former deputy sheriff against county sheriff for First Amendment retaliation, arising from discharge for offering to testify in a citizen’s First Amendment retaliation lawsuit; after summary judgment for the plaintiff, the matter was set for a jury trial on damages only; motions in limine: admissibility of the outcome of administrative proceedings on the former deputy sheriff’s claim for unemployment compensation and the outcome of the underlying citizen’s lawsuit; admissibility of evidence of other purported reasons for the former deputy sheriff’s termination)01/26/2012
-Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al.: (Advocacy group’s action challenging Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations requiring “milk” in final package form for beverage use to be pasteurized or ultrapasteurized and prohibiting the delivery into interstate commerce of any milk in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized; plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction under the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, to enjoin the FDA from continuing or commencing enforcement actions pursuant to the regulations against non-parties while this court considers the plaintiffs’ claims: scope of the court’s authority to enjoin other actions “in aid of” its jurisdiction; requirements for a preliminary injunction under the All Writs Act; balancing of pertinent factors)01/23/2012
-Jackson v. Green, et al -- Report and Recommendation recommending denying as moot pro se plaintiff's motion to change venue. Because case had been removed to federal court, plaintiff's request to change venue to different state court was moot.01/17/2012
-Fraserside v. Letyagin -- Order granting the plaintiff's motion for leave to serve the summons and complaint on the defendants by electronic mail pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(f)(3) and 4(h)(2). The court found that this method of service in this case fulfilled the requirements of due process and that reasonable efforts by the plaintiff to serve the defendants had already been made.01/12/2012
-Sak & Leifer v. The City of Aurelia, Iowa: (Action by disabled individual pursuant to Title II of the ADA against city for failure to modify an ordinance barring pit bull dogs to accommodate his pit bull mix service animal; plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction: whether an ordinance barring pit bull dogs or enforcement of that ordinance is a service, program, or activity of the city or otherwise discriminatory on the basis of disability within the scope of Title II of the ADA; whether a breed restriction in an ordinance is impermissible under Title II of the ADA, when it bars a service dog of that breed; whether permitting a service animal of a different breed is a reasonable accommodation; whether deprivation of a particular service animal threatened irreparable harm to a disabled individual; whether the balance of harms favored an injunction; whether the public interest in accommodation of disabled persons under Title II of the ADA trumped the public interest in public health and safety embodied in the ordinance; and whether a bond should be required, and in what amount, in this case before issuance of a preliminary injunction) 12/28/2011
-Minten v. Weber (Plaintiff, a longtime county deputy sheriff, alleged that his firing resulted from his offering to testify in support of the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the sheriff; cross motions for summary judgment; analysis of whether plaintiff engaged in protected speech, i.e. speaking as a citizen on a matter of public concern; whether the sheriff took an adverse employment action against him; whether plaintiff’s speech was a motivating factor in the adverse action taken against him; and whether sheriff would have fired plaintiff regardless of whether he offered to testify )12/22/2011
-Rahe v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found that ALJ's failure to submit claimant's requested supplemental post-hearing interrogatories to vocational expert denied claimant the opportunity to cross-examine the expert, violating claimant's right to due process.12/14/2011
-Higginbottom v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for supplemental security income. Court found that physician assistant's opinion submitted to the Appeals Council after the ALJ's decision was new, material evidence warranting consideration by the ALJ pursuant to Social Security Ruling 06-3p. Court further recommended remand for the ALJ to weigh evidence of claimant's GAF scores and to detemrine whether the scores indicated an inability to work. 11/30/2011
-Blazek v. United States Cellular Corporation, et al. (Action by female retail wireless consultant for a cellular telephone company asserting claims of sexual harassment and retaliation in violation of Title VII and the ICRA; defendants’ Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss: “pleadings” within the meaning of Rule 10(c) and Rule 12(b)(6); plausibility of the plaintiffs’ sexual harassment and retaliation claims and allegations of individual liability) 11/28/2011
-Campbell v. State of Iowa Third Judicial District Department of Corrections, et al. (Employment; former state agency employee’s action for sex and age discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the Iowa Civil Rights Act, Iowa Code Ch. 216, as well as claims of retaliation in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and Iowa’s whistleblower statute, Iowa Code § 70A.28(2), and Iowa public policy; defendants’ motion for summary judgment, analysis of whether the summary judgment record generated genuine issues of material fact as to circumstantial evidence of age and sex discrimination under the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting analysis; discussion of whether plaintiff was speaking as a citizen when she voiced her concerns about victim safety, so her speech was protected by the First Amendment; and, examination of whether state employee was entitled to qualified immunity from liability for damages on plaintiff’s First Amendment retaliation claim.)11/22/2011
-Lee v. Small & Toft, et al.11/22/2011
-McFarland v. McFarland, et al. (Diversity action for slander, libel, and defamation; Joint Bill of Costs; analysis of whether defendants entitled to reimbursement for certain litigation expenses pursuant to Rule 54(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and 28 U.S.C. § 1920, specifically the costs of: depositions, a transcript in a divorce proceeding, transferring depositions from a floppy disc to a CD, copies of medical records, the cost of photocopies for summary judgment documents, and the rental of a conference room center used for taking depositions.)11/15/2011
-In Re: Iowa Ready-Mix Concrete Antitrust Litigation (Motion for attorneys’ fees, reimbursement of costs, and class representative incentive awards following settlement of consolidated antitrust class action case; awarding $6,666,666.67 in attorneys’ fees, $911,445.92 in costs, and $10,000.00 to each named plaintiff, to be paid from the common settlement fund.)11/09/2011
-USA v. Jocol-Alfaro and USA v. DeLeon-Ochoa -- Order on detention. Court held risk that defendants might possibly be deported before facing trial on federalc hages was not determinative of their eligibility for pretrial release and that determination had to be made on factors enumerated in 18 USC 3142.10/31/2011
-Dawdy v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. In recommending remand for further proceedings, court found that ALJ (1) did not articulate reason to discount evidence of claimant's GAF score that, according to vocational expert, would preclude him from working and (2) did not articulate weight given to the opinion of claimant's treating physician that claimant would miss two days of work per month, which would preclude claimant from competitive employment, according to the vocational expert. 10/25/2011
-Shannon v. Koehler (Motion in Lmine ruling in excessive force § 1983 case)10/19/2011
-Seaman v. Hacker Hauling -- Order granting defendants' motion for spoliation sanctions, finding that plaintiff's attorney had destroyed evidence with intent to suppress the truth, which prejudiced defendants. Court struck testimony and report of plaintiff's expert from evidence at trial, plaintiff could designate another expert to testify on plaintiff's behalf.10/18/2011
-Freie v. Fayram (Petition for habeas corpus relief from Iowa state court conviction under § 2254; respondent filed motion to dismiss claiming that all of petitioner’s claims were untimely; report and recommendation prepared by magistrate judge recommended granting respondent’s motion because petitioner’s claims were untimely; petitioner filed pro se objections to report and recommendation; the court concluded that magistrate judge correctly determined that petitioner’s claims were all barred by the one-year period of limitations in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). Respondent’s motion to dismiss was granted. )10/13/2011
-United States v. Russell T. Hawley & Hawley Insurance, Inc. (Motion in Limine Ruling - False Claims Act)10/13/2011
-U.S. v. Russell T. Hawley & Hawley Insurance Co.10/13/2011
-USA v. Amaya -- Order denying defendant Angel Amaya's motion to strike and/or motion to withdraw, denying as moot defendant Javier Amaya's motion to compel disclosure of identity of source of information, and denying Javier Amaya's motion for a bill of particulars and motion to sever. Report and recommendation recommending denial of Javier Amaya's motion to dismiss Count 2 of the superseding indictment or to strike superfluous language and motion to dismiss Count 1 of the superseding indictment. First, the court did not find that Angel Amaya's counsel's previous representation of government witness created conflict; in any event, government witness and defendant were willing to waive any conflict. Second, the government revealed at the hearing the identity of the source of information; therefore, defendant Javier Amaya's motion to compel disclosure was moot. Third, Javier Amaya's motion for a bill of particulars was not appropriate method to contest sufficiency of the evidence on Count 2. Fourth, Javier Amaya did not show serious prejudice from joinder with co-defendants that would warrant severance. Further, Javier Amaya's motiosn to dismiss Count 2 because of vague or superfluous language and to dismiss Count 1 because of "inextricable entanglement" with Count 2 so as to confuse the jury were without merit and should be denied. 10/03/2011
-Truckenmiller v. Burgess Health Center & Francis Tramp (action by a human resources director purportedly terminated for poor performance after voicing concerns about differences in titles and pay between male and female members of the senior leadership team at the defendant hospital; motion for summary judgment by the defendant hospital and the defendant CEO: whether the plaintiff’s comments satisfied the “complaint” requirements for protection from retaliation under the Equal Pay Act provisions of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3), as recently clarified in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., ___ U.S. ___, 131 S. Ct. 1325 (2011), whether there was sufficient evidence to generate a genuine issues of material fact on a “causal connection” between the comments and the plaintiff’s discharge two days later and on whether the defendants’ proffered legitimate reason for the discharge, poor performance, was a pretext for retaliation; whether the plaintiff’s claim of wrongful discharge in violation of the Iowa public policy against unequal pay on the basis of sex articulated in Iowa Code § 216.6 was preempted by the Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA))09/30/2011
-The State of Arizona & Angela Aguilar v. ASARCO, LLC (Action by Arizona state civil rights agency and an individual plaintiff, a laborer at a mine operated by the defendant, alleged claims of hostile work environment sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment in violation of state and federal law; individual plaintiff’s post-trial motion for attorney fees; analysis of whether plaintiff’s fee request should be reduced by twenty percent to take into account the fact that the individual plaintiff was only partially successful on her claims; examination of the reasonableness of the individual plaintiff’s counsel’s hourly rate as well as the reasonableness of numerous time entries.)09/29/2011
-Syngenta Seeds, Inc. v. Bunge North America, Inc. (Action by plaintiff seed producer based on defendant grain elevator company’s refusal to accept transgenic corn grown from the seed producer’s seeds, because it had not been approved for import in China, and placement of signs at the grain elevator company’s facilities stating its reasons for refusing to accept such corn; seed producer’s motion for preliminary injunction: clarification of standards for a preliminary injunction in Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7 (2008); balancing of the seed producer’s likelihood of success on its claims of violations of the United States Warehouse Act (USWA), 7 U.S.C. § 241 et seq., including whether there is a private right of action for violations of that Act, comparable provisions of Iowa statutory and common-law warehousing obligations, and false advertising pursuant to § 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)(1)(B); the seed producer’s showing of irreparable harm based on damage to reputation and goodwill; the balance of equities in light of the determination on the seed producer’s likelihood of success and the costs to the grain elevator company of accepting the transgenic corn at issue; and the public interest)09/26/2011
-Baldwin v. U.S. (Civil tax refund case in the District for the Northern Mariana Islands; plaintiff’s motion to reconsider an order striking his jury demands; considering appropriate standard of review for reconsideration of the interlocutory order of another district judge; analyzing whether plaintiff’s first jury demand was proper under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 38(b) and, in the alternative, whether plaintiff’s second jury demand was permissible under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(b) as a late demand due to excusable neglect)09/26/2011
-McFarland v. McFarland, et al. (Diversity action for slander, libel, and defamation; motion to strike and motions for summary judgment; analysis under Iowa law of whether defendants could establish the required elements for invoking issue preclusion based on Iowa divorce case, and whether defendants’ statements about plaintiff were absolutely privileged under Iowa law. 09/20/2011
-Sizemoore v. Producers Cooperative Company, et al. (diversity action arising from an automobile accident, in which the plaintiff alleges that she is now a citizen of Florida; defendant’s motion to dismiss or stay the federal action under Colorado River, because the plaintiff filed an identical action in state court two days later that differs only in that the plaintiff alleged that she was a citizen of Iowa at he time of the accident: whether dismissal or stay of this action “at law” is permissible under Colorado River; application of the pertinent factors for Colorado River)09/19/2011
-Shannon v. Koehler (Motion in Limine ruling for excessive force § 1983 case with proposed limiting instruction)09/16/2011
-Timmerman, et al v. Eich, et al : (action by debtors and case trustee against former bankruptcy attorneys for malpractice and breach of warranty; bankruptcy attorneys’ motion for summary judgment: standing of the trustee to assert malpractice claims, involving the effect of 11 U.S.C. § 1207 on definition of property of the estate; subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy malpractice claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1334; applicability of issue preclusion and judicial estoppel when prior judgment is by consent; applicability of doctrine of in pari delicto; availability of emotional distress damages for bankruptcy malpractice; availability of a breach of warranty claim with a malpractice claim; availability of punitive damages) 09/12/2011
-Estate of McFarlin, et al v. City of Storm Lake, et al (action arising from the death of a minor child brought by the child’s mother on behalf of the child’s estate and on behalf of herself and her surviving child for bystander emotional distress and loss of consortium; estranged father’s motion to join as necessary or “required” party pursuant to Rule 19, construed as a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 24, and defendants’ joinder in Rule 19 motion seeking dismissal: feasibility of joinder of a party who would destroy diversity jurisdiction; whether missing party was “necessary”)09/06/2011
-U.S. v. Amaya (Motion to suppres, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress and denying defendant’s motion to suppress in which he seeks to suppress evidence seized during a search of his residence conducted pursuant to a search warrant, during a consent search of his parents’ trailer home, and during a search of his vehicle, finding: the search warrant affidavit, when considered in a commonsense, practical way, would lead a prudent person to believe that there was a fair probability that drugs or evidence of drug sales would be found in defendant’s residence. Accordingly, probable cause existed to issue the search warrant. In addition, concluding that even if there was no probable cause to issue the search warrant, the Leon good-faith exception applies because a reasonably well-trained officer would not have known that the search was illegal despite the issuing magistrate’s authorization. Finally, considering the totality of the information provided to the state magistrate, the search warrant for defendant’s residence was not based on stale information. 09/06/2011
-Nam v. Quichocho & Atalig (Saipan real estate contract dispute between a Saipan lawyer lessor (and another co-owner) and a Korean businessman lessee arising from the lessors’ attempt to terminate the lessee’s 55-year lease, on which the lessee had made full payment up front, after only two years; cross-motions for summary judgment on the lessee’s claim for breach of fiduciary duty against the attorney lessor, premised on the lessee’s belief that he had an attorney-client relationship with the attorney lessor regarding the lease transaction, and on the lessee’s claims against both lessors for breach of contract and restitution; lessee’s motion for summary judgment on the lessors’ counterclaims for slander of title, breach of contract, express contractual indemnity, waste, and quiet title; and lessors’ motion to strike one declaration in support of the lessee’s motion for summary judgment)09/01/2011
-Swett v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. Court found that substantial evidence in the record as a whole supported ALJ's assessment of claimant's credibility and residual functional capacity.08/31/2011
-Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co. v. SMA Elevator Construction, Inc., et al.08/29/2011
-EEOC v. Asia Pacific Hotels, Inc. (action by EEOC against hotel owner and operator and hotel holding company on behalf of a singer in a Filipino rock band for sexual harassment: defendants’ motion for summary judgment on applicability of the Ellerth/Faragher affirmative defense)08/26/2011
-USA v. Lindgren -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress statements. In recommending defendant's motion to suppress be denied, court found that, under Eighth Circuit jurisprudence, defendannt was not in custody at the time he made his statements. Failure to give defendant Miranda warnings thus did not require suppression of his statements.08/25/2011
-USA v. Amaya -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized (1) pursuant to a search warrant of his residence; (2) during a consent search of his parents' trailer; and (3) during a search of his vehicle. The affidavit submitted contained information from a cooperating source that was corroborated by officers' search of defendant's trash at his residence and by evidence seized at a traffic stop of the defendant's vehicle. The defendant offered no evidence under Franks v. Delaware that the affiant intentionally or recklessly omitted from the affidavit information that would have been clearly critical to a finding of probable cause. The defendant did not have standing to challenge the search of his parents' trailer; in any event, the search of the trailer did not follow from anything seized pursuant to the search warrant. Court recommended denying suppression of items seized from the defendant's vehicle at the time of his arrest because the defendant failed to state any grounds to support suppression and because no evidence seized from the vehicle would be offered at trial. 08/25/2011
-Attorney's Process & Investigative Services, Inc. v. Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa; Order holding that tribal court lacks jurisdiction over tribe's conversion claim against non-Indian08/18/2011
-USA v. Lara-Pantoja -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motions to suppress his post-Miranda statementand his stop, search, and detention, and on defendant's motion to suppress his statements, finding that some of defendant's post-Miranda statements were made involuntarily. Court recommended denying defendant's motions to suppress his stop, search, and detention because probable cause existed for the police officer's stop of defendant's vehicle and because the inventory search of defendant's vehicle after his arrest complied with the police department's impoundment and inventory policy. Court recommended denying defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment.08/02/2011
-United States v. Russell Hawley & Hawley Insurance, Inc. (This civil action involves a Motion For Partial Summary Judgment filed on the part of defendants Russell T. Hawley and Hawley Insurance, Inc. (collectively the “defendants” or “Hawley”). Hawley alleges that amendments to the False Claims Act (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. § 3729, as set forth in the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (“FERA”), Pub. L. No. 111-21, § 4(f)(1), 123 Stat. 1617, 1625 (2009), do not apply to the present matter and, thus, he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Hawley further argues that even if the amendments do apply, such retroactive application would violate the Ex Post Facto clause and Hawley’s right to Due Process under the United States Constitution. The court granted Hawley’s Motion as to his claim that the FERA amendments to the FCA do not apply, because Hawley did not have a “claim,” or a demand for money to the NCCI pending on or after June 7, 2008. The court also granted Hawley’s Motion as to his claim that retroactive application of the FERA amendments to the FCA would result in violation of the Ex Post Facto clause of the United States Constitution, because the FCA’s statutory scheme is punitive in nature, and, thus, retroactive application of the amendments to the FCA would impose punishment for acts that were not punishable prior to enactment of the amendments.)08/01/2011
-Guinan, et al v. Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (Employment law, motion for summary judgment and motion to strike; suit by employees against employer alleging that defendant’s failure to compensate donning and doffing time violates the Iowa Wage Payment and Collections Law, Iowa Code § 91A.1 et seq.; analysis of whether donning and doffing workers’ personal protective equipment is “changing clothes” under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 203(o), the statute plaintiffs rely upon to establish a violation of the Iowa Wage Payment and Collections Law. )07/25/2011
-In re Meta Financial Group, Inc., Securities Litigation(Putative class action by investors against a bank holding company and bank officers for securities fraud arising from failure to disclose an investigation by the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) of a short-term credit program using prepaid debit cards: defendants’ motion to dismiss: whether plaintiffs adequately pleaded a § 10(b)/Rule 10b-5 claim and, in particular, the alleged misstatements and scienter, with the particularity required by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA), 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(b); whether the plaintiffs adequately pleaded a § 20 “control person” liability claim)07/18/2011
-State of Arizona Dep't of Law, Civil Rights Division & Angela Aguilar v. ASARCO, LLC (action by Arizona state civil rights agency and an individual plaintiff, a laborer at a mine operated by the defendant, alleged claims of hostile work environment sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment in violation of state and federal law; defendant’s post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law, challenging submissibility of the sexual harassment claim and punitive damages and the amount of the punitive damages award as unconstitutionally excessive; defendant’s alternative motion for new trial, challenging the court’s answer to a question from the jury as misleading and the court’s admission of “me too” evidence; the plaintiffs’ post-trial motion for equitable and injunctive relief to compel the defendant to create or modify and implement an adequate policy against sexual harassment and to require certain training of managers, supervisors, and other employees, concerning sexual harassment)07/13/2011
-Fraserside IP LLC v. Youngtek Solutions Limited (Copyright and trademark infringement, defendant’s motion to set aside default, analysis of whether service or process in Cyprus was satisfied under the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra-Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters where plaintiff used private process server and the summons and complaint, with no Greek translation, were served on defendant’s agent for process in Cyprus, analysis of whether the default should be set aside for good cause.)07/12/2011
-Mathison v. U.S. (Federal prisoner’s motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, asserting as grounds that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance in failing to withdraw when a per se conflict of interest between counsel and petitioner was created, in failing to raise a sentencing challenge pursuant to Gall, and for failing to request a change of venue. Petitioner also argues respondent committed prosecutorial misconduct by using the unreliable testimony of witness during his trial. In addition, petitioner contends newly discovered evidence, the unreliability of a witness’s testimony, entitles him to a new trial. Motion denied in its entirety: first, petitioner could not demonstrate his counsel’s conduct fell below the wide range of reasonable professional assistance in failing to withdraw, in failing to raise a sentencing challenge pursuant to Gall, and for failing to request a change of venue. Petitioner also not entitled to relief on his claim of prosecutorial misconduct because he did not establish that witness’s statement was perjurious and, further, did not establish that the prosecution knew or should have known that the statements constituted perjury. In addition, petitioner did not establish that witness’s alleged perjurious statement regarding a defendant in a separate case constituted newly discovered evidence entitling him to a new trial.)07/05/2011
-Freie v. Fayram - Report and Recommendation recommending granting respondent's motion to dismiss petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Court found that tollign of AEDPA's limitations period did not apply to petitioner's untimely petition06/09/2011
-Jones, et al v. Dolgencorp, Inc. & Dollar General Partners (In a collective action by fourteen plaintiffs, the defendants, Dolgencorp, Inc. and Dollar General Partners, filed a Motion to Strike and a Motion for Summary Judgment, solely against plaintiff Pamm Joyner-Azbill. Plaintiff claims defendants have a uniform policy and practice of consistently requiring managerial staff to work overtime without compensation, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Plaintiff also claims the vast majority of work hours are spent performing non-managerial job duties. The court denied the defendants’ Motion to Strike, because the motion was improper under Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Furthermore, the court denied the defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment, because a reasonable jury could find that the plaintiff’s primary duty was manual labor. )06/08/2011
-Tippie v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled.06/08/2011
-Strom v. Holiday Companies, et al. (Employment discrimination, suit by former employee against former employer alleging sex discrimination under both the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and under Iowa Code 216; defendant’s motion for summary judgment; among the issues in dispute in this litigation was whether the "harassment" employee suffered was because of employee’s sex; whether the "harassment" in question was sufficiently severe and pervasive to be actionable, and whether a reasonable person would find the working conditions at issue so intolerable that she was compelled to remain away from work while awaiting the results of the investigation)06/06/2011
-Kitterman v. Coventry Health Care of Iowa, Inc. (action for judicial review of denial of health insurance benefits pursuant to ERISA: determination of whether any issues remain to be resolved after remand from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals: whether the court must now decide questions that it did not address in its original decision on the merits, which are whether the Schedule of Benefits is a summary plan description (SPD) or “faulty” SPD, which turn on the question of whether the terms of the purported SPD or “faulty” SPD conflict with the terms of the plan, as construed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals)06/06/2011
-Magnussen v. Casey's Marketing Company & Van Seggern (convenience store manager’s claims of disparate treatment disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and retaliation pursuant to the ADA (pre-ADAAA) and ICRA; defendants’ motion for summary judgment: whether the plaintiff was “actually disabled,” “regarded as disabled,” or “had a record of disability,” rather than a temporary limitation, because of a “flare up” of a back condition; whether, if “disabled,” she was “qualified” for her position based on standing restrictions; whether the plaintiff was terminated from her position for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons rather than for leaving shift vacancies uncovered; and whether, if “actually disabled,” the employer failed to accommodate that disability and whether the employer or the plaintiff is responsible for the breakdown of the “interactive process” to determine reasonable accommodation)05/26/2011
-Sangel v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled.05/23/2011
-Cornerstone Consultants, Inc. & Qualy v. Production Input Solutions,LLC (action by an independent contractor arising from a company’s access to the contractor’s private e-mails, to and from separate e-mail accounts, stored on the company’s e-mail server with e-mails to and from the independent contractor’s account on the company’s e-mail service; defendants’ motion to dismiss a claim pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2701, a provision of the Stored Communications Act: whether, in light of the interplay between § 2701(a), creating a cause of action, and § 2701(c), excepting access authorized by certain entities from liability, the plaintiffs adequately pleaded that the company’s access to the company’s e-mail server, where the independent contractor’s e-mails were stored, was unauthorized or in excess of any authorization by the entity that “provided” the pertinent “electronic communications service”; whether state-law claims against the moving defendants should be dismissed, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3), upon dismissal of federal claims against them, where a federal claim remained pending against a non-moving defendant)05/19/2011
-Shaver v. Astrue -- Order granting defendant's motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and dismissing plaintiff's complaint with prejudice. Court found that the complaint was untimely filed because it was filed more than sixty days after plaintiff presumptively received notice of the Appeals Council's denial of review. Further, circumstances warranting equitable tolling of the sixty-day deadline were absent, and the filing of a civil cover sheet by itself did not constitute the filing of a complaint.05/12/2011
-Precision Press, Inc. d/b/a Anderson Brothers Printing Company v. MLP USA, Inc. (Contract law; Motion to confirm arbitration award and motion to vacate arbitration award; order granting motion to confirm arbitration award and denying motion to vacate arbitration award; dispute over whether arbitration clause in sales agreement for commercial printer displaced review of the arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act with state law; review of the arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act; and determination of whether plaintiff’s grounds for vacating the arbitration award are among those cognizable under the Federal Arbitration Act.)05/11/2011
-Smith v. Quality Refrigerated Services, Inc. -- Order granting defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's pro se complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Court found that, even after affording pro se plaintiff a hearing to show facts that would allow his claims to survive dismissal, plaintiff's claims lacked facial plausibility to withstand dismissal without prejudice.05/10/2011
-In re Doylene K. Roberts (Hanrahan v. Doylene K. Roberts); Order affirming Bankrupty Court's ruling that debtor could claim California property exempt under Iowa homestead exemption05/05/2011
-Luken v. Edwards (Case brought under Title III of the Omnibus Crime and Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, as amended by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510-2520 (“Title III” or “the Act”) for intercepted telephone calls between plaintiff and other individuals, including his attorney, with pendent claims for invasion of attorney-client privilege, invasion of privacy, and under Iowa’s wiretapping act, Iowa Code § 808B.8; motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim; concluding that Amended Complaint’s factual allegations that plausibly stated claims under Title III, Iowa Code § 808B.8, and invasion of privacy, but dismissing invasion of attorney-client privilege claim because it is not recognized under Iowa law.05/03/2011
-USA v. Kristen McCoy and Todd Reynolds -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion to suppress evidence. In recommending defendants' motion to suppress be denied, court found that the search warrant to search defendants' residence was supported by probable cause based on items seized during a traffic stop. Defendants did not demonstrate that the affidavit in support of the search warrant was false or that the magistrate who issued the warrant did not have authority to issue a warrant for a search of property in another county.04/21/2011
-Vis v. American Family Assurance Company of Columbus (insurance agent’s action against insurance company for breach of contract for failing to pay renewal commissions after termination: insurance company’s motion to compel arbitration: validity of the arbitration agreement as part of an alleged contract of adhesion and as unconscionable, because of disparity of bargaining power and lack of mutuality, where the arbitration clause excepted certain actions by the insurance company)04/21/2011
-Powell v. Fayram : (state prisoner’s petition for habeas relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254: prisoner’s objections to report and recommendation of magistrate judge to deny the petition in its entirety: whether state courts made unreasonable factual determinations or unreasonably applied United States Supreme Court law to the prisoner’s claim that his trial counsel was ineffective in not giving him correct advice during plea negotiations about the time that he would have to serve in prison on a mandatory minimum sentence if he were convicted on a state charge of attempted murder)04/21/2011
-USA v. Corona-Torres - Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress drug evidence found during a search of defendant's vehicle at a traffic stop. In recommending defendant's motion to suppress be granted, court found officers had neither probable cause to believe that defendant had unlawfully stopped on a highway nor reasonable suspicion that defendant had unlawfully thrown trash on a highway that justified the stop of the vehicle. Although defendant consented to the vehicle search, his consent did not purge the taint of the illegal stop.04/20/2011
-Woodward v. O'Brien, et al. (Motion for Summary Judgment, prisoner § 1983 case involving Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding defendants’ motion for summary judgment, granting summary judgment because plaintiff is unable to show defendants ignored an acute or escalating situation, or that the defendants’ delays in providing him with treatment adversely affected the prognosis or ultimate outcome of his eye condition. )04/20/2011
-Gustin v. Astrue -- Order granting in part and denying in part motion for attorney fees under EAJA. Plaintiff was a prevailing party, and the Commissioner's position was not substantially justified. Postage related to service of process was reimbursable as an expense under EAJA and not a a cost. Plaintiff's filing fee was taxable as a cost and payable by the Treasury and not by the Social Security Adminsitration.04/19/2011
-Siouxland Community Blood Bank v. Holcomb Freightliner, Inc. & Cummins Engine Company, Inc.This action was originally filed in state court. It was removed to federal court alleging diversity jurisdiction. The plaintiff has moved to remand it back to state court — asserting the Petition seeks less than $75,000 in damages — the minimum required for federal jurisdiction. The court concludes that the defendants have not established that, at the time of removal, the amount in controversy exceeded $75,000. 04/13/2011
-U.S. v. Billy Williams, Sr. (sentencing of a defendant on four crack cocaine offenses after the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act and amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines reduced the crack-to-powder ratio from 100:1 to 18:1: consideration of whether to reject the “new” ratio in the Guidelines, on categorical, policy grounds, as the court had previously rejected the 100:1 crack-to-powder ratio; adoption of a methodology for imposing sentence using an initial guidelines calculation with an 18:1 ratio and an alternative guidelines calculation using a 1:1 ratio, both recognizing new guidelines enhancements for aggravating circumstances, and ultimate determination of the appropriate sentence in light of the sentencing factors in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a))04/07/2011
-Daughetee v. CHR Hansen, Inc. Diversity tort case, motions to dismiss for improper venue pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3), analysis of whether the court must consider dismissed defendant in accessing whether all defendants reside in Iowa turns on whether venue should be evaluated, when complaint filed or on the date the court considers motions to dismiss, court is bound to follow the controlling law in the Eighth Circuit, even if it reflects a minority view on the issue, which holds that a court should reassess venue on the basis of the circumstances as they exist at the time motion to dismiss is considered as opposed to the state of affairs when the complaint was first filed, court found that venue of case proper in the Northern District of Iowa under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a)(1) because it is “a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same State.”) 03/25/2011
-Holt v. Quality Egg. LLC (Six actions, consolidated for discovery, arising out of an outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis in the summer of 2010 that was allegedly tied to the defendant’s eggs and egg products: defendant’s Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss punitive damages claims and Rule 12(f) motions to strike certain allegations in support of punitive damages claims; whether underlying claims must have a “willfulness” element to support an award of punitive damages; whether the regulations and acts underlying a negligence per se claim must permit punitive damages; and whether certain punitive damages allegations concerning past misconduct are related to the underlying causes of action)03/25/2011
-Jason & Jennifer Tucker v. Quality Egg, LLC (See Holt)03/25/2011
-Dzinovic v. Quality Egg, LLC (See Holt)03/25/2011
-Bussey v. Quality Egg, LLC (See Holt)03/25/2011
-Daniel & Libby Sands v. Quality Egg, LLC (See Holt)03/25/2011
-Lewis v. Quality Egg, LLC (See Holt)03/25/2011
-State of Arizona & Aguilar v. ASARCO LLC (action by Arizona state civil rights agency and an individual plaintiff, a laborer at a mine operated by the defendant, alleged claims of hostile work environment sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment in violation of state and federal law; the individual plaintiff’s motion in limine: whether the defendant’s psychiatric expert exceeded the scope of a permissible examination of the plaintiff, the admissibility of the expert’s testimony and report, and the admissibility of evidence of the plaintiff’s prior employment; the defendant’s motion in limine: admissibility of evidence of harassment of the alleged harasser, harassment of the plaintiff by another employee, photographs of allegedly pornographic graffiti, and the administrative agency’s “probable cause” determination)03/22/2011
-Clark v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the ALJ's decision that claimant was not disabled due to back pain.03/14/2011
-In Re Iowa Ready-Mix Concrete Antitrust Litigation (Class-action lawsuit by purchasers of ready-mix concrete against producers and sellers of ready-mix concrete and certain of their officers, directors, owners, and employees who have pleaded guilty to criminal antitrust offenses, alleging an antitrust conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the price of ready-mix concrete in the “Iowa region”: defendants’ motions to dismiss: failure to plead factual support for allegations of an antitrust conspiracy; whether or not to grant leave to amend post-dismissal)03/08/2011
-Rattray v. Woodbury County, Iowa (In this civil rights “strip search” case, the court was asked to decide what to make of an initial verdict that was clearly at odds with the jury instructions, and the jurors attempt to cure this inconsistency in a second verdict after the court ordered further deliberations. The court concluded that because there was no legally plausible explanation for the dramatic increase in emotional distress damages awarded by the jury between the two verdicts, a new trial was imperative to prevent a miscarriage of justice.)03/07/2011
-Rittenhouse v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the ALJ's decision that claimant was not disabled due to rheumatoid arthritis.03/04/2011
-Gustin v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of decision denying claimant's applications for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to give controlling weight to opinion of claimant's treating rheumatologist, who opined claimant would e unable to work full-time.02/28/2011
-Powell v. Fayram -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Petitioner claimed ineffective assistance of trial counsel in four respects: (1) failure to move for judgment of acquittal; (2) failure to move for change of venue: (3) failure to give petitioner correct advice during plea negotiations concerning the time he would serve if convicted of attempted murder; and (4) failure to retain an expet witness to establish that brakes on pickup truck were defective. In recommending the petition be denied, the Court found the petitioner failed to show that the decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals involved either an unreasonable application of Supreme Court precedents to the facts, or was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence.02/18/2011
-Baker v. Catlin Specialty Insurance Co. (In this case, the court was asked to decide whether a pickup truck used to obtain fuel for refueling equipment on a salvage yard, constituted an “auto” or “mobile equipment” for purposes of determining liability for bodily injury or property damage under a commercial general liability insurance policy. The court concluded no genuine issues of material fact existed because the pickup truck was not insured for either bodily injury or property damage caused by negligence of its driver under the terms of the commercial general liability policy.)02/15/2011
-Johnson v. Dollar General, et al. (The plaintiff, Todd Johnson, filed an Amended Complaint against defendants, Dollar General, Dolgencorp, L.L.C., and Michael Williams. Johnson alleged that the defendants terminated his employment in retaliation for him missing work because of an illness and therefore in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993. The court held that Johnson’s claims should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.)02/15/2011
-Salton v. Polyock (Diversity Tort Action, motion to remand, review of the principles applicable to a motion to remand and analysis of whether removing party is able prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional amount.)02/10/2011
-U.S. v. Steven Vandebrake (Criminal law, sentencing memorandum opinion and order regarding joint sentencing of two defendants convicted of anitrust violations of the Sherman Act. For one defendant, after considering the totality of the circumstances in light of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors, the court found that a upward variance from the advisory guidelines sentencing range was warranted and imposed a sentence of 48 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release during which defendant will be required to complete 500 hours of community service, at a rate of not less than 25 hours per month. The court further found that an upward variance from the advisory guidelines fine range was warranted for the defendant and imposed a fine of $829,715.85, and a special assessment of $100. The court, alternatively, imposed sentences of 27 months imprisonment on each Count; with all 27 months of the sentence on Count 3, 15 months of the sentence on Count 1, and 6 months of the sentence on Count 2 running consecutively; for a total sentence of 48 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release. With respect to the second defendant, the court found that the prosecution did not breach its plea agreement with the defendant and, as a result, the court could proceed with his sentencing. The court denied his requests for downward departure under U.S.S.G. §§ 5K1.1, 5K2.0, 5K2.11, and 5K2.12. The court further found that a variance from the advisory guidelines sentencing range was unwarranted for the defendant and imposed a sentence of 12 months and a day of imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release during which the defendant will be required to complete 100 hours of community service, at a rate of not less than 20 hours per month. The court also imposed a fine on the defendant in the amount of $83,427.09. In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay restitution to Tri-Zack Contractor in the sum of $25,981.80.)02/08/2011
-U.S. v. Kent Robert Stewart (Criminal law, sentencing memorandum opinion and order regarding joint sentencing of two defendants convicted of anitrust violations of the Sherman Act. For one defendant, after considering the totality of the circumstances in light of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors, the court found that a upward variance from the advisory guidelines sentencing range was warranted and imposed a sentence of 48 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release during which defendant will be required to complete 500 hours of community service, at a rate of not less than 25 hours per month. The court further found that an upward variance from the advisory guidelines fine range was warranted for the defendant and imposed a fine of $829,715.85, and a special assessment of $100. The court, alternatively, imposed sentences of 27 months imprisonment on each Count; with all 27 months of the sentence on Count 3, 15 months of the sentence on Count 1, and 6 months of the sentence on Count 2 running consecutively; for a total sentence of 48 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release. With respect to the second defendant, the court found that the prosecution did not breach its plea agreement with the defendant and, as a result, the court could proceed with his sentencing. The court denied his requests for downward departure under U.S.S.G. §§ 5K1.1, 5K2.0, 5K2.11, and 5K2.12. The court further found that a variance from the advisory guidelines sentencing range was unwarranted for the defendant and imposed a sentence of 12 months and a day of imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release during which the defendant will be required to complete 100 hours of community service, at a rate of not less than 20 hours per month. The court also imposed a fine on the defendant in the amount of $83,427.09. In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay restitution to Tri-Zack Contractor in the sum of $25,981.80.)02/08/2011
-Moore v. Lehigh Cement Company (longtime employee with epilepsy sued former employer for disability discrimination under the ADA and ICRA; defendant’s motion for summary judgment: whether the ADA or the ADAAA applied to the plaintiff’s claims; whether the plaintiff was actually disabled or perceived to be disabled based on limitations on the number of hours he could work per week or a combination of limitations; whether the plaintiff’s retaliation claim could proceed in light of the protracted time between protected activity and adverse action, his supervisor’s lack of knowledge of the plaintiff’s prior discrimination charge at the time of adverse action, but human resources manager’s knowledge of the prior charge, and employer’s assertion that the plaintiff was fired for a plant rules violation)02/04/2011
-Wagner v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. In recommending remand for further proceedings, the Court found ALJ erred in failing to discuss fully her finding that the claimant's condition did not meet Listing 1.04(a), spinal disorders, and in developing the record fully and fairly on the issue of the claimant's gastrointestinal disorder.01/26/2011
-Kim v. Quichocho, et al: (Action involving fraud and RICO claims based on allegations that the defendants, including the plaintiff’s attorney, defrauded the plaintiff of two of her businesses; defendants’ second motion to dismiss RICO claims and motion to dismiss common-law fraud claim: adequacy of pleading of predicate acts of wire fraud and money laundering, a patter of racketeering activity, and conduct or acquisition of control of a RICO enterprise; pleading of an agreement, for purposes of RICO conspiracy claim, including whether an intracorporate conspiracy suffices; pleading of fraud with the particularity required by Rule 9(b) and whether fraud was based on anything other than representations about future events)01/24/2011
-Bendlin v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits. Court found the record evidence could support two inconsistent conclusions, one of which was the Commissioner's conclusion that claimant was not disabled, and therefore the Commissioner's decision was affirmed.01/21/2011
-Woodard v. O'Brien -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment. Despite anecdotal evidence suggesting defendants' actions caused plaintiff to suffer needless pain, court reluctantly found plaintiff had failed to meet his burden to offer verifiable medical evidence that defendants' actions caused plaintiff harm. Plaintiff therefore failed to show defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, and the court recommended defendants' motionfor summary judgment be granted.01/10/2011
-Aquino v. Delores San Nicolas, et al. (an alien convicted of drug offenses asserted claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and CNMI law arising from her detention pending deportation, without review by a judge, for 88 days after the end of her sentence; defendants’ second round of motions to dismiss the plaintiff’s recast claims of violation of due process and intentional infliction of emotional distress, based on failure to deport the plaintiff “immediately” upon the completion of her sentence and continuing her detention without review by a judge, and new claims of breach of contract, based on alleged violation of a plea agreement requiring “immediate” deportation, and tortious breach of duty, based on breach of a duty to deport the plaintiff “immediately” upon the end of her sentence allegedly created by the judgment and commitment order; whether dismissal of claims this time should be with prejudice)01/05/2011
-McGraw, et al. v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, et al. (Action by bilked investors seeking to recover from a securities broker’s employers sums that they gave the broker (now deceased) to invest in fictitious “special investments”; cross-motions for summary judgment: timeliness of two plaintiffs’ claims; theories of liability for remaining claims; summary judgment on direct liability claims, including the necessity of expert testimony on the existence and breach of relevant standards of care, existence of a duty to non-customers, and the existence and breach of the duty to monitor and fiduciary duty; summary judgment on vicarious liability claims, including the broker’s apparent authority from the brokerage firms, and the existence and breach of the broker’s underlying duty as to representations, duty as to suitability of investments, and fiduciary duty) 12/22/2010
-USA v. Charles -- Order denying defendant's motion to sever. Court found defendant had failed to show he would be sufficiently prejudiced by trial with co-defendants in this drug conspiracy case.12/21/2010
-Ralph Reeder, M.D. v. Thomas Carroll, M.D.; order granting defendant's summary judgment motion on plaintiff's claims of defamation, invasion of privacy and civil conspiracy12/21/2010
-McGraw, et al. v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, et al. (Action by bilked investors seeking to recover from a securities broker’s employers sums that they gave the broker (now deceased) to invest in fictitious “special investments”; sua sponte order to clarify whether the plaintiffs’ remaining claims of “negligent supervision,” “negligent misrepresentation,” “negligence—suitability” [of investments],” and “breach of fiduciary duty” were based on direct or vicarious liability theories) 12/08/2010
-PSK, LLC dba Overhead Door Company of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City v. Randy Hicklin dba A-1 American Garage Door Repair, Advanced Garage Door Repair and/or Over Head AAA Garage Door Repair; and Danetta Hicklin dba A-1 American Garage Door Repair, Over Head AAA Garage Door Repair, Affordable Overhead Garage Door Repair and American Certified Door Co.; order granting defedants' summary judgment motion with respect to infringement and dilution claims but denying summary judgment with respect to unfair competition claim in the form of passing off12/02/2010
-Rattray, et al. v. Woodbury County, Ia, et al : (Action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging county jail’s strip-searches of three misdemeanor arrestees; plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment: constitutionality of a “blanket” strip-search policy, no longer in force, and conduct pursuant to it, including whether resolution of those issues is required where claims for declaratory judgment were withdrawn and the determinations are not necessary to resolution of the claims and would involve unnecessary determination of constitutional issues; qualified immunity, including proper identification of the right that must be clearly established and breached to overcome qualified immunity; and severance of trials, where one plaintiff must only prove damages, but the other plaintiffs must prove liability and damages) 12/01/2010
-U.S. v. Villagomez: (criminal prosecution for conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud, theft from a program receiving federal funds, and bribery; ruling after evidentiary hearing settling the record, pursuant to Rule 10(e) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, concerning closure of the courtroom to members of the public during jury selection) 11/24/2010
-Hussaini v. Gelita USA, Inc. 9Labor/Employment discrimination, suit by former employee against former employer alleging Iowa common law claims for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, promissory estoppel, and fraudulent misrepresentation; analysis of whether plaintiff’s state law claims were preempted by the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.11/04/2010
-USA v. Martinez-Rodriguez. Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress evidence. Defendant, who was visibly impaired by alcohol or other drugs at time of questioning, failed to show his will was overborne, and court found his waiver of Miranda rights was knowing, voluntary, and intelligent11/01/2010
-U.S. v. Mayer (criminal prosecution on charges of sexual exploitation of children in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251(a) and 2251(e); receiving child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a)(2)(A) and 2252A(b)(1); and possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a)(5)(B) and 2252A(b)(2); prosecution’s Rule 104 motion to admit evidence of factual stipulations in a plea agreement on which the defendant failed to follow through, pursuant to a waiver of the rights protected by Rule 410 of the Federal Rules of Evidence if the defendant breached the plea agreement)10/19/2010
-U.S. v. Kevin Mcmanaman (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress and denying defendant’s motion to suppress in which he seeks to suppress statements made after his arrest as well as a evidence recovered from his home, finding: that the rule of collateral estoppel applied in this case, and concluded that defendant was estopped by prior ruling from relitigating the issue of probable cause to search his house for drugs and drug paraphernalia; that based on the evidence the law enforcement officers had at the time of the defendant’s arrest, a search warrant could have been issued which would have allowed the police to search for guns and ammunition, drugs, and drug paraphernalia, and the ensuing search would have led inevitably to discovery of incriminating photographs which appear to depict underage females; that the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel for the current charges had not attached at the time of his questioning in 2008, and, therefore, the Sixth Amendment right to counsel did not bar the officers from questioning defendant in regard to the current offenses; that the non-testimonial evidence obtained as a result of defendant’s incriminating statements made in violation of Miranda are admissible because the defendant’s statements were made voluntarily, and were not the result of coercion; and that defendant’s wife consented to a search of a locked room and a locked closet in the house they shared and that defendant’s wife had either actual or apparent authority to consent to a search of the entire residence. )10/18/2010
-Dong & Lowery v. Royal Crown Insurance Corp. : (Action arising from the plaintiff insureds’ claims that their insurer failed to defend them against third-party claims arising from a motor vehicle accident in which insurer has also filed a counterclaim for indemnity and contribution against the insured who was driving the insured vehicle at the time of the accident, because he was intoxicated; motions for summary judgment by both the insurer and the insureds: statutory preemption of common-law claims; improper assignment of statutory claim; insurer’s duty to defend notwithstanding an DUI Exclusion Clause in the policy; and authorizations for and bars to the counterclaim to recover from the intoxicated insured; court’s summary judgment sua sponte on private action pursuant to statute barred by a decision of the Commonwealth Supreme Court after this case was filed) 10/18/2010
-U.S. v. Miell (sentencing of landlord convicted of 18 counts of mail fraud, 2 counts of perjury, and 2 counts of filing of false tax returns arising from insurance fraud and damage deposit fraud schemes: restitution for fraud schemes pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA), 18 U.S.C. § 3663A, and “restitution” for tax offenses in the conditions for supervised release pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3583(d))10/04/2010
-Dorr v. Weber, et al. (Plaintiff Paul Dorr is a prevailing party within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and, therefore, is entitled to an award of some reasonable amount in attorneys’ fees. After a line-by-line review of the fee application, the court decided that the fees claimed should be reduced for time not reasonably expended, further reduced by ten percent for “block billing,” and an additional ten percent “penalty” reduction for a wildly over-inflated fee request. Therefore, the court awarded attorneys’ fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 to Paul Dorr in the amount of $51,744.26, and additional costs and expenses to Paul in the amount of $2,430.60.)09/30/2010
-U.S. v. Miell : (sentencing of landlord convicted of 18 counts of mail fraud, 2 counts of perjury, and 2 counts of filing of false tax returns arising from insurance fraud and damage deposit fraud schemes: applicability of upward adjustments for amount of loss, number of victims, sophisticated means, substantial interference with administration of justice, abuse of a position of trust, and obstruction of justice; applicability of downward adjustment for acceptance of responsibility; determination of whether and to what extent to vary upward from the advisory sentencing guidelines range in light of the damage deposit fraud scheme, which preyed on people too economically vulnerable or unsophisticated to contest the landlord’s claims for relatively little gain in individual cases, but amounting to over a million dollars in losses in aggregate)09/27/2010
-Scadden v. Northwest Iowa Hospital Corp. -- Order denying plaintiffs' motion to reinstate wrongful death claim on behalf of unborn child. At the eleventh hour, after expiration of the deadline to amend pleadings and only two months before trial, plaintiffs moved to reinstate wrongful death claim for the death of their unborn child, arguing Nebraska law, rather than Iowa law, should control the issue. Court found motion was untimely, but also analyzed the choice-of-law issues raised by the plaintiffs, finding that in any event, Iowa law controlled.09/22/2010
-Dollar v. Smithway Motor Xpress, Inc., et al (Employment discrimination, suit by employee against former employer alleging violates the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601-2654, cross-motions for partial summary judgment; analysis of whether plaintiff could establish that she suffered from a serious health condition; analysis of whether plaintiff could establish she provided employer with notice and her need for FMLA leave, and, examination of whether plaintiff suffered any damages recoverable under the FMLA as a result of her employer’s firing her.)09/15/2010
-Cuvelier v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on parties' joint motion for sentence four remand. Court found entry of judgment is the 'substantive ruling' required in order to grant a sentence four remand, and recommended the motion be granted without full briefing and review of the entire administrative record.09/14/2010
-United States of America v. McManaman -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending defendant's motion to suppress be denied, court found probable cause existed for issuance of a search warrant for guns, drugs, and related items, and evidence of child pornography inevitably would have been discovered during any search pursuant to the warrant.09/14/2010
-Scadden v. Northwest Iowa Hosp. Corp. -- Order denying hospital's motion for summary judgment on technical grounds. Hospital failed to comply with Local Rules in connection with it's "statement of undisputed facts." 09/13/2010
-Leventhal v. Schaffer (Events on RAGBRAI 2005 led to plaintiff William Eugene Leventhal’s 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action for unlawful arrest, ultimately resulting in a three-day bench trial against defendant Sergeant Daniel Schaffer. Leventhal established that Schaffer violated his Fourth Amendment rights, because Schaffer lacked probable cause in arresting Leventhal for cursing and pointing his finger at Schaffer. Nevertheless, Leventhal did not win his lawsuit, because the court found that Schaffer was entitled to qualified immunity.)09/09/2010
-U.S. v. Villagomez, et al.(criminal prosecution for conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud, theft from a program receiving federal funds, and bribery; reconsideration of denial of defendants’ motion pursuant to Rule 10(e) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure to settle the record concerning whether members of the public were entirely excluded from jury selection) 09/07/2010
-Lindstrom v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to comply with previous remand order in connection with his decision that claimant's substance abuse was a material contributing factor in the disability determination.09/01/2010
-Burroughs v. Astrue -- Order on motion for sentence four remand. Court found full review of the record is unnecessary to grant joint motion for sentence four remand, as long as the remand order expressly reverses the Commissioner's decision and directs entry of judgment.09/01/2010
-Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, et al v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services (Advocacy group’s action challenging Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations requiring “milk” in final package form for beverage use to be pasteurized or ultrapasteurized and prohibiting the delivery into interstate commerce of any milk in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized; defendants’ motion to dismiss: standing, ripeness, foreclosure by Ewing v. Mytinger & Casselberry, Inc., 339 U.S. 594 (1950), and administrative exhaustion requirements) 08/18/2010
-The Estate of Brock C. Pigorsch, et al v. York College v. Harlan Jacobsen d/b/a Video Mania & Eugene Camillocci (tort diversity action concerning motor vehicle accident; defendant’s motion for partial summary judgment: conflict-of-law question concerning whether Iowa, Kansas or Nebraska law was applicable to the substantive legal questions presented in the case; using the choice-of-law rules of the forum state-Iowa, and applying Iowa’s “most significant relationship” test to determine conflict-of-laws questions, the court concluded that Iowa law is applicable to the substantive legal questions presented in the case08/18/2010
-Farm-To-Consumer-Legal Defense Fund, et al v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al (Advocacy group’s action challenging Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations requiring “milk” in final package form for beverage use to be pasteurized or ultrapasteurized and prohibiting the delivery into interstate commerce of any milk in final package form for direct human consumption unless the product has been pasteurized; defendants’ motion to dismiss: standing, ripeness, foreclosure by Ewing v. Mytinger & Casselberry, Inc., 339 U.S. 594 (1950), and administrative exhaustion requirements)08/18/2010
-Aventure Communications Technology LLC v. Iowa Utilities Board, et al (Action by a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) for a preliminary injunction enjoining action to enforce an order of the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) concerning “high volume access service” (HVAS), including conference bridges, chat lines, help desks, and other services based upon a high volume of incoming and outgoing calls, and motions by interexchange carriers (IXCs) to intervene: application of Rule 24(a)(2) standards to motions to intervene as of right based on participation in administrative rule-making proceedings and application of the Dataphase factors to the CLEC’s motion for preliminary injunction.)08/17/2010
-Hauth v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America (ERISA, judicial review of the denial of a claim for life insurance benefits under a group life insurance policy, analysis of whether insurer’s decision to deny life insurance benefits was reasonable, that is, supported by substantial evidence.)08/10/2010
-U.S. v. Villagomez, et al (criminal prosecution for conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud, theft from a program receiving federal funds, and bribery; defendants’ motion pursuant to Rule 10(e) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure to settle the record concerning whether members of the public were entirely excluded from jury selection) 08/06/2010
-U.S. v. Kent Robinson (Motion for change of venue; analysis of ten factors identified in Platt v. Minnesota Mining & Mfg. Co., 376 U.S. 240 (1964)-(1) the location of the defendant, (2) location of possible witnesses; (3) location of events likely to be in issue; (4) location of documents and records likely to be involved; (5) disruption of defendant’s business unless the case is transferred; (6) expense to the parties; (7) location of counsel; (8) relative accessibility of the place of trial; (9) docket condition of each district; and (10) any other special elements which might affect the transfer-in deciding whether to transfer the case from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to the District of Columbia.)07/29/2010
-The Prudential Insurance Co. of America, et al v. Inlay (Action by insurance company against former agent seeking temporary restraining order pending FINRA arbitration action to address claims of breach of confidentiality and non-solicitation agreements, misappropriate of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of duty of loyalty, intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic advantages, and conversion; whether FINRA Arbitration Rule 13804 permitting a party to arbitration to seek a “temporary injunctive order” in court permits the court to enter a “preliminary injunction” or only a “temporary restraining order,” whether the Dataphase factors warranted a temporary injunction on the former agent’s conduct)07/28/2010
-McFarland v. McFarland (Diversity action for slander, libel, defamation and tortuous interference with prospective business relations; motion for summary judgment; determination of whether the court should delay consideration of Motion for Summary Judgment, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(f), until plaintiff has completed discovery in the case; analysis under Iowa law of whether witness, who provided affidavit as part of a divorce proceeding, enjoys an absolute privilege for those statements made in the course of the dissolution litigation.)07/26/2010
-Meyerhoff v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to include all of claimant's limitations in hypothetical question to vocational expert and in the ALJ's RFC determination, and recommended remand to determine claimant's disability onset date and for calculation and award of benefits.07/26/2010
-Hoskins v. Snap-On Incorporated Retirement Plan (Plaintiff Dean Hoskins appealed Defendant Snap-On Incorporated Retirement Plan’s denial of disability retirement benefits, and Hoskins requested the assessment of a penalty for Snap-On’s failure to provide Plan documents; the court held that Snap-On’s decision not to award disability benefits was not supported by substantial evidence and ordered Snap-On to award Hoskins disability benefits; the court also assessed Snap-On a penalty for failing to timely produce Plan documents.)07/20/2010
-Polson v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled.07/19/2010
-Turner v. U.S. (Federal prisoner’s motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, asserting as grounds that the prosecution violated his due process rights under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), by failing to disclose police reports that contained material which could have been used to impeach the police officers and that he was provided with ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. Motion denied in its entirety: first, petitioner, by entering a plea of guilty, waived his right to collaterally attack his conviction based on claims that his counsel was ineffective in his handling of the suppression hearing, that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to challenge the sufficiency of the Indictment’s 21 U.S.C. § 860 charge, and that the prosecution’s failure to disclose the police reports was a Brady violation; second, petitioner could not relitigate in his § 2255 motion his claim that his appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to challenge petitioner’s armed career criminal designation since that issue was raised and decided on appeal; and, finally, petitioner could not demonstrate that his counsel’s conduct fell below the wide range of reasonable professional assistance in failing to object to prosecution’s § 851 notice of enhanced penalties, or that but for counsel’s failure to object to the prosecution’s § 851 notice, the result of the proceedings would have been any different.)07/15/2010
-Dorr v. Weber: (The court held a one day bench trial on Plaintiff Paul Dorr and Plaintiff Alexander Dorr’s claims that Defendant Sheriff Weber’s denial of their applications for concealed weapons permits was in retaliation for the Plaintiffs’ exercising their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association; the court found that Sheriff Weber’s asserted reasons for denying the permits were credible; the court found that Sheriff Weber had denied Paul Weber’s application in retaliation for his engaging in activities protected by the First Amendment, which included writing letters to the editor and distributing flyers; the court found that Sheriff Weber denied Plaintiff Alexander Dorr’s application due to Sheriff Weber’s belief that permits should not be issued to individuals under 21 years of age, which was not in violation of the First Amendment; the court provided declaratory relief to Paul Dorr, declaring Sheriff Weber’s denial of Paul Dorr’s application to constitute First Amendment Retaliation; the court ordered injunctive relief and required Sheriff Weber to immediately issue Paul Dorr a concealed weapons permit; the court ordered further remedial relief in requiring Sheriff Weber to take a class concerning the First Amendment.)07/07/2010
-U.S. v. Sholom Rubashkin; sentencing memorandum06/21/2010
-Kliment v. Astrue (The court granted Plaintiff’s request for attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d); however, pursuant to the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Astrue v. Ratliff, --- S.Ct. ---, 2010 WL 2346547 (2010), the court awarded the fees to the Plaintiff, rather than awarding them directly to Plaintiff’s counsel.)06/15/2010
-Hovenga v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of disability insurance and supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ had failed to make a complete and proper credibility analysis and failed to ask clear hypothetical questions, and Appeals Council erred in failing to consider a medical source statement submitted after the ALJ's decision. Case remanded for further development of the record. 06/07/2010
-McFarland v. McFarland, et al. (Diversity action for slander, libel, defamation and tortuous interference with prospective business relations; motion for summary judgment; analysis under Iowa law of whether an expert, who offered her opinion regarding the need for structured, supervised child visitation as part of a divorce proceeding, enjoys an absolute privilege for those statements made in the course of the dissolution litigation.)06/04/2010
-USA v. Hulstein -- Order granting defendant's motion to take trial deposition by telephone.06/03/2010
-Bloom v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. Court found substantial evidence in the record supported the ALJ's decision that the claimant was not disabled. 06/02/2010
-Aquino v. San Nicolas, et al.: (Defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and claim for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; Plaintiff was held for 88 days after serving a one year sentence for possessing an illicit substance, despite her having had stipulated to her immediate deportation; the court held that the 88 day detention did not violate Plaintiff’s Due Process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Commonwealth Covenant applying the Fourteenth Amendment to the Northern Mariana Islands as if it were one of the states, pursuant to United States Supreme Court precedent finding such a detention to be presumptively reasonable; the court also held that this presumptively reasonable period of detention was not “outrageous” conduct, which caused Plaintiff’s Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress claim to fail; the court grated Defendants’ motions to dismiss but provided Plaintiff with leave to amend her complaint)05/27/2010
-Dorr v. Weber (Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and a class of similarly-situated persons, challenge denials of their applications for nonprofessional permits to carry weapons on the ground that the denials violated their constitutional rights to bear arms, to due process, and to equal protection, in violation of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments; cross motions for summary judgment; analysis of whether defendant sheriff’s is entitled to qualified immunity on plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claims, analysis of whether plaintiffs whether plaintiffs were similarly situated to persons who allegedly received favorable treatment, analysis of whether plaintiffs could a causal connection between defendants’ retaliatory animus and the denial of their gun permits sufficient to establish their First Amendment retaliation claims, examination of whether plaintiff had a property right to gun permit when local authorities have discretion to deny such a permit)05/18/2010
-U.S. v. Kevin Moes (Motion to dismiss, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to dismiss, concerning charges that defendant knowingly failed to register and update his sex offender registration as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a), the court held that SORNA applies to defendant because both Iowa and Nebraska had sex offender registries during the time the defendant is alleged to have traveled between these states and failed to register in accordance with SORNA, and concluding that application of SORNA’s penalty provision to defendant did not violate due process because the defendant received adequate notice of his duty to register in Iowa to satisfy due process.)05/11/2010
-U.S. v. Kent Robinson (criminal prosecution on charges of fraudulent uttering of a private security, with making and uttering a fictitious obligation, and mail fraud; prosecution’s motions to supplement the record regarding the defendant’s detention after the court expressed serious concerns about the prosecution’s failure to seek a detention hearing or written detention order during a hearing on the pro se defendant’s motion to revoke the detention order) 05/11/2010
-U.S. v. Miell (Motion to withdraw guilty pleas pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11; after pleading guilty to the charged mail fraud and perjury offenses, defendant sought to withdraw guilty pleas on the ground that his guilty pleas were invalid because the court failed to advise him of the maximum possible sentence he faced and the court’s authority to order restitution; defendant also asserted that his counsel’s ineffective assistance constituted a fair and just reason to permit him to withdraw his guilty pleas; examination of whether the court informed defendant of the maximum penalties he was facing for each of the mail fraud and perjury counts; analysis of whether Rule 11 requires a court to specifically advise the defendant of the possibility of consecutive sentencing; assessment of whether the court’s error in failing to inform defendant of the possibility of restitution affected his substantial rights; analysis of whether defendant should be permitted to withdraw his guilty pleas because he was provided with ineffective assistance of counsel; assessment of other Rule 11 factors of defendant’s innocence, the timing of his motion, and whether the prosecution will be prejudiced by defendant’s withdrawal of guilty pleas)05/10/2010
-Collins v. Center for Siouxland -- Order denying defendant's motion for separate trials in case where plaintiffs, who consecutively held same job, both allege wrongful discharge for violation of whistle blower statute.05/07/2010
-VGM Financial Services v. Singh, et al.; order granting third party defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction04/30/2010
-Neessen v. Arona Corp.; order denying employer's motion for summary judgment in pregnancy discrimination action04/30/2010
-Bernadita Aldan & Miguel Aldan v. World Corporation (Slip-and-fall action under CNMI law on diversity jurisdiction: plaintiffs’ motion to amend complaint to add a prayer for punitive damages, pursuant to Rules 15 and 16, after the deadline for amendments in the scheduling order: diligence of the plaintiffs in attempting to discover the new information on which the proposed amendment was based and in filing the motion to amend after actually discovering that new information, prejudice to the defendant of reopening discovery, and futility of the amendment as failing to put the defendant on notice of the claim for punitive damages)04/30/2010
-Kliment v. Astrue (Plaintiff appealed the Commissioner of Social Security’s finding that he was not disabled; Plaintiff claimed that there was not substantial evidence in the record to support the ALJ’s determination at step three, of the familiar five-step analysis, that Kliment did not meet or equal the conditions in Listing 12.05(C) and, specifically, that there is not substantial evidence in the record to support the ALJ’s failure to find a second medically determinable impairment under Listing 12.05(C), that the ALJ failed to pose a hypothetical question to the Vocational Expert witness that clearly presented a set of limitations that mirrored Kliment’s, and that the ALJ failed to determine and communicate a residual functional capacity specific enough to determine if Kliment is disabled; the court found, as did Chief United States Magistrate Judge Paul A. Zoss, that there was not substantial evidence in the record for the ALJ’s decision that Plaintiff was not disabled under Listing 12.05(C) and that the ALJ posed an improper hypothetical question to the VE; however, the court also agreed with Judge Zoss that there was not overwhelming evidence that Plaintiff was disabled under Listing 12.05(C), as Plaintiff had claimed in his objection to Judge Zoss’s Report and Recommendation; the case is remanded for further consideration of whether Plaintiff meets Listing 12.05(C) and for a reassessment of Plaintiff’s residual functional capacity)04/28/2010
-U.S. v. Paul Riesselman (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation regarding motion to suppress, granting in part and denying in defendant’s Motion to Suppress; concluding that defendant’s Motion to Suppress should be granted as to drugs seized from his person because the prosecution conceded the pat-down search of defendant by law enforcement officers was neither authorized by a search warrant nor reasonable under the circumstances; finding that a cellular telephone, that was also seized during the same search of defendant’s person, should be suppressed for the same reasons as the drugs; rejected defendant’s argument that all evidence seized pursuant to a search warrant for his residence should be suppressed because law enforcement officers executing the search warrant failed to provide him with a complete copy of the search warrant; rejecting defendant’s contention that statement he made to law enforcement officers should be suppressed because it was the product of the unlawful search of his person; and, finding that, with respect to defendant’s statements concerning drugs and cellular telephone found on him, that the prosecution had met its burden of proving that the connection between the illegal search of defendant’s person and his statement was so attenuated as to dissipate the taint of the illegal search, and concluding that defendant’s statement was given freely, and was not coerced or procured though exploitation of the illegal seizure of the drugs or cellular telephone. 04/28/2010
-SmithCo Manufacturing, Inc. v. Haldex Brake Products Corporation : (Action arising from the substitution by the defendant of a different air control valve for the one that the defendant had previously supplied, which the plaintiff uses in the air suspension system of the side-dump trailers that it manufactures; defendant’s motion for summary judgment: after voluntary dismissal of the plaintiff’s negligence claim, and denial of leave to amend to assert express warranty and promissory estoppel claims, the only question was whether the defendant was entitled to summary judgment on the plaintiff’s breach of implied warranty claim on the ground that the plaintiff never informed the defendant, and the defendant had no reason to know, of the particular purpose for which the plaintiff intended to use the valve) 04/28/2010
-U.S. v. Villagomez, et al (08cr20) : (criminal prosecution for conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud, theft from a program receiving federal funds, and bribery; defendants’ joint renewed motion pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b) for release from custody while their convictions are on appeal, heard as a visiting judge to the District of the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan): whether the defendants asserted a “fairly debatable” claim of violation of their Sixth Amendment right to a public trial, arising from the trial judge’s refusal to release unoccupied reserved seats to members of the general public) 04/22/2010
-USA v. Villanueva-Martinez -- Order on detention. Court held risk that defendant might possibly be deported prior to facing trial on federal charges was not determinative of his eligibility for pretrial release, and determination had to be made based on factors enumerated in 18 USC 3142.04/22/2010
-Huisman v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ's residual functional capacity assessment was not supported by the record, and ALJ failed to make a proper credibility analysis. Case remanded for further proceedings.04/21/2010
-Kim v. Quichocho, et al. : (Defendants moved to dismiss plaintiff’s claims 1 through 3, claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), for allegedly failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and for failing to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b), where fraud had been alleged; the court found that the RICO claims should be dismissed, if they are not properly amended, for failing to properly allege predicate acts of racketeering activity; although the plaintiff alleged wire fraud and money laundering as predicate acts of racketeering activity, the wire fraud was not pled with particularity under Rule 9(b) and the money laundering, which requires its own predicate act of specified unlawful activity, could not rely on wire fraud as a predicate act of specified unlawful activity because of Rule 9(b) and the other alleged unlawful activity was not unlawful activity under the definition of specified unlawful activity; the court granted the plaintiff leave to amend her complaint within 90 days; failure to properly amend the complaint will result in dismissal without prejudice.)04/20/2010
-Evers v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of ALJ's denial of claimant's applications for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income. Court found ALJ gave appropriate weight to treating physicians' opinions, properly evaluated claimant's Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores, was not required to obtain vocational expert testimony, and properly evaluated claimant's credibility.04/20/2010
-USA v. Moes -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss indictment charging him with failure to register as a sex offender. Court found the case turned on a factual issue that must be decided by the jury at trial; i.e., whether the defendant "resided" in Iowa.04/14/2010
-USA v. Peter Hanson -- Order denying defendant's motion for severance. Court found Bruton issue to be moot, and found defendant had failed to show prejudice from joint trial with co-defendants.04/12/2010
-U.S. v. Norita & Sablan (criminal prosecution on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine against both defendants and a gun charge against one defendant heard as a visiting judge to the District of the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan); prosecution’s motions in limine to exclude evidence of defendants’ drug addiction, any mention of penalties, to exclude prior criminal histories of confidential informants) 04/07/2010
-U.S. v. Norita & Sablan (criminal prosecution on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine against both defendants and a gun charge against one defendant heard as a visiting judge to the District of the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan); one defendant’s motion to reconsider denial of prosecution’s motion to dismiss indictment)04/06/2010
-Smithco Manufacturing, Inc. v. Haldex Brake Products, Corp. -- Order denying motion for leave to amend Complaint. Court found plaintiff failed to show good cause for the delay in seeking to amend its Complaint as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 16.04/05/2010
-U.S. v. Norita & Sablan (criminal prosecution on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine against both defendants and a gun charge against one defendant heard as a visiting judge to the District of the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan); prosecution’s motion to dismiss indictment rather than produce DEA manuals as ordered as a sanction for failure to disclose sections of the manuals: court’s determination that the motion to dismiss was moot upon reconsideration of the underlying discovery dispute) 04/02/2010
-United States v. Riesselman -- Amended Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress drugs and cell phone found on his person during a pat-down search, evidence seized during execution of a search warrant, and statements he gave to officers at the scene. Government agreed pat-down search exceeded permissible scope under the circumstances, and court recommended drugs and cell phone be suppressed. On other issues, court found defendant never invoked his right to counsel; failure to give defendant complete copy of search warrant, including attachment that described items to be searched, was not deliberate and did not require suppression of evidence where defendant failed to show prejudice; although defendant's statements regarding illegally-seized drugs and cell phone were fruit of the illegal search, statements were sufficiently attenuated to purge the taint; and defendant's other statements were voluntary and did not flow from illegal seizure of items from defendant's person.03/31/2010
-U.S. v. Sablan (Motion to suppress, order finding that defendant had made sufficient showing to be entitled to evidentiary hearing under Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978), but denying motion to suppress because defendant had not proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the search warrant affiant knowingly and intentionally included false information, or did so with reckless disregard for the truth, and alternatively, even were the court to assume, arguendo, that defendant could show that the affiant included intentional falsehoods or statements made with reckless disregard for the truth and set aside those allegations, the court would nevertheless conclude that the supporting affidavit otherwise provided probable cause for the search.)03/31/2010
-U.S. v. Norita & Sablan (criminal prosecution on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine against both defendants and a gun charge against one defendant heard as a visiting judge to the District of the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan); defendants’ pretrial motions for discovery sanctions against the prosecution for failure to disclose sections of a DEA Laboratory Operations Manual and sections of a DEA Agent’s Field Manual, one defendant’s motion to sever the gun charge against the other defendant for separate trial, and one defendant’s motion for appointment of her retained counsel pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act) 03/29/2010
-The Samuels Group, Inc. v. Hatch Grading & Contracting, Inc.; order granting defendant's motion to stay pursuant to Colorado River Abstention Doctrine03/23/2010
-USA v. Ruben Olivares-Rodriguez -- Report and recommendation on motion to suppress evidence arising from search of vehicle by a certified drug detection dog. Court found dog was reliable, and his handler reasonably believed the dog had indicated on the vehicle, providing probable cause to search the vehicle's interior. Court further found testimony of defense witness Steven Nicely was entitled to no weight.03/22/2010
-U.S. v. Sandra Hanson (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress, finding: that while the search and seizure occurred after a warning citation had been issued, the law enforcement officer’s continued detention of defendant in order to permit a drug dog sniff was justified by that officer’s reasonable suspicion that criminal activity unrelated to the stop was afoot; that the information from the informant was not stale and could be relied upon to support a finding of reasonable suspicion; that the fact that a drug dog’s initial failure to indicate on defendant’s pickup truck did not negate the other facts and information supporting the existence of reasonable suspicion; that defendant consented to having a drug sniffing dog enter the back of her truck, which resulted in the discovery of marijuana in the vehicle.)03/19/2010
-Johnson v. U.S.(§ 2255 motion by defendant convicted of capital charges of murders while working in furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise: respondent’s motion for psychiatric examinations of the petitioner: the applicable discovery rule for mental examinations, via Habeas Rule 6(a), is Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, not Rule 12.2 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure; “in controversy” and “good cause” requirements of Rule 35, including whether the respondent was required to meet those requirements as to categories of mental conditions and categories of tests, or as to specific mental conditions and specific tests; Fifth and Sixth Amendment concerns and requirements for reports) 03/18/2010
-IVESCO Holdings, LLC v. Professional Veterinary Products, Ltd and ProConn, LLC; order granting partial summary judgment as to plaintiff's punitive damages claim03/17/2010
-Redd v. McKinney -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC Section 2254. Court found petitioner failed to show Iowa court's decisions were unreasonable in finding his trial and appellate counsel were not ineffective for failing to lodge proper objections to admission of certain evidence at trial. 03/16/2010
-USA v. Riesselman -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress drugs found in his pocket during a pat-down search, evidence seized during execution of a search warrant, and a statement he gave to officers at the scene. Government agreed pat-down search exceeded permissible scope under the circumstances, and court recommended drugs be suppressed. On other issues, court found defendant never invoked his right to counsel; failure to give defendant complete copy of search warrant, including attachment that described items to be searched, was not deliberate and did not require suppression of evidence where defendant failed to show prejudice; and defendant's statement was voluntary and did not flow from illegal seizure of drugs from defendant's pocket. 03/16/2010
-Kitterman v. Coventry Health Care of Iowa, Inc.(action for judicial review of denial of health insurance benefits pursuant to ERISA: whether the plaintiffs are responsible for any more than $8,000 of the medical expenses in question, as that is the amount identified in the plan as the annual “out-of-pocket maximum” for an individual for treatment from “non-participating providers,” where the insurance company declined to pay medical expenses totaling almost three times that amount, on the ground that various costs do not “apply” to the “out-of-pocket maximum”)03/15/2010
-Transamerica Life Insurance Company, et al v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Company : (Action by one insurance company seeking declaration of non-infringement of another insurance company’s business method patent for a “method and apparatus for providing retirement income benefits” and the other insurance company’s counterclaims for infringement: motions, after jury verdict finding infringement and court’s entry of permanent injunction, concerning infringer’s compliance with permanent injunction: infringer’s motion to modify permanent injunction, pursuant to Rule 60(b)(5) (last clause), based on three purported “design arounds” and for refund of royalties paid based on the first “design around”; patent holder’s motion, pursuant to paragraph 4 of the permanent injunction, for a further accounting and payment of a further royalty at a further enhanced rate based on assertion that “design arounds” still infringe the patent-in-suit)03/08/2010
-United States v. Two Hundred Fifty-Six Thousand Two Hundred Thirty-Five Dollars and Ninety-Seven Cents ($256,235.97), et al.; order denying claimant's motion for summary judgment in forfeiture03/08/2010
-Ralph Reeder, M.D. v. Thomas Carroll, M.D. and the Iowa Board of Medical Examiners; order dismissing defendant state agency based on Eleventh Amendment Immunity03/05/2010
-Peteson v. Prosser -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment in case seeking damages from various police officers and government officials for false arrest, criminal assault, falsifying public documents, criminal conspiracy to falsify public records, evidence tampering, conspiracy to induce false testimony, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation of characater, violation of civil rights, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, perjury, criminal conspiracy to violate constitutional rights, and obstruction of justice. Court found material issues of fact existed for trial on claims of false arrest and assault against two police officers, and further found the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on those claims. Court recommended all other claims and parties be dismissed.03/04/2010
-U.S. v. Thomas J. Woods; sentencing memorandum regarding restitution to victim of child pornography offenses03/03/2010
-Havil v. Astrue -- Judicial review of decisions denying plaintiff's applications for disability insurance and supplemental security income benefits under the Social Security Act. After two remands for further proceedings, court found ALJ still had erred in failing to obtain proper vocational expert testimony to support decision that plaintiff was not disabled. Court found vocational expert's testimony was not adequately supported by evidence in the record, and further found the record evidence supported an immediate award of benefits.03/03/2010
-U.S. v. Sholom Rubashkin; Order denying defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal and motion for new trial03/01/2010
-McFarland v. McFarland, et al. Diversity action for slander, libel, and defamation; motion to dismiss; analysis under Iowa law of whether an attorney, who is representing party in a divorce proceedings, is entitled to immunity from suit based on the judicial proceeding privilege. 02/26/2010
-Wellenstein v. Astrue ((Plaintiff appealed the Commissioner of Social Security’s finding that he was not disabled; Plaintiff claimed that the ALJ failed to give enough weight to the opinions of certain medical sources, failed to fully and fairly develop the record concerning his physical and mental limitations, and failed to make a proper assessment of his credibility; this court found, as did Chief United States Magistrate Judge Paul A. Zoss, that there was not substantial evidence in the record to support the ALJ’s decision that Plaintiff was not disabled and ordered remand; Judge Zoss had found that the ALJ inadequately assessed the credibility of Plaintiff’s subjective complaints and that further development of the record was appropriate, as did this court; counter to Judge Zoss’s findings, this court found that the ALJ improperly analyzed the weight to be given to certain medical sources and required a reassessment on remand) 02/24/2010
-Kliment v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for disability insurance and supplemental security income benefits under the Social Security Act. Court recommended remand for further proceedings, finding the ALJ erred in failing to give proper consideration to opinions of examining psychologists, and in posing an improper hypothetical question to vocational expert.02/23/2010
-USA v. Harrington -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. Court found officers' encounter with defendant was completely consensual; officers did not initiate a "stop" of defendant; and defendant was coherent and able to consent to be interviewed.02/16/2010
-Chisley v. Lund -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Petitioner claimed state court should not have allowed hearsay testimony into evidence. Court found the claim to be unreviewable because Iowa courts decided the claim on state law grounds, and petitioner had failed to exhaust the claim on federal constitutional grounds.02/09/2010
-McFarland v. McFarland -- Order on motion to appear pro hac vice. Court held that attorney who is likely to be witness at trial could appear in the case for purposes of pretrial litigation activities, but could not act as trial counsel and could not participate as an advocate during depositions.02/09/2010
-USA v. Hanson -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence found during search of vehicle at site of traffic stop. Court found officer's continued detention of defendant after conclusion of traffic stop for further investigation of suspected drugs in vehicle was based on officer's reasonable suspicision and did not violate defendant's Fourth Amendment rights.02/01/2010
-Johnson v. Fed Ex Corporation (Motion for Summary Judgment; the plaintiff sues her employer for sex discrimination and retaliation (plaintiff did not resist the defendant’s motion as to the retaliation claims) under Title VII and the ICRA; the plaintiff claims that she was treated differently than an allegedly similarly situated co-worker when she was terminated, and later reinstated without full back pay, while the co-worker was not disciplined; both plaintiff and co-worker had used company materials for personal use without obtaining prior permission to do so; the defendant claimed, in its motion, that the plaintiff and the co-worker were not similarly situated for various reasons, including due to the co-worker’s alleged self-reporting of his use of materials and offer to reimburse the company for the materials he used; the court found that there was a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether the parties were similarly situated)01/26/2010
-Wellenstein v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplement security income benefits. Court found ALJ gave appropriate weight to opinions of claimant's doctor and therapist, but ALJ failed to conduct a complete credibility analysis, making remand appropriate.01/26/2010
-Fikse v. Hall (State agency employee’s action for age discrimination in violation of the ADEA against the agency’s director in his official, defendant’s motion for summary judgment, analysis of whether the summary judgment record generated a genuine issue of material fact as to circumstantial evidence of age discrimination under the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting analysis.)01/25/2010
-McFarland v. McFarland (Diversity action for slander, libel, defamation and tortuous interference with prospective business relations; motion to dismiss; analysis under Iowa law of whether plaintiff had adequately pleaded factual allegations supporting his conspiracy claim such that defendants could be held liable for the foreseeable conduct of each co-conspirator, consideration of the sufficiency of plaintiff’s pleadings of the underlying torts in the amended complaint, and analysis of whether defendant’s statements about plaintiff were absolutely privileged under Iowa law.)01/19/2010
-Williams v. Ault -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Petitioner claimed trial court erred in failing to suppress identification testimony resulting from photo array; evidence was insufficient to prove he aided and abetted in murder and robbery; and trial counsel were ineffective in failing to object to jury instruction on alternative theories of prosecution, failing to enforce a plea agreement, and failing to advise him of his right to testify. Court found petitioner failed to show Iowa appellate court decisions were contrary to clearly-established federal law, or that his counsel's performance, even if deficient, prejudiced him. 01/19/2010
-Maldonado v. U.S. (2255 motion for post-conviction relief: claims of improper use of an uncounseled misdemeanor conviction, also without an interpreter, to enhance a federal sentence, ineffective assistance of counsel in failing to raise that claim at sentencing or on direct appeal to overcome procedural default of that claim and as a claim for relief, and ineffective assistance of counsel leading to forfeiture of the third level reduction for acceptance of responsibility) 01/15/2010
-Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff alleged defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, causing him to suffer ongoing, severe pain and ultimately resulting in removal of his left eye. Court found material issues of disputed fact existed, precluding summary judgment as to all but one of the defendants. Court further found that either plaintiff exhausted his administrative remedies, or alternatively a material issue of material fact existed regarding whether he properly exhausted his remedies. Court further found defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity. 01/14/2010
-U.S. v. Tony Golden (Sentencing on charges of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack, and distributing crack within 1,000 feet of a public playground or school in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841, and 860; reiteration of categorical rejection in Gully of 100:1 crack-to-powder ratio in Sentencing Guidelines and selection of 1:1 ratio as the reasoned alternative in this and all crack cases, demonstrating appropriateness of applying 1:1 ratio in all cases, then varying (upward, in this case), if necessary, based on case-specific factors, including this defendant’s prior conviction for attempted murder, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a))01/12/2010
-Iowa Municipal Ins. Ltd. v. Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Cas. -- Order granting defendant's motion to compel arbitration and staying action pending completion of arbitration proceedings. Court found arbitration clause was valid, and all of plaintiff's claim fell under the coverage of the arbitration agreement.12/22/2009
-Shannon v. Koehler, et al. : (Motion for Summary Judgment; the court denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, which requested dismissal of all plaintiff’s claims – the court found that there were genuine issues of material fact concerning whether the officer was entitled to qualified immunity for the plaintiff’s 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim based the officer’s alleged use of excessive force in arresting the plaintiff, because the record, which contained a surveillance tape, left unresolved several disputes, such as whether the plaintiff made physical contact with the officer before the officer took him down and whether the officer discontinued his use of force once the plaintiff submitted to arrest or was otherwise subdued; the defendants’ motion was also denied as to their claim that the City and Police Chief were not liable under § 1983, as the court found genuine issues of material fact concerning whether there was a continuing, widespread, persistent pattern of unconstitutional misconduct, whether the Police Chief showed deliberate indifference or tacit authorization of misconduct due to his allegedly having notice of prior incidents of police misconduct and deliberately failing to act on them, and whether these actions were the moving force behind the officer’s alleged use of excessive force on the plaintiff; the court found genuine issues of material fact concerning whether the officer was liable for assault and battery under Iowa law, and whether the City and Police Chief were liable for assault and battery under a respondeat superior theory.)12/04/2009
-Lynch v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for disability insurance and supplemental security income benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the ALJ's decision that claimant was not disabled, and recommended the Commissioner's decision be affirmed.12/04/2009
-Lois K. Myers v. Croell Redi-Mix, Inc.; court granted defendant's summary judgment motion as to plaintiff's Title VII sex discrimination claims of termination, retaliation, disparate treatment and hostile work environment12/04/2009
-USA v. Rojas - Report and Recommendation that defendant's motion to dismiss indictment for insufficiency of evidence before the grand jury be denied.12/02/2009
-Vanbogart v. Astrue -- Order denying motion for EAJA fees as untimely.11/17/2009
-Great Lakes Comm. Corp. v. Iowa Utilities Board -- Report and Recommendation on plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement of one clause of IUB Order requiring reclamation of all telephone numbers assigned to Great Lakes. In considering the Dataphase factors, and in particular the plaintiff's likelihood of prevailing on the merits, the court analyzed the IUB Order and applicable regulations and recommended that a preliminary injunction be issued.11/17/2009
-U.S. v. David Stephens (Appeal of Magistrate Judge’s order denying prosecution’s request to amend defendant’s conditions of release, concluding the Adam Walsh Amendments to the Bail Reform Act, which require that those on pretrial release for specified offenses be subject to curfew and electronic monitoring requirements, regardless of individual circumstances, facially violate the Due Process Clause.)11/17/2009
-Great Lakes Comm. Corp. v. Iowa Utilities Board - Order on Motions to Intervene and to Add Parties. In action to enjoin enforcement of order issued by Iowa Utilities Board, court found Qwest Communications Corp. and Sprint Communications Co. to be indispensable parties, and granted their motions to intervene under Fed. R. Civ. P. 24, and the Board's motion to join them as parties under Fed. R. Civ. P. 19.11/10/2009
-McFarland v. McFarland, et al. (Diversity action for slander, libel, defamation and tortuous interference with prospective business relations; motion for summary judgment; analysis under Iowa law of whether a court-appointed individual, who was ordered to conduct a child custody evaluation as part of divorce proceedings, is entitled to absolute quasi-judicial immunity from suit)11/02/2009
-USA v. Stephens -- Order denying Government's motion to amend conditions of pretrial release to include electronic monitoring and curfew. Court found unconstitutional the Adam Walsh Act amendments to the Bail Reform Act requiring mandatory imposition of curfew and electronic monitoring without an individual determination of whether the facts of the case required those conditions of pretrial release.10/27/2009
-U.S. v. Eric Graham (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress, finding: that the supporting affidavits for search warrant application clearly contained information which provided a substantial basis for finding a “fair probability” that contraband or evidence of illegal activity could be found in the buildings at defendant’s residence, and that law enforcement officers did not impermissibly exceed the scope of search warrant in their search.10/15/2009
-Schott v. Care Initiatives (Former employee’s age discrimination claim pursuant to the ADEA and Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA): defendant employer’s motion for summary judgment: court addressed a question ante concerning the governing law, concluding that the “but for” causation standard for ADEA claims established in Gross v. FBL, 129 S. Ct. 2343 (2009), does not apply to ICRA claims, in light of reiteration of “motivating factor” causation standard in Deboom v. Raining Rose, Inc., 772 N.W.2d 1 (Iowa 2009))10/15/2009
-Bodeans Cone Company, LLC, et al v. Norse Dairy Systems, LLC & Interbake Foods, LLC : (Antitrust action for injunctive relief and damages by one maker of novelty cones and ice cream sandwich wafers against another maker: plaintiff’s motion to exclude evidence of purportedly privileged documents, evidence of the parties’ future market shares, a list of makers of novelty ice cream products, correspondence with the Iowa Attorney General about an antitrust complaint against the defendant, and evidence of the principal’s vacation home; defendant’s motion to exclude evidence of customer responses to a survey conducted by a third-party consulting firm.)10/06/2009
-Arrington v. Richardson, et al. (Motion to Dismiss; the court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss; finding that plaintiff may enforce the federal rights created by the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2721, et seq., under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; although Congress included a remedial scheme in the Act, the court found that the scheme complemented § 1983 enforcement and was not intended to supplant § 1983.)10/01/2009
-Whitacre v. Energy Panel Structures, Inc. -- Order on plaintiff's motion for leave to amend Petition at Law. Court found plaintiff was not seeking to add non-diverse parties for the purpose of defeating federal jurisdiction, and held the amendment should be allowed.09/30/2009
-Gacke v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act. Court found substantial evidence supported the Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled due to obesity, or difficulties with concentration, persistence, or pace.09/28/2009
-USA v. Graham -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence found during execution of a search warrant at his residence. Court found there was sufficient probable cause to issue the warrant and sufficient indicia of validity for the executing officers to rely on the warrant, and the warrant adequately described the places to be searched.09/28/2009
-USA v. Martinez-Pena -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress drug evidence found in his vehicle. Defendant was stopped for speeding. He was cited for driving without a license, and vehicle was seized to install a tracking device pursuant to a warrant. While installing the device, officers found drugs in the vehicle. Court found drugs were not in plain view, and warrantless seach of vehicle violated defendant's Fourth Amendment rights. However, court further found drugs inevitably would have been discovered during inventory search of vehicle and need not be suppressed. 09/23/2009
-Schmitz v. Upper Des Moines Opportunity, Inc. (Employment discrimination, motion for partial summary judgment, analysis of plaintiffs claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for whether defendant was acting under color of state law when it terminated plaintiff’s employment, examination of whether defendant was a political subdivision of the State of Iowa as required under Iowa’s whistleblower statute, Iowa Code §70A.29, and determination of whether court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff’s remaining Iowa common law claim and dismiss it.)09/22/2009
-Hart v. Baldwin, et al. (Motion for Summary Judgment; the court grants defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the ground that plaintiff failed to “properly exhaust” his remedies pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), as there was no genuine issue of material fact concerning whether his grievance was timely filed—plaintiff failed to comply with the prison system’s rule that grievances must be filed within thirty days of incident about which the prisoner is complaining.) 09/22/2009
-Wensel v. Astrue -- Order on motion of plaintiff's counsel for attorney's fees pursuant to 42 USC 406(b). Court found fee equal to 25% of past-due benefits was excessive under the Gisbrecht factors, and reduced the fee award to approximately 18.6% of the past-due benefits.09/11/2009
-U.S. v. Mosley (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress, finding: that defendant’s freedom of movement was not restrained to the degree associated with a formal arrest at the time he was interviewed by the police and no Miranda warning was required to be given to defendant prior to interview, and that defendant’s statements were made of his own free will.)09/09/2009
-Cole v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act. Court found ALJ misinterpreted the evidence of record, and held the record did not contain substantial evidence to support the Commissioner's decision that the claimant was not disabled due to muscular dystrophy and related symptoms. 09/02/2009
-U.S. v. Eric Yockey (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress, finding: the plain view doctrine was established in this case with respect to officer’s viewing of the pornographic image on defendant’s cellular telephone, and that a police detective’s questioning of defendant and his search of defendant’s’s cellular telephone were not tainted by the arresting officer’s actions because any taint from the arresting officer’s unlawful conduct was sufficiently attenuated by other circumstances so as to purge it.)08/28/2009
-Armstrong, et al. v. Amercan Palltt Leasing, Inc. et al. (Securities litigation, motions to dismiss concerning claims brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1962, both the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. § 77, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78, as well as state common law claims; analysis under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) as to whether plaintiffs’ remaining state law claims against defendant bank derive from a common nucleus of operative fact and are of the type which ordinarily would be brought in a single lawsuit so as to give the court supplemental jurisdiction over all of the state law claims against bank; decision under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) concerning whether RICO § 1965(b) and/or § 27 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78aa, creates nationwide service of process permitting the court to exercise jurisdiction over defendants; analysis under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) concerning whether plaintiffs’ RICO claims are based on securities fraud as predicate acts and thus barred by § 107 of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1965; determination of whether plaintiffs sufficiently pled claims under sections 10(b), 18 and 20 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78j(b), 78r(a), 78t(a) and sections 11 and 12 of the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. §§ 77k and 77l; review of the adequacy of plaintiffs’ pleadings concerning state law claims for conversion, professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent misrepresentations or nondisclosures, and fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions.)08/26/2009
-McFarland v. McFarland -- Order on plaintiff's motion for voluntary dismissal without prejudice of certain defendants, who asked that their dismissals be with prejudice. Court found FRCP 41(a)(1) mandated dismissal without prejudice08/25/2009
-U.S. v. Earl Foy, Jr. (criminal prosecution on charges of sending threatening communications in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 876(b) and (c): upward variance from 262 to 480 months of imprisonment, achieved by running the two longest statutory maximum sentences consecutively, with other sentences to run concurrently, based primarily on the § 3553(a)(1) and (a)(2) factors, including the defendant’s substantial history of violence and violence toward women) 08/24/2009
-In re Robert K. Miell (appeal by Chapter 11 debtor, facing sentencing on federal criminal charges and tax litigation, from the bankruptcy court’s denial of his motion to hire attorneys and to pay them from the estate: whether 11 U.S.C. § 105(a) can be used to provide a mechanism for payment of a debtor’s attorneys from the bankruptcy estate in a Chapter 11 case in the same way that 11 U.S.C. § 330(a)(4)(B) might provide for payment of attorneys from the bankruptcy estate in Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 cases.) 08/19/2009
-Transamerica Life Insurance Co. et al v. Lincoln Natinal Life Insurance Co. (Bill of Costs, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54 and 28 U.S.C. § 1920; the court decides whether the prevailing party should have deposition and document discovery costs apportioned, due to the risk of impermissible double recovery resulting from the anticipated use of the same depositions and document discovery in the other trial; the court also determines whether third party technology vendor consultant’s fees, travel, lodging, and food expenses are properly considered “exemplification” costs under § 1920; the court holds that (1) deposition and document discovery costs should not be apportioned due to a second pending trial but that such costs incurred before the commencement of the suit are not compensable, and (2) third party technology vendor consulting fees are properly considered “exemplification” costs under § 1920 and were necessarily incurred due to the complexity of the case but that the consultant’s travel, lodging, and food expenses are not compensable)08/17/2009
-Ohlendorf v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. -- Order denying defendants' motion to dismiss. Court found plaintiff had stated a marginally plausible claim for relief, and further development of the record was necessary before case could be summarily dismissed.08/11/2009
-Carver v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court reversed Commissioner's decision, finding claimant disabled due to ongoing pain from previously broken ankle; arthritis in lower back, right ankle, and foot; and pain in right ankle, back, and hip.08/07/2009
-USA v. Yockey -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence located on, and stemming from, the discovery of child pornography on his cell phone at the time he was booked into the jail for driving while suspended. Court found discovery of pornographic image by inentorying officer was inadvertent; arresting officer's examination of additional photographs on the phone and questioning of defendant before giving Miranda warnings was unlawful; and detective's questioning of defendant after Miranda warnings and examination of phone's contents with defendant's consent would have occurred solely on the basis of the single photo inadvertently accessed by inventorying officer and therefore need not be suppressed. 08/03/2009
-USA v. Mosley -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress statements made when officers arrived to execute a search warrant at his house. Court found that under Eighth Circuit jurisprudence, defendant was not "in custody" at the time he made his statements, and therefore failure to give him Miranda warnings did not require suppression of his statements.07/27/2009
-Hart v. Baldwin -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment in prisoner 1983 case where plaintiff claimed unconstitutional retrictions on his mail. Court found plaintiff had failed to exhaust administrative remedies with regard to claims for monetary damages, and claims for equitable relief were rendered moot when prisoner was transferred to another facility.07/23/2009
-Matheis v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in substituting his own opinions for those of claimant's treating physician, and ALJ based his decision on speculation rather than on the evidence of record. 07/20/2009
-Redd v. McKinney -- Report and Recommendation on respondent's motion for partial summary judgment. Parties conceded, and court concluded, that only one issue raised in 2254 petition had been properly exhausted and was ripe for decision.07/20/2009
-Roberts et al. v. USCC Payroll Corporation & Stephanie Hood (Employment discrimination, motion for summary judgment, analysis of whether plaintiffs could establish a prima facie case of age discrimination, examination of whether plaintiffs generated a genuine issue of material fact that the reason defendants proffered for terminating them was pretextual, specifically whether they could make out the necessary showings that they were treated differently than similarly situated younger employees where they were fired after an investigation revealed that plaintiffs had violated a company policy that prohibited employees from working on the accounts of friends and family members; and determination of whether the granting of summary judgment constituted an unconstitutional violation of the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. )07/17/2009
-Settell v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co.: (claimant’s action against insurer and claim administrator for judicial review of denial of long-term disability benefits under ERISA plan: decision on the merits: claim pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B) alleging improper denial of benefits, in light of opinions of treating physicians and the insurer’s consulting physicians; claim for imposition of a penalty pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(c) for failure to provide plan documents, including propriety of such a penalty against an insurer that was not the plan administrator)07/14/2009
-Vanbogart v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order reversing Commissioner's denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found plaintiff's migraine headaches would cause her ot miss three or more days of work per month, rendering her disabled.07/13/2009
-Dorr v. Weber, et al. (Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and a class of similarly-situated persons, challenge denials of their applications for nonprofessional permits to carry weapons on the ground that the denials violated their constitutional rights to bear arms, to due process, and to equal protection, in violation of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments; motion to dismiss by the county sheriff’s department and the sheriff’s “successors”: sufficiency of allegations of facts making it plausible that the county sheriff’s department had the power to make and enforce any rules and regulations, independent of the Sheriff, such that it might, itself, have the power to sue or be sued concerning the exercise of such power, and was not merely an instrumentality of the sheriff; necessity of including the sheriff’s “successors” as parties to ensure effective injunctive relief)07/07/2009
-Fikse v. State of Iowa Third Judicial District Department of Correctional Services, et al. (State agency employee’s action for age discrimination in violation of the ADEA against the agency and the agency’s director, in his official capacity: defendants’ motion to dismiss on Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity grounds: whether the ADEA abrogates Eleventh Amendment immunity; whether the state agency waived Eleventh Amendment immunity, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000d-7(a)(1), by accepting federal funding; whether a state official, sued in his or her official capacity, has Eleventh Amendment immunity to a claim for prospective injunctive relief from violations of the ADEA; whether the plaintiff’s claim for prospective injunctive relief against the state official is adequately pleaded)07/02/2009
-U.S. v. Jacob : (criminal prosecution on charges of using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity prohibited by state law, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2242(b), and interstate transportation of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(1); sentencing memorandum: the merits of the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines for defendants convicted of child pornography offenses, U.S.S.G. § 2G2.2, and child exploitation offenses, 18 U.S.C. § 2G2.1, including the impact of congressional mandates rather than the United States Sentencing Commission’s exercise of its institutional expertise and empirical analysis; rejection of both guidelines on categorical policy grounds and on individualized application of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors) 06/26/2009
-Beekman v. Nestle Purina Petcare Company (Motion for Summary Judgment; plaintiff sues former employer, alleging that the employer interfered with her ability to take Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leave on several occasions, retaliated against her for exercising her rights under the FMLA when it terminated her, and wrongfully discharged her in violation of the public policy set out in Iowa’s workers’ compensation laws, Iowa Code Chapter 85; employer’s motion for summary judgment: seeks dismissal of FMLA interference claims occurring outside of two year statute of limitations typically applicable to FMLA violations; disputes whether plaintiff 1) was entitled to FMLA leave on the dates in question, 2) had provided the Company with adequate and timely notice of her need for FMLA leave, and 3) had followed the Company’s call-in procedures; concerning both the FMLA retaliation and common law wrongful discharge claims, the Company alleges that Beekman cannot demonstrate a causal connection between her protected activity and her termination; the Company also alleges, in respect to both claims, that Beekman cannot prove that its articulated reason for the discharge was pretextual; the Company claims that Beekman was not an at-will employee, because of her union membership and the collective bargaining agreement between the Union and the Company, and therefore is not entitled to the protections of the public policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine)06/25/2009
-Accurate Controls, Inc. v. Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors, et al.: (Action pursuant to Iowa Code Ch. 573 by sub-subcontractor for electronic security systems for a new county jail to recover payment from the general contractor, the contractor’s surety, and the county board of supervisors after the electrical subcontractor that directly employed the sub-subcontractor defaulted: parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment: diversity subject matter jurisdiction of federal courts to hear an action where a state statute lays venue in the court of a particular county; timeliness of an Iowa Code Ch. 573 action; applicability of § 573.15, which requires detailed notice to a general contractor of “claims for material furnished,” to an entity that provided both material and labor; adequacy of invoices provided to subcontractor and forwarded to general contractor with subcontractor’s pay application to provide required notice to the general contractor of a claim for material furnished by a sub-subcontractor; available damages under Chapter 573; and continued viability of a Chapter 573 action against a county board that had released the retainage on payments to the general contractor upon completion of the project)06/18/2009
-Transamerica Life Insurance, et al. v. Lincoln National Life Insurance (Action by one insurance company seeking declaration of non-infringement of another insurance company’s business method patent for a “method and apparatus for providing retirement income benefits” and the other insurance company’s counterclaims for infringement: post-trial motions after jury trial on infringement and invalidity issues: alleged infringer’s motion for JMOL pursuant to Rule 50(b); alleged infringer’s alternative motion for new trial pursuant to Rule 59(a); prevailing patent holder’s motion for prejudgment interest; prevailing patent holder’s motion for permanent injunction)06/08/2009
-Precision Press, Inc. d/b/a Anderson Brothers Printing Co. v. MLP USA, Inc. (Contract law, motion to dismiss, or alternatively, to stay pending arbitration; dispute over whether arbitration clause in sales agreement for commercial printer required dismal or stay of case; analysis of whether state or federal law governs the dispute; examination of whether Federal Arbitration Act applies to sale agreement’s arbitration clause, review of whether that arbitration agreement constituted an agreement to arbitrate the issues involved in the litigation; and determination of whether dismissal of case, as opposed to a stay pending arbitration, was permitted by the Federal Arbitration Act.)06/01/2009
-Blazek v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found overwhelming evidence supported Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled.05/27/2009
-U.S. v. Kevin Kruse; Defendant who pled guilty to one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor sentenced to 470 months of imprisonment after applying 2G2.1 and 4B1.5.05/26/2009
-B& D Land and Livestock Co. v. Ed Schafer (B & D Land and Livestock Co. v. Schafer (Judicial review of administrative action by the USDA finding a wetland “conversion” in violation of the “Swampbuster” Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 3801, 3821-24: plaintiff’s claim for attorney fees and costs under EAJA, 28 U.S.C. § 2412, as a “prevailing party”: determination of whether government’s position was “substantially justified” and whether “special circumstances” might make a fee award unwarranted; determination of appropriate hourly rate based on cost of living increases and “special factors” consisting of counsel’s expertise in the area of wetlands law and the lack of other lawyers in this district with the distinct knowledge that this litigation has required; whether hours claimed for a preliminary injunction motion were necessary in light of assurances that the government would not deny farm program benefits during the pendency of the judicial review action) 05/21/2009
-U.S. v. Gully: (Sentencing on charges of distributing crack cocaine and distributing crack within 1,000 of a public playground or school, after a prior felony drug conviction in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 851, and 860; rejection on categorical policy grounds of 100:1 crack-to-powder ratio is Sentencing Guidelines and selection of 1:1 ratio as the reasoned alternative in this and all crack cases; methodology for imposing sentence using 1:1 crack-to-powder ratio and to enhance sentences, where appropriate, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) for violence, chronic offenders, weapon possession, and other aggravating factors) 05/18/2009
-Heimlicher v. Steele, et al -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on defendants' post-trial motions in action for damages arising from stillbirth of plaintiffs' child. Jury awarded $1.7 million in damages against doctor and hospital for common law negligence and violation of federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), 42 USC section 1395dd. Defendants moved, on numerous grounds, for judgment as a matter of law, for new trial, and to amend the judgment. Court found remittitur was appropriate because the amounts the jury deducted for past and future expense of raising the child were unreasonably low. Court therefore conditionally granted motions for new trial, and denied all other motions. 05/14/2009
-Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Janet Boot, Barbara Grant, Cindy Moffett, Remcey Jeunenne Peeples, Monika Starke, Latesha Thomas and Nicole Ann Cinquemano v. CRST Van Expedited, Inc.; court dismissed certain claims of an intervenor and EEOC because intervenor and alleged aggrieved individuals failed to disclose sex discrimination claims in their bankruptcy proceedings05/13/2009
-Moriarity v. Astrue (Plaintiff appealed the Commissioner of Social Security’s finding that she was not disabled; the Appeals Council had denied she was disabled even though she provided them, but not the ALJ, with a medical report containing opinions from her treating physician. The court applied the framework governing a district court’s reveiew when evidence is provided to the Appeals Council but not the ALJ, as explained in Riley v. Shalala, 18 F.3d 619, 622 (8th Cir. 1994) and remanded the case for further development of the record.) 05/13/2009
-Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Janet Boot, Barbara Grant, Cindy Moffett, Remcey Jeunenne Peeples, Monika Starke, Latesha Thomas and Nicole Ann Cinquemano v. CRST Van Expedited, Inc.; court held EEOC was not immune from the statute of limitations set forth in 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e-5, but EEOC was not barred from seeking relief on behalf of allegedly aggrieved person who timely filed her own Title VII lawsuit only to dismiss it without prejudice upon learning of EEOC's enforcement action 05/11/2009
-U.S. v. Ingram : (Sentencing for on charge of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine after a prior felony drug conviction in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 851; appropriateness sua sponte review of remand from appellate court for second chance for prosecution to prove prior conviction; sufficiency of proof of defendant’s prior conviction on second chance, including applicability of Federal Rules of Evidence to proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” of a prior conviction pursuant to § 851)05/11/2009
-Ptikin v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disabilty insurance benefits. In reversing and remanding for immediate finding of disability, court found the evidence of record uniformly indicated claimant suffered from severe mental impairment due to his schizophrenia, and he could not be expected to engage in any gainful employment.05/06/2009
-The Hamlin Group, LLC v. Third Generation Investments, et al. & Third Generation Investments v. Clocktower Development, LLC (commercial dispute over promise to transfer property for development involving, inter alia, claims of breach of contract and fraud: plaintiff’s motion for voluntary dismissal pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2): sufficiency of grounds for and factors pertinent to voluntary dismissal; meaning of portion of rule permitting voluntary dismissal, over defendant’s objections, when a counterclaim is pending, “only if the counterclaim can remain pending for independent adjudication”; relevance of third-party claim to voluntary dismissal analysis; sua sponte consideration of whether leave to assert third-party claim was improvidently granted, for failure to comply with Rule 14, and sua sponte dismissal of third-party claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, because third-party claim, properly construed as claim for Rule 19 required joinder of necessary party, would deprive the court of subject matter jurisdiction)05/05/2009
-Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Janet Boot, Barbara Grant, Cindy Moffett, Remcey Jeunenne Peeples, Monika Starke, Latesha Thomas and Nicole Ann Cinquemano v. CRST Van Expedited, Inc.; order granting defendant's summary judgment motion as to plaintiff's claim of a pattern or practice of sexual harassment04/30/2009
-Fink v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability benefits. Court found ALJ properly weighed the medical evidence, and substantial evidence supported the Commissioner's decision that the claimant was not disabled.04/17/2009
-U.S. v. Gary Visser (Sentencing on “felon in possession of a firearm” charge: applicability of the reduction to the defendant’s base offense level under the “sporting and collecting” exception in U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(2), where he had pawned several of the firearms in his collection) 04/15/2009
-Blood et al v. Givaudan Flavors Corporation, et al (Diversity products liability action, consolidation of cases for trial, addressing issue of whether to consolidate two cases for trial under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a), considering whether a common question of law or fact exists in these cases, whether the risk of prejudice to defendants, the burden on parties, witnesses and available judicial resources posed by multiple lawsuits, and the length of time required to conclude multiple suits as against a single one)04/10/2009
-Stillmunkes, et al. v. Givaudan Flavors, Corp. et al (Diversity products liability action, consolidation of cases for trial, addressing issue of whether to consolidate two cases for trial under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a), considering whether a common question of law or fact exists in these cases, whether the risk of prejudice to defendants, the burden on parties, witnesses and available judicial resources posed by multiple lawsuits, and the length of time required to conclude multiple suits as against a single one.)04/10/2009
-Kunert v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found that although claimant's condition may have worsened to the point of disability since the expiration of her insured status, the record contained substantial evidence to support the Commissioner's decision that claimant was not disabled due to back pain or mental health problems prior to her date last insured.04/08/2009
-Moriarity v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found Commissioner erred in failing to give proper consideration and weight to treating psychiatrist's opinion that claimant's bipolar disorder would prevent her from working. 04/07/2009
-Tokheim v. Georgia-Pacific Gypsum. LLC (Employment discrimination action; defendant’s motion for summary judgment: issue of whether plaintiff’s claims were barred under the doctrine of judicial estoppel for her failure to disclose her claims against defendant to the bankruptcy court at any time during the pendency of her prior Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding in that court even though she was under an affirmative duty to do so; analysis of three factors governing whether to apply the doctrine in case: (1) whether plaintiff’s position in this court was “clearly inconsistent” with her earlier position in bankruptcy court; (2) whether plaintiff had succeeded in persuading a court to accept her earlier position, so that judicial acceptance of an inconsistent position in this court would create “the perception that either the first or the second court was misled”; and (3) whether plaintiff would derive an unfair advantage or impose an unfair detriment on the opposing party if not estopped; examination of whether plaintiff’s contention that she should not be subject to judicial estoppel in this case since her failure to inform the bankruptcy court of her claims against defendant was inadvertent because she informed her bankruptcy attorney of the claims and relied upon her bankruptcy attorney’s advice.03/31/2009
-Maxon v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to give proper weight to treating physician's opinion and in posting an inaccurate hypothetical question to the vocational expert. Case remanded for award of benefits from onset date to date of plaintiff's back surgery, and for further development of the record regarding plaintiff's impairments following her surgery. 03/27/2009
-Leventhal v. Sgt. Daniel Schaffer, et al. ((Motion for Summary Judgment; defendants move for summary judgment on all remaining claims, court grants motion regarding 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim for excessive force and Iowa Tort Claims Act, denies motion regarding § 1983 claim for unlawful arrest as the court found both a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether defendant had probable cause to arrest Leventhal and whether defendant was entitled to qualified immunity.)03/24/2009
-U.S. v. Michael Alan Reed, et al (Federal income tax enforcement action, cross-motions for summary judgment, analysis of whether the United States was in default because it had not filed a response to defendant’s answer, determination of whether defendant had satisfied his outstanding tax liabilities by submitting bonds in payment to the United States, analysis of whether summary judgment should be granted against defendant for the assessments of unpaid taxes and penalties)03/23/2009
-Volkert v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ failed to develop the record fully and fairly with regard to claimant's mental impairments, and remanded case for further proceedings. 03/23/2009
-Miller v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on review of decision denying plaintiff's application for Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found substantial evidence supported the Commissioner's decision that Miller was not disabled. 03/23/2009
-McFarland v. McFarland, Groenendyk & Robin's School of Dance & Tumbling (Diversity action for slander, libel, defamation and tortuous interference with prospective business relations; motion to dismiss for lack of diversity; analysis of plaintiff’s citizenship for purposes of diversity jurisdiction.)03/17/2009
-Farmers Cooperative Company v. Swift Pork Company & LOL Finance Company (Action by a local farm cooperative to recover a pig producer’s unpaid feed bill from the purchaser of the producer’s pigs and the producer’s finance company for disregarding the cooperative’s agricultural supply dealer’s lien pursuant to Iowa Code Ch. 570A; cross-motions for summary judgment, inter alia, on the statute of limitations applicable to the cooperative’s claim: whether the applicable statute of limitations for the cooperative’s claims is Iowa Code § 614.1(4) (five years) or Iowa Code § 614.1(10) (two years); if the applicable statute of limitations is § 614.1(10), whether the finance company is equitably estopped to assert the statute of limitations defense by alleged representations that the cooperative would be paid for the pig producer’s unpaid feed bill)03/16/2009
-Rohde v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability benefits. In affirming the Commissioner's denial of benefits, Court found claimant's subjective complaints of disabling back and leg pain were inconsistent with the record as a whole.03/12/2009
-Blood, et al v. Givaudan Flavors, Corp. et al (Diversity products liability action, motions to dismiss for failure to plead fraud with particularity, addressing issue of whether plaintiff’s claims for fraudulent concealment were pleaded with requisite particularity required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b).)03/09/2009
-MITEC Partners, LLC v. U.S. Bank National Association; court held defendant entitled to summary judgment as to plaintiff's fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation claims.02/26/2009
-U.S. v. Beiermann : (criminal prosecution on charges of possessing, receiving, transporting, and shipping child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A; sentencing memorandum: the merits of the advisory United States Sentencing Guideline for defendants convicted of child pornography offenses, U.S.S.G. § 2G2.2, including the impact of congressional mandates rather than the United States Sentencing Commission’s exercise of its institutional expertise and empirical analysis; rejection of the guideline on both an individualized application of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors and categorically on policy grounds) 02/24/2009
-Jayson Johnson v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for disability insurance and supplemental security insurance benefits. Court affirmed Commissioner's decision that substance abuse is a material factor in the plaintiff's disability. 02/24/2009
-First Bank Business Capital, Inc. f/k/a FB Commercial Finance, Inc. v. Agriprocessors, Inc., Local Pride, LLC, Abraham Aaron Rubashkin and Sholom Rubashkin; court held defendants waived right to assert improper venue on grounds of mandatory forum selection clause.02/23/2009
-U.S. v. Maurice Haltiwanger (Defendant’s objection to the prosecution’s notice of intent to seek enhanced penalties, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851(a), order rejecting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding defendant’s objection to § 851 notice, finding: that defendant’s Kansas tax stamp conviction can form the basis for an enhanced sentence because it meets the federal definition of a “felony drug offense” since under Kansas’s sentencing scheme, a drug stamp conviction may result in a maximum sentence of imprisonment for more than one year.)02/23/2009
-Accurate Controls, Inc. v. Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors - Order on plaintiff's motion for protective order regarding defendants' request to discover plaintiff's internal bid worksheet and plaintiff's purchase orders for materials used in construction of county jail. Court held plaintiff is entitled to recover more than its actual cost of labor and materials under Iowa Code chapter 573, but not necessarily the full amount of its contract. Plaintiff must show its contract price was "just" and "established by law." Motion granted as to internal bid worksheets, and denied as to pruchase orders for materials, subject to concurrent protective order.02/23/2009
-Greenhaw v. City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- Motion to Strike (Issue: strike expert witness testimony)02/17/2009
-Mattress Warehousing, Inc. and William T. Furry v. Power Marketing Direct, Inc. d/b/a PMD Furniture Direct, GJC Enterprises, Inc. and Gregory J. Carrera; court held defendants failed to prove fraudulent joinder and remanded case to state court based upon lack of diversity jurisdiction02/16/2009
-U.S. v. Heather Fiorella a/k/a Heather Gonsorcik; Defendant who pled guilty to three counts of possession of child pornography sentenced to 360 months' imprisonment after district court found she obstructed justice and upheld USSG 2G2.1 against Kimbrough v. United States, 128 S. Ct. 558 (2007) challenge.02/11/2009
-USA v. Haltiwanger -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's objection to Government's 851 notice. Interpreting Kansas sentencing guideline scheme applicable to drug tax stamp violation, court found maximum term to which defendant could have been sentenced was seven months, rather than the thirteen months applicable to defendants in higher criminal history categories, and therefore defendant's conviction under the Kansas drug tax stamp law did not qualify as a prior felony confiction for purposes of a federal sentence enhancement.02/11/2009
-Ronald & Conley Kuiper v. Givaudan, Inc. (Motion in limine; products liability tort action alleging causes of action for negligence and a combined claim for loss of consortium and medical expenses as a result of plaintiff’s exposure to butter flavorings at his place of employment; considering whether to permit evidence of the following: plaintiff’s living conditions, evidence of claims by consumers or of the alleged risks to consumers; evidence regarding the health conditions of other company employees; evidence regarding defendant’s employees; evidence of other cases brought against or resolved by defendant; evidence of other allegedly hazardous products or substances; evidence regarding lung transplantation; cumulative evidence regarding medical condition, diagnosis, prognosis and causation; non-medical opinions of expert; argument that an unpublished a 1993 study provided notice to defendant; evidence regarding prior litigation concerning a related product; evidence or argument that there is no safe level of exposure to diacetyl; evidence or argument regarding Iowa’s law on the allocation of punitive damages; and, evidence regarding the net worth or financial condition of defendant. )02/07/2009
-Dunaway v. McCollister & Co. -- Order on defendant's motion to exclude plaintiff's expert for late disclosure. Court found plaintiff failed to show late disclosures were either substantially justified or harmless, and awarded sanctions in the form of payment of deposition costs. 02/04/2009
-USA v. Gregg -- Report and Recommendation on petition to revoke the defendant's term of supervised release.02/04/2009
-Winters v. Maples -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Court recommended denial of writ on all grounds, including petitioner's argument that sentence enhancement on the basis of habitual offender status violated the double jeopardy clause.02/02/2009
-U.S. v. Montreail Dungy ( Federal prisoner’s motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, asserting as grounds the ineffective assistance of trial, sentencing and appellate counsel for the following reasons: (1) that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to call certain witnesses; (2) that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to present an alibi defense; (3) that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the introduction of certain bad acts which occurred when defendant was a juvenile; (4) that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to request a buyer-seller jury instruction; (5) that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the lack of proof that the drug involved in the conspiracy was crack cocaine; (6) that his sentencing counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the sentencing stipulation; (7) that his sentencing counsel failed to object to his two prior felony drug convictions being used to determine his criminal history as well as for a § 851 enhancement; (8) that his appellate counsel was ineffective in failing to raise claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel based on trial counsel’s failure to call certain witnesses. Defendant also asserted that prosecution witness had recanted his testimony. Motion denied in its entirety: first, claim that trial counsel was ineffective because he failed to interview and call as witnesses individuals who could have testified at trial was denied because issue was raised on direct appeal and a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence by person in federal custody may not be used to relitigate an issue that was raised on appeal; second, defendant did not demonstrate that he was prejudiced by his counsel’s failure to present an alibi defense at trial because defendant charged with drug conspiracy was not entitled to alibi instruction where conspiracy allegedly lasted for a period of years and defendant’s presence at scene of drug transaction was not a required element of the conspiracy; third, his trial counsel was not ineffective in failing to object to the admission of testimony concerning actions done when defendant was a juvenile because evidence of defendant’s juvenile actions, which took place during the pendency of the conspiracy, was relevant and admissible as part of the res gestae of the charged offense; fourth, defendant’s counsel was not ineffective for failing to request a buyer-seller instruction because he, in fact, did so, and such an instruction was given in this case; fifth, given the weight of all the evidence in the case, defendant did not demonstrate that he was prejudiced by his counsel’s failure to object to the lack of proof that the drug that was the object of the conspiracy was crack cocaine; sixth, considering that defendant faced a mandatory life sentence, defense counsel’s advice to defendant that he accept the sentencing stipulation was a reasonable strategic choice made after sufficient investigation of the law and relevant facts and one which clearly fell within the wide range of reasonable professional assistance and thus did not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel; seventh, defendant has not demonstrated that he was prejudiced by his counsel’s failure to lodge an objection to the court’s use of his two prior drug convictions to determine his criminal history as well as for a § 851 enhancement where evidence exists in the record of a number of overt acts committed by defendant in furtherance of the charged conspiracy which occurred after the date of his convictions; finally, defendant had not established that a portion of witnesses’s testimony was false.)02/02/2009
-Transamerica Life Insurance Company, et al. v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Company: (Action by one insurance company seeking declaration of non-infringement of another insurance company’s business method patent for a “method and apparatus for providing retirement income benefits” and the other insurance company’s counterclaims for infringement: patent holder’s motion to strike exhibits and witnesses purportedly previously excluded by the court or that were not disclosed in compliance with orders of the court)01/29/2009
-Smith v. Ault -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. Petitioner claimed double jeopardy when he was prosecuted for both contempt and escape after he failed to surrender himself to custody as ordered. Court found the two crimes have different elements, and double jeopardy was not implicated by dual prosecution.01/29/2009
-Weatherspoon v. Ault -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. Court found all of petitioner's claims were procedurally defaulted, and recommended denial of writ01/27/2009
-Alan E. Thompson, Darrell G. Hinrichsen, Keith P. Fogel, Wallace E. Alm and Donald D. Boe v. United Transportation Union; court ordered plaintiffs to pay defendant's ordinary costs in the amount of $1,166.00 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. sec. 1920.01/26/2009
-EEOC v. CRST -- Motion to Compel (Issues: Attorney-client privilege, Work-product, 30(b)(6) depos)01/20/2009
-Harker's Distribution, Inc. v. Reinhart Foodservice, LLC (action for declaratory judgment concerning calculation of purchase price following defendant’s acquisition of plaintiff’s customers in Illinois and Wisconsin: defendant’s motion to compel arbitration: whether a clause in the parties’ asset purchase agreement requiring submission of disputes about adjustments to the purchase price to a national accounting firm acceptable to both parties constituted an enforceable agreement to arbitrate)01/20/2009
-US v. Daniel Lee Wilson -- R&R; Motion to Suppress-Issues: Fourth Amendment: Entry onto Curtilage, Entry into Porch01/14/2009
-Roque v. Ault -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Petitioner claimed he was entitled to an interpreter or other staff assistance in defending two disciplinary actions. Court found petitioner failed to meet his burden to show state court erred in denying his claims01/14/2009
-Chisley v. Lund -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for partial summary judgment. Court found three of petitioner's claims in this 2254 action were unexhausted and procedurally defaulted, and ineffective assistance of PCR counsel, though clear, could not excuse procedural default.01/09/2009
-Transamerica Life Insurance v. Lincoln National Life Insurance (Action by one insurance company seeking declaration of non-infringement of another insurance company’s business method patent for a “method and apparatus for providing retirement income benefits” and the other insurance company’s counterclaims for infringement: parties’ motions in limine: evidence of the PTO’s ex parte reexmination of the patent-in-suit; evidence of “commentary” from the court’s claim construction ruling; deposition testimony and other evidence of the alleged infringer’s marketing materials; evidence of inadequacies of the PTO, “business method” patents, or “tax planning” patents; evidence of infringement and damages theories that are purportedly erroneous as a matter of law)01/08/2009
-Pearson v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. -- R&R; ERISA, Accidental Death Benefits01/06/2009
-Lindstrom v. Astrue (Plaintiff’s Application for Attorney Fees Under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA); the court awarded EAJA fees directly to the prevailing party’s attorney pursuant to the recent Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals holding in Ratliff v. Astrue, 540 F.3d 800 (8th Cir. 2008) (holding that “EAJA attorneys’ fees are awarded to prevailing parties’ attorneys.”)) 01/05/2009
-Transamerica Life Insurance v. Lincoln National Life Insurance : (Action by one insurance company seeking declaration of non-infringement of another insurance company’s business method patent for a “method and apparatus for providing retirement income benefits” and the other insurance company’s counterclaims for infringement: parties’ motions in limine regarding experts on Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), relevance, and timeliness grounds)01/05/2009
-US v. Lesean D. Hardy -- R&R; Motion to Suppress-Issues: Legality of Pat-Down Search, Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Analysis01/05/2009
-US v. Edward Frank Brewer & Rosina Orlantha Rhodes -- R&R; Motions to Suppress-Issues: Fourth Amendment: Traffic Stop; Fifth Amendment: Voluntary Statements01/05/2009
-Leventhal v. Schaffer -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for partial summary judgment in this action for damages pursuant to 42 USC 1983. Court found officer was entitled to qualified immunity on plaintiff's claims of false arrest and use of excessive force, and plaintiff had failed to exhaust administrative remedies on state law claims.12/31/2008
-U.S. v. Miell (criminal prosecution on charges of mail fraud, arising from a fraudulent scheme to obtain insurance proceeds for hail-damage roofs and a fraudulent scheme to retain renters’ damage deposits, perjury, and failure to file tax returns: defendant’s motion in limine to exclude the following evidence: (1) evidence from the prosecution’s “expert,” a “certified fraud examiner,” concerning damage deposits received and retained by the defendant; (2) evidence relating to the so-called “Beckfield litigation,” which included one of the present defendant’s business entities, Advanced Equities, as a defendant; (3) evidence described as “miscellaneous tenant complaints”; (4) evidence from various small claims court judges; (5) depictions of the defendant as a “slum lord”; (6) evidence of the so-called “Bat Cave,” in which the defendant purportedly retained property belonging to tenants who had been evicted or moved out; (7) photographs of the defendant’s personal residence; (8) evidence of health insurance and mileage reimbursements that the defendant pays to some of his employees; and (9) evidence of alleged destruction of documents by the defendant’s “handyman”) 12/26/2008
-U.S. v. Kenneth Siepker : (federal prisoner’s pro se motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255: ruling without evidentiary hearing: alleged ineffective assistance of counsel on the following grounds: failure to move for severance of drug and gun counts, failure to request an “Old Chief instruction,” failure to file a motion in limine to preclude non-coconspirator hearsay evidence, failure to object to count charging commission of offense while on pre-trial release as an illegal Bill of Attainder, failure to request a buyer-seller instruction, failure to object to hearsay, stipulation that firearms were possessed “in or affecting commerce,” failure to object to a constructive amendment of the indictment on the gun charges, and failure to assert an “Apprendi claim” based on court determination of drug quantity; constitutional claims based on admission of hearsay evidence in violation of the Sixth Amendment confrontation clause, and insufficient evidence on the drug conspiracy count of an illegal agreement; denial of a certificate of appealability)12/18/2008
-Transamerica Life Insurance Co. et al v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Co.: (Action by one insurance company seeking declaration of non-infringement of another insurance company’s business method patent for a “method and apparatus for providing retirement income benefits” and the other insurance company’s counterclaims for infringement: nominative defendant’s objection to magistrate judge’s order granting nominative plaintiff’s motion to supplement expert report: standard of review for magistrate judge’s order on non-dispostive matter pursuant to Rule 72(a); standards to supplement under court’s Scheduling Order; supplementation pursuant to Rule 26(e)(2) and under “substantially justified or harmless” standard under Rule 37(c))12/18/2008
-Franks v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ erred in discounting claimant's subjective complaints, where claimant failed to seek medical treatment for many years due to doctors' advice that her condition, an ateriovenous malformation, was untreatable.12/15/2008
-Mary Staples & Kathy Walker-Brown v. Delavan Inc. & Greg Allen (Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion to Strike; plaintiff employees sue employer and co-workers for sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and retaliation, in violation of Title VII and the Iowa Civil Rights Act (and co-worker for assault and battery); defendant Employer’s motion for summary judgment seeks dismissal of the sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and retaliation claims; plaintiffs’ motion to strike seeks to strike several paragraphs from Employer’s statement of facts for violating Federal Rule of Evidence 412; the court denied the motion to strike and granted in part and denied in part defendant Employer’s motion for summary judgment.)12/11/2008
-Stillmunkes v. Givaudan Flavors Corp, et al (Motion for leave to amend; [Rule 15(a) and Rule 16(a) discussed.)12/10/2008
-Transamerica Life Insurance Company, et al. v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Company (Action by one insurance company seeking declaration of non-infringement of another insurance company’s business method patent for a “method and apparatus for providing retirement income benefits” and the other insurance company’s counterclaims for infringement: nominative plaintiff’s motions to amend pleadings after deadline in scheduling order based on alleged change in the law for “patent-eligible subject matter” and newly discovered information concerning “inequitable conduct”: Applicability of Rule 15(a) or Rule 16(b) standards; application of Rule 16(b) standards of “untimeliness” and “diligence”; alternative Rule 15(a) analysis)12/05/2008
-Coe v. Northern Pipe Products, Inc. (Former employee’s quid pro quo sex discrimination and retaliation claims pursuant to Title VII: defendant employer’s motion for summary judgment: effect of “impeached” or “interested” witnesses’ evidence on summary judgment; actionable sexual advances and connection between such advances and job detriments; degree of biased subordinate’s participation in adverse employment decisions required for “cat’s paw” liability of the employer; which party may invoke a “mixed motives” analysis; vicarious liability for harassment by a “supervisor”; circumstances in which a “retaliation” claim may be based on refusal of a supervisor’s sexual advances; and the employer’s “good faith” efforts as a bar to punitive damages)12/02/2008
-Banta v. OS Restaurant Services, Inc. -- Memorandum Opinion and Order granting in part and denying in part defendants' motion for summary judgment. Court found plaintiff had shown sufficient facts to defeat summary judgment on hostile work environment claim, but not on retaliatory discharge claim.12/01/2008
-U.S. v. Miell : (criminal prosecution on charges of mail fraud, arising from a fraudulent scheme to obtain insurance proceeds for hail-damage roofs and a fraudulent scheme to retain renters’ damage deposits, perjury, and failure to file tax returns: prosecution’s motion in limine to exclude any reference to or introduction of evidence by the defendant that he repaired the hail-damaged roofs at a point in time after he obtained insurance proceeds based on fraudulent claims that he had already repaired the roofs, and any reference to or introduction of evidence by the defendant that he had or believed that he had only one year to repair the roofs) 11/25/2008
-Schwebach v. United Dairy Workers of LeMars & Wells Dairy, Inc. (Motion for Summary Judgment; defendant Wells Dairy, Inc. claims that plaintiff Gary Schwebach did not exhaust his contractual grievance remedies under the parties’ collective bargaining agreement because he failed to request that defendant United Dairy Workers of Lemars pursue his claim in writing, on an approved form; defendant United Dairy Workers of Lemars had pursued his claim without first requiring the plaintiff to request that they do so in writing, on an approved form; the court decided that plaintiff did exhaust his remedies under the collective bargaining agreement.)11/25/2008
-Verasun v. Industrial Air Technology Corp. (Products Liability, diversity action involving claims for negligence, strict liability, breach of implied warranties, and breach of contract arising from industrial accident where fans installed in ethanol plant failed, forcing a shut down of the plant, cross-motions for partial summary judgment and summary judgment, analysis of whether manufacturer’s price quotation constituted offer, analysis of whether buyer’s responsive purchase order constituted acceptance or acted as counter-offer) 11/25/2008
-Gray v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ and Appeals Council erred in giving insufficient weight to opinions of treating physician and nurse practitioner regarding claimant's limitations.11/20/2008
-Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Janet Boot, Barbara Grant, Cindy Moffett, Remcey Jeunenne Peeples, Monika Starke, Latesha Thomas and Nicole Ann Cinquemano v. CRST Van Expedited, Inc.; court established pretrial and trial framework for EEOC's "pattern or practice" claim11/19/2008
-Lwis v. Astrue - Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability benefits. Court found claimant failed to provide adequate evidence that she was disabled prior to her date last insured of December 31, 1997.11/07/2008
-Donahue v. New NGC, Inc. (Former employee’s age discrimination claims pursuant to the ADEA and the Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA): defendant employer’s motion for summary judgment: untimeliness of administrative charge for the ICRA claim; sufficiency of evidence to raise inferences of age discrimination on the ADEA claim under either a RIF or non-RIF analysis)11/07/2008
-Malmquist v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI Supplemental Security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in finding substance abuse was a material factor contributing to claimant's disability, but further found the record evidence was insufficient with regard to claimant's mental abilities to support the Commissioner's decision.11/06/2008
-B&D Land and Livestock Co. v. Ed Schafer (B & D Land and Livestock Co. v. Schafer (Judicial review of administrative action by the USDA finding a wetland “conversion” in violation of the “Swampbuster” Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 3801, 3821-24: sufficiency of hearing officer’s consideration of separate requirements of the tripartite definition of “wetland,” requiring “hydric soils,” “hydrophytic vegetation,” and “wetland hydrology”; sufficiency of hearing officer’s consideration of evidence of “saturation”; and sufficiency of hearing officer’s consideration of evidence of “disturbance” of adjacent land)11/05/2008
-U.S. v. Kelly Jacob (Cases of three defendants charged with child pornography and sexual offenses involving minors; sentencing; prosecution’s request for access to court’s expert, appointed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3552(c), beyond the report of the expert’s psychosexual analysis of each defendant) 10/31/2008
-U.S. v. Beiermann (Cases of three defendants charged with child pornography and sexual offenses involving minors; sentencing; prosecution’s request for access to court’s expert, appointed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3552(c), beyond the report of the expert’s psychosexual analysis of each defendant) 10/31/2008
-USA v. Maul -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence. Court found officer had probable cause to conduct traffic stop, reasonable suspicion to detain vehicle's occupants for further investigation after traffic stop was concluded, and authority to remove occupants from vehicle for purposes of exterior K-9 sniff of the vehicle.10/30/2008
-Russell A. Folkers v. City of Waterloo, Iowa, Darrel Johnson, & Maria Tiller -- Summary Judgment Motion. Issues: Deprivation of Constitutional Rights: Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment (procedural due process and substantial due process)10/27/2008
-U.S. v. James Callanan (sentencing of criminal defendant: determination of appropriate remedy for another incident of prosecutorial misconduct involving breach of a plea agreement, including consideration of sanctions against prosecutor personally) 10/24/2008
-USA v. Thies -- Report and Recommendation, recommending defendant's motion to suppress evidence be denied. Defendant's girlfriend, with whom he lived, called police to report that defendant was drunk and acting violently, and she was frightened because he had a gun in the house. Officer went to the house to investigate, with intent to seize the firearm for the parties' and the public's safety. He encountered defendant and some friends in the front yard of the residence. He asked defendant a few questions before arresting defendant on an outstanding warrant. He then entered the house, over defendant's objections, to secure the firearm, and while inside, noticed some live ammunition. After learning defendant had a prior felony conviction, officer secured a search warrant for the house and seized the ammunition and other evidence. Court found defendant's responses to initial questions were noncustodial and need not be suppressed; officer's initial entry into the house to retrieve the gun was lawful; and even if initial entry into the house was not lawful, gun and ammunition inevitably would have been discovered.10/23/2008
-U.S. v. Matthew Kashas (Cases of three defendants charged with child pornography and sexual offenses involving minors; sentencing; prosecution’s request for access to court’s expert, appointed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3552(c), beyond the report of the expert’s psychosexual analysis of each defendant) 10/21/2008
-USA v. Huntley -- Report and Recommendation on motion to dismiss indictment. Court found defendant who receives firearm in trade for drugs does not possess the firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 USC 924(c), but recommended the motion be denied as premature.10/21/2008
-Combs v. Astrue - Order denying motion for supplemental attorney's fees for services performed at the administrative level. Court held administrative fees are determinable only by the agency, not by the courts.10/16/2008
-Joran v. Astrue - Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ failed to give proper weight to treating physician's opinions, and vocational expert's response to hypothetical question that did not include limitations suggested by treating physician could not support denial of benefits. Case reversed and remanded for further proceedings.10/15/2008
-Shannon v. Officer Koehler, et al (Motion to Dismiss Sioux City Police Department; defendant police department claims that it is not an entity suable as such; the court decided that the police department was an appendage of the city and not suable as a separate entity from the city of Sioux City)10/13/2008
-Alice McCabe and Christine Nelson v. Michelle Mais; district court denies defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law but grants defendant's motion for partial new trial on damages, on plaintiffs' claims that defendant illegally strip and visual body cavity (VBC) searched their persons. With respect to Defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law, district court held that, although Linn County's policy of blanket strip searches was clearly unconstitutional, there was sufficient evidence to support an award of more than nominal damages. With respect to defendant's motion for new trial, district court held that jury's award of damages shocked the conscience and, if allowed to stand, would result in a miscarriage of justice. 10/02/2008
-U.S. v. Charles Schrage criminal defendant’s motion in limine before trial on “felon in possession of a firearm” charge: evidence of telephone calls and correspondence from the defendant while incarcerated; evidence of the defendant’s and a witness’s prior convictions) 10/02/2008
-Vincent Johnson & Julie Johnson v. American Leather Specialties Corp. & Shopko Stores, Inc.(Products liability action; defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment: conflict-of-law question concerning application of Iowa law, the law of the plaintiffs residence and the place where the accident occurred, or Minnesota law, the law of the place where the product was marketed to plaintiffs and sold; having concluded that Iowa law governs in case, addressing plaintiffs’ contention that application of Iowa Code § 613.18(1) constitutes an unconstitutional taking in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution on the ground that the State of Iowa’s enactment of tort reform in § 613.18(1) deprived plaintiffs of previously held causes of action under the common law; addressing whether application of Iowa Code § 613.18(1) constitutes a violation of the Iowa State Constitution’s Inalienable Rights Clause, Iowa Const. art. I, § 1.)09/29/2008
-EEOC (Plaintiff) & Boot, Grant, Koffett, Peeples, Starke, & Thomas (Plaintiffs/Interveners) v CRST Van Expedited, Inc. (Defendant) -- Motion to Intervene (Issues: Timeliness and futility of the proposed Complaint included with the motion)09/26/2008
-U.S. v. Sean Merrill; court held that child pornographer was not subject to sentencing enhancement for distribution, where defendant did not disseminate child pornography to others but instead only moved it from one electronic device to another09/26/2008
-Thompson, Hinrichsen, Fogel, Alm, & Boe v. United Transportation Union--Motion to Amend Complaint. Issues: Tmeliness and Futility (Preemption and Duty of Fair Representation)09/25/2008
-U.S. v. David Dicus: (sentencing of criminal defendant: sentence reduction as a sanction for prosecution’s serious misconduct consisting of breach of a plea agreement) 09/24/2008
-U.S. v. Mack Davis; court held defendant was career offender, based in part upon prior conviction for Indecent Contact With a Child, in violation of Iowa Code Section 709.12(4) (1993)09/17/2008
-U.S. v. Brett & Cory Kamerud: (Petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255; petitioners claim that guilty verdict for conspiracy to (1) “distribute methamphetamine,” (2) “possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine,” and (3) “possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine to one or more persons under twenty-one years of age should be set aside; the court decided whether the petitioners were provided with ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution by analyzing an extensive list of possible grounds for petitioners’ claim.)09/16/2008
-Kyle Chyma v. Tama County School Board, Larry Molachek, Steve Burr, and Ernie Tomlinson (motion for summary judgment--Issues: (1) Due Process Violated, (2) First Amendment Rights, (3) Section 1983 Claim Based on FERPA, (4) Compliance of Iowa Code Section 282.4)09/08/2008
-Jones v. Wilder-Tomlinson (Petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254; petitioner claims that her Sixth Amendment rights were violated when neither of her two attorneys filed a timely motion to suppress evidence obtained due to her warrantless arrest; the court decided: whether there had been an adjudication on the merits of the probable cause to arrest claim, whether the petitioner had properly exhausted available state remedies, and whether one or both of petitioner’s attorneys had been ineffective in violation of the Sixth Amendment.)09/04/2008
-Rattray, et al v. Woodbury County, et al (Action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging county jail’s alleged blanket strip-search policy: lead plaintiff’s motion to certify class: prerequisites of Rule 23(a); requirements to certify a class pursuant to Rule 23(b)(1)(A), to avoid the risk of inconsistent or varying adjudications, or pursuant to Rule 23(b)(3), because the questions of law or fact common to the class members predominate over any questions affecting only individual members and a class action is superior to other available methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy, including extent to which questions of the existence of grounds for individualized suspicion predominate over questions common to the class, such as the existence and constitutionality of a blanket strip-search policy) 09/02/2008
-USA v. Huntley -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss. Defendant was convicted by a jury of a firearms violation and appealed. Appellate court reversed due to erroneous jury instruction. On remand, government dismissed, and then re-indicted defendant one day later. Defendant argued reprosecution violated his fifth amendment protection against double jeopardy. Court recommended motion be denied based on Supreme Court precedent holding Double Jeopardy Clause does not bar reprosecution of a defendant whose conviction is overturned on appeal due to a trial error, rather than for insufficiency of evidence.09/02/2008
-John Cyril Lapid Buenaventura v. Jerry Burt, Warden--Report and Recommendation (Right to consular notification, Sufficiency of the evidence, Ineffective assistance of counsel (exclusion of harassment and vandalism evidence and failure to investigate)08/29/2008
-Gries, et al v. Standard Ready Mix Concrete, et al. (Declaratory judgment action for determination of benefits due under an employee welfare benefit plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq.; motion for class certification; discussion of the prerequisites for a class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a); analysis of first requirement of Rule 23(a), that plaintiff show that “the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable,” including consideration of: the size of the proposed class, the geographical dispersion of the class members, whether members of a prospective class are able to be identified, the financial resources of the potential class members with regard to their ability to institute individual lawsuits, and the judicial efficiency in certifying a class versus trying individual lawsuits.)08/22/2008
-Glawatz v. Astrue -- Order granting plaintiff's motion to remand for consideration of further evidence pursuant to sentence six of 42 USC 405(g).08/21/2008
-United States v. Mishan Bradford (R&R--Motion to Suppress (Fourth Amendment; Warrantless Search)08/12/2008
-USA v. Godfrey -- Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress statements defendant made to agents who questioned him at his home. Court found defenadnt's sixth amendment right to counsel had not attached where defendant had not been charged or arrested and was not in custody at time of interview. Defendant was not entitled to Miranda warnings prior to the non-custodial interview, and defendant's statements were not coerced.08/11/2008
-Wachovia Securities LLC v. Stanton : (Securities broker-dealer’s action for preliminary injunctive relief pending arbitration before FINRA against former registered representative now employed with competitor: broker-dealer’s motion for temporary restraining order: broker-dealer’s likelihood of success on claims of breach of non-disclosure and non-solicitation provisions of employment contract and violation of the Iowa Trade Secrets Act, and broker-dealer’s showing on the irreparable harm, balance of harms, and public interest “Dataphase factors”) 08/05/2008
-Jensen v. Astrue - Memorandum Opinion and Order on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Taking into account medical records that were presented to Appeals Council, but were not before the ALJ at the time of his decision, court found claimant disabled due to mental impairments, but further found claimant failed to show his disability began prior to expiration of his insured status for Title II purposes. 07/30/2008
-USA v. Stangeland -- Supplemental Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss with prejudice for speedy trial violation. Court reviewed dismissal of prior case pursuant to the factors set forth in 18 USC 3162, and concluded dismissal without prejudice was proper. Defendant failed to show constitutional violation under Barker v. Wingo factors. 07/29/2008
-USA v. Puok -- Order on Government's motion to compel defense to produce summaries of expert testimony. Court overruled defendant's interpretation of standard Stipulated Discovery Order, holding production of expert witness summaries is required by the stipulation without any notice or request from either party.07/25/2008
-U.S. v. Yuot & Puok (defendants’ motions in limine in criminal trial: opinions about a defendant’s guilt, or, more specifically, that he “is” a drug dealer, or that he was part of a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, or that he is a “known” drug dealer; opinions that a sock located in a defendant’s pocket at the time of a traffic stop was the match for a sock containing crack cocaine located in the vehicle in which the defendant was a passenger; use of nicknames or aliases; evidence of a defendant’s employment history or lack thereof; evidence of and references to a defendant’s various prior arrests, charges, or convictions) 07/23/2008
-U.S. v. Orlando Birbragher, Marshall Neil Kanner, Douglas Willis Bouchey, Armando Angulo and Peter Colon Lopez; order on motion to dismiss07/22/2008
-Peterson v. Prosser -- Report and Recommendation on motion to dismiss filed by Iowa Attorney General regarding plaintiff's constitutional challenges to five Iowa statutes. Court found plaintiff's challenges to three of the statutes should be dismissed pursuant to either the abstention doctrine of Younger v. Haris, or the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, whichever is applicable. Court found plaintiff lacked standing to challenge constitutionally of the two other Iowa statutes.07/22/2008
-USA v. Kenison -- Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress evidence. Court found defendant had failed to make a preliminary showing that information was omitted from search warrant application recklessly, deliberately, or intentionally, and therefore defendant was not entitled to a Franks hearing.07/21/2008
-USA v. Ortega-Morgado --Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss for speedy trial violation. Parties agreed the indictment should be dismissed, but disagreed on whether dismissal should be with or without prejudice. After weighing factors in 18 USC 3162(a)(1), court recommended dismissal be with prejudice.07/18/2008
-U.S. v. Jose Islas-Bravo (defendant’s motion in criminal trial to admit “reverse 404(b)” evidence of separately tried co-defendant’s prior conviction on state drug offense to support third-party guilt defense) 07/16/2008
-Johnson v. American Leather Specialties & Shopko v. Ultra Marketing Corporation (Diversity products liability action, motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, applying five factor test the court finds that third-party plaintiffs had not made out a prima facie case which would support application of personal jurisdiction over third-party defendant where third-party defendant did not have any bank accounts, property, office, agent, representative or employee in Iowa, and third-party defendant’s contacts to Iowa were limited to its interactions with an Iowa company as a marketing representative to a Chinese distributor which had no involvement with the manufacture or the distribution of the allegedly defective product at the center of this case, the court concludes that it lacks personal jurisdiction over third-party defendant)07/16/2008
-Erickson v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review from denial of Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to give proper weight to opinions of treating physician, and in failing to appreciate the debilitating effects of fibromyalgia.07/16/2008
-Wells Dairy, Inc. v. Food Movers International, Inc. (motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) for lack of personal jurisdiction, standards for motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(2), standards for personal jurisdiction analysis, )07/08/2008
-Candy Bailey v. Komatsu Forklift U.S.A., Inc. -- Deadline for Completion of Discovery07/07/2008
-U.S. v. Roger Waldner; court sentenced defendant to 120 months imprisonment on his pleas of guilty to two counts of bankruptcy fraud, arising out of In Re H & W Motor Express Co, No. 02-2017 (Bankr. N.D. Iowa Jun. 12, 200207/07/2008
-Sharp, et al. v. Tyson Foods (Plaintiff employees seek certification of their Rule 23 class action claims under the Iowa Wage Payment and Collection Law, and certification of their section 216(b) collective action claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act; defendant employer resists certification; defendant argues plaintiffs' FLSA claims preempt their IWPCL claims; defendant argues the opt-in procedures of FLSA collective action are inherently incompatible with the opt-out procedures of Rule 23 class action; defendant argues plaintiffs' are not similarly situated under the FLSA to meet the requirements for collective action certification; defendants argue plaintiffs do not meet the requirements of Rule 23 to be certified as a class action) 07/03/2008
-American Family Ins. v. Robert Miell -- Post-Trial Motions: new trial (testimony & other "bad acts," punitive damage instruction); judgment as a matter of law or in the alternative to amend judgment (judgment as a matter of law pursuant to Iowa Code Sec. 515.101, punitive damages award "unconstitutionally excessive?); attorney fees; bill of costs)07/01/2008
-McNeal v. SDG Macerich Properties, L.P., et al. (removed action by African American business owner against owner and managers of a shopping mall pursuant to Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000a, and the Iowa Civil Rights Act, Iowa Code § 216.7, for racial discrimination in public accommodations in the leasing of store space and harassment; defendants’ motion in limine seeking to exclude the following categories of evidence: evidence of an allegedly phony signature on one of three originals of a lease; evidence of a subsequent investigation by a city attorney and member of the civil rights commission; evidence of emotional distress of anyone other than the plaintiff; evidence of the plaintiff’s prior attempts to lease space in the mall; evidence of future profits of the plaintiff’s business; and evidence of settlement offers or negotiations; plaintiff’s motion in limine seeking to exclude the following categories of evidence: evidence of the plaintiff’s husband’s previous civil rights litigation; and evidence that the defendants filed suit first by bringing a small claim for unpaid rent)07/01/2008
-U.S. v. Hawley (Action by the United States pursuant to the False Claims Act (FCA) and common law against insurance agent and his agency concerning federal crop insurance policies written for ineligible persons; motions in limine: plaintiff’s motion in limine: admissibility of evidence of reimbursement and payment procedures under reinsurance agreement; defendants’ motion in limine: admissibility of evidence disclosed after the close of discovery; evidence of the defendants’ financial condition; references to “experts”; expert opinions on legal issues and results to reach; evidence that the defendant forged insureds’ names or accepted forged signatures; evidence of other “bad acts”; evidence of memoranda of witnesses’ statements; and evidence of plea agreements of ineligible insureds)06/23/2008
-Robert Rakes and Robert Hollander, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated v. Life Investors Insurance Company of America; order granting motion for summary judgment for defendant insurance company in a class action lawsuit due to disclosures by defendant insurance company negating the alleged fraudulent omissions and representations forming the basis of the plaintiffs' complaint06/20/2008
-In Re Knudsen (Cross-appeals by family farmer debtors and the IRS of the bankruptcy court’s denial of family farmer debtors’ amended plan of reorganization in a Chapter 12 case: whether family farmers, who liquidated their slaughter hogs to convert their farming operation from a farrow-to-finish hog operation to a custom hog-raising operation, can obtain the benefits of 11 U.S.C. § 1222(a)(2)(A), as amended by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (“BAPCPA”), that would allow the taxes generated by the sale of their slaughter hogs to be treated as an unsecured claim against their bankruptcy estate subject to discharge; whether the determination of taxes receiving the beneficial treatment of § 1222(a)(2)(A) should be allocated according to the IRS’s “proration method” or the debtors’ “marginal method”; whether § 1222(a)(2)(A) is applicable to post-petition transactions; and whether post-petition taxes may be treated as administrative expenses of the estate in a Chapter 12 case)06/12/2008
-USA v. Stangeland -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss. Defendant was indicted, but no trial was scheduled. Court dismissed indictment sua sponte for speedy trial violation, and Government then obtained a new indictment. Defendant moved to dismiss, arguing that because the first indictment was dismissed other than on his own motion, the speedy trial clock continued to run. Court found Defendant was beneficiary of the sua sponte dismissal, and the speedy trial clock began to run anew with the second indictment.06/11/2008
-USA v. McManaman -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence. Court found a Sixth Amendment violation where officers asked defendant a question after he had been indicted and taken into custody but before he had been advised of his rights, and recommended suppression of defendant's response to the question. However, court found firearm located as a result of that response inevitably would have been discovered, and therefore it need not be suppressed, nor did the constitutional violation require suppression of defendant's post-Miranda statements made several hours after his arrest.06/09/2008
-Baber v. First Republic Group, LLC & Evan Parks (Action by investor against stock broker and account representative for charging improper mark ups and mark downs on stock transactions; defendants’ motion for summary judgment: whether the parties had a contract requiring the broker to charge only “reasonable” commissions; whether the broker breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing by charging “unreasonable” commissions, in the form of mark ups and mark downs; whether the broker was subject to any fiduciary duty to the investor to charge only “reasonable” commissions; whether the broker’s conduct in charging mark ups and mark downs constituted “misappropriation/theft,” which the court construed as whether such conduct constituted “conversion”; and whether the broker’s conduct constituted “fraud,” in the form of fraudulent non-disclosure, under the common law or state or federal securities acts, where the investor asserted that the mark ups and markdowns were only disclosed in a misleading or confusing manner; whether the investor ratified the allegedly wrongful mark ups or mark downs or demonstrated that the were not material by continuing to make trades through the broker after discovering the allegedly unreasonable and fraudulent mark ups and mark downs)06/06/2008
-Industrial Risk Insurers v. D.C. Taylor Company -- Motion to Compel (Issues: timeliness of the motion; conference between the attorneys; waiver of objections; merits of objections)05/28/2008
-Handke ex rel. Estate of Davis v. Astrue - Order on motion for attorney's fees and costs under Equal Access to Justice Act and 42 USC 406(b)05/16/2008
-U.S. v. Douglas Dean Johnson (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress and granting in part and denying in part defendant’s motion to suppress, finding: that a search warrant application for defendant’s Primghar residence failed to support the state magistrate’s probable cause determination and that the search warrant application was so facially deficient that the state magistrate’s issuance of a search warrant constituted “a rubber stamp for the police”, so that the exclusionary rule should be applied and the evidence seized during the execution of the search warrant for the Primghar residence should be excluded; that with respect to a search warrant for defendant’s Clay County property, the totality of the information presented to the state magistrate supported the state magistrate’s probable cause determination and that the information contained in the search warrant application was not stale; and, that it was not objectively unreasonable for the law enforcement officers here to proceed to execute the search warrant for the Clay County property in these circumstances.)05/14/2008
-Nissen v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of applications for Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ correctly weighed the medical evidence in assessing claimant's residual functional capacity and finding claiant was not disabled.05/09/2008
-US v. Fundermann -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence found during and as a result of traffic stop. Court found traffic stop was valid; search of vehicle was supported by probable cause; and subsequent search warrant issued on basis of evidence found during traffic stop also was supported by probable cause.05/08/2008
-USA v. Daniel Binion--R&R (motions to suppress evidence-4th Amendment [probable cause for traffic stop and pat-down search] & 5th Amendment [voluntary statement made after refusal to waive Miranda rights])05/06/2008
-Wright v. Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Employment discrimination, motion for summary judgment, analysis of whether plaintiff could establish a prima facie case of race discrimination, specifically whether he could make out the necessary showings that he was meeting employer’s legitimate job expectations or that he was treated differently than similarly situated Caucasian employees where he was fired after a search of the employees automobile revealed controlled substances as well as drug paraphernalia on the employer’s premises, in violation of the employer’s policy against employees’ possessing, using, or selling controlled substances on the employer’s property.)05/05/2008
-The O.N. Equity Sales Company v. Pals, et al. (Action by securities broker-dealer to enjoin NASD arbitration action by investor; broker-dealer’s motion to set aside judgment compelling arbitration and denying preliminary injunction pursuant to Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure based on “newly discovered evidence” and “fraud”) 05/05/2008
-Hinshaw v. Ligon Industries, LLC and Fisher Hydraulics, Inc. (Former employee's action for breach of contract and Iowa Wage Payment Collection Law claims; defendants' motion for complete summary judgment; limitations on granting summary judgment on existence of contract issues under Iowa law; legal standards for offer and acceptance under Iowa law; legal standards for contract estoppel defense under Iowa law; whether severance pay is "wages due" under Iowa Code section 91A.3 and thus whether plaintiff can recover liquidated damages under section 91A.8 for the failure to pay severance pay.)05/05/2008
-U.S. v. Lamont William Papakee; court's sentencing memorandum; court held that sexual abuse in Indian Country is a crime of violence for purposes of career offender finding and held alternative variance permissible after Gall v. United States04/24/2008
-Smith v. Rogerson -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. In recommending the petition be denied, court found petitioner failed to show error in plea colloquy or that his attorneys were ineffective.04/23/2008
-Lee Borntrager, et al v. Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund--Motions for Summary Judgment (trust agreement in violation of fed. law?; arbitrary & capricious actions?; bad faith or improper motive?)04/22/2008
-Rayburn v. Wady Industries, Inc.--Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (wrongful discharge in violation of public policy)04/10/2008
-USA v. Thomas Ray Reinhart (R&R on motion to suppress--entry into 3rd-party residence on arrest warrant, protective sweep, Franks hearing, Leon good-faith exception)04/08/2008
-Jones v. Wilder-Tomlinson -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. In recommending the petition be granted, the Court found no probable cause existed for Jones's arrest on drug paraphernalia charge in violation of city ordinance based solely on the presence of a small scale in the vehicle in which Jones was a passenger. 04/04/2008
-Lewis v. J&M P'ship, F&F Inv, Air Mak & E. James Freyberger-Ruling on Motion to Extend Time (failure to obtain extension of time the result of excusable neglect, showing of good cause to extend pleadings deadline)04/04/2008
-U.S. v. Hawley : (Action by the United States pursuant to the False Claims Act (FCA) and common law against insurance agent and his agency concerning federal crop insurance policies written for ineligible persons; cross-motions for summary judgment: elements of FCA claims pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1) (presenting false claim to government officer or employee), (a)(2) (using a false record or statement to get a claim paid or approved), and (a)(3) (conspiracy to defraud the government using false claims) and common-law claims of fraudulent concealment and “mistake of fact”)04/03/2008
-US v. Jon Young (R&R on Motion to Suppress--request for counsel)04/03/2008
-U.S. v. Hawley (Action by the United States pursuant to the False Claims Act (FCA) and common law against insurance agent and his agency concerning federal crop insurance policies written for ineligible persons; cross-motions for summary judgment: elements of FCA claims pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1) (presenting false claim to government officer or employee), (a)(2) (using a false record or statement to get a claim paid or approved), and (a)(3) (conspiracy to defraud the government using false claims) and common-law claims of fraudulent concealment and “mistake of fact”)04/03/2008
-Russell v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp. - Order denying defendant's Daubert motion to exclude expert testimony regarding design defect and failure to warn in case involving failure of spinal rods constructed of Commercially Pure Titanium.04/02/2008
-USA v. Douglas Johnson --Report and Recommendation on defendant's motions to suppress evidence seized from execution of two separate search warrants. Court found the first warrant application to be deficient, and so much so that the court held the Leon exclusionary rule should apply to the evidence seized in execution of the warrant. Court found the second warrant contained sufficient information to support the magistrate's probable cause determination, and further found that in any event, the officers' reliance on the warrant was reasoanble and in good faith.04/01/2008
-U.S. v. Ronald Coleman; sentencing memorandum holding that defendant's prior Iowa conviction for drug tax stamp violation was a prior felony drug conviction for purposes of 21 U.S.C. §§841 & 85104/01/2008
-Sorenson v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of application for Title II disability insurance benefits. In recommending remand for immediate payment of benefits, court found ALJ erred in weighing the medical evidence, assessing claimant's residual functional capacity, evaluating claimant's crediblity, and posing an incomplete hypothetical question to the vocational expert.03/17/2008
-Transamerica Life Insurance, et al. v. Lincoln National LIfe Insurance Company : (Action by one insurance company seeking declaration of non-infringement of another insurance company’s business method patent for a “method and apparatus for providing retirement income benefits” and the other insurance company’s counterclaims for infringement: ruling after Markman hearing on patent claim construction)03/10/2008
-USA v. Vo -- Order denying motion to sever. Defendant charged with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana and money laundering moved for severance from co-defendants charged with continuing criminal enterprise and other crimes. Court found joinder was proper, and defendant failed to show he would suffer serious prejudice from joinder of his case for trial with his co-defendants.03/10/2008
-US v. John Bolden, Zechariah Benjamin, Nell Brocks, Clarence Ross, III, & Wilson Cleaves (Motion to Sever--Bruton issue)03/07/2008
-Dible v. Scholl -- Memorandum Opinion and Order of Dismissal. Plaintiff filed this action under 42 USC 1983, for damages resulting from loss of good time credit. Court held disciplinary notice issued to plaintiff was constitutionally deficient, and defendants were not protected by qualified immunity. However, in light of 12-15-07 opinion in Entzi v. Redmann, 485 F.3d 998 (8th Cir. 2007). court reluctantly concluded plaintiff's action was barred by Heck v. Humphrey.03/07/2008
-International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America and United Auto Workers Local 13 v. Rousselot, Inc. (motions for summary judgment--compel arbitration and attorney fees)02/29/2008
-U.S. v. Michael Ingram (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress, finding: that defendant’s freedom of movement was not restrained to the degree associated with a formal arrest when he was asked one question by a law enforcement officer which was designed to protect the officer’s safety during a traffic stop, as such, defendant was not in custody at the time and his response to the officer’s question should not be suppressed; that any statements made by defendant between the time of his arrest and the time he was advised of his rights should be suppressed; and, that, defendant’s challenge to the search warrant should be denied because even without defendant’s pre-arrest statement and the evidence seized from his person, the warrant affidavit contained sufficient evidence for a reasonable magistrate to find probable cause to issue a warrant to search the apartment.)02/25/2008
-Closson v. Astrue (Claimant sought judicial review of Commissioner's denial of Title II and Title XVI benefits; Commissioner objected to Magistrate Judge's recommendation that testimony of vocational expert conflicted with the information in the dictionary of occupational titles; analyzes Social Security Ruling SSR 00-4p) 02/21/2008
-Risdal v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found claimant was not eligible for SSI benefits because he was a resident of a public institution, and he was not eligible for DI benefits because he lacked the requisite number of quarters of eligibility.02/20/2008
-Wensel v. Astrue -- Memorandum Opinion and Order reversing Commissioner's decision denying plaintiff's application for Title II disability benefits. Court found ALJ erred in weighing the opinion of claimant's treating physician regarding claimant's functional limitations, and in finding claimant's subjective complaints of disabling pain not to be credible.02/20/2008
-Myers v. Tursso Company, Inc. (Former employee’s action for FMLA discrimination and retaliation; defendant’s motion for summary judgment on all claims on the ground that the plaintiff cannot, as a matter of law, show that the defendant is equitably estoppel to assert the employee’s ineligibility for FMLA leave: sufficiency of the plaintiff’s evidence of misrepresentations by the employer based on statements in an employee handbook and FMLA rights poster; sufficiency of the plaintiff’s evidence that he reasonably relied on any misrepresentation; sufficiency of the evidence that the plaintiff detrimentally relied on any misrepresentation)02/19/2008
-USA v. Tony Eugene Goodson (R&R on motion to withdraw guilty plea)02/19/2008
-U.S. v. Chris Pipkin; ordering defendant to make restitution despite an order of discharge over the restitution in bankruptcy court02/19/2008
-U.S. v. Charles Thomas; order regarding constitutionality of the sex offender registration provisions of the Adam Walsh Act02/13/2008
-U.S. v. Charles Warthan; sentencing memorandum opinion; court calculated defendant's advisory Sentencing Guidelines range. Minor role adjustment did not apply, upward departure for number of victims applied, downward departure for discharged term of imprisonment did not apply.02/07/2008
-McGowan v. Soy Basics (order for judgment--attorney fees)02/06/2008
-Flynn v. Farmer Masonry, Inc. and Dwayne Farmer, Individually (motion to quash lien on real estate; homestead exemption, Iowa law)02/06/2008
-USA v. Edmond Louis Cote (R&R on motion to suppress evidence (probable cause determination supported by affidavit and sworn oral testimony, Leon good-faith exception)02/06/2008
-U.S. v. David Matthew Howell (Motion to dismiss, order accepting in part and rejecting in part Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to dismiss, concerning charges that defendant knowingly failed to register and update his sex offender registration as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a), court concluded that Congress’s delegation of authority to the United States Attorney General in 42 U.S.C. § 16913(d) was not a violation of the nondelegation doctrine, finding that SORNA’s registration requirements and criminal provisions constitute permissible exercises of Congressional authority under the Commerce Clause; determining that application of SORNA’s penalty provision to him did not violate due process, that application of SORNA to him constituted a violation of the Ex Post Facto Clause, finding that SORNA was effective as to all convicted sex offenders as of the date of its enactment, but that application of SORNA to defendant’s conduct that pre-dated the interim rule’s enactment would constitute an unconstitutional ex post facto application of the law.)02/01/2008
-Bowers v. Astrue (Plaintiff Tamela Bowers sought review of agency decision denying her benefits; magistrate recommended reversing for a finding of a closed period of disability, and remanding for a determination of whether Bowers was entitled to a continual period of disability; Bowers filed objection arguing she was entitled to a continual period of disability; standards for reviewing the agency's determination, magistrate's recommendation, and plaintiff's objection; and standard for assessing whether court can reverse agency for a finding of disability on appeal). 01/24/2008
-B&D Land and Livestock Co. v. Chuck Conner (Judicial review of administrative action by the USDA finding a wetland “conversion” in violation of the “Swampbuster” Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 3801, 3821-24: plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction on enforcement actions: whether the anti-injunction statute prohibiting injunctions on the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) bars a preliminary injunction in this case; whether the plaintiff can show irreparable harm, when the USDA’s counsel has made various representations about continuing the plaintiff’s farm program benefits during the pendency of the action)01/22/2008
-USA v. Mack Arthur Davis, Jr. (Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress statements--voluntary waiver of Miranda rights and voluntary statement to police)01/16/2008
-USA v. John Anthony Echols, Jr. (motion to set aside section 851 notice)01/15/2008
-Industrial Risk Insurers et al v. DC Taylor Co. (contested motion for leave to amend) 01/04/2008
-USA vs. Cashier’s Check in the Amount of Five Hundred Nineteen Thousand Four Hundred Eighty-Six Dollars and Twelve Cents $519,486.12) and Cashier’s Check in the Amount of Twenty-One Thousand Eight Hundred Thirteen Dollars and Eighty-Eight Cents ($21,813.88) (motion to strike answer)12/24/2007
-James G. Thomas, Kerry Thomas, Gregory Norlin, Nancy Norlin and Sierra Club vs. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Stephen L. Johnson, Administrator, and John B. Askew, Regional Administrator, Region VII OF The United States Environmental Protection Agency (Report and Recommendation re whether EPA properly approved Iowa's Section 303(d) list)12/17/2007
-Roger Walters vs. Purdential Insurance Company of America (Report and Recommendation--ERISA--long-term disability benefits)11/30/2007
-Cedar Rapids Television Company d/b/a KCRG-TV9 v. MCC Iowa LLC and MCC Illinois LLC; order re bench trial11/30/2007
-USA v. Ingram -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. Court found officer's pre-Miranda question at scene of traffic stop regarding whether defendant had anything in his possession that would get him into trouble was not a custodial inquiry and did not violate defendant's Miranda rights. Court further found search warrant was supported by probable cause.11/28/2007
-Jason Paul Annis vs. City of Welwein; Chief Jeremy Logan; David Bloem; and Ronald Voshell, Individually and in their official capacities (application to depose federal inmate)11/26/2007
-Wurth v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss. Court recommended motion be granted, finding case was not timely filed within sixty days after notice of decision was mailed to plaintiff's correct address, despite the fact that the notice was not received by his attorney until a month later due to an incorrect address for the attorney.11/19/2007
-Murray v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on appeal from denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Issue concerned application of 20 CRF 404.1574a(a) & (c). Count fond claimant's earnings had not changed significantly as found by the ALJ, and recommended the decision be reversed.11/19/2007
-Robert Rakes,Robert Hollander, Individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs. Life Investors Insurance Company of America (motion; amended answer)11/09/2007
-USA v. Webb - Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss indictment charging him with possession of a firearm after previously being convicted of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence." Court found question was for the jury as to whether defendant's conduct leading to the state conviction involved the requisite "physical force" to constitute a predicate offense for a conviction under 18 USC 922(g)(9).11/09/2007
-Richard L. McGowan, LTD., Inc., vs. Soy Basics, L.L.C. (bench trial, breach of contract)11/08/2007
-USA v. Howell -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss indictment charging violations of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, 42 USC 16901 et seq. and 18 USC 2250. Held: (1) SORNA was not applicable to sex offender with pre-SORNA convition until issuance of Attorney General's interim rule on 2/28/07; (2) application of SORNA to conduct predating the interim rule would violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution; (3) SORNA does not violate the non-delegation doctrine or the Commerce Clause; (4) application of SORNA to defendant would not violate due process; and (5) proper venue for SORNA violation is fact-based and represents jury question for trial. 11/08/2007
-Randal E. McCullough v. AEGON USA, Inc., Board of Directors Patrick S. Baird, James A. Beardsworth, Kirk W. Buese, Tom A. Schlossberg, Arthur C. Schneider, Mary Taiber, James R. Trefz, Transamerica Life Insurance Company, Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company, Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company, Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company, Transamerica Investment Management LLC, Diversified Investment Advisors, Inc. and Does 1-20; order granting defendants' motion for partial summary judgment 10/30/2007
-Walter Junior Hoskins, III vs. Cornell Smith, Warden of Fort Dodge Correctional Facility of Iowa's Department of Corrections (Report and Recommendation on motion for evidentiary hearing & expand record, illegal search, identity of confidential informant)10/30/2007
-Gonnerman v. McHan Construction, Inc., et al. (former employee’s action for age discrimination under state and federal law: defendants’ motion summary judgment: whether a statement attributed to the decisionmaker recounted by the employee’s supervisor that the employee was being laid off because he was “too old to do cement work” was admissible “direct” evidence of age discrimination; whether there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether the defendants would have made the “same decision” to lay off the plaintiff without regard to his age, where the defendants made a company-wide RIF owing to shortage of work).10/26/2007
-U.S. v. Hugo Salazar-Montrero (criminal defendant’s Rule 12(b)(2) motion to determine elements of “aggravated identity theft” offense defined by 18 U.S.C. § 1028A: court’s authority to determine pretrial the elements of an offense; determination of elements)10/25/2007
-U.S. v. $138,186.28 (civil forfeiture action; companion case to No. 07cr3001-MWB; ruling on government’s motion for summary judgment; standards for civil forfeiture; whether defendant property is traceable to the interstate transportation of stolen property) 10/24/2007
-Russell A. Folkers vs. City of Waterloo, Iowa, Darrel Johnson, in his individual capacity and as Animal Control Officer for City of Waterloo, Iowa, and Maria Tiller, in her individual capacity and as Animal Control Officer for the City of Waterloo, Iowa (Report and Recommendation re preliminary injunction--dangerous dog)10/12/2007
-Christine Pospisil vs. O'Reilly Automotive, Inc., Randy Swaim, and Jon Workman (sex discrimination, retaliation)10/05/2007
-Frazier ex rel. McDonald v. Astrue -- Order reversing Commissioner's decision denying application for supplemental security income benefits on behalf of minor child. Court found record evidence proved minor child had at least marked limitation in four functional areas, and his impairments were equal or functionally equivalent to a listed impairment.09/28/2007
-McKee v. Astrue -- Order reversing Commissioner's decision denying claimant's application for disability insurance and supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in assessing claimant's residual functional capacity and in giving greater weight to non-examining physician's opinion than he gave to opinions of two examining physicians and one treating physician. Court amended claimant's disaiblity onset date, holding claimant could not be found disabled for period when she was receiving unemployment compensation.09/27/2007
-U.S. v. Mark Donisi : (criminal defendant’s motion in limine: prior drug use and evidence from his proffer interview)09/25/2007
-Earl Harrison and Mariam P. Harrison vs. Rockwell Collins, Inc., Aetna Life Insurance Comany, and Rockwell Collins Employee Health Plan Number 700 (denial of benefits for hospital bills)09/25/2007
-Transamerica Life Insurance Company, Western Reserve Life Assurance Co. of Ohio, and Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company, Plaintiffs/Counterclaim Defendants, vs. Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Defendant/Counterclaimant (motion to compel--completely answer interrogatory)09/24/2007
-Tomlinson v. Burt (State prisoner’s petition for habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254: ruling on motion to dismiss: “substantive” and “procedural” claims of “actual innocence,” procedural default of “due process” and “ineffective assistance of counsel” claims) 09/21/2007
-Combs v. Astrue -- In reversing Commissioner's denial of Title II disability insurance benefits, court found ALJ erred in rejecting opinions of claimant's treating physicians, presenting inaccurate hypothetical questions to vocational expert, assessing claimant's residual functional capacity, failing to develop the record fully and fairly, and failing to consider dosage, side effects, and effectiveness of claimant's medications.09/20/2007
-Ideal Instruments, Inc. v. Rivard Instruments, Inc. & Meril Rivard (patent infringement suit involving patents for “detectable” hypodermic needles for livestock: plaintiff’s petition for attorney fees and expenses after court’s ruling imposing Rule 11 sanctions on the corporate defendant and its attorneys for filing a preliminary injunction motion lacking sufficient evidentiary support and for an improper purpose: reductions of fees claimed for lack of direct relationship to sanctionable action and “block billing,” and a further reduction to an amount sufficient to serve the deterrent purpose of a Rule 11 fee award)09/19/2007
-USA vs. John Shuler and Heather Fiorella (Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress, search of residence)09/18/2007
-The Arthur L. Christofferen Irrevocable Trust v. Yellow Book USA, Inc.; granting employer's motion for summary judgment on former CEO's unpaid wages claim under the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Law and his breach of contract claim under Iowa law where the former CEO died in 2005, and then his Trust sought $16,667.00 monthly payments under a Release and a Consulting Agreement that the former CEO and employer had entered into while the former CEO was still an employee.09/06/2007
-The O.N. Equity Sales Company v. Pals, et al. (Securities broker-dealer’s action for declaratory and injunctive relief to halt investors’ arbitration action before the NASD; plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction and defendant’s responsive motion to compel arbitration: interplay of Dataphase factors for a preliminary injunction and determination of arbitrability, conditions for arbitrability pursuant to NASD Rule 10301)09/06/2007
-Combs v. Astrue -- Supplemental Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in giving improper weight to opinion of records-review physician, which differed from opinions of examining and treating physicians; in relying on hypothetical question that failed to include all of claimant's impairments as supported by the record evidence; and in assessing claimant's credibility. 09/04/2007
-Awe v. I&M Rail Link -- Order deying plaintiffs' motion to vacate arbitrator's decision on unconscionability, and granting defendant's motion to dismiss the case. Court found retention and severance agreement between the parties was not a "contract of employment of . . . railroad employees" which would have excluded the contract from arbitration under section 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act.09/04/2007
-Pincheck, L.C. vs. Tempo Payments, Inc. (motion to strike affirmative defenses)08/30/2007
-Jones, et al v. Casey's General Stores, Inc. (Fair Labor Standards Act Case, motion to transfer venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), venue of case proper in either the Southern District of Iowa or the Northern District of Iowa, analysis of factors to be employed in considering a motion to transfer under § 1404(a), the court concluded that the balance of these factors supported transferring this case to the Southern District of Iowa and therefore defendant had met its burden to show that transfer of this case was appropriate and the court granted the motion to transfer)08/30/2007
-Carolyn Brown, et al. v. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; granting defendant's motion for partial summary judgment where the parties entered into a release that was governed by Illinois law; determining that defendant was released from all liabilities for the period up to December 31, 2002.08/29/2007
-USA v. Plum -- Order granting motion for involuntary administration of psychotropic drugs to render defendant competent for trial. Court found the Government had proved all four of the Sell factors.08/29/2007
-U.S. v. Hernandez (federal prisoner’s pro se motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255: ruling after evidentiary hearing: alleged ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to file notice of appeal after prisoner’s request that counsel do so) 08/29/2007
-USA v. McMullin -- Report and Recommendation on motion to dismiss for pre-indictment delay, and motion to dismiss one count of indictment for violating defendant's right against double jeopardy. Court found defendant failed to show delay in filing indictment resulted in actual and substantial prejudice to presentation of his defense, or that government intentionally delayed the indictment to gain tactical advantage or to harass him. On second motion, court held 21 USC 841(c)(2) is a lesser included offense of 21 USC 841(c)(1), so that although trying defendant on both charges does not violate double jeopardy, defendant could not be convicted and punished for both offenses. 08/28/2007
-USA v. McMullin - Order denying defendant's motion for severance. Court found defendant filed to show he would suffer "real prejudice" from joint trial.08/28/2007
-David Goings, Lewine Boucher-Goings, and Juanita Goings vs. Chickasaw County; Martin Larsen, Individually and in his official capacity; Todd Miller, Individually and in his official capacity; and City of Nashua (motion to strike designation of experts)08/27/2007
-Tomlinson v. Burt -- Report and Recommendation on respondent's motion to dismiss petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. Court found all issues raised by petitioner to be unexhausted and procedurally defaulted. Court further found petitioner failed to meet his burden to identify new evidence sufficient to satisfy "actual innocence" standard. 08/23/2007
-Klepper v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title XVI Supplemental Security Income and Title II disability income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in failing to develop the record adequately as to claimant's mental impairment. Court further found substantial evidence established claimant's disability.08/22/2007
-USA vs. Robert Earl Cole, Jr. (Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress; seizure, voluntary consent urine sample)08/20/2007
-Heimlicher v. Steele, et al. -- Order on motions for summary judgment. Court found Iowa law is well settled that a wrongful death action cannot lie for an unborn fetus, and declined to certify question to Iowa Supreme Court. Court also held doctor's certification that patient was stabilized prior to transfer did not obviate EMTALA liability as a matter of law. Whether patient actually was stabilized prior to transfer, and whether doctor adequately deliberated and weighed medical risks and benefits of transfer, were questions for the jury.08/17/2007
-USA vs. Leland Richard Vinton (motion to quash subpoena for billing statement)08/16/2007
-USA v. Sheridan -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. In recommending denial of motion, court found defendant's nephew, who was working as a security guard at resort, entered defendant's room as a private citizen on his own behalf; and not on behalf of, or with knowledge of and acquiescence by, any government agency.08/15/2007
-James R. Woelfel vs. Jerry Burt, Warden, Anamosa State Penitentiary (Report and Recommendation re 2254, exhaustion, ineffective assistance of counsel, double jeopardy)08/15/2007
-Moore Development, LTD., vs. M.G. Midwest, Incl, d/b/a Movie Gallery; a/k/a Movie Gallery US, LLC; a/k/a Movie Gallery US, Inc. (breach of contract, promissory/equitable estoppel, intentional interference with prospective business relations)08/13/2007
-USA v. Gocha -- Supplemental Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. Court found probable cause existed for issuance of second and third warrants to search defendant's computers, digital cameras, personal data device, and storage media. Court further found search warrants met particularity requirement and were not overly broad. 08/10/2007
-Ideal Instruments, Inc. v. Rivard Instruments, Inc. & Meril Rivard (patent infringement suit involving patents for “detectable” hypodermic needles for livestock: claim constructions after Markman hearing)08/10/2007
-USA vs. Tony Eugene Goodson (conflict of interest for attorneys)08/07/2007
-Cletus F. Johnson, Petitioner vs Jerry Burt, Warden, Respondent (Report and Recommendation re 2254, prosecutorial misconduct, Batson claim)07/30/2007
-U.S. v. Angela Johnson (8th Circuit Decision)07/30/2007
-USA v. Jeff Cheney -- Report and Recommendation on defendnat's objections to plaintiff's notice of intent to seek enhanced penalties pursuant to 21 USC 851.07/27/2007
-U.S. v. Linda Darcell Gilbert; sentencing memorandum opinion07/24/2007
-U.S. v. Francisco Marcos-Quiroga (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress, finding that the police had probable cause to arrest defendant and, as a result, money found on defendant’s person was found during a lawful search incident to his arrest and not subject to suppression.)07/17/2007
-Edward D. Heaton v. The Weitz Company, Inc.; denying employer's motion for judgment as a matter of law or new trial, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50; upholding the jury's verdict that employer retaliated against employee; and upholding awards of emotional distress damages and punitive damages 07/13/2007
-Myers v. Tursso Company, Inc. (former employee’s action for FMLA discrimination and retaliation; plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment that the defendant employer is equitably estopped to assert that it is not covered by the FMLA, because it does not meet the employee-numerosity requirement at the location where the plaintiff worked: standards for granting summary judgment sua sponte for a non-moving party if the record reveals no genuine issues of material fact; applicability of equitable estoppel to FMLA requirements; sufficiency of the plaintiff’s evidence of misrepresentations by the employer based on statements in an employee handbook and FMLA rights poster; and sufficiency of the plaintiff’s evidence that he relied on any misrepresentation.)07/13/2007
-Kirt v. Fashion Bug (Customer’s right-to-contract race discrimination claim under § 1981: court’s sua sponte reconsideration of order granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment in light of Green v. Dillard’s, Inc., 483 F.3d 533 (8th Cir. 2007)07/10/2007
-USA vs. Brook Allen Walton (Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress--Franks case)07/09/2007
-U.S. v. Travis John O'Connor (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation regarding motion to suppress, finding that upon viewing the affidavit in support of the search warrant application in a common sense manner, the court could not conclude that the issuing state judge did not have a substantial basis to believe that the items sought in the warrant would be found at defendant’s residence.)07/09/2007
-United States v. Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi; motion to dismiss on due process grounds; denying defendant's motion; finding no Fifth Amendment violations due to outrageous government conduct or prosecutorial misconduct; declining defendant's invitation to use the court's supervisory power to dismiss the two-count indictment. 07/05/2007
-United States v. Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi; motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 48(b); denying defendant's motion; finding no prejudicial preindictment delay in the government's presentation of the charges to the grand jury; and finding no unnecessary post-indictment delay due, mainly, to defendant's own requests for trial continuances. 07/05/2007
-United States v. Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi; motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds; denying defendant's motion; finding that the double jeopardy principles were not implicated because defendant was convicted in the Eastern District of Michigan on a terrorism count and a document fraud count, and then, after trial, the charges were dismissed in post-trial proceedings; alternatively holding that the offenses in the prior indictment and the instant indictment were not the "same" for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause. 07/05/2007
-U.S. v. Robert Earl Cole; sentencing memorandum opinion07/03/2007
-USA v. Gocha -- Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress evidence from search of residence and shop building. Court found unrelated attachment to search warrant was included inadvertently and was not considered by magistrate in issuing warrant; defendant failed to make requisite showing to warrant a Franks hearing; and officers reasonably believed cohabitant of property had authority to consent to search of entire property. 07/03/2007
-Ideal Instruments, Inc. v. Rivard Instruments, Inc. ((patent infringement suit; plaintiff’s motion for sanctions against defendants and their counsel pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C. § 1927, and/or the court’s inherent authority for filing their motion for preliminary injunction, which asserted that the plaintiff was committing false advertising and threatening public safety by selling patented “detectable” hypodermic needles for use on livestock that are not actually “detectable” within the meaning of the meat processing, veterinary, and detectable needle industries: finding violations of Rule 11(b)(3) for filing a motion lacking evidentiary support and Rule 11(b)(1) for filing a motion for an improper purpose, imposing sanctions in the form of part of plaintiff’s attorney fees for litigating the preliminary injunction motion, and imposing such sanctions against the corporate defendant, defendants’ outside counsel, and defendants’ local counsel, but declining to impose other sanctions.)07/03/2007
-United States v. Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi; motion to subpoena trial witnesses pursuant to Rule 104; denying defendant's motion; determining that the proposed testimony of a district court judge, a United States Attorney and a defense attorney was not admissible; and declining to issue trial subpoenas for each. 06/27/2007
-Francine Williams v. Hawkeye Community College; order granting in part and denying in part motions to dismiss and strike in employment discrimination case against state actor; holding that four-year statute of limitations applied to a portion of plaintiff's section 1983 claim06/27/2007
-Western Reserve Life Assurance Company of Ohio v. G. Randall Bratton, Bratton Financial Services Corporation, Bratton International, Inc. and Betty Bratton; bench trial order granting declaratory judgment in favor of insurance company; finding against independent marketing organization and its owner/agents on their counterclaims of breach of oral contract, promissory estoppel, implied-in-fact contract for services (quantum meruit) and unjust enrichment; entering judgment in favor of insurance company 06/26/2007
-U.S. v. James Howard Bentley; sentencing memorandum opinion06/25/2007
-CNH Capital America LLC. vs. Tim McCandless, d/b/a McCandless Farms (motion in limine-contract)06/22/2007
-USA v. Quiroga -- Report and Recommendation on motion to suppress evidence. Court found officers had probable cause for defendant's warrantless arrest, and recommended evidence from search incident to arrest not be suppressed.06/13/2007
-U.S. v. Francisco Marcos-Quiroga (Criminal defendant’s motion in limine: prior convictions, chain of custody of drug evidence, and plea agreement from conviction set aside by the court)06/12/2007
-Rohloff v. Metz Baking Co., LLC (former employee’s Title VII and state law claims for pregnancy discrimination a baking company, its holding company, and its plant manager: defendants’ joint motion for summary judgment: plaintiff’s ability to generate genuine issues of material fact on “qualification” and “inference of discrimination” elements of her prima facie case of pregnancy discrimination, in light of absenteeism problems; sufficiency of evidence of pretext) 06/12/2007
-USA v. O'Connor- Report and Recommendation that defendant's motion to suppress be denied. Defendant argued search warrant for his residence was not supported by probable cause because the facts indicated his alleged activities only occurred at his workplace, not at his residence. Court found issuing judge was entitled to rely on officer's experienced opinion that defendant likely maintained pornographic images and performed illegal acts at his residence.06/11/2007
-Northeast Iowa Citizens for Clean Water v. AgriProcessors, Inc.; United States of America and Northeast Iowa Citizens for Clean Water v. AgriProcessors; order re application for attorneys fees and costs 06/06/2007
-Hunter v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court recommended reversal for calculation and payment of benefits, finding ALJ erred in ruling claimant's substance abuse disorder was a contributing factor material to her disability.06/05/2007
-U.S. v. Todd Becker (motions in limine in criminal trial: government’s motion to admit evidence of the defendant’s probation status as “intrinsic” or Rule 404(b) evidence; defendant’s motion to exclude nineteen-year-old felony drug conviction pursuant to Rule 404(b)).05/31/2007
-American Family Mutual Insurance Company vs Robert Miell Robert Miell vs Brett Throlson and Brett Throlson Agency, INC. (motion for summary judgment on negligence, contribution, & indemnification)05/23/2007
-Blum v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ failed to include all of claimant's limitations in RFC assessment and in hpothetical questions to vocational expert, and failed to obtain clarification from claimant's long-time treating physician regarding work-related limitations. Court recommended remand for further development of the record and consideration of new evidence.05/22/2007
-CNH Capital America LLC vs. Tim McCandless, d/b/a McCandless Farms (breach of contract, aiding & abetting, conspiracy, fraudulent misrepresentation)05/18/2007
-Hofmann, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, Inc. (Diversity Tort Action, motion to remand, review of the principles applicable to a motion to remand and analysis of whether party resisting remand is able prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional amount)05/18/2007
-U.S. v. Lee, et al. (Criminal defendants’ motions in limine: first defendant’s prior misdemeanor and felony convictions and “bad acts” as Rule 404(b) and/or “direct” evidence; second defendant’s prior criminal history, opinions that he is a drug dealer or convicted felon, lay identifications of his voice on a particular tape or monitored call, identification of him as the “Rock,” his lack of employment history; and co-conspirator hearsay allegedly exculpatory hearsay statement; third defendant’s “bad acts,” references to his presence at “crack houses,” residence at places where drugs or guns were found, discovery of baggies on his person, prior convictions, and identifications as a “drug dealer”)05/17/2007
-USA vs. Greg Alan Johnson (Report and Recommendation on involuntary treatment of psychotropic medication to restore competency for trial)05/17/2007
-Doctor John's, Inc. v. City of Sioux C ity, et al. : (Merchant’s action challenging city ordinances regulating sex shops; court’s sua sponte consideration of sanctions against the city for destruction of records relevant to the litigation after settlement of the case)05/17/2007
-U.S. v. Lee Cobb (Motion to suppress, order accepting Magistrate Judges report and recommendation that defendant’s motion to suppress be granted; concluding that defendant made the requisite showing to warrant a Franks hearing, that one law enforcement officer communicated false information to another that was then included in the warrant application and that if the false information is set to one side, the affidavit’s remaining content is insufficient to establish probable cause for a search of defendant’s residence.) 05/16/2007
-U.S. v. Michael Edward Kowal; order on motion to dismiss, bench trial and motion for judgment of acquittal. The court denied the motion to dismiss and motion for judgment of acquittal, and it found defendant GUILTY on Counts 5 and 7, which charged the defendant with aggravated identity theft in violation in 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1). The court found that the term "person" in § 1028A(a)(1) includes all human beings, regardless of whether they are living at the time their identity is stolen and used. It found that the defendant's use of a decedent's surname and birth month constituted the defendant's use of the "means of identification of another person," and it rejected the defendant's claim that he changed his name through his Iowa marriage.05/15/2007
-U.S. v. David Evan Starr; sentencing memorandum opinion05/15/2007
-Raymond v. U.S.A. Healthcare Center-Fort Dodge LLC, et al. (former employee’s suit for discharge in violation of Iowa public policy: plaintiff’s third motion in limine seeking to exclude evidence of correspondence between the parties’ attorneys concerning discovery of records of other employees of the defendants who had filed workers’ compensation claims and their current employment statuses; defendants’ motion in limine seeking to exclude evidence of, reference to, or testimony about any polygraph examination or lie detector test that the plaintiff took in relation to events underlying this matter)05/09/2007
-Brinkmann v. Astrue -- Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance and Title XVI supplemental security income benefits. Court found ALJ erred in ignoring claimant's amended disability onset date, and in speculating about claimant's credibility based on past behavior before claimant got sober. Court recommended remand for further proceedings.05/09/2007
-USA v. Charles Scott -- Report and Recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress evidence. Court found defendant had not made adequate showing for a Franks hearing, and even if affidavit in support of search warrant was deficient, officers executed the warrant in good faith and evidence should not be excluded pursuant to Leon.05/08/2007
-Pamela R. Reed vs. Cedar County and Cedar County Scheriff, Daniel Hannes M. Leanne Tyler, Claimant (attorney lien)05/07/2007
-Raymond v. U.S.A. Healthcare Center -Fort Dodge, LLC, et al. (former employee’s suit for discharge in violation of Iowa public policy: plaintiff’s second motion in limine seeking to exclude evidence regarding any benefits that she has received for her workers’ compensation claims)05/02/2007
-United States of America v. Arias-Gonzales -- Report and sua sponte recommendation that case be dismissed for speedy trial violation.05/02/2007
-U.S. v. Lamont William Papakee and Connie Frances Blackcloud; order finding federal criminal jurisdiction over alleged sex crimes at Meskwaki Settlement05/02/2007
-USA vs. Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi (allow deposition of witness)04/30/2007
-Larry Cirksena vs. Farmers Cooperative Company; Daniel Scott Forey, Individually and in his official capacity as General Manager, and James Edward Hawkins, Individually and in his official capacity as Department Manager (age discrimination)04/30/2007
-U.S. v. Justin Cole (criminal defendant’s and prosecution’s motions in limine and Rule 104 motions to determine admissibility of evidence: defendant’s prior convictions and “bad acts” as Rule 404(b), “direct,” or res gestae evidence; allegedly exculpatory hearsay statement, considered under Rules 804(b)(3), 607, and 613(b); and the meaning of “cocaine base” as “crack cocaine” under 21 U.S.C. § 841)04/30/2007
-Horizon Ethanol, LLC, et al. v. Hanson & Akers (Diversity action for breach of covenant not to compete and breach of confidentiality provisions of a non-disclosure agreement; motion to dismiss for lack of diversity; analysis of defendant’s citizenship for purposes of diversity jurisdiction)04/30/2007
-General Electric Capital Corp. v. Commercial Services Group, Inc. : (Suit for breach of contract against debt collector by client corporation; plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment on defendant’s counterclaim of tortious interference with existing and prospective contracts and business relationships: whether plaintiff’s conduct in notifying affected third parties of the termination of the contract between the plaintiff and the defendant was “wrongful” as required to sustain the counterclaim)04/26/2007
-Bruning, et al. v. Carroll Community School District (Sex discrimination-alleged sexual harassment of female middle school students; claims for violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, violation of plaintiffs’ Substantive Due Process Rights, violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act, Iowa Code Ch. 216, violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 through defendants’ permitting plaintiffs’ rights under the Equal Protection Clause and the Constitution of the State of Iowa to be violated, negligence, assault, tortious infliction of severe emotional distress, ruling on motion for summary judgment concerning plaintiffs’ substantive due process claim, equal protection claim, claims brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Title IX claims, claims brought under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, Iowa Code § 216.9, and Iowa state law tort claims for negligence, premises liability and failure to protect; analysis of school district’s knowledge of the harassment, examination of whether the school district was deliberately indifferent to harassment, review of the severity and pervasiveness of the harassment, analysis of whether the school district was exercising discretionary function in disciplining students and was immune from liability for plaintiffs’ tort claims under the Iowa Municipal Tort Claims Act, Iowa Code § 670.4, examination of whether school district breached a duty to plaintiffs to protect them from student-on-student harassment, and with regard to plaintiffs’ premises liability claim, analysis of whether a genuine issue of material fact had been generated as to whether harm to plaintiffs caused by physical assaults at school was reasonably foreseeable)04/19/2007
-Chapman v. Astrue - Report and Recommendation on judicial review of denial of SSI benefits. Court found claimant's limitations due to chronic back pain, side effects from pain medications, and need to change position frequently precluded her from gainful employment. In recommending reversal and remand for payment of benefits, court concluded ALJ erred in failing to give controlling weight to treating physicain's opinion, and in assessing claimant's residual functional capacity.04/12/2007
-Parada v. Great Plains Int'l of Sioux City, Inc. (female “service writer’s” suit against diesel truck sales and service company for sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and retaliation, in violation of Title VII and the Iowa Civil Rights Act, and unequal pay in violation of the Equal Pay Act: defendants’ motion for summary judgment: individual liability under Title VII; challenges to the “unwelcomeness” and “severity” elements of the claim of sexual harassment by supervisors; challenges to the “qualification” and “similarly situated male” elements of the claim of sexual discrimination based on elimination of the plaintiff’s service writer duties and termination of her lead person duties; challenges to the “protected activity” and “causal connection” elements of the claim of retaliation based on elimination or termination of the plaintiff’s duties in response to the plaintiff’s complaints about a male co-worker who would not do work the plaintiff assigned him and who complained about her qualifications; and challenges to the “substantially equal jobs” element of the claim of unequal pay)04/11/2007
-Glynn Jones v. Cargill, Inc.; limine order in Title VII race discrimination and retaliation case04/06/2007
-Raymond v. U.S.A. Healthcare Center -- Fort Dodge, LLC, et al. : (former employee’s suit for discharge in violation of Iowa public policy: plaintiff’s first motion in limine seeking to exclude evidence of offers to settle and references to dismissed claims)04/05/2007
-JTV Mfg, Inc. v. Mazak Optonics Corp. -- Order denying plaintiff's motion to amend petition for declaratory judgment to add party. Court found that although third party might be a proper party, he was not a necessary party, and plaintiff failed to show good cause to add third party whose presence in the case would desetroy diversity jurisdiction. 04/03/2007
-USA v. Marsh -- Order on motion for extension of time to complete psychological evaluation. Discusses date when time commences for completion of evaluation.03/29/2007
-Ideal Instruments v. Rivard Instruments (patent infringement suit involving a false advertising counterclaim pursuant to § 43(a) of the Lanham Act: defendant’s motion for preliminary injunction based on allegedly false advertising of plaintiff’s livestock hypodermic needles as “detectable”: consideration of “Dataphase factors” and elements of a false advertising claim to determine whether the court should issue a preliminary injunction requiring a ban on sales and a recall of plaintiff’s “detectable” needles).03/28/2007
-Kirt v. Fashion Bug, Inc. : (customer’s right-to-contract race discrimination claim under § 1981 and “public accommodations” race discrimination claim under Iowa Code § 216.7 against retail store: defendant’s motion for summary judgment: whether a store manager’s intervention and invitation to an African-American female customer to continue shopping after a store employee’s apparently racially charged diatribe demonstrated that there was no interference with the customer’s right to contract under § 1981 or her right to public accommodations under § 216.7 where the customer left the store without attempting to make a purchase)03/28/2007
-USA v. Cobb -- Report and Recommendation that defendant's motion to suppress evidence resulting from search of his residence be granted. Court found officers recklessly included false information in warrant affidavit, and when false information was excluded, information in the affidavit would not support a finding of probable cause for a search of defendant's residence. Court further found inevitable discovery exception inapplicable on these facts.03/27/2007
-Premium Iowa Pork, L.L.C. v. Banss Schlacht Und Foerdertechnik, GMBH (suit by meat packing complaing alleging fraudulent inducement to enter into a written agreement for a scalding and dehairing system by defendant; platiniff's motion for entry of default judgment and award of damages under fradulent inducement, breach of oral contract, and promissory estoppel and whether or not the court may award punitive damages or attorney's fees in this action)03/24/2007
-U.S. v. Marcos-Quiroga (defendant’s objections to PSIR, motion to withdraw guilty plea, and motion for new counsel: defendant’s Sixth Amendment objection to use of a prior conviction as both a statutory sentence enhancement and a career offender guideline enhancement; reconsideration of motion to withdraw guilty plea based on bad advice of counsel concerning career offender status; motion for new counsel based on prejudicial conduct of current counsel)03/23/2007
-Glynn Jones v. Cargill, Inc.; limine order in Title VII race discrimination and retaliation case03/19/2007
-Kirk Draper and Laurie Draper v. Wellmark, Inc.; summary judgment granted; finding that Plaintiff's ERISA claim was barred by the contractual limitations provision in the insurance certificate; finding that plaintiff's common law negligent misrepresentation claim was preempted by ERISA because it had a connection with and related to an ERISA plan.03/15/2007
-USA v. Eddie Lee -- Order denying defendant's motion to sever his trial from the trial of his codefendants in case involving conspiracy to manufacture nd distribute crack cocaine.03/13/2007
-Highway Equipment Company, Inc., Plaintiff/Counterclaim-Defendant v. Cives Coporation and Monroe Truck Equipment, Inc., Defendants/Counterclaim Plaintiffs; markman order in a patent case construing various claims of the patents-in-suit.03/07/2007
-Glynn Jones v. Cargill, Inc.; Title VII race discrimination and retaliation03/06/2007
-John MorrCommercial litigation, defendants’ motion to dismiss, conflict of law question concerning application of Iowa law, the law of the majority of the defendants, or South Dakota law, the law designated in the parties’ agreements as controlling, addressing whether contract claims fail as a matter of law because the defendants are not explicitly named in the contracts but were entered by defendants using a trade name or doing business as designation, addressing whether plaintiff stated an unjust enrichment claim against defendants where plaintiff has also pleaded contract claims and did not allege that there is no adequate remedy at law for its claim)03/05/2007
-United States v. Honken : (appeal by defendant convicted of capital offenses and sentenced to death; defendant’s request for discovery of government’s records and recollections of four unrecorded conferences to prepare the defendant’s statement pursuant to Rule 10(c) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure concerning unrecorded portions of the record for appeal)02/28/2007
-USA v. Enrique Aragon-Hernandez -- Order denying defendant's motion for bill of particulars.02/27/2007
-McCabe v. Macaulay -- Order granting in part and denying in part defendants' motion to exclude expert testimony. Court found one legal expert's testimony regarding whether probable cause existed for plaintiffs' arrests invaded province of court to make legal conclusions, and would not aid trier of fact in deciding issue of fact. Court denied motion as to second expert's opinion regarding injury to plaintiff's wrists from handcuffs.02/26/2007
-U.S. v. James Howard Bentley; Rule 414 order, admitting evidence of prior offenses of child molestation in child pornography prosecution.02/21/2007
-Baber v. First Republic Group, LLC (suit by investor alleging improper overcharges by securities broker and its account representative; defendants’ motion to compel arbitration and stay proceedings: whether, as a matter of circuit law, an “introducing broker” and its agent are entitled to enforce an arbitration clause in a contract between an investor and a “clearing broker” to which the “introducing broker” and its agent are not parties, because they are agents of the “clearing broker” or a third-party beneficiaries of the contract between the customer and the “clearing broker”; whether the “clearing broker” is an indispensable party within the meaning of Rule 19(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to litigation involving claims of fraud based, at least in part, on notices of account activity actually sent by the “clearing broker,” such that the case is subject to arbitration)02/21/2007
-Randy Clark v. Eagle Ottawa, LLC. motion to dismiss order dismissing Iowa common law public policy claim under Rule 12(b)(6). The court declined to dismiss due to NLRA or LMRA preemption. Plaintiff's FMLA interference and retaliation claims remain. 02/20/2007
-USA v. Huntley -- Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to dismiss two counts of indictment. Defendant argued his plea in state court to simple assault under Iowa Code 708.1(1) and 708.2(4) did not satisfy predicate requirements for federal charges of possessing firearm after misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence. In recommending defendant's motion to dismiss be denied, Court found State court judgment established, on its face, the required predicate element of the charges.02/20/2007
-Mugan v. McGuire Law Firm02/20/2007
-Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees v. Union Pacific Railroad Co. (railway workers union’s action for injunctive and other relief pursuant to the Railway Labor Act (RLA), 45 U.S.C. § 151 et seq., and the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-2202, to bar carrier’s introduction of iris recognition technology for attendance and timekeeping purposes: plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction and carrier’s motion to dismiss for subject matter jurisdiction: whether the parties’ dispute is “major” or “minor” within the meaning of the RLA, where the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over “minor” disputes, which must instead be determined in binding arbitration)02/16/2007
-Beck v. Astrue - In affirming Commissioner's decision denying claimant's appliccations for SSI and disability insurance benefits, court found ALJ's credibility assessment and determination of claimant's residual functional capacity were supported by substantial evidence.02/16/2007
-United States v. Saucillo (Federal prisoners motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2255 asserting allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel; specifically, the defendant asserted his counsel was ineffective in failing to file an appeal; motion denied in its entirety; defendant did allege that he expressly direct his attorney to file an appeal )02/14/2007
-Union Pacific Company v. Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Company (dispute between two railroads over purported agreement to share costs of construction of a rail interchange yard; defendant’s motion for summary judgment: failure of defendant to meet conditions precedent in written contract; failure of defendant to generate genuine issues of material fact on “implied-in-fact” contract claim, whether construed as “quantum meruit,” “promissory estoppel,” or “unjust enrichment” claim)02/09/2007
-Pamela R. Reed v. Cedar County and Cedar County Sheriff Daniel Hannes, in his individual and official capacities; summary judgment order granting in part and denying in part defendants' motions where plaintiff alleged Title VII and Iowa Civil Rights Act claims of sexual harassment (hostile work environment and constructive discharge) and retaliation (employment-related retaliation and retaliatory litigation), and a claim of battery. 02/08/2007
-U.S. v. James J. Parsons (Motion for return of property pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g); after pleading guilty to the charged felony offenses, defendant sought to designate that his firearm collection, which was seized and held by the government, should be given to a friend; analysis of the competing equities in order to decide whether defendant, who was in lawful possession of the firearms at the time of his arrest and was not a convicted felon when he acquired the three firearms, may be permitted to designate to whom his firearm collection should be given. )02/07/2007
-Torgeson v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Motion for Attorney's Fees and Expenses)02/05/2007
-Kuiper v. International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. (Diversity products liability action, motions to dismiss for failure to plead fraud with particularity, addressing issue of whether plaintiffs’ claims for fraudulent concealment and civil conspiracy were pleaded with requisite particularity.)01/31/2007
-U.S. v. Enrique Aragon-Hernandez (criminal defendant’s motion in limine: inaudibility of recordings rendering them untrustworthy as a whole and, therefore, inadmissible) 01/31/2007
-Habben v. City of Fort Dodge, et al. (former employee’s Title VII, § 1981, and state law claims for race and pregnancy discrimination against city, city housing agency, and two housing agency officials: defendants’ separate motions for summary judgment: individual liability under Title VII and § 1981; plaintiff’s ability to generate genuine issues of material fact on race and pregnancy discrimination claims; lack of independent basis for liability of the city)01/29/2007
-Weimer, et al v. International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc., et al. (Diversity products liability action, motions to dismiss for failure to plead fraud with particularity, addressing issue of whether plaintiffs’ claims for fraudulent concealment and civil conspiracy were pleaded with requisite particularity.)01/22/2007
-Combs v. McMahon -- Report and recommendation that court grant Commissioner's motion for entry of final judgment, and reversal and remand for further proceedings, pursuant to sentence four of 42 USC 402(g).01/22/2007
-United States v. Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi; motion to dismiss on statute of limitations and pre-indictment delay grounds; denying defendant's motion; holding that the conspiracy to commit document fraud charge and the fraudulent use of a social security number charge in the indictment were not barred by the statute of limitations; and holding that there was no violation of the Fifth Amendment due process clause due to unreasonable pre-indictment delay because defendant could not show actual or substantial prejudice. 01/22/2007
-USA v. Bauer -- Report and recommendation that defendant's motion to suppress evidence from traffic stop be denied. Court found defendant consented to search of his vehicle, his consent was not coerced by officers, and "plain view" doctrine was irrelevant to the analysis.01/22/2007
-Dr. John's v. City of Sioux City (Challenge to city’s various amended zoning and licensing ordinances regulating “adult entertainment businesses”; store’s motion for further clarification of issues for bench trial)01/16/2007
-McLeodUSA v. Qwest (litigation between providers of telecommunications services concerning payment for each other’s services; plaintiff’s motion to dismiss defendants’ “tort” counterclaims for negligent misrepresentation, conversion, trespass, fraud, fraudulent concealment, and negligence as duplicative of “contract” counterclaims: ability to plead alternative theories of recovery; sufficiency of pleading of required element that the alleged tortfeasor is in the business or profession of supplying information to support of negligent misrepresentation claims; and requirement that statute or regulation on which a negligence claim is based explicitly or implicitly authorize a private cause of action)01/16/2007
-Dr. John's v. City of Sioux City (Challenge to city’s various amended zoning and licensing ordinances regulating “adult entertainment businesses”; city’s motion to clarify issues for bench trial)01/13/2007
-Crandall v. Barnhart -- Order denying defendant's motion to amend/correct judgment.01/11/2007
-Straitt v. Straitt -- Report and Recommendation that defendant's motion to dismiss be granted. Court found plaintiff had failed to show defendant had requisite minimum contacts with the State of Iowa to support personal jurisdiction over defendant in this court.01/08/2007
-U.S. v. Ryan Keith Mathison (Following a jury verdict of guilty on all counts charged in the Second Superseding Indictment, both defendant filed timely motion for judgment of acquittal pursuant to Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and, in the alternative, a motion for a new trial pursuant to Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure; court holds that (1) viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, a reasonable jury could have found the defendant guilty on Counts One through Seven, as alleged in the Second Superseding Indictment;(2) no grounds for a new trial on the defendant’s convictions exist because the evidence presented at trial overwhelmingly weighs in favor of the jury verdict on all counts charged in the Second Superseding Indictment ; (3) the mid-trial publicity that resulted after the defendant voluntarily absconded did not prejudice the defendant and his Sixth Amendment rights were adequately protected;(4) the defendant’s post-trial motions are denied in their entirety.)01/05/2007
-Richmond v. Burt (Federal prisoner’s petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254; case initially referred to Magistrate Judge Paul A. Zoss, who recommended the petition be dismissed on procedural grounds; petitioner filed objections to Judge Zoss’s Report and Recommendation, essentially contending his constitutional claims were not procedurally barred; upon conducting de novo review of petitioner’s claims, court overrules petitioner’s objections and accepts Judge Zoss’s Report and Recommendation; petitioner did not fairly present his constitutional claims to the Iowa courts and even if he had, petitioner’s claims are without merit; petition is dismissed and no certificate of appealability shall be issued.) 01/04/2007
-USA v. Bucio-Sanchez -- Report and recommendation that motion to suppress evidence be denied. Court found inevitable discovery doctrine justified admission of call made to defendant's c ell phone; protective sweep of trailer was justified under the circumstances, and evidence observed in plain view during protective sweep was admissible; and roommate had authority to consent to search of all of trailer except defendant's bedroom.01/03/2007
-Doctor John's Inc. v. City of Sioux City, Iowa -- Order on motions in limine and objections to appearance of counsel. Court denied motions to exclude evidence and witnesses in bench trial; denied request for in camera review of documnets and interview of City Attorney; and overruled plaintiff's objections to defendant's representation by attorney who is associated with attorney who formerly represented plaintiff in very limited capacity during workers' compensation matter.01/02/2007
-U.S. v. Edward Valenciano (Motion to transfer trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 21; analysis of whether defendant had met the high threshold of proof to show that case was one of the “rare and extreme cases” in which the court can presume “inherent prejudice” based on pretrial publicity, such that a transfer pursuant to Rule 21(a) was appropriate; alternative analysis of whether it was necessary to transfer the trial on the grounds of convenience of the parties and witnesses pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 21(b)).12/27/2006
-Raymond v. U.S.A. Healthcare Center -- Fort Dodge, LLC, et al (Former employee asserted state and federal disability discrimination claims and two claims of discharge in violation of Iowa public policy; after voluntary dismissal of all claims except for violation of Iowa public policy by retaliating for filing a workers’ compensation claim, the defendant moved for summary judgment: the court considered sua sponte whether to retain the case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367 after dismissal of the federal claim upon which jurisdiction was premised; considered the elements of a claim of retaliation in violation of public policy under Iowa law, and especially whether proof of a “lack of other justification” for discharge was such an element; and considered the sufficiency of the plaintiff’s showing on the required elements.) 12/22/2006
-Leading Edge Developmental Services v. Enxco, Inc. (Contract law, motions for summary judgment; dispute over whether plaintiff was entitled to an abatement success fee; analysis of whether plaintiff’s refund of certain money paid to it by defendant constituted a condition precedent to plaintiff’s qualifying for the abatement success fee; and, whether the parties had made a mutual mistake as to the date certain that plaintiff was required to make the required refund of money paid to it by defendant. )12/21/2006
-Doctor John's, Inc. v. City of Sioux City (Challenge to city’s various amended zoning and licensing ordinances regulating “adult entertainment businesses”; defendant’s motion to preserve Seventh Amendment right to jury trial: province of court and jury in determination of remaining “constitutionality,” “applicability,” and “damages” issues, applying two-prong inquiry under City of Monterey v. Del Monte Dues at Monterey, Ltd., 526 U.S. 687 (1999))12/20/2006
-Dible v. Scholl and Maynard -- Order on parties' cross- motions for summary judgment. Former Iowa inmate (who had discharged sentence and been released) brought section 1983 action against State officials for violation of due process rights in connection with disciplinary notice that resulted in loss of good time credit. Court found disciplinary notice to be constitutionally deficient, and further found defendants were not entitled to qualitified immunity. Defendants' motion for summary judgment denied plaintiff's cross-motion granted; and case ordered to proceed to trial solely on issue of damages.12/20/2006
-Crandall v. Barnhart -- Order on judicial review from denial of Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits. Court found ALJ did not err in finding claimant's mental impairments not to be severe, but further found ALJ erred in failing to obtain updated evaluation of claimant's physical impairments and in assessing claimant's residual functional capacity. Court remanded case for calculation and award of benefits, but found disability onset date to be later than claimant alleged.12/15/2006
-U.S. v. B.H.; declaratory judgment finding that defendant was committed to a mental institution and, therefore, ordering his weapons and ammunition destroyed.,U.S. v. B.H.; declaratory judgment finding that defendant was committed to a mental institution and, therefore, ordering his weapons and ammunition destroyed.12/07/2006
-Thompson v. Barnhart -- Order on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Court found ALJ's decision was not supported by substantial evidence in the record and reversed decision, but from a later disability onset date than claimant had alleged. 12/06/2006
-Torgeson v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America & Mason City Clinic, PC (Judicial review under ERISA concerning eligibility for long-term disability (LTD) benefits: memorandum opinion and order on the merits on written submissions: applicable standard of review; objective evidence; treating physicians’ opinions; and co-morbidity of conditions)12/06/2006
-USA v. Tolbert - Report and recommendation on defendant's motion to suppress. Court found evidence was sezied lawfully at scene of traffic stop and need not be suppressed; defendant's pre-Miranda statements were custodial in nature and should be suppressed; and defendant later waived rights and gave statements voluntarily and intelligently, so post-Miranda statements need not be suppressed. 12/04/2006
-Estate of Storm v. Northwest Iowa Hospital Corp. -- Report and recommendation on plaintiff's motion to certify question. Finding the issue to be ripe for state court review, the court recommended certification to the Iowa Supreme Court of the question, "Does an unborn fetus have a cause of action for wrongful death under Iowa Code section 611.20."12/04/2006
-Northeast Iowa Citizens for Clean Water v. AgriProcessors, Inc.; United States of America v. AgriProcessors, Inc.; Court entered consent decree after finding it was fair, reasonable and adequate.11/29/2006
-Edward D. Heaton v. The Weitz Company, Inc.; Title VII and ICRA retaliation, national origin; motion in limine11/22/2006
-U.S. v. James Joseph Sheridan; Court denied defendant's motion to dismiss a one-count indictment which charged defendant with knowingly possessing a stolen firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(j). The court concluded that defendant's Fifth Amendment right to due process right was not violated. It found there was no vindictive prosecution or unreasonable pre-indictment delay. 11/16/2006
-Edward D. Heaton v. The Weitz Company, Inc.; Title VII and ICRA retaliation, national origin11/14/2006
-U.S. v. Vincent & Karl Raymond Bertling (Following a jury verdict of guilty on all counts charged in the Second Superseding Indictment, both defendants filed timely motions for judgment of acquittal pursuant to Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and motions for a new trial pursuant to Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure; court holds that (1) viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, a reasonable jury could have found both defendants guilty of conspiracy to corruptly endeavor to influence, obstruct and impeded the due administration of justice in United States v. Vincent Bertling, CR05-4125-MWB, by intimidating witnesses, as alleged in Count One; (2) a reasonable jury could have found defendant Vincent guilty of the three counts of being an unlawful user of controlled substances in possession of a firearm, as alleged in Counts Two, Three and Four; (3) with respect to the verdicts rendered on Counts Two, Three and Four against defendant Vincent, no miscarriage of justice has occurred; (4) the evidence supporting the convictions of the defendants on Count One weighs heavily enough against the verdict that a miscarriage of justice has occurred in this case; (5) the verdict as to Count One against defendants Vincent Bertling and Karl Raymond Bertling is set aside and Vincent Bertling and Karl Raymond Bertling are granted a new trial on this count; and (6) in all other respects, the defendants’ motions for judgment of acquittal and new trial are denied.)11/13/2006
-Interbake Foods, LLC v. Tomaeillo, et al (Suit by employer against former employee and his current employer alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and other confidential information; motion for preliminary injunction; court held (1) federal standards rather than state law standards would be applied to determine whether preliminary injunction should issue; (2) Iowa substantive law applied to the plaintiff’s claims; (3) application of the Dataphase factors requires issuance of a preliminary injunction enjoining disclosure of Interbake’s trade secrets by Tomasiello and misappropriation of those secrets by his current employer; (4) application of those same factors does not require issuance of a preliminary injunction enjoining Tomasiello’s continued employment with BoDeans as it relates to wafer manufacturing; (5) a preliminary injunction of appropriate scope should issue after the posting of adequate security; (6) plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction is therefore granted in part, and denied in part.)11/13/2006
-US v. Bradford; sentencing memorandum opinion on plea of guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, upward departure imposed because, during the conspiracy, defendant also sold heroin resulting in death11/08/2006
-Vasquez v. Barnhart -- Order granting untimely motion for attorney fees under EAJA. Court held that because thirty day filing requirement is not jurisdictional, it may be waived by the Government, which expressly did not object and asked court to grant claimant's motion for fees.11/08/2006
-Galm v. Eaton Corporation (ERISA, judicial review of denial of second-tier long term disability benefits, analysis of whether less deferential review was appropriate, interpretation of the plan and analysis of the factors to be considered, determination of whether there was substantial evidence to support plan administrator’s decision)11/03/2006
-Jones, et al. v. Winnebago Industries & Kwikee Products Company, Inc. (products liability action; defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment: conflict-of-law question concerning application of Idaho law, the law of the plaintiffs’ residence and the place where the accident occurred, or Iowa law, the law of the place where the principal defendant had its principal place of business and where it designed and manufactured an allegedly defective mechanism for a “slide out” room on a recreational vehicle; plaintiffs’ motion for leave to amend complaint: motion for leave to amend complaint to add prayer for punitive damages was intertwined with motion for partial summary judgment on choice of law, where one forum’s law would bar the amendment and the other forum’s law would not)11/02/2006
-U.S. v. Jesse John Wendelsdorf (Objections to the PSIR launched by the defendant requesting the court to exclude certain amounts from its drug quantity determination; Court held: (1) Although acts surrounding a tank of anhydrous ammonia by the defendant were relevant, court would not include theoretical amount that could have been yielded from the tank because the uncontroverted evidence introduced at trial showed the anhydrous ammonia leaked out of the tank and was unusable; furthermore, even if tank should have been included, the government failed to meet its burden of proof with respect to the amount of methamphetamine that could have been produced from the anhydrous in the tank because no reliable evidence was produced as to not only how much methamphetamine could be produced from the tank, but also how full the tank actually was when it was taken by the defendant; (2) PSIR inappropriately inflated the quantity that can be attributed to the defendant based on the testimony of a coconspirator with respect to the amount of methamphetamine that was traded in exchange for prescription pills; (3) A review of the entire trial transcript reveals that the coconspirators’ testimony has sufficient indicia of reliability and amounts attributed to the defendant by the coconspirators’ testimony is properly included in the court’s drug quantity calculation; while it is true that the coconspirators’ testimony produced some discrepancy with respect to the amount of methamphetamine involved, the court, in accord with applicable case law has erred on the side of caution and utilized the most conservative estimate proffered by the defendants’ coconspirators.) 11/01/2006
-Balstad v. Barnhart -- Order reversing Commissioner's decision to deny claimant Title II Disability Insurance and Title XIV Supplemental Security Income benefits. Court found ALJ improperly weighed the medical evidence, discredited the claimant's subjective complaints, and discounted the opinion of the claimant's treating physician.11/01/2006
-USA v. Huang and Long -- Report and recommendation on motion to suppress physical evidence. Court found probable cause existed to support issuance of four warrants challenged by defendants, and recommended motion to suppress be denied.10/31/2006
-USA v. Donisi - Report and recommendation that motion to suppress evidence be denied. Court found affidavit in support of search warrant application contained facts sufficient to provide probable cause for issuance of warrant.10/27/2006
-U.S. v. Arturo Ruiz-Ahumada (Federal prisoner’s motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 asserting relief on two grounds; specifically, the defendant asserted (1) an error based on United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005), on the grounds that he was sentenced under the mandatory Guidelines regime, which impermissibly allowed a judge, as opposed to the jury, to adjust the sentencing range based on a preponderance of the evidence, and (2) that his plea was the product of coercion and therefore, not entered into voluntarily; motion denied in its entirety; first, defendant’s case was not pending when Booker was decided, and thus Booker’s holdings are an inapplicable basis to attack his sentence; second, the defendant’s own statements during the plea hearing demonstrate he pled guilty knowingly and voluntarily; defendant also filed separately a pro se Motion to Amend and a pro se Motion to Supplement; both motions are denied as untimely, as they do not relate back to his original § 2255 petition.)10/24/2006
-Elizabeth Chacey DeBoom v. Raining Rose, Inc., Chart Acquisition Corp., Charles Hammond and Art Christoffersen; Order reinstating stay in pregnancy discrimination case (Title VII and ICRA); court denied defendants' motion to dismiss as moot and declined to give the state trial verdict preclusive effect where the judgment is pending appeal and where there is "substantial doubt" that state court judgment will be upheld on appeal.10/18/2006
-USA v. Becker -- Report and recommendation that motions to suppress evidence and statements be denied. Court found defendant's state probation officer had reasonable suspicion to search defendant's house pursuant to probation agreement when defendant associated with known drug user who had recent arrests, defendant tested positive for drug use, and defendant failed to obtain drug treatment as directed. 10/18/2006
-USA v. Hoffman -- Report and recommendation that motion to suppress evidence be denied. Court found officers were justified in conducting investigatory stop of defendant, and had probable cause to arrest him after he fled scene of suspected drug activity and failed to comply with officers' orders that he stop and remove his hand from his pants pocket.10/17/2006
-Dr. John's, Inc. v. City of Sioux City (Challenge to city’s various amended zoning and licensing ordinances regulating “adult entertainment businesses”; plaintiff’s motion to reconsider ruling on cross-motions for summary judgment; whether plaintiff conceded that only “rational basis” scrutiny applies to non-media provisions of subject ordinances and whether ruling on “civil disability” provisions was without benefit of the plaintiff’s response and based only on dicta in a Supreme Court decision)10/17/2006
-U.S. v. Perez-Sanchez (Federal prisoner’s motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 asserting relief on the following grounds: (1) a “Booker error,” based on the defendant’s contention that a jury, not the sentencing judge, should have determined the amount of drug quantity attributed to him for sentencing purposes; (2) ineffective assistance of trial counsel in failing to challenge the constitutionality of 21 U.S.C. § 841 to the extent that those provisions permitted the court to make drug quantity and role determinations in violation of Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000); and (3) failure of appellate counsel to argue that the defendant’s rights under the Vienna Convention were violated during his plea hearing on appeal; motion denied in its entirety; first, defendant’s case was not pending when Booker was decided, and thus Booker’s holdings are an inapplicable basis to attack his sentence; second, neither trial counsel’s nor appellate counsel’s performance was not deficient on the grounds alleged by the defendant. )10/17/2006
-Fuller v. Alliant Energy (Pro se former employee asserted sex and race discrimination claims under Title VII and disability discrimination under the ADA; defendant’s motion for summary judgment: sufficiency of the employee’s prima facie cases and showings of pretext and intentional discrimination in light of employee’s history of use of bereavement leave and excessive absenteeism)10/16/2006
-Orluske v. Mercy Medical Center -- North Iowa (Former employee asserted age discrimination claims under the ADEA and state law and claims of retaliation for reporting sexual harassment of third parties in violation of Title VII and state law against a medical center; defendant’s motion for summary judgment: sufficiency of the employee’s prima facie cases and showings of pretext and intentional discrimination or retaliation)10/10/2006
-Saeemodarae v. Mercy Health Services -- Iowa Corp., d/b/a Mercy Medical Center (Former employee, a practicing Wiccan, asserted race discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII and state law against a medical center that claims to have a Roman Catholic identity; defendant’s motion for summary judgment: scope of “religious organization” exemption from claims of religious discrimination under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-1(a); whether the court should exercise supplemental jurisdiction to interpret, as a matter of first impression, the scope of the exemption from religious discrimination and retaliation claims for “bona fide religious institutions” under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, Iowa Code § 216.6(6)(b))10/06/2006
-USA v. Nieman -- Report and recommendation on motion to dismiss and motion to suppress. Court found informant's use of drugs with defendant did not constitute outrageous governmental conduct warranting either dismissal of case or suppression of evidence. Court further found probable cause supported issuance of search warrant, and warrant described items to be seized with sufficient particularity.10/05/2006
-U.S. v. Alfredo Luna (Federal prisoner’s motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, asserting as grounds the ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel for the following reasons: (1) that his trial counsel was ineffective because he failed to fully impeach government witnesses; (2) that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the edition of the federal guidelines used at the time of sentencing; (3) that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the criminal history for defendant that was set out in his presentence investigation report; (4) that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the standard utilized by the court in determining the applicability of a two-level weapons enhancement pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(b); (5) that his appellate counsel was ineffective in failing to raise the issue of trial counsel’s ineffectiveness in failing to fully impeach government witnesses; (6) that appellate counsel was ineffective in failing to raise the issue of the edition of the federal guidelines used at the time of sentencing; and, (7) that his appellate counsel was ineffective in failing to raise on appeal the issue of the court’s calculation of defendant’s criminal history. Defendant also challenged his sentence in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005), arguing that the Booker decision must be given retroactive effect; motion denied in its entirety, first, the Booker decision does not apply retroactively to cases on collateral review, second, defendant had not established that his trial or appellate counsel were ineffective in representing defendant, specifically, defendant did not demonstrated that he was prejudiced by his counsel’s cross-examination of government witnesses at trial; defendant did not demonstrate that he was prejudiced by the use of the 2000 edition of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines because the punishment under the 2000 and 1998 Sentencing Guidelines remained the same, because defendant’s criminal history was not manifestly less serious than that of defendants typically labeled category II, defendant did not demonstrated that he was prejudiced by his counsel’s failure to seek a downward departure on the grounds that his assessed criminal history category overstated the seriousness of his criminal history; defendant’s counsel could not be faulted for not challenging the court’s application of § 2D1.1(b)’s two-level weapons enhancement to defendant where trial testimony showed that during the course of the drug conspiracy defendant possessed several firearms, including several pistols and an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle and threatened to use his AR-15 rifle on a possible informant and pointed a pistol at an individual during several drug transactions)10/03/2006
-Lundgren v. Barnhart -- Report and recommendation on judicial review of denial of Title II disability insurance benefits. Claimant alleged disability due to fibromyalgia and other causes. In recommending reversal for payment of benefits, court found ALJ erred in discounting treating physician's opinion that claimant would be unable to work; in relying on consulting medical opinions based on outdated information; and in failing to give due consideration to third-party statements.09/29/2006