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.


CategoryCase NameDate Filed
Show details for B - BankruptcyB - Bankruptcy
Show details for COM/CON - Commercial/Contract LitigationCOM/CON - Commercial/Contract Litigation
Show details for CONLAW/FEDJUR - Constitutional Law/Federal Courts/Federal JurisdictionCONLAW/FEDJUR - Constitutional Law/Federal Courts/Federal Jurisdiction
Show details for CR - Civil RightsCR - Civil Rights
Show details for CRIM - Criminal Law and ProcedureCRIM - Criminal Law and Procedure
Show details for EMP - Employment LawEMP - Employment Law
Hide details for ENV/PUBHEALTH - Environmental Law/Public Health/Safety LawENV/PUBHEALTH - Environmental Law/Public Health/Safety Law
Eugene J Nelson v Charles City Community School District11/08/2016Edward J McManus
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) 02/19/2014Mark W. Bennett
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) 12/10/2013Mark W. Bennett
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.)03/30/2012Mark W. Bennett
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)01/23/2012Mark W. Bennett
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) 12/28/2011Mark W. Bennett
United States v. Russell T. Hawley & Hawley Insurance, Inc. (Motion in Limine Ruling - False Claims Act)10/13/2011Mark W. Bennett
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.)08/17/2010Mark W. Bennett
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) 05/21/2009Mark W. Bennett
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. 05/14/2009Paul A. Zoss
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)11/05/2008Mark W. Bennett
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)01/22/2008Mark W. Bennett
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)12/17/2007Jon Stuart Scoles
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.08/17/2007Paul A. Zoss
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 06/06/2007Linda R. Reade
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.11/29/2006Linda R. Reade
Edward Branstad & Monroe Branstad v. Veneman ((Action for judicial review of USDA action under the “Swampbuster” Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 3821-24; renewed motion for attorney fees and expenses pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), 28 U.S.C. § 2412, after favorable result on remand to agency: plaintiff’s “prevailing party” status, “substantial justification” for the USDA’s position or lack thereof, presence or absence of “special circumstances” warranting denial of fees, and appropriateness of amount of fees based on enhanced hourly rate)09/21/2004Mark W. Bennett
Edward Branstad & Monroe Branstad v. Veneman (Action for judicial review of USDA action under the “Swampbuster” Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 3821-24; renewed motion for attorney fees and expenses pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), 28 U.S.C. § 2412, after favorable result on remand to agency: plaintiff’s “prevailing party” status, “substantial justification” for the USDA’s position or lack thereof, presence or absence of “special circumstances” warranting denial of fees, and appropriateness of amount of fees based on enhanced hourly rate)09/21/2004Mark W. Bennett
B & D Land and Livestock Co. v. Veneman (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: reviewability by the USDA of prior certified wetland determination, as to which the producer withdrew its administrative appeal, in the course of administrative proceedings challenging agency finding of “conversion” of the same wetland)08/18/2004Mark W. Bennett
Show details for IP - Intellectual PropertyIP - Intellectual Property
Show details for MED/SS - Medicare/Social Security/Similiar ProgramsMED/SS - Medicare/Social Security/Similiar Programs
Show details for OtherOther
Show details for POSTPRO - Post-trial ProcedurePOSTPRO - Post-trial Procedure
Show details for PREPRO/DISC/EVID - Pre-trial Procedure/Discovery/EvidencePREPRO/DISC/EVID - Pre-trial Procedure/Discovery/Evidence
Show details for PRIS - Prisoners' Rights and Post-Conviction ReliefPRIS - Prisoners' Rights and Post-Conviction Relief
Show details for ProcedureProcedure
Show details for STAT - Statutory InterpretationSTAT - Statutory Interpretation
Show details for TORTS - Torts (Non-commercial)TORTS - Torts (Non-commercial)
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