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
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. 01/19/2010Paul A. Zoss
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) 01/15/2010Mark W. Bennett
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. 01/14/2010Paul A. Zoss
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.) 09/22/2009Mark W. Bennett
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.07/23/2009Paul A. Zoss
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.07/20/2009Paul A. Zoss
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.02/02/2009Paul A. Zoss
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.01/29/2009Paul A. Zoss
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 writ01/27/2009Paul A. Zoss
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 claims01/14/2009Paul A. Zoss
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.01/09/2009Paul A. Zoss
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)12/18/2008Mark W. Bennett
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. 10/02/2008Linda R. Reade
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)08/29/2008Jon Stuart Scoles
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.04/23/2008Paul A. Zoss
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. 04/04/2008Paul A. Zoss
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.03/07/2008Paul A. Zoss
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)10/30/2007Jon Stuart Scoles
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) 09/21/2007Mark W. Bennett
James R. Woelfel vs. Jerry Burt, Warden, Anamosa State Penitentiary (Report and Recommendation re 2254, exhaustion, ineffective assistance of counsel, double jeopardy)08/15/2007Jon Stuart Scoles
Cletus F. Johnson, Petitioner vs Jerry Burt, Warden, Respondent (Report and Recommendation re 2254, prosecutorial misconduct, Batson claim)07/30/2007Jon Stuart Scoles
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.) 01/04/2007Mark W. Bennett
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.12/20/2006Paul A. Zoss
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.)10/24/2006Mark W. Bennett
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. )10/17/2006Mark W. Bennett
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)10/03/2006Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Juan Carlos Vazquez-Munoz (Federal prisoner’s motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 asserting three allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel; specifically, the defendant asserted his counsel was ineffective in (1) failing to file an appeal after being expressly directed to do so by the defendant; (2) failing to file an appeal without obtaining the defendant’s consent; and (3) failing to object to the PSIR regarding the defendant’s role in the offense; motion denied in its entirety; defendant did not expressly direct his attorney to file an appeal and he could neither prove breach of duty nor prejudice on either of his remaining claims.)09/28/2006Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Hernandez (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) a somewhat related claim of ineffective assistance of counsel due to counsel’s failure to anticipate Booker, in light of Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), which had been decided at the time of the defendant’s sentencing; 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, counsel’s performance was not deficient on the grounds alleged by the defendant. )09/25/2006Mark W. Bennett
Jordan v. Carr -- Findings of Face, Conclusions of Law, and Order on bench trial in case brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1983. Jordan, a Muslim, alleged jail official violated his First Amendment right to free exercise of religion by failing to allow him to attend both Christian and Muslim services within the jail. Court found Joran failed to establish the defendant's actions substantially burdened his sincerely held religious beliefs, or that Jordan's rights were violated. Judgment for defendant.09/22/2006Paul A. Zoss
U.S. v. Renee Carlson (Federal prisoner’s motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255; specifically, the defendant asserted that (1) her plea was the product of coercion, (2) she was forced to incriminate herself, presumably by admitting to her involvement in the conspiracy during her plea hearing, (3) the government failed to disclose the evidence against her because she never personally viewed the evidence; additionally, the defendant contends her counsel was ineffective in (1) preparing her for her guilty plea, (2) failing to ensure she was read her Miranda rights, and (3) failing to inform her of her right to appeal; motion denied in its entirety; defendant was not entitled to relief on any of the alleged grounds.)09/11/2006Mark W. Bennett
Mark v. Burger (state prisoner's action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254: order granting relief on "Brady" claims)08/31/2006Donald E. O'Brien
U.S. v. Hernandez : (federal prisoner’s motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255: alleged “Booker error,” and allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel before, during, and after trial, including (1) failure to assert “Apprendi claim”; (2) failure to investigate the facts of the case, including facts that would have provided the basis to challenge the credibility of the government’s witnesses and the falsehoods in their trial testimony; (3) failure to challenge, at trial and on appeal, sentencing enhancements for obstruction of justice, possession of a firearm, and drug quantity, and (4) failure to assert that the evidence showed multiple conspiracies instead of the single conspiracy with which Hernandez was charged, supplemented at evidentiary hearing to include (5) failure of trial counsel to advise him adequately of the law applicable to his consideration of whether to go to trial, plead guilty; determination of whether resentencing was appropriate relief on the last claim)08/30/2006Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Jeffrey Determan (Federal prisoner’s motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 asserting relief on one ground: that he received an illegal sentence based on United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005); 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.) 08/18/2006Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Lori Clare Kavitz : (federal prisoner’s motion to set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255: ten allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel before and during sentencing pursuant to a plea agreement, including challenge to voluntariness of guilty plea and request to reopen Apprendi claim, which had been dismissed on initial review, in light of Blakely).07/17/2006Mark W. Bennett
Richmond v. Burt -- Report and Recommendation that petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254 be denied. Court found petitioner's claims were procedurally defaulted for failing to properly raise constitutional issue in Iowa courts relating to trial court's admission into evidence of conversation between petitioner and member of the clergy.06/15/2006Paul A. Zoss
U.S. v. Javier Barajas Ramirez (federal defendant’s post-conviction motion to vacate sentence on a drug-trafficking charge pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 2255 based on ineffective assistance of trial counsel in failing to move for a safety-valve reduction in the defendant’s sentence and failure of appellate counsel to appeal the omission of a safety-valve reduction)06/13/2006Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Homero Bustos Flores (federal defendant’s post-conviction motion to vacate sentence on a drug-trafficking charge pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 2255 based on (1) ineffective assistance of trial counsel, consisting of (a) denial of his right to testify; (b) failure to challenge the drug quantity calculation; (c) failure to raise a challenge pursuant to Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), at sentencing; and (d) failure to make a timely objection to omission of safety-valve eligibility in the PSIR; (2) ineffective assistance of appellate counsel, who was the same as his trial counsel, consisting of failure to raise issues (1)(b), (1)(c), and (1)(d); and (3) imposition by the trial court of a sentence in violation of the defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights as established by Apprendi, consisting of judicial fact-finding regarding drug quantity and enhancement of his sentence based upon such improper fact-finding)06/13/2006Mark W. Bennett
Stewart v. Kautzky -- Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment. Court recommended defendants' motion for summary judment be granted on basis of plaintiff's failure to prosecute, as well as on the merits. 06/06/2006Paul A. Zoss
Langel v. Burt (Petition for habeas corpus relief from state court conviction under § 2254; report and recommendation prepared by magistrate judge recommended denying petitioner’s petition; petitioner filed objections to report and recommendation; upon review of magistrate judge’s findings and conclusions, the court accepted report and recommendation, concluded that magistrate judge correctly determined that petitioner’s counsel’s performance was not ineffective since petitioner’s waiver of jury trial was voluntary, knowing, and intelligent. Petitioner did not object to magistrate judge’s recommendation that petition’s counsel recommended the bench trial as a tactical matter, and his performance was not ineffective.) 05/25/2006Mark W. Bennett
Laffey v. Burt (Habeas petition by state prisoner; petitioner’s objections to report and recommendation on the merits of the petition: alleged insufficiency of the evidence of sexual abuse of children under twelve in violation of due process; alleged Eighth Amendment violation asserting disproportionality between the offenses and two consecutive twenty-five year sentences imposed for them)05/08/2006Mark W. Bennett
Laffey v. Burt -- Report and recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. Petitioner, convicted of two counts of sexual abuse of minors, argued (1) inconsistencies in victims' testimony and leading manner in which testimony was elicited rendered evidence insufficient under Due Process Clause to support guilty verdict; and (2) imposition of consecutive sentences violated Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Court recommended petition be denied on both claims.04/12/2006Paul A. Zoss
Langel v. Burt -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. Court found petitioner failed to show his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to have trial court question defendant about his waiver of jury trial, or in failing to assert justification defense, and court recommended petition be denied. 04/11/2006Paul A. Zoss
Jordan v. Linn County Jail, et al -- Report and recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment in this action under 42 USC 1983. Plaintiff alleged defendants denied him the right to practice his religion by not allowing him to attend both Christian and Muslim services, and by denying him literature and a prayer rug. Defendants claimed plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. Court found defendants had responded timely to requests for literature and prayer rug, and had provided the items to plaintiff. Court found defendants failed to show plaintiff, in fact, had right to appeal denial of grievance, and recommended motion be denied on claim that plaitniff's right were violated by denial of right to attend both types of religious services.03/10/2006Paul A. Zoss
Lang v. Ault -- Report and recommendation, recommending denial of petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Court found state courts correctly determined petitioner had breached plea agreement, and petitioner could not show prejudice from counsel's failure to object to state's sentencing recommendation.01/26/2006Paul A. Zoss
Dible v. Steve Scholl & Gary Maynard (Suit by former prisoner under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against two prison officials for monetary damages associated with alleged violations of the prisoner’s due process rights; motion to dismiss; motion to dismiss denied as former prisoner was unable to pursue habeas relief on mootness grounds leaving an action under § 1983 as the only available remedy to the plaintiff; in the absence of binding United States Supreme Court or Eighth Circuit precedent, plaintiff could proceed with § 1983 action without first satisfying Heck v. Humphrey’s favorable termination requirement.)01/24/2006Mark W. Bennett
Wedebrand v. Ault -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 2254. Petitioner alleged his state and federal attorneys were ineffective in failing to advise him properly concerning plea proposal made by state and federal governments. Court found petitioner failed to show his attorneys were ineffective, and recommended petition be denied.11/17/2005Paul A. Zoss
Peterson v. Weatherly ( Report and recommendation on defendant's motion for summary judgment in this prisoner civil rights case. Plaintiff alleged defendant, who was nurse at facility, ordered his confinement in medical segregation, which led him to develop ischial ulcers. Court found defendant did not order plaintiff's confinement, and she performed no actions that led, or could have led, to plaintiff developing his ulcers, or that otherwise violated the plaintiff's constitutional rights. Court recommended summary judgment be granted in defendant's favor.)11/01/2005Paul A. Zoss
White v. Kautzky, et al. (Prisoner’s § 1983 action for denial of access to the courts; review of magistrate judge’s report and recommendation on the merits: legal assistance system at the prison, which precluded all legal research on the inmate’s improper extradition claim, even where such legal research would have been reasonably necessary, in the exercise of a legal advisor’s reasonable professional judgment, to provide reasonably competent legal advice on the merits of the inmate’s claim, violated the inmate’s right of access to the courts, and the inmate suffered “actual injury,” because the legal assistance system itself so stymied his ability to obtain adequate legal advice that he could not file any claim based on improper extradition; appropriate remedy, where the statute of limitations on any claim had expired, was nominal damages and declaratory relief)09/08/2005Mark W. Bennett
USA v. Hessman -- Report and recommendation, recommending denial of defendant's motion to dismiss indictment for speedy trial violation. Court found no speedy trial violation where neither party had notified the court, as previously ordered, of U.S. Supreme Court's denial of defendant's petition for writ of certiorari.05/20/2005Paul A. Zoss
Lang v. Ault (Petition for habeas corpus relief from Iowa state court conviction under § 2254; respondent filed motion for partial summary judgment claiming that all but two of petitioner’s claims are procedurally defaulted because petitioner failed to exhaust those claims; report and recommendation prepared by magistrate judge recommended granting respondent’s motion because it was unresisted; petitioner filed pro se objections to report and recommendation; the court concluded that magistrate judge correctly determined that only two issues that petitioner raised on direct appeal to the Iowa Court of Appeals could be considered in this federal habeas proceeding because petitioner failed to properly exhaust any of his other issues in the Iowa courts; the court concluded that the court could not reach the merits of petitioner’s procedurally defaulted claims because he cannot show cause for his default and prejudice or actual innocence. Respondent’s motion for partial summary judgment was granted.)05/17/2005Mark W. Bennett
Keene v. Ault -- Report and Recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 USC 2254. Petitioner asserted ineffective assistance of counsel for (1) failing to challenge Iowa Code section 709C.1 as unconstitutionally vague; (2) allowing petitioner to plead guilty in absence of adequate factual basis; and (3) failing to inform petitioner fully about collateral consequences of guilty plea. Court recommended denial of petition on all grounds.05/17/2005Paul A. Zoss
Maghee v. Ault (Report and recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254. Petitioner filed petition to challege disciplinary action taken against him in connection with his attempt to mail sealed letter to attorney. Court found (1) state courts failed to address petitioner's constitutional claim at all, with result that state court legal conclusions were entitled to no deference; but (2) no First Amendment violation occurred; and (3) some evidence existed to support administrative sanction.)05/11/2005Paul A. Zoss
Bolden v. Rogerson (Report and recommendation on petition for writ of habeas corpus under 24 USC 2254. Petitioner entered guilty pleas to two burglary charges. He was represented by court-appointed counsel in one case. In the other case, he represented himself pro se, with court-appointed standby counsel. Petitioner claimed his guilty pleas were invalid because he had not made a knowing and intelligent waiver of counsel, and he did not understand all the consequences of pleading guilty. As grounds for habeas relief, he claimed his appellate counsel was ineffective in failing to raise these claims. Court found no merit in any claim and recommended denial of petition, relying on Iowa v. Tovar, 541 US 77 (2004), and Page v. Burger, 2005 WL 100500 (8th Cir. May 2, 2005).05/06/2005Paul A. Zoss
U.S. v. David L. Taylor, Jr.; Order regarding motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence04/28/2005Linda R. Reade
U.S. v. David L. Taylor, Jr.; Order regarding motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence04/28/2005Linda R. Reade
White v. Kautzky (Report and recommendation on merits of this action brought under 42 USC 1983. Plaintiff claimed contract attorney system in Iowa state prisons, and failure ot keep prison law library up to date, denied his right of access to the courts. Court found no violation and recommended judgment for defendants.)04/25/2005Paul A. Zoss
Mallett v. NephCare, Inc. & Nurse "Terry"04/19/2005Mark W. Bennett
Laffey v. Ault (Petitioner convicted of two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, sentenced to two consecutive 25-year terms; petitioner appealed on four grounds one of which was that consecutive sentences constituted cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment; Iowa Supreme Court affirmed petitioner’s conviction and discussed the Eighth Amendment claim, but vacated the sentence on ground that court abused its discretion in considering an improper sentencing factor; at resentencing petitioner was sentenced to two consecutive 25-year terms; petitioner appealed new sentences, but did not again raise the Eighth Amendment claim; Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed his new sentences; petitioner later filed petition for habeas corpus under § 2254; respondent moved to dismiss petitioner’s habeas petition on grounds that it was “mixed”—specifically claiming Eighth Amendment claim was unexhausted as it was not raised on direct review following resentencing; Report and Recommendation recommended denying the motion to dismiss; on de novo review the court rejected respondent’s argument that the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEPDA”) exterminated futility as a basis for excusing exhaustion of state court remedies, and noted that post-AEDPA Eighth Circuit case law recognized the continued viability of the futility exception to the exhaustion requirement; court further held futility doctrine applied in this instance where Iowa Supreme Court had adversely ruled on the petitioner’s Eighth Amendment claim as to his original sentences and where the new sentences were based on an identical factual predicate as the original sentences; objections overruled; Report and Recommendation adopted; motion to dismiss denied.)04/04/2005Mark W. Bennett
Matlock v. Vilsack, et al. (Plaintiff filed § 1983 claims against Governor of the State of Iowa, Black Hawk County and John Does based on fact that plaintiff’s civil commitment under Iowa Code Chapter 229A was later found unconstitutional by Iowa Court of Appeals; both named defendants moved to dismiss; magistrate judge’s report and recommendation recommended granting motions to dismiss; no abuse of process claim could be sustained as there were no facts alleged that any defendant had used Chapter 229A against the defendant for an improper purpose or with an impermissible motive; further, no § 1983 action could be maintained as both County and Governor, in his official capacity, were immune from such suit; report and recommendation accepted; motions to dismiss granted.)03/10/2005Mark W. Bennett
Brian R. Sillick v. John F. Ault; In the context of a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition, the court found the state courts' analysis of Sillick's ineffective assistance of counsel claims based on the failure to object to allegedly flawed jury instructions did not result in decisions contrary to or involving an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law. Furthermore, the state courts' analysis of such claims did not result in a decision based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the state court proceeding. Sillick's remaining ineffective assistance of counsel claims are procedurally defaulted. 02/25/2005Linda R. Reade
Laffey v. Ault (Report and recommendation on State's motion to dismiss petition for writ of habeas corpus filed under 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Petitioner filed direct appeal after sentencing, raising Eighth Amendment issue. Appellate court remanded for resentencing, discussing Eighth Amendment issue fully but deciding case on other grounds. On appeal after resentencing, petitioner failed to reassert Eighth Amendment argument, believing to do so would be moot given prior appellate court decision on the issue. Respondent argued the issue was unexhausted. Court found any failure to exhaust could be excused on basis of futility, and recommended motion to dismiss be denied.)02/09/2005Paul A. Zoss
Mallett v. Naph Care, Inc. (Report and recommendation, recommending defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted in prisoner civil rights action brought under 42 USC section 1983. Prisoner who was given wrong medication suffered allergic reaction. Court found nurse's negligence was not actionable under section 1983; plaintiff failed to show defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs; and liability may not be grounded upon respondeat superior theory.)02/09/2005Paul A. Zoss
Matlock v. Vilsack (Report and Recommendation on motions to dismiss filed by defendants Gov. Thomas Vilsack and Black Hawk County. Plaintiff was civilly committed as a sexually violent predator. The Iowa Court of Appeals reversed the commitment order, and remanded the case for dismissal of the commitment petition. Plaintiff filed this action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 against Gov. Vilsack and Black Hawk County for damages on grounds of emotional and mental anguish, wrongful imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. Court recommends dismissal on the basis that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted under section 1983.)10/06/2004Paul A. Zoss
U.S. v. Rudy Balmore Zavala Villalobos (Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody; claim that the court employed the wrong standard in determining drug quantities at his sentencing; review of whether the indictment was fatally flawed because it failed to reference 21 U.S.C. § 841(b); analysis of whether the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 490 (2000), rendered 21 U.S.C. § 846 facially unconstitutional; relief under § 2255 denied; certificate of appealability denied as to all issues)09/30/2004Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Juan Carlos Mier-Godinez (Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody; claim of ineffective assistance of counsel; examination of whether claim that defendant’s conviction was obtained in violation of his Fifth Amendment rights because his plea was not knowing and voluntarily made was procedurally defaulted; analysis of whether defendant procedurally defaulted on his claim that he was improperly sentenced based on facts that he did not admit at his plea hearing but that were later proved by a preponderance of the evidence at his sentencing hearing and used in calculating his sentence; relief under § 2255 denied; certificate of appealability denied as to all issues)09/29/2004Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Marcelino Garibay-Gomez (Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody; claims of ineffective assistance of counsel; analysis of whether defendant could challenge correctness of sentence in view of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000); examination of whether claim that defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial was violated by delays was procedurally defaulted; analysis of whether defendant procedurally defaulted on claim that the court departed upward in sentencing him without first providing him with notice of its intent to possibly depart upward; analysis of whether defendant’s claim that the government failed to establish the amount of methamphetamine attributed to him at sentencing was procedurally defaulted; relief under § 2255 denied; certificate of appealability denied as to all issues)09/29/2004Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Ira Jerome Moore (Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody; claims of ineffective assistance of counsel; analysis of whether claim, that a prior conviction for burglary of a commercial building should not have qualified as a “crime of violence” under the Career Criminal Act because it did not qualify under section 4B1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, was procedurally defaulted; analysis of whether defendant could challenge correctness of sentence in view of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000); relief under § 2255 denied; certificate of appealability denied as to all issues) 09/28/2004Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Benjamin Franklin Moore (Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody; claims of ineffective assistance of counsel; analysis of whether defendant could challenge correctness of sentence in view of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000); relief under § 2255 denied; certificate of appealability denied as to all issues)09/28/2004Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Thomas Kosek (Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody; claims of ineffective assistance of counsel for for failing to challenge his conviction for methamphetamine as a schedule II drug, for failing to challenge Kosek being sentenced as a career offender pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1, and for failing to seek a downward departure under Rule 35(b); relief under § 2255 denied; certificate of appealability denied as to all issues)09/28/2004Mark W. Bennett
Edwards v. Ault (Petition for habeas corpus relief from Iowa state court conviction under § 2254; respondent filed motion to dismiss claiming petition contained both exhausted and unexhausted claims; report and recommendation prepared by magistrate judge; petitioner’s objection to recommended dismissal of the fourth claim in his petition (ground D) was overruled as claim had not been properly raised before any Iowa Court and could not be raised as limitations period had passed; three remaining claims exhausted, therefore motion to dismiss mixed petition denied; three remaining claims involved ineffective assistance of counsel revolving around trial counsel’s counseling defense DNA expert to use the term “exclusion” in his testimony in front of and FBI agent; as petitioner failed to show an actual conflict of interest, prejudice was not presumed under Cuyler; petitioner could not show Strickland prejudice as a result of trial counsel’s mistake, therefore ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim failed; as trial counsel was not ineffective, appellate counsel was not ineffective for failing to raise trial counsel’s ineffectiveness on appeal; report and recommendation accepted; motion to dismiss denied; ground four (D) dismissed as unexhausted and procedurally defaulted; writ of habeas corpus denied on the merits; certificate of appealability would not issue.)09/27/2004Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Raul Sanchez (Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody; claims of ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to object to the probation report which did not indicate whether the controlled substance was l-methamphetamine or d-methamphetamine, for failing to object to the failure of the government to show the type of narcotic involved by a preponderance of the evidence as to support the base level offense, for failing to object to the testing of the Iowa Department of Public Safety since it did not determine whether the narcotic was l-methamphetamine or d-methamphetamine, for failing to object to the lack of determination of the type of methamphetamine involved, the lesser of the two types of methamphetamine should have been used to determine his base offense level; for failing to object to the firearm which was found in a closed drawer of a dresser at defendant’s residence; for failing to raise the argument that it was not unlawful for him to possess that firearm at the time of the search of his residence; for failing to argue that he was not present in the bedroom and did not have access to the firearm at the time of the search; for failing to argue that mere possession of the firearm was insufficient to sustain the firearm enhancement; for not making a request for a downward departure on the basis that defendant would be subject to deportation after the completion of his sentence; for not objecting to the probation officer’s finding that there were no other grounds for downward departure; for failing to provide a full and fair hearing on all available issues and arguments; for not appealing the dismissal of the indictment without prejudice even though the issue was preserved for appeal in his plea agreement; analysis of whether defendant could challenge correctness of sentence in view of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000); relief under § 2255 denied; certificate of appealability denied as to all issues)09/27/2004Mark W. Bennett
Schneider v. Jergens, et al (Report and Recommendation on the merits of a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Court found two of petitioner's five claims to be procedurally defaulted, and all five of his claims to be unexhausted. Court recommended dismissal without prejudice to allow petitioner to file an application for post-conviction relief.)09/24/2004Paul A. Zoss
Jasa v. Mathes (Motion to dismiss habeas corpus petition on grounds of procedural default; report and recommendation prepared by magistrate judge; petitioner does not object to recommendation that motion to dismiss be granted as to jury misconduct claim; no plain error in magistrate’s analysis of petitioner’s jury misconduct claim, therefore recommendation that claim is accepted; petitioner asserted that his mental illnesses prevented him from appealing from denial of his postconvicion relief application which asserted ineffective assistance of counsel; petitioner failed to show that his mental disorders made him unable to comprehend his legal rights and responsibilities at the time during which he should have pursued postconviction relief; procedural default not excused; report and recommendation accepted; motion to dismiss granted.)09/13/2004Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Gary O'Dell (Motion under 28 U.S.C. §2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody; claims of ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to object to leading questions; for failing to obtain a handwriting analysis of defendant in regard to the forged cashier checks; for failing to ask for a limited instruction regarding cooperating witnesses; for being careless in the way he phrased questions to witnesses; for failing to object to coconspirator testimony; for failing to make a record regarding the advice he had given to defendant about whether to testify at trial; for not objecting to remarks made during the prosecutor’s rebuttal summation; for failing to obtain a copy of the trial transcript; for failing to understand the admissibility of polygraph examination results; for failing to seek a maximum term of imprisonment of five years on the conspiracy charge; relief under §2255 denied; certificate of appealability denied as to all issues )08/26/2004Mark W. Bennett
Charette v. Duffy (Report and Recommendation on defendants' motion for summary judgment in prisoner civil rights case under 42 U.S.C. section 1983. Plaintiff alleged defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights by being deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs when they failed to provide him with proper testing, treatment, and care for Hepatitis C virus. In recommending summary judgment be granted in favor of defendants, court found protocols developed by Iowa Department of Corrections, in conjunction with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, were appropriate; plaintiff's test results did not fall within the parameters of the protocols to warrant liver biopsy or referral to outside doctors; and defendants had not violated plaintiff's rights.)08/04/2004Paul A. Zoss
U.S. v. Daniel Castro (Motion under 28 U.S.C. §2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody; claims of ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to conduct an adequate pretrial investigation; for failing to prepare a blame shifting defense, for failing to file a timely motion to suppress, for failing to move for severance, for failing to appeal a magistrate judge’s decision to deny defendant’s motion to continue trial and extension of time to file a motion to suppress, for failing to withdraw from the case, for failing to resubmit defendant’s motion to suppress and motion to continue trial after the superseding indictment was filed against him, for failing to move to dismiss the Superseding indictment, for failing to withdraw after trial; for not raising ineffective assistance of counsel on direct appeal, for failing to request that defendant be sentenced for a schedule III controlled substance, for failing to request a minimal or minor role adjustment in his sentence; claim that defendant’s sentence was incorrect because his criminal history category was in part based on a conviction that was subsequently vacated; relief under §2255 denied; certificate of appealability denied as to all issues)08/04/2004Mark W. Bennett
United States v. Howard Harp (28 U.S.C. §2255; claim of ineffective assistance of counsel based on counsel’s alleged refusal to file timely appeal; failure to advise defendant to plead only to drug charges; failure to advise defendant to pursue trial on only gun possession charge; §2255 denied; certificate of appealability denied as to all issues)07/22/2004Mark W. Bennett
Atwood v. Mapes (Petition for habeas corpus relief from Iowa state court conviction under § 2254;petitioner convicted of two counts of vehicular homicide and sentenced to two indeterminate terms not to exceed ten years; report and recommendation prepared by magistrate judge; petitioner contends his right to an impartial verdict was violated when trial judge, outside the presence of petitioner and his trial counsel, informed the jury of an anonymous telephone threat received prior to closing arguments; Remmer presumption is not clearly established federal law and therefore failure to apply the presumption does not amount to a constitutional violation; additional questions surround application of Remmer as communication was not related to the defendant or facts bearing on the indictment; burden of demonstrating prejudice lies with petitioner; petitioner failed to provide any evidence of prejudice or partiality, therefore objection was overruled; petitioner did not request to be present when trial judge informed jury of the threat, and therefore his right to be presence was waived; alternatively, any violation of petitioner’s right to be present was harmless error; ineffective assistance of counsel claim failed as petitioner could not establish Strickland prejudice arising from his trial counsels’ failure to request presence at the meeting or request to voir dire the jurors to ascertain if they were prejudiced; report and recommendation accepted; writ of habeas corpus denied; certificate of appealability would issue.)07/19/2004Mark W. Bennett
Williams v. Ault (Report and recommendation on respondent's motion to dismiss petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. section 2254, and on the merits of the petition. Respondent claimed petition was mixed, including both exhausted and unexhausted claims. Court found the only unexhausted claim also was procedurally defaulted; recommended the claim be deemed barred, leaving only exhausted claims for review; and, therefore, recommended the motion to dismiss be denied. On the merits, court found petitioner had failed to show prejudice from trial counsel's allegedly inadequate performance, and therefore he could not prevail on ineffective assistance of counsel claim. As a result, appellate counsel could not be ineffective for failing to raise, on appeal, claim that trial counsel was ineffective.)07/12/2004Paul A. Zoss
Jasa v. Mathes (Report and recommendation on respondent's motion to dismiss habeas petition brought under 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Court recommended dismissal of petition, finding: (1) with regard to claim of juror misconduct, petitioner failed to satisfy requirements for fundamental-miscarriage-of-justice exception to ordinary "cause" and "prejudice" standard for overcoming procedural default; petitioner failed to come forward with new, reliable evidence of actual innocence; (2) with regard to claims that trial and appellate counsel were ineffective, petitioner failed to show his mental illness constituted cause for procedural default by interfering with or impeding his ability to comply with state procedural requirements.)06/28/2004Paul A. Zoss
Hepperle v. Ault (Petition for habeas corpus relief from Iowa state court conviction under § 2254; petitioner convicted of first-degree murder for the stabbing death of a neighbor and sentenced to life imprisonment; report and recommendation prepared by magistrate judge; petitioner does not object to recommended dismissal of his Miranda claim; no plain error in magistrate’s analysis of petitioner’s Miranda claim, therefore recommendation that Miranda claim be denied is accepted; petitioner’s objection to the standard used by magistrate in analysis of petitioner’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim overruled; petitioner contends trial counsel was ineffective for proffered victim’s husband as alternate perpetrator rather than the neighborhood ‘window peeper’ who admitted to attempting to window peep at the time the crime was committed; trial counsel’s decision to offer husband as alternate perpetrator was strategic in nature, and was not unreasonable; petitioner admitted knowledge of intended trial strategy in offering victim’s husband as alleged perpetrator; trial counsel’s performance was not deficient or ineffective; petitioner could not show outcome of trial was prejudiced by trial counsel’s ; report and recommendation accepted; writ of habeas corpus denied; certificate of appealability would not issue.)06/23/2004Mark W. Bennett
Bakker v. Kuhnes (Order granting defendants' motion for summary judgment in prisoner 1983 action. Court found plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies with regard to his claims that defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs.)05/14/2004Paul A. Zoss
Austin v. Ault : (Petition for habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254; objections to report and recommendation recommending denial of all claims: de novo review of claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, based on “unpreparedness,” and ineffective assistance of appellate counsel, based on failure to assert trial counsel’s “unpreparedness”)03/22/2004Mark W. Bennett
Foell v. Mathes (Petition for habeas corpus relief from Iowa state court conviction under § 2254;petitioner convicted of first-degree murder for the stabbing death of a 69-year-old woman; report and recommendation prepared by magistrate judge; petitioner’s objections omission of certain facts from report and recommendation granted in part and denied in part; petitioner contends trial counsel was ineffective for not asserting a diminished responsibility defense; trial counsel recognized availability of mental defenses other than insanity; trial counsel’s decision not to offer a diminished responsibility defense reasonable in light of express wish of defendant that information in mental evaluations not be made public and in light of fact that information in mental evaluations would likely bolster State’s theory; trial counsel’s assertion of defense based on intoxication and petitioner’s suggestibility was reasonable; petitioner could not show outcome of trial was prejudiced by trial counsel’s assertion of this defense; report and recommendation accepted; writ of habeas corpus denied; certificate of appealability would not issue.)03/19/2004Mark W. Bennett
Robert Connor, et al. v. Ault (Prisoners’ § 1983 claims; bench trial; objections to report and recommendation recommending judgment in favor of the defendants and against plaintiffs; analysis of Muslim inmates’ claims arising under the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause; prison policies pursuant to the factors articulated in Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 89-90 (1987); consideration of the impact accommodation of the asserted constitutional right would have on guards and other inmates, and on the allocation of prison resources generally; review of whether plaintiffs could point to any alternatives that fully accommodated their rights at de minimis cost to valid penological interests)03/11/2004Mark W. Bennett
Atwood v. Mapes (R&R on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Petitioner asserted trial court erred in informing jury about threatening phone call, and doing so in ex parte meeting with jury. He also asserted ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to be present during judge's meeting with jury, and failing to voir dire jury to determine prejudice. Court recommended denying petition on basis that, under applicable Supreme Court precedent, petitioner had failed to prsent convincing evidence that state court erred in finding jury's deliberations were not biased; he and his counsel waived his right to be present in meeting with jury, and even if ex parte meeting was erroneous, error was harmless; and petitioner failed to show prejudice from counsel's alleged ineffectiveness.02/25/2004Paul A. Zoss
Hepperle v. Ault (R&R on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Court found petitioner was not "in custody" at the time he made statements to police during a murder investigation so no Miranda warnings were required, and trial counsel was not ineffective in failing to investigate and offer evidence that someone else committed the murder.02/13/2004Paul A. Zoss
Austin v. Ault (R&R on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Court found five of petitioner's six claims to be procedurally defaulted. On sixth claim, court found appellate counsel could not be ineffective in failing to preserve issue of trial counsel's effectiveness, where trial counsel was not ineffective.02/11/2004Paul A. Zoss
Montgomery v. Mapes (R&R that petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254 be denied. Issue: Whether petitioner's trial counsel was ineffective in failing to seek exclusion of evidence from show-up identifications. Court found petitioner failed to show trial court made unreasonable determination of facts in light of evidence, where trial court found strong circumstantial evidence was sufficient to establish petitioner's guilt even in absence of challenged eyewitness identifications. Therefore, petitioner could not show prejudice for purposes of ineffective assistance of counsel claim, and appellate counsel was not ineffective in failing to raise issue of trial counsel's ineffectiveness. 02/09/2004Paul A. Zoss
Foell v. Mathes (R&R on petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Issue: Whether attorney's failure to investigate and present defense of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome constituted ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of defendant's Sixth Amendment rights. Court found counsel's failure to offer futile defense was not effective. Court also found court's performance did not warrant presumption of prejudice under United States v. Cronic. 02/06/2004Paul A. Zoss
U.S. v. Elias Real-Flores; Order on review of defendant's 28 U.S.C. Section 2255 motion12/02/2003Linda R. Reade
Ronald Dean Swartz v. John Mathes, Warden; 28 U.S.C. Section 225411/12/2003Linda R. Reade
Connor v. Ault (R&R following bench trial in this civil rights action brought by prisoners at Anamosa State Penitentiary. The plaintiffs, both practicing Muslims, alleged their constitutional rights were violated by prison policies that prevented them from participating fully in Islamic religious services and activities. Court found policies were reasonably related to legitimate penological interests, and recommended judgment for the defendants.)08/06/2003Paul A. Zoss
White v. Kautzky (Prisoner’s § 1983 "access to courts" claim; review of magistrate judge’s report and recommendation on defendants’ motion for summary judgment: whether there are genuine issues of material fact on "reasonable opportunity to present claims" and "actual injury" elements where "contract attorneys" at prison allegedly failed to provide any advice on the viability of a potential claim for post-conviction relief)07/03/2003Mark W. Bennett
Schneider v. Jergens, et al. (Habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254; motion to dismiss challenge to constitutionality of the review procedure for criminal contempt convictions: procedural default, exhaustion of state remedies and alleged "ineffectiveness" of such remedies, and dismissal or amendment of a"“mixed petition" asserting exhausted and unexhausted claims)06/26/2003Mark W. Bennett
Schneider v. Jergens, et al (R&R on motion to dismiss filed by Intervenor State of Iowa in a habeas proceeding under 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Petitioner challenges constitutionality of appellate procedure in contempt actions. Iowa law provides that if contempt application is denied, applicant may file direct appeal as of right, but if application is granted, defendant may only appeal by way of petition for writ of certiorari. State intervened on the constitutional issue and moved to dismiss. Issues discussed: procedural default; exhaustion of remedies, specifically whether criminal contempt is a "public offense" for purposes of postconviction relief actions, and excused failure to exhaust where available remedies are deficient or futile. Court recommends denial of motion to dismiss, and certification of constitutional question to Iowa Supreme Court.)06/11/2003Paul A. Zoss
Bowers v. Burger (R&R on motion to dismiss habeas action under 28 U.S.C. Section 2254. Issues: AEDPA statute of limitations; procedural default; and whether defendant's low IQ of 70 constitutes cause sufficient to overcome procedural default, or to toll the AEDPA statute of limitations)05/30/2003Paul A. Zoss
Hepperle v. Ault (Order denying evidentiary hearing in habeas case under 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Petitioner failed to fully develop factual basis for claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, because PCR counsel failed to question trial counsel about significance of two police reports. Court held ineffective assistance of PCR counsel is not sufficient basis to warrant evidentiary hearing.)04/21/2003Paul A. Zoss
Jones v. McKinney (R&R on motion to dismiss in habeas case under 28 U.S.C. s. 2254. Issues discussed: defendant's right to challenge guilty plea when no motion in arrest of judgment was filed; procedural default; exhaustion of State remedies; ineffective assistance of counsel; what constitutes "fair presentation" of federal claim in State proceedings)04/09/2003Paul A. Zoss
LeFlore v. Mathis, et al. (R&R on motion to dismiss petition for writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 24 U.S.C. s. 2254. Recommends dismissing petition on basis that petitioner has been released from custody, and failed to allege sufficient collateral consequences to survive mootness inquiry.)04/01/2003Paul A. Zoss
Frazier v. Rogerson (Habeas corpus; motion to dismiss; review of magistrate judge's report and recommendation and petitioner's objections to report and recommendation recommending dismissal: timeliness under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A)(deadline runs from date judgment is "final" and § 2244(d)(1)(D) (date factual predicate could have been discovered by due diligence); applicability of doctrine of equitable tolling of statute of limitations based on "extraordinary circumstance.")03/04/2003Mark W. Bennett
Hide details for ProcedureProcedure
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. 16.04/05/2010Paul A. Zoss
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. 19.11/10/2009Paul A. Zoss
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 proceedings05/13/2009Linda R. Reade
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 05/11/2009Linda R. Reade
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.02/26/2009Linda R. Reade
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.02/23/2009Linda R. Reade
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 jurisdiction02/16/2009Linda R. Reade
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. 1920.01/26/2009Linda R. Reade
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" claim11/19/2008Linda R. Reade
United States v. B.H.; After the defendant was committed under Iowa law to outpatient care and subsequently released, he sought to repossess firearms seized prior to his commitment. The state argued he was not entitled to the return of his firearms under state and federal law; the state court judge ruled against the state and ordered the firearms to be returned to the defendant. The US Attorney's Office subsequently filed a declaratory judgment action asking this court to declare the firearms contraband as to the defendant due to his prior commitment. The court held the US Attorney's Office was virtually represented by the state in the prior proceeding and thus was precluded from pursuing the civil action in this court.07/07/2005Linda R. Reade
CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., James Howard, Troy Shaver, Larry Uland, Shane Vanden Heuvel, Robert L. Simpson, II, and Keith P. Bell; Defendant J.B. Hunt moves the court to dismiss the case pursuant to the first-filed rule, transfer it for consolidation with pending litigation between CRST and J.B. Hunt in the Western District of Oklahoma, abstain from exercising jurisdiction in favor of an Arkansas state action between CRST and J.B. Hunt, or stay it pending a decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a lawsuit between CRST and another trucking competitor. The court denies the motion on all grounds.03/31/2005Linda R. Reade
Lisa Mackie v. U.S. Manufacturing, Inc., et al. Order on motion to set aside entry of default; analysis of whether defendant showed good cause to set aside entry of default01/09/2004Linda R. Reade
Bellevue State Bank v. Keith Hueneke and Rhonda Hueneke; Order on motion to remand; case remanded to state court because notice of removal was not filed within 30 days after service of initial pleading or summons and because complaint did not pose federal question01/08/2004Linda R. Reade
Hide details for STAT - Statutory InterpretationSTAT - Statutory Interpretation
U.S. v. Christopher Jepsen (Motion by defendant charged with child pornography offense to strike from the indictment the “prior conviction” enhancement pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2252(b)(2): for purposes of the enhancement, a conviction is “prior” if it is prior to the defendant’s violation of § 2252(a)(4) for the enhancement in § 2252(b)(2); and the “conviction” is established by a finding of guilt, not imposition of a sentence or a judgment, as well; the defendant had such a “prior conviction,” even though original judgment on state offenses, before the defendant allegedly committed the § 2252(a)(4) offense, was vacated and a new corrected judgment was imposed only after the defendant allegedly committed the § 2252(a)(4) offense.)01/26/2018Mark W. Bennett
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)02/06/2015Mark W. Bennett
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)01/31/2014Mark W. Bennett
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)08/16/2013Mark W. Bennett
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)06/03/2013Mark W. Bennett
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))05/13/2013Mark W. Bennett
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)05/03/2013Mark W. Bennett
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)03/05/2013Mark W. Bennett
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)11/21/2012Mark W. Bennett
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)10/25/2012Mark W. Bennett
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)08/21/2012Mark W. Bennett
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) 09/12/2011Mark W. Bennett
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)05/19/2011Mark W. Bennett
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. 04/13/2011Mark W. Bennett
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.”) 03/25/2011Mark W. Bennett
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) 10/18/2010Mark W. Bennett
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.)04/20/2010Mark W. Bennett
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.)09/22/2009Mark W. Bennett
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)07/14/2009Mark W. Bennett
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)07/07/2009Mark W. Bennett
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)07/02/2009Mark W. Bennett
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)06/18/2009Mark 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
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)05/05/2009Mark W. Bennett
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)03/16/2009Mark 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: 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
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) 10/31/2008Mark W. Bennett
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) 10/31/2008Mark W. Bennett
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) 10/21/2008Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Angela Johnson (death-penalty prosecution pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A); order on defendant’s motion to exclude hearsay testimony during “penalty phase” on confrontation clause, due process clause, and statutory grounds) 06/06/2005Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Angela Johnson : (death-penalty prosecution pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A); order denying defendant’s renewed motion to strike death penalty where government is no longer asserting guilt as a “principal”)05/03/2005Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Angela Johnson (death-penalty prosecution pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A); order granting in part and denying in part defendant’s motion to exclude evidence and argument that she acted as a “principal” in the alleged killings)05/03/2005Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Angela Johnson : (death-penalty prosecution pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A); order denying defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to charge offenses owing to omission of “substantive connection” between killings and drug conspiracy or CCE)04/11/2005Mark W. Bennett
Catholic Order of Foresters, et. al. v. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Inc., et al (Securities fraud and related claims; defendants’ motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for improper venue: venue pursuant to the “special” venue provision for federal securities fraud claims, 15 U.S.C. § 78aa; one defendant’s motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted: circumstances under which a non-debtor falls within the scope of the automatic stay in bankruptcy, whether plaintiffs seek property of the bankruptcy estate)09/27/2004Mark 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
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
"PSA Cases" (Kinkaid v. John Morrell & Co.; Hoefling v. John Morrell & Co.; Sokolowski v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.) (Separate actions by hog producers against packing companies pursuant to the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 (PSA), 7 U.S.C. §§ 181-231, alleging unfair and deceptive practices in relation to "transfer of risk" provisions of their contracts that were not licensed insurance; packing companies' motions to dismiss: meaning of "insurance" under Iowa law, determination of whether the producers alleged "insurance" or merely provisions for the "transfer of risk" of loss of hogs during shipment, determination of whether the producers have a cognizable PSA claim if the contracts are or are not "insurance")06/18/2004Mark W. Bennett
Goss International Corporation v. Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho, Ltd.; Order regarding plaintiff's amended petition for fees and costs pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 7206/02/2004Linda R. Reade
Goss International Corporation v. Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho, Ltd.; case under the Antidumping Act of 1916, 15 U.S.C. § 72; jury verdict for Goss in the amount of $10,539,949; the 1916 Act provides for treble damages and judgment entered in the amount of $31,619,847; motion for a new trial and motion for judgment as a matter of law denied; the evidence supported the jury verdict; the jury instructions properly apprised the jury of the issues and the applicable law; the court did not commit legal errors that would warrant a new trial; Goss met its burden of proof with regard to each element of its claim; and the evidence supported the jury’s finding of injury05/26/2004Linda R. Reade
U.S. v. Dustin Honken (death-penalty prosecution pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A); order denying motion to reconsider order for anonymous jury and determining degree of “anonymity”)05/14/2004Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Dustin Honken : (death-penalty prosecution pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A); order for anonymous jury and determining degree of “anonymity”)01/29/2004Mark W. Bennett
Wilson v. Sergeant (Appeal from United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Iowa; debtor/appellants appeal from bankruptcy court’s ruling sustaining Trustee’s objection to exemption of debtor’s direct payments under Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (“Farm Bill”) as public assistance benefits under Iowa Code § 627.6(8)(a); as phrase “public assistance benefit” not defined by statute, court adopts plain meaning accorded to the phrase by In re Longstreet, 246 B.R. 611, 614 (Bankr. S.D. Iowa 2000); purpose behind direct payments under the Farm Bill matched purpose behind exempting public assistance benefits; exemption of public assistance benefits by Iowa legislature without any further elaboration left to local, state, and federal governments to determine which classes of persons were ‘needy’; exemption of Farm Bill payments consistent with statutory placement of “public assistance benefits”; exemption of Farm Bill payments furthered principles behind the Farm Bill as well as general purposes behind Iowa exemption statute; judgment of bankruptcy court respectfully reversed.)01/28/2004Mark W. Bennett
United States v. Yahnke (Prosecution for “maintaining a drug establishment” in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 856; sentencing upon plea of guilty: upward departure pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 4A1.3 on the ground that the defendant’s criminal history category did not adequately reflect either “the seriousness of the defendant’s past criminal conduct or the likelihood that the defendant will commit other crimes,” in light of the defendant’s prior conviction for second-degree murder, parole violations not resulting in criminal charges or convictions, and other uncharged criminal conduct to which the defendant admitted)12/24/2003Mark W. Bennett
Purina Mills, LLC v. Less, et al. (Defendant-buyer repudiated long-term contract to purchase weanling pigs; aggrieved seller seeks actual damages for goods received and not yet paid for under Iowa Code § 554.2709 and contract/market damages under Iowa Code § 554.2708(1); summary judgment; plaintiff’s conversion from an incorporation to a limited liability company did not preclude plaintiff from being a proper party in interest; summary judgment granted as to seller’s claim for damages for goods received by defendants not yet paid for under Iowa Code § 554.2709; plaintiff-seller restricted to lost profits damages under Iowa Code § 554.2708(2) where undisputed material facts showed that the seller (1) insulated itself from market price fluctuations through adjacent third-party supply contract, (2) was given option by supplier to buyout of its adjacent third-party supply contract days after defendants repudiation, and (3) would be overcompensated by an award of contract/market damages; amount of award representing future lost profits reduced to present value; plaintiff entitled to interest on damages award.)12/22/2003Mark W. Bennett
Directv v. Weber, et al (Order granting default judgment to plaintiff for defendant's purchase of "pirate access device" that allowed defendant to access plaintiff's satellite transmissions without subscribing to the service. Court discusses requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(1) and (2), and damages provisions of 47 U.S.C. section 605(e)(3)(C)(i) and 18 U.S.C. section 2520(c)(2). In absence of evidence of plaintiff's damages, court execised discretion in declining to award demages under 18 U.S.C. section 2520(c)(2), and awarded minimum damages of $1,000 under 47 U.S.C. section 605(e)(3)(C)(i).)12/17/2003Paul A. Zoss
Goss International Corp. v. Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho, Ltd. and TKS, Inc.; Order on motion for summary judgment12/04/2003Linda R. Reade
Jimenez v. Duran (Employees’ action for violation of FLSA overtime and payroll deduction provisions, breach of contract, and wrongful discharge; parties’ cross-motions for partial summary judgment on overtime pay portion of FLSA claim: application of the “Holly Farms analysis” to assertion of an “agricultural employee” exemption from the overtime pay provisions of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 213(b)(12)) 10/20/2003Mark W. Bennett
Morgan v. Morgan (Petition for Return of Child pursuant to The Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (CCAICA), and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA), 42 U.S.C. § 11601 et seq.; Temporary Restraining Order and Order for Expedited Hearing; Order to Appear at Show Cause Hearing)08/28/2003Mark W. Bennett
Iowa Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc. v. Gerard Treatment Programs, L.L.C. (Action by advocacy agency for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill against treatment institution regarding access by the advocacy agency to patients, facilities, and records of the treatment institution; advocacy agency’s motion for contempt of court’s "final order" for failure of treatment facility to disclose of the names of residents and the names and addresses of legal guardians: standards for civil contempt; determination of whether either terms of the "final order" or governing statutes and regulations incorporated into the "final order" required the disclosures demanded by the advocacy agency) 08/04/2003Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Angela Johnson (death-penalty prosecution pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A); ruling on defendant’s motion to reconsider denial of motion to dismiss non-capital offenses on statute of limitations grounds)07/11/2003Mark W. Bennett
Schultzen v. Woodbury Central Comm. School District, et al. (Claims against defendant Bumsted in individual and official capacities under Title IX, section 1983, and Iowa Code Chapter 216: plaintiff was a student at Woodbury Central High School and suspended from participation in extra curricular activities after defendant reported, to school administration, plaintiff’s smoking in violation of the school district’s Good Conduct Code; defendant Bumsted moved for summary judgment on grounds that he (a) could not be liable in his individual capacity under Title IX, (b) could not be liable under section 1983 based on a violation of Title IX, (c) was not acting under color of state law or deprived plaintiff of her rights pursuant to section 1983, (d) was entitled to qualified immunity, and (e) was not liable under Iowa Code Chapter 216 because the plaintiff failed to file a charge of discrimination against him.)02/19/2003Mark W. Bennett
U.S. v. Angela Johnson (death-penalty prosecution pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A); ruling on defendant’s motion to declare death-penalty provisions of 21 U.S.C. § 848 unconstitutional)01/07/2003Mark W. Bennett
Hide details for TORTS - Torts (Non-commercial)TORTS - Torts (Non-commercial)
Goodman v. Performance Contractors, Inc.(The plaintiff brought a defamation claim against a former co-worker for statements made only to their former employer; co-worker’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on the ground that there was no “publication” of the allegedly defamatory statements: The question of whether a statement of a co-worker only to the employer is “published” for purposes of a defamation claim is either settled against the co-worker by a decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals or, at the very least, remains an unsettled question of Iowa law, because the Iowa Supreme Court has not addressed it, so that the co-worker was not entitled to dismissal for failure to assert a cognizable claim of defamation based on lack of publication; the plaintiff alleged defamation per se, so that he was not required to prove, or to plead a plausible factual basis for, damages, falsity, and malice.) 04/11/2018Mark W. Bennett
Anderson v. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Soc'y (A magistrate judge recommended an executor’s claims on behalf of his father’s estate against a care facility be compelled to arbitration and all proceedings, including those on the executor’s individual claim of loss of parental consortium, be stayed; executor objected only to the stay of his individual claims: on de novo review of the part of the recommendation to which the executor objected, the court distinguished between a “mandatory” and a “discretionary” stay pending arbitration and rejected a stay of the executor’s individual claim, because the arbitration of the estate’s claims would have no binding effect on the executor’s individual claim and a stay unduly prejudiced the executor’s Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial on his individual claim.)04/10/2018Mark W. Bennett
Gosch v. Sergeant Bluff-Luton Cmty. Sch. Dist. (action by parents of disabled child against teacher, principal, and school district asserting civil rights, disability discrimination, and tort claims: Plaintiff’s motion for new trial on unconstitutional seizure and negligence claims against teacher: challenge to sufficiency of the evidence denied, because, although the evidence was very close such that a verdict for either side would have been reasonable for a jury to reach, viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the verdict was not against the greater weight of the evidence; challenged remarks by defense counsel were either not improper or, if improper, were no more than minor aberrations made in passing that did not distort the weight of the evidence enough to deprive the plaintiffs of a fair trial; defense claims or contentions that were allegedly first raised at trial were not surprises amounting to a major variance in the defendants’ defense warranting a new trial)11/29/2017Mark W. Bennett
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.)04/14/2016Mark W. Bennett
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)12/04/2015Mark W. Bennett
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)05/04/2015Mark W. Bennett
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)10/23/2014Mark W. Bennett
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.) 07/11/2014Mark W. Bennett
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) 05/30/2014Mark W. Bennett
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.)02/25/2014Mark W. Bennett
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.) 12/24/2013Mark W. Bennett
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))10/23/2013Mark W. Bennett
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)08/29/2013Mark W. Bennett
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) 07/24/2013Mark W. Bennett
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.)07/17/2013Mark W. Bennett
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) 06/03/2013Mark W. Bennett
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) 03/11/2013Mark W. Bennett
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) 03/11/2013Mark W. Bennett
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.)03/06/2013Mark W. Bennett
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) 02/25/2013Mark W. Bennett
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.) 02/11/2013Mark W. Bennett
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.01/09/2013Leonard T. Strand
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)11/21/2012Mark W. Bennett
Lee v. Small & Toft, et al.11/22/2011Mark W. Bennett
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)09/26/2011Mark W. Bennett
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. 09/20/2011Mark W. Bennett
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)09/19/2011Mark W. Bennett
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) 09/12/2011Mark W. Bennett
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”)09/06/2011Mark W. Bennett
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)09/01/2011Mark W. Bennett
Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co. v. SMA Elevator Construction, Inc., et al.08/29/2011Mark W. Bennett
Jason & Jennifer Tucker v. Quality Egg, LLC (See Holt)03/25/2011Mark W. Bennett
Dzinovic v. Quality Egg, LLC (See Holt)03/25/2011Mark W. Bennett
Bussey v. Quality Egg, LLC (See Holt)03/25/2011Mark W. Bennett
Daniel & Libby Sands v. Quality Egg, LLC (See Holt)03/25/2011Mark W. Bennett
Lewis v. Quality Egg, LLC (See Holt)03/25/2011Mark W. Bennett
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)03/25/2011Mark W. Bennett
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 conspiracy12/21/2010Linda R. Reade
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) 10/18/2010Mark W. Bennett
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 case08/18/2010Mark W. Bennett
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)04/30/2010Mark W. Bennett
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. 02/26/2010Mark W. Bennett
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.)01/19/2010Mark W. Bennett
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)11/02/2009Mark W. Bennett
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)04/10/2009Mark W. Bennett
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.)04/10/2009Mark W. Bennett
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).)03/09/2009Mark W. Bennett
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.02/26/2009Linda R. Reade
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. )02/07/2009Mark W. Bennett
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) 11/25/2008Mark W. Bennett
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. 10/02/2008Linda R. Reade
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.)09/29/2008Mark W. Bennett
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)04/19/2007Mark W. Bennett
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.)01/31/2007Mark W. Bennett
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.)01/22/2007Mark W. Bennett
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)11/02/2006Mark W. Bennett
Remmes v. International Flavors & Frangrances, Inc., et al. (Diversity products liability action, motions to dismiss for failure to plead fraud with particularity, addressing issue of whether the statute of limitations barred plaintiff’s claims for fraudulent concealment and civil conspiracy and whether plaintiff brought his fraudulent concealment and civil conspiracy claim within the period permitted by Iowa Code § 614.1(2), considering whether plaintiff’s claims for fraudulent concealment and civil conspiracy related back to the date that the original petition was filed, consider ing whether fraudulent concealment claim was pleaded with requisite particularity.)09/26/2006Mark W. Bennett
Magdalene Jo Schepers v. Terex Corp., et al.; State-law defamation suit that is being stayed as a result of a pending state court lawsuit arising out of the same set of facts. 07/25/2006Linda R. Reade
Jensen v. Barlas, et al. (former employee’s suit for malicious prosecution, abuse of process, and civil conspiracy based on counterclaims asserted by one of the defendants in the former employee’s state lawsuit for pregnancy discrimination and sexual assault; defendants’ motion for summary judgment: “probable cause” and “special injury” elements of malicious prosecution, “improper purpose” element of abuse of process, and relationship of civil conspiracy claim to other tortious conduct.) 07/07/2006Mark W. Bennett
Dewey v. Chertoff (action involving a federal employee’s claims of sexual harassment and retaliation in violation of Title VII; defendant’s motion for summary judgment: proper defendant for such an action, whether untimeliness of a first report of harassment under 29 C.F.R. § 1014.105(a)(1) bars such a claim, whether the defendant knew or should have known of the harassment, and whether the plaintiff could generate genuine issues of material fact on a causal connection between her report of harassment and her termination where she failed to comply with her employing agency’s request for medical documentation in support of her extended absence) 02/27/2006Mark W. Bennett
Niver v. Travelers Indemnity Company of Illinois (action for first-party bad faith for failure to pay workers compensation benefits; defendant’s second summary judgment motion: rejecting the defendant’s contention that Bellville v. Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, 702 N.W.2d 468 (Iowa 2005), changed Iowa law for the “fairly debatable” element of a bad faith claim; granting the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on liability for bad faith, but leaving damages for trial)02/06/2006Mark W. Bennett
Colleen Benedict and Joseph Benedict v. Zimmer, Inc.; Order on defendant's motion for summary judgment12/16/2005Linda R. Reade
Iowa Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc. v. Tanager Place and Tanager, Inc.; Tanager Place v. Iowa Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc.; Tanager Place v. Sylvia Piper; Order on motion for summary judgment; Order on motion for pretrial determination of defamation per se08/24/2005Linda R. Reade
Park v. Hill v: (diversity action by bank president against unsuccessful bidder in tender offer for bank alleging defamation under Iowa law; defendant’s motion for summary judgment: applicability of “protection of the publisher’s interest” and “common interest” qualified privileges, abuse of the privileges)08/08/2005Mark W. Bennett
Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad v. Pay Load, Inc., et al. (Diversity tort action; motion for partial summary judgment; analysis of appropriateness of recover by leasee of locomotive for liquidate loss value set in locomotive lease as compensatory damage where locomotive is damaged in collision with semi-truck; review of damages permitted under Restatement (Second) of Torts § 928 versus Restatement (Second) of Torts § 927; analysis of whether plaintiff could meet its burden of proof as to claim for punitive damages under Iowa Code § 668A.1(1)(a) as to either the truck driver or his employer.)12/15/2004Mark W. Bennett
Brent Kreinbring v. Alternative Claims Services, Inc., Gary Hoffman and Tony Polk; motion to remand; case remanded to state court because notice of removal was not filed within 30 days of: (1) the date defendants were served with the complaint; or (2) the date from which defendants could reasonably ascertain the amount in controversy exceeded $75,000.0005/27/2004Linda R. Reade
Hodgin v. Trans World Airlines, Inc. and United States Aviation Underwriters, Inc.; Order on motion for summary judgment; analysis of whether: (1) Hodgin properly served TWA with process, (2) Hodgin released all of his claims against TWA, and (3) Hodgin may maintain a direct action against USAU as an insurer03/03/2004Linda R. Reade
Pippert v. Gundersen Clinic, Ltd.; Order on motion for summary judgment and motion to strike or in the alternative to amend complaint alleging fraudulent misrepresentation01/14/2004Linda R. Reade
Cochran v. Gehrke, Inc. and National Tank Corporation(Litigation after construction accident; general contractor’s motion for partial summary judgment on cross-claim of contractual indemnity against sub-contractor: principles of Iowa law regarding contractual indemnity, including interpretation and construction of indemnity provisions, indemnity for indemnitee’s own negligence, and roles of court and jury in determination of indemnity claim)11/24/2003Mark W. Bennett
Thomson v. Gummiwerk Kraiburg Elastik, et. al.; Order on defendants' motions for summary judgment, motion to exclude and motion to strike; whether expert testimony meets admissibility requirements under Daubert; whether Rule 37 sanctions are appropriate where party fails to comply with Rule 26 disclosure requirements11/13/2003Linda R. Reade
Eischeid v. Dover Construction, Inc., et al. (Suit by injured employee of subcontractor against general contractor and third-party indemnity claims by and among general contractor and two subcontractors; employee’s motion to extend dispositive motion deadline granted; employee’s motion for summary judgment on liability portion of “direct” negligence claim against general contractor, based on “contractual” and “control of the job” liability theories, granted; employee’s motion to sever trial on indemnity claims from trial on damages issues on “direct” negligence claim granted; and employee’s motion to intervene in third-party indemnity action as of right pursuant to Rule 24(a)(2) denied, but permissive intervention pursuant to Rule 24(b) granted).08/25/2003Mark W. Bennett
Eischeid v. Dover Construction, et al. ("Direct" and third-party claims arising from a construction accident; motions for summary judgment on claims by and against defendant, third-party defendant, and third-party plaintiff Woods Masonry: whether plaintiff’s "direct" negligence claims against his employer/subcontractor are barred by the "exclusive remedy" provisions of the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act (IWCA); whether the contractor’s contribution, indemnity, and breach-of-contract claims against the subcontractor/employer are also barred by the IWCA; whether the subcontractor/employer’s third-party claim against another subcontractor are barred by purported admissions of the subcontractor/employer’s president that the subcontractor and its employees "did nothing wrong")06/03/2003Mark W. Bennett
Zeigler v. Fisher-Price, Inc. (Order granting partial summary judgment to toy manufacturer in products liability case. Plaintiff asserted claim for emotional distress damages arising from allegation that defendant fraudulently concealed and failed to disclose to plaintiff information about fire hazard posed by Power Wheels toy. Court held Iowa law does not support a claim for emotional distress damages in a fraud action. Discussion of Iowa law relating to emotional distress claims.)05/08/2003Paul A. Zoss
dePape v. Trinity Health Systems et al. (Bench trial; foreign physician (Canadian) contracted with defendants Trinity and Trimark to be family physician, Trinity retained an out-of-state law firm to represent physician in his immigration to United States; law firm never contacted physician or explained immigration process; physician showed up at United States border ready to begin his new life and career in the United States, but because his position did not match the position described in the INS application, INS denied his entry and physician was unable to gain entry to U.S.; physician sued Trinity and Trimark under theories of contract and promissory estoppel, but there was no basis in fact or law to hold these defendants liable; law firm, however, breached its duty to advise and communicate with the plaintiff; the law firm’s breach caused the plaintiff to forego employment options in Canada; court awarded $278,736.20, plus pre-judgment interest, for lost income and emotional distress damages.)01/20/2003Mark W. Bennett
McGuire v. Davidson Mfg Corp. and Louisville Ladder Group LLC (Order granting in part, denying in part, motion to exclude expert testimony in diversity action. Analysis focuses on Daubert and Kumho Tire standards, with citations to numerous Eighth Circuit and other federal cases. Discussion of "differential analysis" methodology)01/08/2003Paul A. Zoss
Hide details for (Not Categorized)(Not Categorized)
USA v. Harry --Sentencing opinion in which the court explained its policy disagreement with the actual and ice methamphetamine guidelines and concluded that the appropriate remedy is to calculate an alternative guidelines range based on the methamphetamine mixture guidelines. 06/06/2018Leonard T. Strand
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.06/24/2013Leonard T. Strand
U.S. v. Russell T. Hawley & Hawley Insurance Co.10/13/2011Mark W. Bennett
Neessen v. Arona Corp.; order denying employer's motion for summary judgment in pregnancy discrimination action04/30/2010Linda R. Reade