Iowa Supreme Court issues four opinions from May 8-14

The Iowa Supreme Court issued four opinions from May 8-14. As of May 14, the court issued 54 opinions in 2023 — four fewer than this point a year ago. Three of four opinions are below: 

  • Barnes v. CDM Rentals, LLC, where the court “affirmed the summary judgment of the district court concluding that a condominium owner-landlord owed no duty of care with respect to a downspout that discharged water directly onto a shared driveway, holding that the owner-landlord had no common law, contractual, or statutory duty to keep the driveway clear.”
  • Vasquez v. Iowa Dep’t of Human Services, where the court “dismissed this direct appeal brought by the Iowa Department of Human Services (HDS) from a district court ruling requiring Iowa’s Medicaid program to pay for sex reassignment surgery for two transgender adults and affirmed the denial of fees on cross-appeal, holding that the appeal was moot.”
  • White v. Harkrider, where the court “affirmed in part and reversed in part … on interlocutory appeal and cross-appeal of a ruling on a motion to dismiss the state constitutional tort and common law claims arising out of a warrantless arrest of Plaintiff’s spouse … holding that the district court erred in denying Defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) and trespass.”

From May 8-14, state supreme courts issued 110 opinions nationally. The North Dakota Supreme Court issued the most with 12. State supreme courts in 20 states issued the fewest with zero. Courts where judges are elected have issued 68 opinions, while courts whose members are appointed have issued 42.

The Iowa Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort and has seven judgeships. The current chief of the court is Susan Christensen. The court issued 110 opinions in 2022 and 112 in 2021. Nationally, state supreme courts issued 7,423 opinions in 2022 and 8,320 in 2021. The courts have issued 2,474 opinions in 2023. Courts where judges are elected have issued 1,390 opinions, while courts whose members are appointed have issued 1,084. Iowa is a Republican trifecta, meaning Republicans control the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature.

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