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  • Iowa Supreme Court calls for further review of racial makeup of juries

    Source: --- Friday, May 24, 2019
    The Iowa Supreme Court is giving an African-American man more time to show the racial makeup of his jury pool was not fair. Kenneth Lilly appealed his conviction of first-degree robbery for helping another man rob a bank in Fort Madison in June of 2016, saying the jury pool was not a fair cross-section of [?] ...

  • Court of Appeals Finds Jurisdiction of Claimant's Case When Contract of Hire Made in Iowa

    Source: --- Wednesday, May 22, 2019
    In Niday v. Roehl Transport, Inc. , No. 18-0712 (Iowa App. April 3, 2019), the Court addressed section 85.71(1)(b) of the Iowa Code and concluded that since the contract of hire between claimant and the employer had been made entirely in Iowa, jurisdiction under Iowa workers' compensation law was appropriate in Iowa.  Claimant changed careers when in his 50's received his CDL in Iowa and saw an ad for Roehl in Iowa.  Roehl did not have a terminal or a drop lot in Iowa.  Claimant applied online and was told that he was preliminarily qualified for the position, which first required various medical testing.  A car was rented for claimant in Iowa and he was to drive to Wisconsin (headquarters for Roehl).  Claimant reported to Gary, Indiana for classroom training. Claimant passed this training and was assigned a driver for on the road training throughout the U.S.  Claimant retrieved a truck in Indiana and drove home to Iowa in the truck. Claimant's route information was set up via computer with approximately 1/3 of the routes originating in or have dropoffs in Iowa.  In 2013 while picking up a load in Kentucky, claimant felt pain in his chest following exertion  This was later said to be a heart attack.  Claimant filed a claim and the deputy found that since the contract of hire was not made in Iowa, jurisdiction was not appropriate.  The deputy found that the letter that had been received by claimant in Iowa was not sufficient to de ...

  • Iowa high court holds indigent attorney fees bar expungement

    Source: --- Wednesday, May 22, 2019
    On May 10, the Iowa Supreme Court rejected an equal protection challenge to a requirement in Iowa law that applicants for expungement (sealing) of non-conviction records must first repay what they owe in Court-appointed counsel fees. This surprising decision strikes us as unfair on several levels, and out of step with what most other states provide where limiting public access to non-conviction records is concerned. Rob Poggenklass of Iowa Legal Aid, which brought the case, describes the decision below. Iowa Supreme Court finds collection of Court-appointed attorney fees a rational precondition for expungement By Rob Poggenklass In State v. Doe , the state?s highest Court held in a 4?3 decision that the legislature could condition eligibility for expungement on payment of fees owed to Court-appointed counsel, just as it requires payment of other Court debt. In 2015, the General Assembly enacted chapter 901C, which entitles people to expungement of criminal cases that were dismissed or in which the person was acquitted at trial, assuming a few criteria are met. One significant requirement for expungement is the repayment of all Court debt associated with the case. This includes fees charged to the Court by the counsel it appoints for indigent defendants, which in Iowa are often assessed even in acquittals and dismissed cases. See Iowa Code section 815.9(6). Jane Doe requested expungement nine years after her case was dismissed, a ...

  • Iowa Supreme Court: Cuts in public-sector collective bargaining rights meet constitutional muster

    Source: --- Tuesday, May 21, 2019
    Amendments to Iowa Code Chapter 20 that substantially reduced the collective bargaining rights of most state and local government employees did not violate union members? equal protection or free association rights under the Iowa Constitution, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled May 19. Public employee unions had urged the Court to strike down as unconstitutional collective bargaining amendments passed in 2017 by the Iowa Legislature, which they saw as gutting their rights to collectively bargain on a wide range of issues, including wages, benefits and working conditions. In four separate rulings, the Court rejected the unions? constitutional argument, saying the changes were properly within the policymaking powers of the Iowa General Assembly. ?Our role is to decide whether constitutional lines were crossed, not to sit as a superlegislature rethinking policy choices of the elected branches,? the Court said. ?We conclude the 2017 amendments withstand the constitutional challenges.? The justices added that the plaintiffs concede that there is no constitutional right to public-sector collective bargaining. The Court was split 4-3 in each of those four decisions, with Justices Thomas Waterman, Edward Mansfield, Susan Christensen and Christopher McDonald in the majority. Chief Justice Mark Cady and Justices Brent Appel and David Wiggins filed separate opinions fully or partially dissenting from all four decisions. Court majority laid out i ...

  • Statement by Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen on Iowa Supreme Court decisions?

    Source: --- Tuesday, May 21, 2019
    Statement: Republican politicians have done harm to all Iowa workers Posted: 17 May 2019 07:30 AM PDT Statement by Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen on Iowa Supreme Court decisions ?By taking away the rights of teachers, firefighters, nurses, correctional officers and ? Continue reading ? ...

Scott Strait