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Appanoose County v. South Iowa Area Detention Service Agency

Court of Appeal of Iowa

August 7, 2013

APPANOOSE COUNTY, IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
SOUTH IOWA AREA DETENTION SERVICE AGENCY, Defendant-Appellee.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jefferson County, Myron L. Gookin, Judge.

A county appeals a summary judgment ruling upholding the validity of an agreement and an amendment to jointly exercise governmental powers.

Carlton G. Salmons of Gaudineer, Comito & George, L.L.P., West Des Moines, for appellant.

Sasha L. Monthei of Scheldrup Blades Schrock Smith Aranza, P.C., Cedar Rapids, for appellee.

Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.

VAITHESWARAN, J.

A county appeals a summary judgment ruling upholding the validity of an agreement and an amendment to jointly exercise governmental powers under Iowa Code chapter 28E (2011).

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

The facts are essentially undisputed. Those facts are as follows. Appanoose County joined nine other counties to form the South Iowa Area Detention Service Agency (SIADSA), an organization created to plan, finance, construct, and operate juvenile detention facilities and a juvenile detention program for the ten member counties. At the time of creation, each county contributed $25, 000. Neither Appanoose County nor the remaining member counties made additional payments to SIADSA. On five or six occasions, SIADSA paid each county a distribution of $5, 000. Those payments essentially offset the counties' initial capital contributions.

This litigation concerns provisions on the distribution of SIADSA's assets. The original 1991 agreement stated:

16. Distribution of Assets. Upon termination of this Agreement, all assets of the Agency shall be distributed to the members in accordance with a plan of distribution approved by the Board of Directors.

In 1999, SIADSA's board of directors, including its representative from Appanoose County, approved an amendment authorizing the relinquishment of SIADSA assets if a county withdrew prior to termination of the 28E agreement. The 1999 amendment was as follows:

16. Distribution of Assets. Upon termination of this Agreement, all assets of the Agency shall be distributed to the members in accordance with a plan of distribution approved by the Board of Directors. If any member withdraws from the Agency prior to the termination of this Agreement, then that member ...

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