from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Arthur E.
appeals the district court's order allowing a judgment
debtor to designate a portion of his property as his
Jonathan E. Kramer of Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., Des
Moines, for appellant.
K. Crosse, Matthew E. Laughlin, and Sarah E. Crane of Davis,
Brown, Koehn, Shors & Roberts, P.C., Des Moines, for
by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and Mullins, JJ.
America Bank appeals the district court's decision
allowing Steven Golden to carve out approximately a
one-half-acre piece of land from the property he owns to
designate as his homestead. The bank asserts the ability of a
homeowner to select and plat a homestead under Iowa Code
chapter 561 (2015) should be subject to the local zoning
ordinances and rules regarding the division of property.
Because Golden's property cannot be subdivided in
compliance with the controlling city ordinances, the bank
claims Golden should not be entitled to claim a homestead
exemption. Golden claims the division was proper because the
rights of the judgment debtor to protect his homestead from
execution are jealously guarded and cannot be eliminated by
local ordinances that prevent property from being further
the third time these parties have been before this court. In
First American Bank v. Urbandale Laser Wash, 874
N.W.2d 650, 651-52 (Iowa Ct. App. 2015), this court was asked
to decide whether the district court properly granted the
bank's summary judgment motion in a foreclosure
proceeding. In Golden Enterprises, L.L.C. v. Iowa Dist.
Ct., No. 15-0824, 2016 WL 2748234, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App.
May 11, 2016), we were asked to resolve a discovery dispute
regarding whether subpoenas issued to Golden's company
and spouse were unduly burdensome or sought irrelevant
information. In this third matter, we must determine whether
Golden may plat a homestead under Iowa Code chapter 561,
protecting his home from execution, when the resulting
property division violates the local city zoning ordinances.
September 2015, after the in personam judgment of foreclosure
was entered against Golden, the bank filed a notice of
sheriff's levy and sale, seeking to sell at public
auction Golden's home in the city of Clive. Golden moved
to quash the sale, asserting the property was his homestead
and that he was in the process of replatting the property
because it exceeded the one-half acre allowable as a
homestead under Iowa Code section 561.2-"If within a
city plat, it must not exceed one-half acre in extent . . .
." The bank resisted the motion to quash, asserting the
city ordinances prevented the lot on which the house was
situated from being further subdivided but agreeing a hearing
should be set for the court to determine pursuant to section
561.6 the applicability of the homestead exemption. Pending
the hearing, the bank agreed to cancel the sale.
Golden filed a notice of homestead plat with the district
court and attached to that notice a land survey with a legal
description of the property he was claiming as a homestead.
The entire lot totaled .94 of an acre. Golden carved an
irregular shaped area consisting of the driveway, the home,
and some lawn surrounding the home. In addition, he carved
out a small 1.61-foot-wide strip of land encompassing the
perimeter of the property,  with his total homestead totaling
.48 of an acre. The remaining land on all sides of the home
was excluded from the homestead designation. The following is
a map of the designation.
bank moved to strike the homestead plat, asserting it was not
a proper certified plat or subdivision plat as those terms
are defined in Iowa Code chapters 354 and 355 and the plat
did not conform to the city zoning ordinances, resulting in
the creation of two nonconforming parcels. The bank asked the
court to conclude that because no subdivision of the land was
possible to remain in compliance with the local ordinances,
no homestead rights could attach to the property. Golden
resisted the bank's motion to strike his homestead plat,
noting the plat was not required to be a certified or
subdivision plat under chapters 354 and 355, and claiming it
was proper under chapter 561.
matter came on for hearing before the district court on
December 22, 2015. The bank, as a creditor, sought for the
district court to establish the boundaries of the homestead
under section 561.6. The court then accepted the plat
designation filed by Golden, explaining a creditor cannot
levy upon the debtor's homestead and filed an order
adopting the same. The bank appeals.
execution of the foreclosure judgment was heard in equity,
and thus, our review is de ...