from the Iowa District Court for Dickinson County, David A.
appeals district court's dismissal on grounds of subject
matter jurisdiction. REVERSED AND REMANDED.
Christopher R. Kemp of Kemp & Sease, Des Moines, and John
M. Sandy of Sandy Law Firm, P.C., Spirit Lake, for appellant.
L. Fitzgibbons and Matthew T.E. Early of Fitzgibbons Law
Firm, L.L.C., Estherville, for appellee.
brothers stipulated to the entry of an order enjoining them
from having contact with each other. When one of them
subsequently sought a contempt order against the other for
violation of the injunction, the district court dismissed the
action on the ground it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to
enter or enforce a consent order barring contact between
parties. On our review, we conclude the district court had
jurisdiction to issue the injunction. We therefore reverse
the dismissal and remand the case for further proceedings.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
Alan Ney and John Glenn Ney are brothers with an acrimonious
relationship. In April 2012, Patrick filed a "Petition
for Injunctive Relief" seeking a temporary injunction
against John. The petition alleged that John had a history of
assaulting Patrick, trespassing on his property, and
harassing him and his family. Patrick alleged he had
requested law enforcement's help multiple times to no
avail. The petition further alleged John had recently broken
into Patrick's house while drunk but fled before law
enforcement arrived. In support of his
claim for a temporary injunction, Patrick alleged the ongoing
harassment by John caused irreparable damage that law
enforcement officers had not been able to prevent. The prayer
for relief requested John be prohibited from entering
Patrick's property or threatening, assaulting, stalking,
molesting, attacking, harassing, or communicating with
Patrick and his family.
June 25, 2012, the parties entered into a "Stipulation
and Agreement" asking the court to incorporate the terms
of their agreement in an order for injunctive relief. The
parties agreed they would, a. Not threaten, assault, stalk,
molest, attack, harass, or otherwise abuse one another;
b. Stay away from each other's residences and not be in
each other[']s presence except in a courtroom during
c. Not communicate with each other in person or through any
means including third persons [except] . . . . through legal
d. Not communicate with any member of each other[']s
family[, ] . . . [including] spouses, children,
grandchildren, and in-laws.
district court approved the terms of the agreement and issued
an order (2012 order) on the same day incorporating the terms
of the stipulated agreement and directing that "[t]he
parties shall have no further communication with one
March 30, 2016, Patrick filed an "Application for
Contempt of Court" alleging John had intentionally,
willfully, and repeatedly violated the court's 2012
order. In an attached affidavit, Patrick urged the court to
find John in contempt of the order because on four separate
occasions, John engaged in "abusive contact"
against Patrick and his family, including one instance in
which John "threatened to pull his firearm out."
district court found it had personal and subject matter
jurisdiction and issued an order to show cause on March 31,
2016. John filed a motion to dismiss the proceeding,
asserting the 2012 order was void and unenforceable because
the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to grant the
July 2016, after conducting an unrecorded telephonic hearing
and reviewing the briefs, the district court granted
John's motion to dismiss. The court concluded the
injunction Patrick sought to enforce was void because the
issuing court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to issue
injunctive relief. In reaching its decision, the district
court reasoned that Iowa Code section 664A.2(2) (2011)
prescribes the only circumstances in which a district court
has jurisdiction to issue a protective order in a civil
proceeding. Concluding the 2012 order
purported to issue a protective order in a civil proceeding,
the court reasoned that the order was void because the
conduct it restrained was not among the grounds for which