from the Iowa District Court for Guthrie County, Paul R.
Co-op appeals the district court's ruling denying its
application to compel arbitration.
F. Lorentzen of Nyemaster Goode, P.C., Des Moines, for
C. Badding of Neu, Minnich, Comito, Halbur, Neu &
Badding, P.C., Carroll, for appellee.
by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.
Background Facts and Proceedings
Partnership (Fell) filed a lawsuit against Heartland Co-op
(Heartland) on February 5, 2016, for breach of contract and
conversion based on an oral contract for the sale of
soybeans. On April 18, Heartland filed a "motion to
dismiss or stay" the court proceedings, claiming the
parties were "subject to a written agreement for
mandatory mediation." In its motion, Heartland cited the
Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C., and relied on a contract
authorization form signed by Fell, which stated that
"National Grain and Feed Association Rules [(NGFA)]
apply to all contracts." Heartland claimed rule 29 of
the NFGA mandated arbitration of disputes arising out of the
February 5th contract. After hearing, on May 2, the district
court issued an order denying the motion to dismiss or stay,
characterizing Heartland's position as "this matter
must be subjected to arbitration" and concluding the
"grain authorization form" did not constitute an
agreement to arbitrate. Heartland did not appeal this order.
then filed an application to compel arbitration on May 25,
again arguing the parties were required to arbitrate their
dispute, and alternatively that Fell was
estopped from denying that a written arbitration
agreement existed. In its brief supporting the application to
compel, Heartland states "a second purpose of filing the
application to compel, and resubmitting the motion to stay,
is to preserve effective appellate review of the court's
orders." On June 22, the district court denied the
application to compel, finding, "This matter was
previously addressed by the court on May 2, [2016, ] at which
time the court found that there did not exist a contract
between the parties which required arbitration." On July
13, Heartland filed a notice of appeal from the June 22 order
denying its application to compel arbitration. Fell filed a
motion to dismiss the appeal, claiming it was untimely
because the May 2 order was a final order from which
Heartland was obligated to appeal. Heartland resisted, and
our supreme court ordered the issue to be submitted with the
appeal. The supreme court then transferred the case to us.
Standard of Review
review denial of motions to compel arbitration for
corrections of error at law. Wesley Ret. Servs. Inc., v.
Hansen Lind Meyer Inc., 594 N.W.2d 22, 29 (Iowa 1999).
Appellate jurisdiction and timeliness.
appeal "is purely a creature of statute." Bales
v. Iowa St. Highway Comm'n, 86 N.W.2d 244, 246 (Iowa
1957). "Generally, a notice of appeal from an order,
judgment, or decree must be filed within thirty days from the
time judgment is entered." In re Marriage of
Okland, 699 N.W.2d 260, 263 (Iowa 2005); see
Iowa R. App. P. 6.101(1)(b). All final orders and judgments
of the district court on the merits or materially affecting
the final decision in a case may be appealed. Iowa R. App. P.
6.103(1). Therefore, an ...