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Mummau v. Estate of Kraus

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 7, 2018

VINCENT N. MUMMAU, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
ESTATE OF BEVERLY KRAUS and MICHAEL J. TSCHIRIGI, Clayton County Sheriff, Defendants-Appellees.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clayton County, David P. Odekirk, Judge.

         Plaintiff appeals the district court's decision granting summary judgment to defendants on his petition to set aside a sheriff's sale.

          Matthew M. Sahag of Dickey & Campbell Law Firm, P.L.C., Des Moines, for appellant.

          Mark A. Roeder of Roeder Law Office, Manchester, and Robert G. Tully and Benjamin G. Arato of Law Offices of Rob Tully, P.C., West Des Moines, for appellee Estate.

          Les V. Reddick of Kane, Norby & Reddick, P.C., Dubuque, for appellee Sheriff.

          Vogel, P.J., Bower, J., and Scott, S.J. [*]

          BOWER, Judge.

         Vincent Mummau appeals the district court's decision granting summary judgment to defendants on his petition to set aside a sheriff's sale of farmland. We find no error in the district court's conclusion Mummau had an equitable interest in the farmland, which was subject to a judgment lien. Also, we find no error in the district court's conclusion Mummau's claims concerning the adequacy of the sale price were moot, as the one-year statutory redemption period had expired. We affirm the district court decision granting summary judgment.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         Mummau was previously convicted of third-degree sexual abuse, in violation of Iowa Code section 709.4 (2011). His conviction was upheld on appeal and on a petition for postconviction relief. See Mummau v. State, No. 16-1909, 2017 WL 3535294, at *7 (Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 16, 2017); State v. Mummau, No. 12-1082, 2013 WL 2145994, at *7 (Iowa Ct. App. May 15, 2013).

         The victim in the criminal case, Beverly Kraus, brought a civil action against Mummau, seeking damages on the grounds of sexual battery and sexual abuse. After a trial to the court, on May 8, 2014, Kraus was awarded $153, 750 in compensatory damages and $10, 000 in punitive damages, for a total of $163, 750.[1]

         At the time of the civil judgment, Mummau owned approximately 282 acres of farmland, which included 222 acres he was purchasing by a real estate contract from Marlen and Debra Hakert. The land was subject to encumbrances of $637, 958. In the civil action, Mummau stated the net equity in his farming operation was $556, 323. On February 26, 2014, Mummau signed an "Assignment of Contract for Collateral Purposes Only, " to Community Savings Bank (CSB), which was to remain in effect until all of his debts and obligations to CSB were satisfied.

         Kraus obtained a writ of general execution. A notice of levy on the farmland was sent to Mummau. On June 9, 2015, there was a sheriff's sale of Mummau's real property. Rodney Hettinger purchased the property for $151, 000, subject to encumbrances.

         On June 19, 2015, Mummau filed a petition to set aside the sheriff's sale, naming Kraus and the Clayton County Sheriff, Michael Tschirigi, as defendants.[2]Kraus died on June 17, 2015, and her estate was substituted as a defendant.[3] In the petition, Mummau claimed the sheriff should have first sold his personal property or sold his real property in parcels. He also claimed he had only a personal property interest in the 222 acres because he was ...


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