from the Iowa District Court for Jackson County, Nancy S.
from the grant of the defendant's motion for summary
Flint Drake and Samuel M. DeGree of Drake Law Firm, P.C.,
Dubuque, for appellant.
Bradley T. Boffeli of Boffeli & Spannagel, P.C.,
Maquoketa, for appellees.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and
McDonald, JJ. Tabor, J., takes no part.
case involves an option to purchase farmland allegedly orally
granted by one farmer to his neighbor. At issue in this case
is whether the district court erred in granting the
defendant's motion for summary judgment and dismissing
the plaintiff's claim for promissory estoppel, quantum
meruit, and unjust enrichment.
the second time this matter has been before the court. In our
prior opinion, we succinctly set forth the material facts:
Farmer Ronald Kunde claimed neighbor Arthur Bowman granted
him an oral option to purchase his farm for approximately
$3000 an acre at an unspecified time in the future. Kunde
leased the Bowman farm and made substantial improvements to
the property, which he alleged were consideration for the
option to purchase.
Kunde v. Bowman, No. 15-1483, 2016 WL 5408356, at *1
(Iowa Ct. App. Sept. 28, 2016).
to the alleged grant of the option to purchase, Bowman sold
the property to a third person. See id. Kunde sued
Bowman, asserting claims for breach of contract and
"equitable claims." See id. The jury found
in favor of Kunde on his breach of contract claim and awarded
damages, but the jury made no findings on the equitable
claims pursuant to the district court's instructions.
See id. The district court granted
Bowman's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict
and denied Kunde's motion for new trial. In our prior
opinion, this court affirmed the district court, determining
there was not substantial evidence to support the jury's
verdict on the contract claim. Specifically, this court found
there was no agreement on the essential terms of the
purported option to purchase. See id. at *2
("The record lacks substantial evidence to support
essential terms of the contract, most notably the deadline
for exercising the option to purchase the Bowman
farm."). This court remanded the matter for new trial on
Kunde's remaining equitable claims. See id.
remand, Bowman sought summary judgment on the equitable
claims. The summary judgment record showed Kunde entered into
a series of written farm lease agreements with Bowman.
Several of the written farm lease agreements included
addendums governing the allocation of expenses for
improvements. The 2008 lease addendum is representative:
1. Any construction, removal, or maintenance of property
fence lines will be ...