LARRY LINCOLN, JOHN LINCOLN, LINCOLN BROTHERS FARMS, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
GERALD LINCOLN and MAXINE LINCOLN, Defendants-Appellees.
from the Iowa District Court for Delaware County, Monica L.
brothers appeal from a settlement enforcement order dividing
a farm partnership with a third brother.
W. Fern of Putnam, Fern & Thompson Law Office, P.L.L.C.,
Decorah, for appellant.
Michael J. Lanigan of Law Office of Michael Lanigan,
Waterloo, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and
Lincoln and Larry Lincoln ("John and Larry"),
appeal from a district court order for enforcement of
settlement as to the division of a 160 acre parcel of land.
John and Larry, along with their brother Gerald Lincoln and
his wife Maxine Lincoln ("Gerald and Maxine"),
operated Lincoln Farms Partnership; this action involves the
division of that partnership. John and Larry appeal the
district court's settlement enforcement order, claiming
the court improperly awarded Gerald and Maxine one hundred
acres of a 160-acre parcel of land.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
dispute arose from the division of a farm partnership
following a civil lawsuit between the parties. Here, the parties
dispute division of 160 acres of the total farm. The parties
mediated the issues and reached a settlement agreement in
April 2016. As to the division of the land, the hand-written
Memorandum of Settlement states, "All land shall be
partitioned as attached hereto." Attached to the
Memorandum of Settlement was an aerial photo of land with
certain parcels divided and the words, "Land [within]
green lines to go to [Gerald] . . . final boundaries to be
determined by agreement and survey." John and Larry had
a surveyor parcel out ninety acres of the 160 acre parcel;
Gerald and Maxine refused to accept those particular ninety
acres within the larger parcel, claiming that mediation did
not reach a final conclusion on the division of this
particular 160-acre parcel and that the ninety acres surveyed
do not meet the parties' understanding of the agreement.
and Larry filed an application to enforce the settlement
agreement in June 2016. In that application, they offered an
additional ten acres as an incentive for Gerald and Maxine to
accept their surveyor's description and avoid litigation.
In their motion to enforce settlement, John and Larry state,
"[I]n the spirit of good faith, [John and Larry] will
consent to the additional ten acres and provide one hundred
acres to Gerald [and Maxine]." Gerald and Maxine
resisted the motion to enforce settlement. In response to
Gerald and Maxine's resistance, John and Larry revoked
their offer, stating, "[I]n the prior application, [John
and Larry] in good faith requested to provide one hundred
acres to [Gerald and Maxine] in the spirit of compromise;
[John and Larry] withdraw said offer and expressly request
the Court award ninety acres pursuant to the Memorandum of
district court, in awarding Gerald one hundred acres in the
order on the motion to enforce settlement, discussed its use
of settlement negotiations as extrinsic evidence and
referenced the offer of an additional ten acres by John and
If [John and Larry] continue to desire to provide the
additional ten acres that they had agreed to to suffice
[Gerald] that he would be receiving slightly more acreage
than the other two brothers, [the surveyor] shall move the
boundary line to accommodate the award of 10 additional
court then included in its order that the additional ten
acres be awarded to Gerald. John and Larry filed a motion for
clarification regarding the ten acres. The court confirmed
its award of one hundred acres:
Although the court recognizes that the Plaintiffs may have
withdrawn their desire to concede the 10 acres to try to
settle the matter before litigation, the Court includes this
as part of the negotiations that were entered into with the