from the Iowa District Court for Winneshiek County, Margaret
L. Lingreen, Judge.
appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment to
the defendants based on the statute of limitations.
G. Larson of Larson Law Office and Erik W. Fern of Putnam,
Fern & Thompson Law Office, P.L.L.C., Decorah, for
E. Dralle of Dorsey & Whitney, L.L.P., Des Moines, for
appellee Ford Motor Credit Company.
T. Bisgard and Dana L. Oxley of Shuttleworth & Ingersoll,
P.L.C., Cedar Rapids, for appellees Repossessors, Inc. and
Considered by Vogel, P.J., Doyle, J., and Scott, S.J.
Duncan appeals the district court's grant of summary
judgment to the defendants based on the statute of
limitations. We affirm the district court's decision
finding Duncan's claim of conversion is barred by the
five-year statute of limitations in Iowa Code section
614.1(4) (2015). On Duncan's claim of civil extortion,
the court erred by applying the two-year statute of
limitations in section 614.1(2). Duncan's claim of civil
extortion is timely under the five-year statute of
limitations in section 614.1(4), and the district court
improperly granted summary judgment on this issue. We remand
to the district court for further proceedings on the issue of
Background Facts & Proceedings
March 5, 2008, Duncan purchased a 2008 Ford Edge from Decorah
Auto Center, Inc., with financing through Ford Motor Credit
(FMC). She made payments from April 19, 2008, until August
19, 2010. Duncan received notice she owed $1871.94, due by
November 19, 2010. Duncan stated she paid this amount in a
timely fashion, but on November 19, 2010, Bruce Shores of
Repossessors, Inc. took possession of the vehicle.
November 27, 2010, Duncan received notice FMC intended to
sell the Ford Edge. Duncan told FMC the vehicle had been
wrongfully repossessed and demanded the return of the
vehicle. Duncan paid the remainder of the loan, $22, 196.28,
on March 11, 2011. FMC, Repossessors, and Shores did not
return the vehicle to Duncan. She stated they told her they
would not return the vehicle to her unless she signed a
release of liability for the wrongful taking.
was able to retrieve the vehicle on June 17, 2011, without
signing a release. She found FMC, Repossessors, or Shores had
retained her personal property from the vehicle. Also, the
Ford Edge had been damaged and Duncan incurred expenses in
filed a petition on December 16, 2015, against FMC,
Repossessors, and Shores, raising claims of conversion and
civil extortion. FMC filed a partial motion for summary
judgment, claiming the conversion claim was barred by the
five-year statute of limitations found in section 614.1(4).
Duncan resisted the motion. The district court found the
conversion occurred on November 19, 2010, when the vehicle
was taken from Duncan. The court concluded Duncan's claim
of conversion was barred under the statute of limitations and
granted FMC's partial motion for summary judgment. The
court also denied Duncan's motion pursuant to Iowa Rule
of Civil Procedure 1.904(2). The court subsequently granted a
request by Repossessors and Shores for partial summary
judgment on this issue as well.
filed a second partial motion for summary judgment, claiming
Duncan's civil extortion claim was barred by the two-year
statute of limitations set by section 614.1(2). Repossessors
and Shores joined in the motion. Duncan resisted the partial
motion for summary judgment. The district court found
Duncan's action arose in June 2011, when she recovered
her vehicle, and her petition, filed in December 2015, was
outside the two-year statute of limitations in section
614.1(2). The court granted the defendants' motion for