from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, David M.
plaintiff appeals an order prohibiting her from levying
assets of intervenors.
M. Baumgartner and Nathaniel R. Boulton of Hedberg &
Boulton, P.C., Des Moines, for appellant.
Spencer S. Cady of Nyemaster Goode, P.C., Des Moines, for
appellees AKA Tactical Laser Tag, L.L.C. and Escape Chambers,
by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor, JJ.
appeals an order prohibiting her from levying assets from a
property on Sixth Street in Des Moines, operating as AKA
Tactical Laser Tag, L.L.C. (AKA) and Escape Chambers, L.L.C.
(Escape Chambers), to satisfy her workers' compensation
judgment against CMP Tactical Lazer Tag (CMP). On appeal, Ha
argues she should be allowed to levy assets from the property
because AKA, CMP, and Escape Chambers are all the same
business and because the claimed sales transaction between
the three businesses was fraudulent.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
dispute stems from an injury Ha suffered in January 2014. Ha
was working as a referee for laser tag at the Sixth Street
location when she was hit in the eye with a laser gun. She
suffered a concussion and was admitted to the hospital. Ha
later suffered from post-concussive headaches, anxiety,
depression, and interrupted sleep-wake cycles.
parties dispute whether Ha is entitled to enforce her
judgment against CMP also against AKA and EC. According to
Ha, she was hired in November 2013 by AKA and continued
working at the same facility on Sixth Street after her injury
until April 2014. In early 2014 the facility rebranded itself
as CMP, making announcements on its Facebook page regarding
the name change and ordering new branded t-shirts. AKA now
claims Ha was never an employee. Ha ceased working at the
laser tag business in April.
contacted CMP regarding her medical bills and attempted to
obtain tax documents from them. She did not get a reply from
CMP. Ha hired an attorney and filed a workers'
compensation petition against CMP in September 2014, giving
the Sixth Street address. In November, Ha filed and served a
petition against AKA providing a Wisconsin
address. The record includes a letter from
Workforce development to AKA in Wisconsin. AKA claims it
responded with a letter to the workers' compensation
commission from Kerry Poznanski, with a copy to Ha's
attorney requesting the letter be treated as an answer and
stating she did not "believe" Ha was an employee of
AKA. The AKA petition was assigned the same case number as
the previously filed CMP petition. The agency case proceeded
with a caption including only CMP. AKA claims it did not
receive further notices or communication regarding Ha's
claim. CMP did not participate in the workers'
compensation hearing; CMP failed to file an appearance,
motion, answer, or other pleading. Default was entered
against CMP only; the arbitration decision in August 2015
limited its findings because of the default, stating:
"As an entry of default has been entered against
defendant, the issues of existence of an employer-employee
relationship and whether claimant sustained an injury on
January 19, 2014 that arose out of and in the course of
employment will not be discussed." Ha was awarded
workers' compensation benefits, interest, medical
expenses, costs, and penalty benefits against CMP in an
arbitration decision in August 2015.
still received no communication from CMP. She filed a motion
for entry of judgment against CMP in November 2015 at the
district court; she did not request judgment against any
other entity. The court entered a judgment against CMP for
Ha's damages in January 2016. Ha unsuccessfully attempted
to garnish CMP's bank accounts. In September, Ha
attempted to levy assets located at the property on Sixth
Street in Des Moines. The property owner claimed the levy was
unenforceable because the order was against CMP and the
building is leased by AKA and Escape Chambers.
filed a motion to clarify the enforceability of the levy,
arguing successor liability against AKA and Escape Chambers.
AKA and Escape Chambers filed a motion to intervene and a
resistance to Ha's motion, arguing they are distinct
entities from CMP and the judgment was entered against CMP
alone. After hearing argument and receiving affidavits the
district court allowed Ha to submit documentary evidence to
support her claim all three entities are related. Ha
submitted copies of three checks made out to her from
"AKA Tactical Laser Tag" dated February and March
2014. The court accepted the Intervenors' claim the
checks were not payroll checks because they did not reveal
withholding information. On April 10, 2017, the district
court entered an order prohibiting Ha from levying assets at
the property on Sixth Street. The court found Ha did not
demonstrate a connection between CMP, AKA, and Escape
Chambers at the time of her injury. The court found the
judgment entered against CMP does not extend to the property
on Sixth Street, AKA, or Escape Chambers. Ha appeals.