from the Iowa District Court for Wayne County, Dustria A.
appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment in
favor of the defendants-appellees.
L. Leitner of Leitner Law Office, West Des Moines, for
W. Norris, Corydon, for appellees.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., Doyle, J., and Blane, S.J.
Jim Jamison d/b/a J & S Ag Services (Jamison) appeals
from the district court's grant of defendants Darrell and
Wendy Coddington's motion for summary
judgment. After our review of the record in this
case, we find the district court properly found no dispute of
material fact, correctly applied the law, and did not err in
granting the Coddingtons' motion for summary judgment.
Factual and procedural background.
April 2016, Jamison filed a petition against Coddington
alleging that in 2014 Coddington entered into an oral
contract with him for the purchase of soybean seed and for
Jamison to custom spray a chemical application to the crop,
including purchase of the applied chemicals, but that
Coddington then failed to pay. Coddington filed an answer
denying Jamison's claims, asserting affirmative defenses
as well as a counterclaim for abuse of process. Jamison and
Coddington were deposed and written discovery exchanged. On
February 20, 2017, the trial court granted Jamison's
motion to amend the petition to add Darrell's spouse,
Wendy, as an additional defendant, alleging she was an equal
owner of the farming operation and also liable to Jamison.
Wendy filed her answer denying Jamison's claims.
August 7, the Coddingtons filed their motion for summary
judgment with an attached statement of undisputed facts
supported by the depositions and Coddington's affidavit.
Jamison filed a resistance with an attached statement of
facts alleged to be in dispute, relying solely on his and
Coddington's depositions. He did not submit an affidavit
with his resistance.
a hearing on September 5, based upon the depositions and
Coddington's affidavit, the trial court found the
following undisputed facts: Jamison is in the business of
selling seed to farmers as well as selling chemicals and
applying them to farmland. In the spring of 2014, Coddington
entered into an agreement with John Trihus (Trihus) for
Trihus to custom farm that growing season certain land owned
by Coddington near Lineville, Iowa. Trihus was to provide all
crop inputs and all labor and equipment to plant and tend the
then discussed with Jamison the need for soybean seed,
advising Jamison he was planting 1200 acres. Jamison ordered
1300 units of soybean seed. Trihus and Coddington at various
times picked up a total of 800 units of soybean seed from
Jamison's storage facility during the planting season, at
$60 per unit, for a total cost of $48, 000.00. Trihus also
arranged for Jamison to spray the soybean crop Trihus was
custom farming on Coddington's land. The 2014 soybean
crop was harvested that fall. In October, Coddington settled
up with Trihus for the cost of the crop inputs Trihus had
arranged to purchase from Jamison.
of the Coddingtons signed any written agreement, invoice, or
other document to support what Jamison claims was their
purchase of crop inputs from him. Jamison did not provide the
Coddingtons any receipts, delivery tickets, or invoices. He
did not discuss with either of the Coddingtons the purchase
of seed, the cost of $60 per bag of seed, or the act of
chemically spraying the farmland. In January 2015, Jamison
telephoned Coddington to demand payment for the soybean seed,
chemicals, and application. Wendy Coddington was neither an
operator of the land custom farmed by Trihus in 2014, nor did
she have any interaction with Jamison, Trihus, or any other
person regarding crop inputs and custom farming in 2014.
trial court then proceeded to address the two fact issues
that were disputed. The first was whether, during a
discussion on July 15, 2014, Coddington told Jamison to send
him an invoice for crop inputs. The court determined,
"Even though this allegation is in dispute, the court
finds whether or not Jamison and Coddington had this
conversation is not a material fact because the Statute of
Frauds applies to this matter and Jamison has produced no
writing to support the existence of a contract between the
parties." The court found that the seed and chemicals
were "goods" covered by Iowa Code section
554.2105(1) (2016)-part of Iowa's Uniform Commercial Code
(UCC)-and because the claimed contract exceeded $500, the
statute of frauds in section 554.2201(1) required it to be in
court then addressed Jamison's argument that the statute
of frauds requirement of a written contract did not apply
because Coddington received and accepted the seed and
chemicals. See Iowa Code § 554.2201(3)(c). The
court, citing Iowa Code section 554.2606, determined that
such acceptance had to be by the "buyer," as
defined in Iowa Code § 554.2103(1)(a). The court found:
In this case, there is no evidence in the record to support a
finding that Coddington was the buyer of Jamison's goods.
Coddington did not have any discussion with Jamison regarding
the purchase of the crop inputs, and there is no evidence of
mutual assent or agreement between the parties. Further,
Jamison clearly acknowledged in his deposition that ...