from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Michael J.
Stapleton appeals the district court's ruling denying his
application for appellate attorney fees.
Charles E. Gribble and Christopher C. Stewart of Parrish
Kruidenier Dunn Boles Gribble Gentry Brown & Bergmann,
LLP, Des Moines, for appellant Stapleton.
W. Fern of Putnam, Fern & Thompson Law Office, PLLC,
Decorah, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.
VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Stapleton filed a race discrimination complaint with the
Dubuque Human Rights Commission, naming Simon Seeding &
Sod, Inc. as the violator. He prevailed and was awarded
attorney fees in connection with the administrative and
judicial review proceedings. The Iowa Supreme Court affirmed
the awards. See Simon Seeding & Sod, Inc. v. Dubuque
Human Rights Comm'n, 895 N.W.2d 446, 451 -55 (Iowa
2017). Stapleton did not ask the supreme court to grant
attorney fees in connection with that appeal, and the opinion
was silent on the issue.
the court filed its opinion but before procedendo issued,
Stapleton filed an affidavit in the district court requesting
$7065 in appellate attorney fees. Following issuance of
procedendo, the district court denied the fee application.
The court reasoned it lacked authority to make an award
absent an appellate remand to consider the issue. In
pertinent part, the court stated:
The Supreme Court did not remand the case to the District
Court with a direction to make a determination regarding
appellate attorney fees and impose a judgment for same. This
is reflected in both the decision and the procedendo. The
procedendo states that the appeal was concluded and directs
the District Court "to proceed in the manner required by
law and consistent with the opinion of the (appellate)
. . . .
In the present case, there was no remand or direction given
to the District Court. . . .
. . . .
The Court accepts the proposition that a party may be
entitled to appellate attorney fees in cases of this nature.
However, for the reasons stated above, the Court has no
authority to impose them at this stage of the proceedings.
Accordingly, Stapleton's application for attorney fees is
appeal, Stapleton contends "the district court erred in
failing to award appellate attorney fees after the Iowa
Supreme Court affirmed the underlying issues on all
counts." Stapleton concedes the supreme court
opinion "was silent on an award of appellate attorney
fees for that specific appeal." But, in his view, the
district court "retain[ed] jurisdiction to proceed as ...