IN THE MATTER OF THE TERESA KASPARBAUER REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST, MARIE EISCHEID, MARGUERITE NIELSEN, TERESA SMITH, ANNETTE FIRKUS, KATHLEEN KASPARBAUER, and MARY SMITH, Defendants-Appellants.
from the Iowa District Court for Carroll County, Gary L.
defendants appeal from the district court's grant of
partial summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.
Scott Rhinehart of Rhinehart Law, PC, Sioux City, for
R. VanDyke of Law Office of James R. VanDyke, PC, Carroll,
and Aaron W. Ahrendsen of Eich, Werden & Steger, PC,
Carroll, for appellees.
by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.
named appellants are siblings and beneficiaries of their
deceased mother's trust-the Teresa Kasparbauer Revocable
Living Trust. In a previous action, three of Teresa
Kasparbauer's grandchildren-the children of a seventh
sibling, Shirley Kerber-sued the six siblings for a 1/7 share
of the trust. The district court awarded them the share, and
we affirmed. See Kerber v. Eischeid, No. 15-1249,
2016 WL 1696929, at *10 (Iowa Ct. App. Apr. 27, 2016).
supreme court denied the siblings' request for further
review, and procedendo issued. The grandchildren then filed a
second action in district court, asking the court to take
jurisdiction of the trust, remove siblings Marie and
Marguerite as trustee and successor trustee respectively,
order an accounting, and stay further distributions or
spending of trust assets (unless court approved). The
district court granted each of the requests when it granted
their motion for partial summary judgment. The trust and
siblings then filed this appeal.
the trust and siblings argue: (1) the trust's due process
rights were violated because the trust was not a named party
and did not have notice of the first action, (2) the statute
of limitations in Iowa Code section 633A.3108 (2017) prevents
the grandchildren from bringing the second action, (3) the
district court violated the constitutional rights of the
trust when it granted the grandchildren's motion for
partial summary judgment, and (4) the doctrine of collateral
estoppel and res judicata prevents the grandchildren from
raising claims against the trust that they initially raised
against the siblings in the first action.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
grandchildren filed the action at issue in this appeal in
February 2017. They advised the court they had been declared
1/7 beneficiaries of the Teresa Karparbauer Trust and asked
the court to invoke jurisdiction over the trust pursuant to
Iowa Code section 633A.6101(1); to order a full accounting of
the trust, to require Marie and Marguerite to reimburse the
trust all of the assets they spent themselves-including the
more than $100, 000 in legal fees paid for the first action;
to remove Marie and Marguerite as trustee and successor
trustee; and to compel distribution and resolution of the
trust, which, by its terms, was meant to be distributed
within two years from the date of Teresa's death.
siblings and trust responded by filing a motion to dismiss
the petition. They asserted that the grandchildren's
claims were barred by the statute of limitations in sections
633A.3108 and .3109. They also maintained that collateral
estoppel and res judicata barred the grandchildrens'
claims, as they "have previously attempted to establish
their rights to damages against Marie Eischeid and Marguerite
Nielson but failed to prove damages at trial."
court set a hearing on the motion to dismiss, and the
grandchildren resisted the motion. They argued that they were
not challenging the validity of the trust but rather the
internal affairs of the trust; they maintained their petition
the hearing,  the district court denied the trust and
siblings' motion to dismiss.
siblings and trust then filed a motion for summary judgment,
making substantially the same arguments as ...