Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Tristate Adjustments, Inc v. Firman

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 19, 2018

TRISTATE ADJUSTMENTS, INC., Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JANISE E. FIRMAN, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Chickasaw County, Stephanie C. Rattenborg, District Associate Judge.

         Upon discretionary review, defendant Janise Firman challenges the small claims judgment entered against her based on Iowa Code section § 597.14 (2017). REVERSED AND REMANDED FOR DISMISSAL.

          Judith O'Donohoe of Elwood, O'Donohoe, Braun, White, LLP, Charles City, for appellant.

          Phillip James Addis of Addis Law, LLC, La Crosse, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., McDonald, J., and Blane, S.J. [*]

          BLANE, SENIOR JUDGE

         This case is before us on discretionary review from a small claims judgment entered against both Dirk Firman and Janise Firman. Defendant Janise Firman challenges the entry of judgment against her.[1] Because we find the evidence was not sufficient to establish Janise was married to Dirk at the time he incurred a reasonable and necessary medical expense, we reverse the judgment and remand for dismissal of the action against Janise. Since we decide this appeal on the first issue, we find it unnecessary to address the other issues raised by Janise.

         I. Factual and procedural background.

         On June 19, 2013, Dirk received medical care at Waverly Health Center in Waverly, Iowa, for which he incurred medical expenses. After partial payment by a medical insurance carrier, there remained three separate statements for unpaid medical expenses in the total amount of $2808. After unsuccessful attempts to recover this amount, Waverly Health Center assigned the account for collection to Tristate Adjustments, Inc. (Tristate).

         On April 12, 2017, Tristate filed a petition in small claims against Dirk and Janise for money judgment in the amount of $2808 based on "Past due account with: Waverly Health Center."[2] Both Dirk and Janise filed small claims "Appearance and Answer" forms with the line checked, "The claim is denied." Janise also filed a motion to dismiss on the basis that she was not named on any of the Waverly Health Center bills and did not have any business relations with Waverly Health Center.[3]

         The small claim trial was held on September 28, 2017, before the magistrate. The parties were represented by counsel. Tristate presented its evidence through its representative, Patricia Thompson. Her testimony at the trial regarding whether Dirk and Janise were married on June 19, 2013, when Dirk received the medical services at Waverly Health Center was as follows:

Q. And it's your position that Dirk and Janise were married at the time these charges were incurred?
A. Yes.
Q. Is it your position that the spouse is responsible for the care given the other spouse?
A. Right, correct.
On cross-examination, Thompson testified: ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.