from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, William P.
appeals from the district court's grant of summary
judgment in an action brought pursuant to the Iowa Open
Meetings Act. AFFIRMED.
Dickey of Dickey & Campbell Law Firm, PLC, Des Moines,
Richard J. Sapp and Leslie C. Behaunek of Nyemaster Goode,
P.C., Des Moines, for appellees Bruce Rastetter, Katie
Mulholland, and Mary Andringa.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and George A. Carroll, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellees Milt Dakovich, Larry
McKibben, and Board of Regents of the State of Iowa.
T. Webber and Maria E. Brownell of Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.,
Des Moines, for amici curiae Iowa Association of Municipal
Utilities, Iowa League of Cities, Iowa State Association of
Counties, and Iowa Association of School Boards.
R. Ostergren of Iowa County Attorneys Association, Muscatine,
for amicus curiae Iowa County Attorneys Association.
by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.
an appeal in an action initiated pursuant to the Iowa Open
Meetings Act ("IOMA"), Iowa Code Chapter 21 (2015).
The plaintiff, Gerhild Krapf, alleged the Iowa Board of
Regents and five of its members violated IOMA on July 30,
2015, when five of the regents had separate but serial
contact with Bruce Harreld regarding the vacancy for the
position of President of the University of Iowa. Krapf
alleged these separate but serial meetings constituted a
single "meeting" within the meaning of IOMA.
See Iowa Code § 21.2(2) (defining meeting). She
alleged the "meeting" violated IOMA because it was
held without notice, was not conducted in open session, and
was held without minutes being taken. The district court
granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, and
Krapf timely filed this appeal.
summary judgment record reflects the following. At the time
of the alleged meeting, Harreld was not a candidate for the
position of university president, but he was interested in
meeting with some of the regents to obtain more information
regarding the position to determine whether he would be a
good fit for the position. Board president Bruce Rastetter
arranged for Harreld to meet with some of the regents. On
July 30, Rastetter picked up Harreld from the airport and
drove him to Rastetter's place of business in Ames.
Rastetter left, and Harreld met with regents Mary Andringa
and Larry McKibben. Immediately after the meeting with
Andringa and McKibben, Harreld met with regents Katie
Mulholland and Milt Dakovich. In the meetings, the regents
provided Harreld with information regarding the position and
the university, and Harreld provided information regarding
himself. Eventually, Harreld submitted an application for the
position. A twenty-one person search committee selected four
finalists to present to the board. Harreld was one of the
finalists. The board held open interview sessions with each
of the finalists and ultimately selected Harreld to serve as
President of the University of Iowa.
judgment is proper when there is no genuine issue of material
fact and "the moving party is entitled to a judgment as
a matter of law." Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.981(3). Accordingly,
appellate review is "limited to whether a genuine issue
of material fact exists and whether the district court
correctly applied the law." Linn v. Montgomery,
903 N.W.2d 337, 342 (Iowa 2017) (quoting Pillsbury Co. v.
Wells Dairy, Inc., 752 N.W.2d 430, 434 (Iowa 2008)).
Additionally, "[a]ctions to enforce [IOMA] are ordinary
actions at law. Our review of such actions is for correction
of errors at law." Dooley v. Johnson Cty. Bd. of
Supervisors, No. 08-0195, 2008 WL 5234382, at *2 (Iowa
Ct. App. Dec. 17, 2008) (citations omitted). As the party
seeking to enforce IOMA, Krapf bears the burden of proving
IOMA applies to the identified group of individuals and
gathering. See Iowa Code § 21.6(2).
defines "meeting" as follows:
"Meeting" means a gathering in person or by
electronic means, formal or informal, of a majority of the
members of a governmental body where there is deliberation or
action upon any matter within the scope of the governmental
body's policy-making duties. Meetings shall not include a
gathering of members of a governmental body for purely
ministerial or social purposes when ...