ROBERT J. HEMMINGSEN and CHERYL R. HEMMINGSEN, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
ROBERT J. MINGS, JANI S. MINGS, and KATHLEEN L. MINGS, Defendants-Appellees.
from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County,
Jeffrey L. Larson, Judge.
Hemmingsens appeal the district court's grant of summary
judgment in favor of the Mings.
J. Hemmingsen and Cheryl R. Hemmingsen, Council Bluffs, pro
S. Sleister of Sleister Law, Fremont, Nebraska, for
Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Mullins, JJ.
decide whether the doctrine of claim preclusion bars the
Background Facts and Proceedings
and Cheryl Hemmingsen sued Robert, Jani, and Kathleen Mings
for damages allegedly arising from the flow of water and silt
residue toward the Hemmingsens' property. They claimed
the Mings "altered the natural system of drainage from
their domin[an]t estate in such a ma[nn]er as to
substantially increase the burden upon [their] servient
Mings moved for summary judgment. They asserted the present
lawsuit raised the same allegations as those contained in two
prior lawsuits and the action was barred by the doctrine of
district court granted the summary judgment motion. After
taking judicial notice of prior court files, the court
concluded the first lawsuit was "identical in alleging
the Mings interfered with the enjoyment of the
[Hemmingsens'] property." The court acknowledged a
"difference" in the second lawsuit's
"theory of recovery" but found the difference did
not entitle the Hemmingsens to "a second day in
court." The Hemmingsens appealed.
judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Iowa R. Civ.
P. 1.981(3); Bandstra v. Covenant Reformed Church,
913 N.W.2d 19, 36 (Iowa 2018).