from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Mary Pat
appeals the district court ruling denying his petition to
vacate the court's decision denying his motion for a new
Sullins, West Des Moines, pro se appellant.
DeSmet, Assistant City Attorney, for appellee City of Des
Considered by Vogel, C.J., Mullins, J., and Scott, S.J.
Sullins appeals the district court ruling denying his
petition to vacate the court's decision denying his
motion for a new trial. We conclude Sullins did not assert
adequate grounds to grant his motion to vacate. We affirm the
decision of the district court.
Background Facts & Proceedings
rented a commercial space from Safari II, L.L.C., in Des
Moines. Safari brought a forcible-entry-and-detainer (FED)
action against Sullins for violating the terms of the lease.
At about the same time, the City of Des Moines cited Safari
for violating the city zoning code. In the FED action, the small
claims court determined Sullins should be removed from the
property. Sullins's request to intervene in the zoning
ordinance proceeding was denied. He appealed the matters to
the district associate court, which denied both appeals.
filed petitions for writ of certiorari in the two matters. He
claimed the magistrates and judges involved in the cases
acted illegally and irregularly. The district court
consolidated the cases and denied Sullins's claims.
Sullins filed a motion for new trial, which was denied by the
district court on May 1, 2016. Sullins appealed. We affirmed
the district court. Sullins, 2017 WL 5178987, at *6.
1, 2017, while Sullins's case was pending on appeal, he
filed a petition to vacate the district court's decision
denying his motion for new trial. He claimed the decision
should be vacated or modified based on Iowa Rule of Civil
Procedure 1.1012(2), which refers to "Irregularities or
fraud practiced in obtaining [a decision]." Although
Sullins raised several claims in the petition, at the hearing
on the petition after some discussion with the court, Sullins
clarified he was asserting there was not substantial evidence
to show he violated the ordinance and he was prevented from
presenting evidence concerning the ordinance violation at the
small claims hearing in the FED action.
City and Safari claimed (1) Sullins's motion to vacate
was not supported by an affidavit, as required by rule
1.1013(1); (2) the same issues were raised in the appeal of
the petitions for writ of certiorari; and (3) there were no
irregularities in the district court's decision denying
the motion for new trial.
hearing on the motion to vacate, the district court made a
ruling from the bench finding Sullins had not shown any
irregularity and denying the motion. The court also issued a
written ruling, stating:
The Court reviewed the pleadings, relevant rules of Civil
procedure and relevant case law and considered the parties
arguments made on the record and for all the reasons stated
on the record the court Finds the ...