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.

Dvorak v. Oak Grove Cattle, L.L.C.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 7, 2019

LEE and RITA DVORAK, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
OAK GROVE CATTLE, L.L.C., Defendant-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mitchell County, DeDra L. Schroeder, Judge.

         Plaintiffs appeal the district court decision granting summary judgment to defendant based on the statute of limitations.

          Jeremy L. Thompson of Putnam & Thompson Law Office, P.L.L.C., Decorah, for appellants.

          David L. Riley of Swisher & Cohrt, P.L.C., Waterloo, for appellee.

          Considered by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J., and Vogel, S.J. [*]

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         Lee and Rita Dvorak (Dvoraks) appeal the district court decision granting summary judgment to Oak Grove Cattle, L.L.C. (Oak Grove), based on the statute of limitations. We conclude the district court improperly granted summary judgment to Oak Grove on the ground the Dvoraks' action was barred by the statute of limitations. Oak Grove did not meet its burden to show the case involved a permanent nuisance, rather than a continuing nuisance. We reverse the decision of the district court and remand for further proceedings.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         The Dvoraks own property in rural Mitchell County. Beginning in 2006, Oak Grove has operated a cattle lot immediately adjacent to the Dvoraks' property.[1]The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) investigated Oak Grove in 2009 due to manure run-off from the cattle lot and required that Oak Grove take remedial action. Oak Grove was investigated again by DNR in 2013 based on manure run-off.

         On December 19, 2016, the Dvoraks filed an action against Oak Grove, claiming "from approximately 2009 to the present there have been multiple occasions when manure from [Oak Grove's] cattle lot has entered upon, and traversed over, [the Dvoraks'] property." The Dvoraks raised claims of negligence, trespass, and nuisance. They sought damages for loss of value to their property, loss of use and enjoyment of their property, and emotional and mental pain and suffering.

         Oak Grove claimed the Dvoraks' action was barred by the five-year statute of limitations found in Iowa Code section 614.1(4) (2016).[2] Oak Grove also raised a counterclaim for defamation, alleging the Dvoraks made false statements about the cattle lot and published them to third parties.

         Oak Grove filed a motion seeking summary judgment on the ground the Dvoraks' claims were barred by the statute of limitations. The Dvoraks resisted the motion, stating each successive incursion of manure onto their property constituted a separate action so the statute of limitations would not bar an action for Oak Grove's conduct within the limitations period. They also claimed the discovery rule should apply.

         The district court stated, "If injuries from a nuisance are claimed to be of permanent character and go to the valuation of real estate, the Plaintiffs can have only one recovery. If injuries from a nuisance are intermittent, a property owner can bring successive actions to recover damages for each intermittent injury." The court found the Dvoraks were "making a claim for permanent injury rather than temporary injury." The court stated the problems and hazards associated with a confined animal facility were ongoing and permanent, rather than temporary. The court determined the statute of limitations began to run in 2006 and the Dvoraks' action, filed in 2016, was barred by the five-year statute of limitations. The Dvoraks now appeal.

         II. ...


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.