GEORGE J. SALURI and CANDACE C. SALURI, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
JAY R. BUCKLEY and CATHY BUCKLEY, Defendants-Appellees.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D.
appeal the district court decision granting summary judgment
to defendants on the ground plaintiffs' claims are barred
by the statute of limitations.
Nicholas L. Shaull and Nathaniel D. Staudt of Spaulding &
Shaull, P.L.C., Des Moines, for appellants.
Mitchell R. Kunert of Nyemaster Goode, P.C., Des Moines, for
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Doyle, J., and Mahan, S.J.
and Candace Saluri appeal the district court decision
granting summary judgment to Jay and Cathy Buckley on the
ground the Saluris' claims of negligence, negligence per
se, temporary nuisance, permanent nuisance, and trespass are
barred by the statute of limitations. We find the district
court properly granted summary judgment to the Buckleys on
the ground the Saluris' claims are barred by the
five-year statute of limitations in Iowa Code section
614.1(4) (2017) for injuries to property. We affirm the
Background Facts & Proceedings
Saluris and Buckleys are adjacent property owners in Des
Moines. The Saluris' property is to the north of the
Buckleys' property. The Buckleys' property is at a
higher elevation than the Saluris' property, and the
Saluris have a retaining wall to the south, where their
property abuts the Buckleys' property. Due to the
difference in elevation, the Saluris' property is the
servient estate, as water runs downhill from the
Buckleys' property to the Saluris' property.
November 1997, the Saluris filed a civil action against the
Buckleys, claiming a garage on the Buckleys' property
increased the flow of water onto the Saluris' property
and caused damage to the retaining wall. On August 14, 1998,
the parties entered into a settlement in which the Saluris
signed a release of liability and received $3500. The Saluris
used the money to repair the retaining wall.
Buckleys constructed a home on their property in 2004. During
construction, the Buckleys placed a wall made of landscaping
timbers or railroad ties to the north. They backfilled dirt
behind the timbers. On February 15, 2005, Candace sent a
letter to the Buckleys, stating:
The recent spring thaw and rains have demonstrated that the
new house you have recently completed is going to drastically
effect the water run-off to our property. If you will recall,
in 1997 the addition of the outbuilding at your north
property line, immediately adjacent to our servient property,
caused considerable damage to our property. It was our hope
that when you began the construction of your new house, at
that same location, that the water run-off to our property
would be considered. Instead, you have directed the water
from your new home directly at our servient property. There
has already been damage caused by such water flow this
We are asking that you voluntarily take such neighborly
measures as to divert the water away from our property. We do
not wish to spend additional resources on repairs only to
have them washed away during the next rainfall.
We appreciate your prompt attention to remedy this situation
before more damage is ...