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No Boundry, LLC v. Hoosman

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 9, 2020

NO BOUNDRY, LLC, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CORNELL HOOSMAN, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Andrea Dryer, Judge.

         Cornell Hoosman appeals the denial of his motion to set aside default judgment.

          Todd Schmidt of Iowa Legal Aid, Dubuque, Nathan Peters of Iowa Legal Aid, Waterloo, and Alexander Vincent Kornya of Iowa Legal Aid, Des Moines, for appellant.

          Charles P. Augustine of Klatt, Augustine, Treinen & Rastede, P.C., Waterloo, for appellee.

          Heard by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.

          MAY, Judge.

         Cornell Hoosman appeals from the district court's denial of his motion to set aside a default judgment. We affirm.

         I. Facts and Prior Proceedings

         Hoosman owned the property described as the west thirty feet of lot eleven in Shilliam's Second Subdivision, Waterloo, Black Hawk County, Iowa. But Hoosman failed to pay the property taxes. In 2016, an entity named Wago 131 purchased the property at a public sale. In 2018, Wago 131 assigned the certificate of sale, its rights, and deed to the property to No Boundry, LLC.

         On January 14, 2019, No Boundry commenced this action to recover the property from Hoosman pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 646 (2019). Hoosman was served two days later. On February 6, No Boundry mailed Hoosman its Notice of Intent to File Written Application for Default Judgment. But he never filed an answer or counterclaim.

         No Boundry then filed its application for default judgment. The court entered default judgment and issued a Writ of Removal and Possession.

         Twenty-one days later, Hoosman filed a motion to set aside the default judgment and stay the writ.[1] Hoosman claimed he was legally disabled. Therefore, he claimed, his right of redemption under Iowa Code section 447.7(2) remains for one year following removal of his disability. Moreover, he contended, Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 1.211 prohibited entry of judgment against him because he was "a party . . . adjudged incompetent." As support, Hoosman submitted a competency evaluation from May 2013. The competency evaluator, a licensed psychologist, opined Hoosman was not competent to stand trial in two criminal cases.

         But nothing in the record shows that any court has ever found Hoosman incompetent. And nothing in the record shows Hoosman was impaired in 2019, when he was served with process but failed to timely respond.

         Hoosman's motion came before the district court in an unrecorded hearing. The court denied Hoosman's motion. This appeal followed.

         II. ...


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