Iowa Supreme Court

Cricket Hollow Zoo owners avoid jail, say the case against them could ‘cripple’ Iowa agriculture

Iowa Capital Dispatch

Last September, the owners of Manchester’s Cricket Hollow Zoo were ordered by an Iowa judge to pay $70,000 or serve five months in jail for refusing to surrender the animals at their roadside attraction.

Four months later, zoo owners Pamela and Thomas Sellner have yet to pay anything toward that fine or serve any time in jail. The couple is taking their case to the Iowa Supreme Court and arguing that if a contempt-of-court ruling against them is allowed to stand, it could “cripple our agricultural sector.”

Anonymous millionaires funneling 'dark money' into push to re-write Iowa's non-partisan selection process for state Supreme Court nominees

A right-wing conservative Republican group funded by anonymous millionaires is funneling some of its "dark money" into the push to re-write Iowa's non-partisan selection method for the supreme court.

Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) in Washington, D.C. set up a web site at "fairjusticeforiowa.com" disparaging Iowa's current nomination process, long-heralded as the most non-partisan system for selection of new justices in the country.

Ironically, JCN's mission states the organization is ". . .dedicated to the rule of law; with a fair and impartial judiciary."

Read what Drake Law School professors/administrators think about the proposed overhaul of Iowa's judicial selection system.

Iowa Supreme Court ruling toughens open meetings law; staff acting as agents count toward quorum

A recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling is expected to toughen the state's open meetings law, finding a county administrator should be counted the same as an elected official in determining whether a majority of board members were present at private meetings since she was acting as an "agent" for other board members not in attendance.

Many public bodies – including the Bettendorf and Davenport City Councils – have in the past intentionally held less-than-majority meetings to circumvent the state's open meeting law and avoid 24-hour public notice and public inclusion in the sessions.

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