Justia Communications Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Iowa Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court affirming the decision of the O'Brien County Board of Supervisors determining that two newspapers under common ownership and published in the same city could not be combined for purposes of determining circulation because the publications were not offered for sale or delivered "in the same geographic area" under Iowa Code 349.6, holding that the district court did not err. The two newspapers at issue were the Sanborn Pioneer and the O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier, both owned by Marcus News, Inc. Marcus News and Iowa Information, Inc. both submitted applications to the Board requesting that their newspapers be selected as official county publications. The Board concluded that the two newspapers of Marcus News should not be considered as one newspaper and, as a result, did not select the publications as official newspapers for O'Brien County. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court also affirmed, holding that the district court correctly concluded that the two publications should not be combined and considered as one publication in the same geographic area. View "Marcus News, Inc. v. O’Brien County Board of Supervisors" on Justia Law

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Defendant Bryan Jones secretly recorded Brenda Papillon’s conversations with other people outside his presence. Papillon sued Jones under the Interception of Communications Act, Iowa Code chapter 808B, which prohibits “willfully intercept[ing]…a[n] oral communication” without permission of one of the parties. At a bench trial, Papillon offered the recordings and transcripts into evidence. Jones objected based on section 808B.7, but the district court allowed Papillon to use the recordings. The court subsequently found Jones liable under the Act and awarded actual damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees. The court of appeals reversed the award of punitive damages because the district court did not find Defendant was aware of the requirements of chapter 808B, and otherwise affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part, holding (1) to recover punitive damages, the plaintiff must prove the defendant knew he was violating chapter 808B; but (2) the evidence in this case supported a finding that Defendant knew he was violating the statute. Remanded. View "Papillon v. Jones" on Justia Law