Iowa Supreme Court Dismisses Hoover Litigation


LH Staff

Art by Estie Dillard.

Mira Bohannan Kumar, Executive and Copy Editor

According to a statement from Kristin Pedersen, the director of community relations for the ICCSD, the Iowa Supreme Court has ruled against plaintiffs who litigated against the ICCSD after the school district refused to put the demolition of the former Hoover Elementary building on the ballot in 2017.

The plaintiffs sued the district after they had presented a petition with over 2000 signatures to the school board. The district stated that under Iowa law, school boards have an exclusive power to determine locations of school buildings.

The definition of the word “disposition” was a crucial part of the case, as the plaintiffs claimed that the term “disposition” under Iowa Code gave voters the right to determine use of land in the school district. However, the Court disagreed.

“We conclude the term ‘other dispositions’ is ambiguous,” the Court’s opinion read. In conclusion, it said, “the demolition of a school building is not a disposition under Iowa Code section 278.1(1)(b) and that the school district properly determined that because the ballot measure was not ‘authorized by law,’ it was under no legal obligation to require the county auditor to place the matter on the ballot.”

It ruled that voters cannot control the use of property that belongs to the school district.