Toomer v. Iowa Dept. of Job Service, No. 68866

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtMcGIVERIN; All justices concur except for SCHULTZ; SCHULTZ
Citation340 N.W.2d 594
Docket NumberNo. 68866
Decision Date23 November 1983
PartiesOpal TOOMER, et al., Appellants, v. IOWA DEPARTMENT OF JOB SERVICE and Colleen Shearer, in her official capacity as Director, Appellees.

Page 594

340 N.W.2d 594
Opal TOOMER, et al., Appellants,
v.
IOWA DEPARTMENT OF JOB SERVICE and Colleen Shearer, in her official capacity as Director, Appellees.
No. 68866.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
Nov. 23, 1983.

Page 595

Lois Cox of Legal Services Corporation of Iowa, Iowa City, and Diane Dornburg of Legal Aid Society of Polk County, Des Moines, for appellants.

Walter F. Maley, Blair H. Dewey and Edmund Schlak, Jr., Des Moines, for appellees.

Considered by McGIVERIN, P.J., and LARSON, SCHULTZ, CARTER, and WOLLE, JJ.

Page 596

McGIVERIN, Justice.

This appeal revolves around plaintiffs' underlying claim that the circulation of two internal staff memoranda within the defendant agency, Iowa Department of Job Service, were "rules" that should be declared invalid for failure of the agency to comply with the "rulemaking procedures" of the Iowa Administrative Procedure Act, Iowa Code chapter 17A. We affirm the district court's sustention of defendant agency's motion for summary judgment and the dismissal by the court of appeals of plaintiffs' appeal therefrom. We do so without commenting on the merit of plaintiffs' claim, because we consider it to be moot based on our conclusions that no ultimate remedy exists for two of the plaintiffs and the remaining eight plaintiffs have, subsequent to the commencement of this action, obtained complete redress from the application of the alleged invalid rule in their individual contested cases.

Plaintiffs Opal P. Toomer, Karen K. Stangl, Robert Jones, William Aldrich, Arnt Froshaug, Patricia O'Grady and Terry O. Knockel commenced the action presently before us by filing a petition in equity, seeking injunctive and declaratory relief, on September 12, 1979. Plaintiffs Jo A. Reese, William C. Jacobs and Edward R. Levy were joined by an "amendment to petition," pursuant to Iowa R.Civ.P. 88, filed on September 24, 1979.

Plaintiffs claimed that each had been harmed by the agency's utilization of an alleged "rule," as defined in Iowa Code section 17A.2(7), in determining their individual claims for unemployment insurance benefits, that the alleged "rule" had not been enacted in compliance with agency rulemaking procedures required by Iowa Code chapter 17A (1979), specifically sections 17A.3-.4, and, therefore, the alleged "rule" should be declared "invalid and of no effect."

Plaintiffs contend that their claim is based upon an independent challenge to the defendant agency's alleged improper rulemaking. They concede that their appeal does not involve any issue of judicial review of their respective Job Service contested case hearings.

The alleged "rule" in question involved the defendant agency's retroactive utilization of newly legislated standards for determining unemployment insurance benefits set forth in 1979 Iowa Acts ch. 33 (S.F. 373). As relevant here, the statute dealt with the time when a claimant, who was discharged for misconduct or voluntarily quit his job, would become eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. These new standards became effective on July 1, 1979. 1979 Iowa Acts ch. 33, § 35. In response to the enactment of S.F. 373, defendant agency circulated an inter-office memorandum to "All Hearing Officers" on June 8, 1979, which, in substance, notified the hearing officers of the enactment of S.F. 373 and expressed the opinion of the agency's General Counsel that the hearing officers were to apply "the law in force at the time of review" in accordance with Needham Packing Co. v. Iowa Employment Security Commission, 255 Iowa 437, 441, 123 N.W.2d 1, 3 (1963) (amendment of Iowa Code ch. 96, Employment Security, was to be given retrospective effect).

A second inter-office memorandum was sent to Colleen Shearer, Director of the Department of Job Service, on August 2, 1979. This second memorandum explained, in detail, the legal precedent for applying S.F. 373 on a retroactive basis.

Thus, the newly enacted provisions of S.F. 373 were relied upon by the agency and its hearing officers in determining plaintiffs' unemployment insurance benefits even though each of their claims arose prior to July 1, 1979.

Eight of the ten plaintiffs filed timely appeals of the adverse decisions received in their contested cases in accordance with Iowa Code sections 96.6(3)-(6), (8) (1979). Concurrent to plaintiffs' appeals of their contested cases, we found the retroactive application of S.F. 373 to be invalid. Cook v. Iowa Department of Job Service, 299 N.W.2d 698 (Iowa 1980). Thereafter, and subsequent to the commencement of the claim presently before us on appeal, each of

Page 597

the eight appeals was ultimately decided in accord with Cook, and in favor of the claimant. Therefore, each of the eight plaintiffs that pursued intra-agency appeal and judicial review therefrom have received complete redress from the agency's application of the alleged "rule" in their individual contested cases.

Plaintiffs Opal P. Toomer and Terry O. Knockel did not timely...

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27 practice notes
  • Stillians v. State of Iowa, No. 87-1321
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • March 30, 1988
    ...her case. Further, under Iowa law, administrative determinations are entitled to preclusive effect, Toomer v. Iowa Dep't. of Job Service, 340 N.W.2d 594, 598 (Iowa 1983). An earlier Iowa case set forth the requirements for issue (1) the issue concluded must be identical; (2) the issue must ......
  • Elview Const. Co., Inc. v. North Scott Community School Dist., No. 84-1776
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • August 21, 1985
    ...a judgment, if rendered, would have no practical legal effect upon the existing controversy. Toomer v. Iowa Department of Job Service, 340 N.W.2d 594, 598 (Iowa III. Remedies on the contracts. Plaintiffs' main contention is that the seven contracts for the school addition, which did not rec......
  • Yancy v. McDevitt, No. 85-2365
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • October 2, 1986
    ...a court." City of Des Moines v. Iowa Civil Rights Commission, 343 N.W.2d 836, 839 (Iowa 1984); Toomer v. Iowa Department of Job Service, 340 N.W.2d 594, 598 (Iowa 1983). The Supreme Court recently underscored the strength of this rule. In University of Tennessee v. Elliott, --- U.S. ----, 1......
  • Kjos, Matter of, No. 68933
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 14, 1984
    ...(Iowa 1972). Job service decisions were given preclusive effect in a subsequent court action in Toomer v. Iowa Department of Job Service, 340 N.W.2d 594, 598 (Iowa Applicability of res judicata principles either of issue or claim preclusion to agency determinations is, however, not without ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
27 cases
  • Stillians v. State of Iowa, No. 87-1321
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • March 30, 1988
    ...her case. Further, under Iowa law, administrative determinations are entitled to preclusive effect, Toomer v. Iowa Dep't. of Job Service, 340 N.W.2d 594, 598 (Iowa 1983). An earlier Iowa case set forth the requirements for issue (1) the issue concluded must be identical; (2) the issue must ......
  • Elview Const. Co., Inc. v. North Scott Community School Dist., No. 84-1776
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • August 21, 1985
    ...a judgment, if rendered, would have no practical legal effect upon the existing controversy. Toomer v. Iowa Department of Job Service, 340 N.W.2d 594, 598 (Iowa III. Remedies on the contracts. Plaintiffs' main contention is that the seven contracts for the school addition, which did not rec......
  • Yancy v. McDevitt, No. 85-2365
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • October 2, 1986
    ...a court." City of Des Moines v. Iowa Civil Rights Commission, 343 N.W.2d 836, 839 (Iowa 1984); Toomer v. Iowa Department of Job Service, 340 N.W.2d 594, 598 (Iowa 1983). The Supreme Court recently underscored the strength of this rule. In University of Tennessee v. Elliott, --- U.S. ----, 1......
  • Kjos, Matter of, No. 68933
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 14, 1984
    ...(Iowa 1972). Job service decisions were given preclusive effect in a subsequent court action in Toomer v. Iowa Department of Job Service, 340 N.W.2d 594, 598 (Iowa Applicability of res judicata principles either of issue or claim preclusion to agency determinations is, however, not without ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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