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Iowa Supreme Court Could Reconsider Case


A former student in the New London school district says she won’t give up her court fight against the southeast Iowa district.

The student filed a sexual abuse lawsuit, but in a 4-3 ruling, the state Supreme Court said she failed to do so before the statute of limitations expired.

Attorney Roxanne Conlin has asked the court to reconsider the case on behalf of her client, who’s identified only as Jane Doe.

Doe says a former teacher and coach started abusing her when she was 14-years old.

The justices did not consider her a child when the abuse began, because she was not age 13 or younger, so she had less time to file the lawsuit.

Conlin says the court should not have used the criminal definition of a child.  Instead, it should use the definition common to most child services, 17 or younger.

Conlin says a new hearing would allow the justices to reverse the error.

The court can grant a new hearing for several reasons, including correcting a misstatement or reversing a decision, or it can say nothing and allow its original order to dismiss the case to stand.