Janice M. Thomas

Partner Janice M. Thomas obtained an unanimous decision affirming summary judgment in her appeal Save our Stadiums v. Des Moines Independent School District. The Iowa Supreme Court upheld the district court’s summary judgment dismissing Save Our Stadium’s claims challenging the Des Moines Independent Community School District’s refusal to grant their petition for a public referendum on the funding for an athletic stadium.

The plaintiffs, Save Our Stadiums, et. al. opposed the use of SAVE Funds for the construction of a shared athletic stadium on Drake University’s campus for the school districts’ four high schools. Save Our Stadium attempted to require a public referendum be held on the plan. Upon receipt of the petition, the school district determined the petition lacked the minimum number of signatures to trigger a public referendum. Save Our Stadium filed a petition for declaratory judgment seeking an adjudication that the petition had the required number of signatures to trigger a public referendum and that the district violated their due process rights. The district court granted the school district’s motion for summary judgment ruling the district correctly refused to accept the petition as the required number of signatures were not obtained to trigger a special election. In addition, the due process claim failed. The Iowa Supreme Court affirmed the decision.