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APPEAL GRANTED: Iowa Juvenile Home Lawsuit

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The Iowa Juvenile Home's fate will now be decided by the Iowa Supreme Court.

Friday the court agreed to hear Gov. Terry Branstad's appeal. It comes after a district court judge ordered the home be re-opened.

The governor closed the facility in mid-January following allegations girls were being put held in isolation for long periods of time.

In a statement the governor says, “Since learning about the situation at the Juvenile Home, my utmost concern has been the health, safety and education of the children. We believe the children are now being well-served in licensed and accredited facilities where they are receiving the quality treatment and education they deserve.”

Sen. Jack Hatch, who is among those that filed the lawsuit, responded to the news saying “It will finally be determined if the Governor overstepped his constitutional authority to close down any institution not just the Iowa Juvenile Home, but if he has the authority to close any institution after the legislature approved it appropriated the money and he signed it.”

Hatch says he is focusing on legislation that would create a new facility to replace the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo. Just this week a Senate committee approved the bill to move forward.


  • William Denison

    Why was Terry son Eric never put in a reform school?

    Jun. 7, 1993 7:59 PM ET
    DES MOINES, IOWA DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Gov. Terry Branstad’s eldest son was expected to be charged with illegal possession of alcohol after a crash that damaged a Jeep registered to the governor, an aide said Monday.

    Eric Branstad, 17, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was at a juvenile detention center Monday and would be held for 24 hours, the governor’s spokesman, Richard Vohs, said. Police told the governor his son would be charged, Vohs said.

    ”The governor feels this is very serious,” he said. ”Eric has some serious problems and the family is going to deal with that.”

    Eric Branstad was convicted of public intoxication last year after he was picked up at an after-school party. In January he pleaded guilty to using a fake identification card to try to buy beer.

    In 1991, he was the driver of a car involved in a crash in which two people were killed. He was ticketed for improper lane usage and fined $15.

    In the latest accident, on Sunday, police said 15-year-old Anne Reichardt of Clive was driving the Jeep when it went out of control on a curve and hit a utility pole. She was charged with driving without a license and leaving the scene of an accident.

    Sixteen unopened cans of beer were found at the accident scene, although the Jeep was gone when officers arrived, said West Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Barrows. Witnesses told police the beer came from the Jeep, Barrows said.

    Police said Branstad and one or two other people were in the Jeep. The occupants received minor bumps and scrapes, they said.

    Barrows said the case would be referred to juvenile court for a determination on possible charges.

    The Republican governor is serving his third term. He has two other children.

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