During Jan Mickelson’s (@amtalker) radio show this morning on 1040 WHO, I heard part of a story about two neighbors who had a dispute about a fence. The discussion involved Iowa Code Section 359A, which is a very old statute. Essentially, the statute sets forth the procedure under which a person can force his adjoining land neighbor to help pay for the costs of a fence between the two properties.
There are several policies furthered by this statute. The centuries-old proverb that “good fences make good neighbors” is an obvious reason, but for agricultural states it also helps clarify farmland boundaries and contain livestock.
This is where clarification is important: although the radio guest noted that this statute is intended for agricultural purposes, the statute technically does not have that limitation. The Iowa Supreme Court has held that:
So for the city-folk reading this note, you have the access to this statute as well.