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Council Bluffs Law Blog

Preparing for Potential Disputes with Tenants

Landlords who rent property will inevitably encounter a dispute with a tenant. Common disagreements arise over the return of security deposits, assessment of late fees on monthly rent, and damage to the rental property. Regardless of the issue, landlords must take a proactive approach both before and after the tenants occupy the rental premises in case a dispute escalates to litigation.

Ruesch's Involvement with the Alzheimer's Association

Jack E. Ruesch has been appointed to the State Leadership Council of the Greater Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. The Alzheimer's Association provides services, education and support to people living with Alzheimer's Disease as well as their family members and caregivers who are also affected by their loved ones' diagnosis. The Greater Iowa Chapter serves those affected by providing these services in 85 Iowa and Illinois counties.

Tax Season and the Dependency Exemption

In a divorce where there are children involved, the allocation of the annual dependency exemption for tax purposes is always discussed. The IRS has taken the position that the allocation of the exemption should go to the spouse that has custody of the child(ren). The court can, however, reallocate the exemption in a divorce proceeding. Based on the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1997 the exemption now also has other "rights" of use attached to it which include, but are not limited to, the right to use the Hope Scholarship and the Lifetime Learning Credit. The Hope Scholarship provides that anyone who pays college tuition for a dependent can claim a credit for a percentage of the tuition for a student attending school at least half time and is good for a specific number of years of tuition for the student. The Lifetime Learning Credit kicks in after you have used up the Hope Scholarship and is also a credit toward tuition. The dependency exemption, therefore, carries more to it than just the exemption itself.


If you have suffered an on-the-job injury, you clearly have a right to pursue workers' compensation benefits. However, if your injury was caused by a third party as opposed to a co-worker or your employer, you may also have the right to file a civil lawsuit to receive compensation in addition to any workers' compensation benefits you may receive.


The Alzheimer's Association recently launched a major new consumer awareness campaign around cognitive decline and risk reduction. The Association has identified 10 Ways to encourage lifestyle changes that may improve brain and body health and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. The campaign has drawn attention from major media outlets. You can learn more about Alzheimer's disease and learn about the 10 Ways at These 10 Ways to love your brain would make a good New Year's Resolution for all of us.


Communication after a divorce, for the sake of the minor child(ren), is essential. Particularly, the way that communication is handled, creates the framework for co-parenting success or failure. The parental role, and how each party relates to one another, should focus not on the adults but the best interest of the child(ren). Each parent may have different views of parenting but respect becomes a paramount issue. All areas of concern relative to the child(ren) are crucial but a few come up more frequently than others:

Landlords Beware of the Companion Animal

Generally, landlords have the authority to prohibit tenants from bringing a pet onto the rental premises. Conversely, landlords may utilize a lease provision which requires a tenant to pay a pet security deposit as well as a monthly fee to keep the pet in the rental unit. However, a situation may arise where a tenant requests to live with a companion animal as part of a treatment plan for a mental or emotional disability.


We posted a blog on July 23, 2015, concerning Alzheimer's disease and legal capacity. As we noted there, an early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease means that a person may still have the capacity to make necessary financial decisions and to plan for the future. Here are the ten early signs of Alzheimer's disease from the Alzheimer's Association:

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Telpner, Peterson, Smith, Ruesch, Thomas & Simpson, LLP
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Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Toll Free: 800-726-5695
Toll Free: 800-726-5695
Phone: 712-309-3738
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