Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County, Gary D. McKenrick and Mark D. Cleve, Judges.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Huitink, S.J.
Defendants appeal the district court's decisions that it would not consider their requests for restitution hearings. REVERSED AND REMANDED.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Tabor, J., and Huitink, S.J.*fn1
I. Background Facts & Proceedings.
Keith Gilleland and Larry Doty were each convicted of criminal offenses and ordered to pay restitution. The defendants filed petitions for a hearing on restitution, pursuant to Iowa Code section 910.7 (2009), more than thirty days after the entry of judgment in their respective criminal cases.*fn2 They are challenging their restitution plans.
The district court issued similar orders in response to the requests for a restitution hearing, as follows:
Under Section 910.7, Iowa Code (2009), a petition filed concerning an Order for Restitution or a supplemental Order for restitution must be filed within 30 days after entry of the challenged order. When it is initiated after 30 days, the suit is a civil suit in nature. Because the defendant's request here for a restitution hearing was filed more than 30 days after the entry of the supplemental restitution order, his request constitutes the commencement of a collateral civil action to which Chapter 610A, Iowa Code (2009), is applicable. Therefore, no further action can be taken on the defendant's application until he has complied with the requirements of Chapter 610A, Iowa Code (2009).
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the defendant's Request for Restitution Hearing filed [ ], shall remain unsubmitted pending compliance by the defendant with the requirements of Chapter 610A, Iowa Code (2009).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this matter shall be submitted in a civil action case file with a new case number assigned by the clerk of this Court. (Citations omitted.) The order also provided that the clerk would provide defendants with a copy of a supervisory order that had been issued by the Seventh Judicial District on November 30, 2006. The order concerned civil litigation by prisoners and was sent to the defendants.*fn3
The defendants appealed the district court decisions, and those appeals were consolidated for our review. On appeal, the Iowa Supreme Court, on its own motion, directed the State to file a statement explaining why the district court's order should not be summarily reversed. The State submitted a statement outlining its appellate arguments. The supreme court then determined the case was not appropriate for summary disposition, noting the legal issues involved in the appeal were complex. The court also appointed legal counsel for the defendants. The case was then transferred to the Iowa Court of Appeals for disposition.
In restitution matters, our review is for the correction of errors at law. State v. Klawonn, 688 N.W.2d 271, 274 (Iowa 2004). We determine whether there is substantial evidence to support the court's factual findings, and whether the court has properly applied the law. Id.
A. "Criminal restitution is a creature of statute." State v. Watson, 795 N.W.2d 94, 95 (Iowa Ct. App. 2011). At the time of sentencing, or a later time, "the court shall set out the amount of restitution including the amount of public service to be performed as restitution and the persons to whom restitution must be paid." Iowa Code § 910.3. The restitution orders are known as the plan of restitution. Id. A restitution plan of payment is also prepared, which takes into consideration the offender's ...