Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Karen A. Romano, Judge.
A defendant appeals a criminal restitution order in three cases, contending the district court erroneously included amounts that were not part of a pre-discharge court-ordered restitution plan.
Robert W. Luedeman, Windsor Heights, for appellant.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General, John P. Sarcone, County Attorney, and Michael Hunter, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.
Heard by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.
Charles Ross appeals a criminal restitution order, contending the district court erroneously included amounts that were not part of a pre-discharge court-ordered restitution plan.
I. Background Proceedings
Ross was a defendant in three separate criminal proceedings, FECR 164800, FECR 175684, and FECR 181426. The district court imposed judgment and sentence in all three. The court entered a restitution order in FECR 164800. In the remaining two actions, the Department of Corrections prepared restitution plans, but the plans were not approved by the district court.
Ross discharged all of his sentences between 2003 and 2006. Following his discharge, he requested a hearing on restitution the State was seeking to assess. After a hearing in 2012, the district court approved restitution amounts calculated by the clerk of court as follows: $481.93 in FECR 164800, $1966.25 in FECR 175684, and $4356.68 in FECR 181426. This appeal followed.
At oral arguments on this appeal, the parties made several concessions concerning the state of the record and the issues to be decided. They further agreed their positions were essentially aligned. Based on these concessions, this court ordered Ross and the State to prepare a joint statement of stipulated facts and statement of outstanding issues. Their statement is attached and incorporated by reference.
Iowa Code chapter 910 (2005) addresses restitution. Section 910.1(4) defines "restitution, " as including pecuniary damages to a victim, fines, penalties, surcharges, court-appointed attorney fees, and "court costs including correctional fees approved pursuant to section 356.7." The legal issue before us is whether the district court erred in assessing restitution that was not judicially approved prior to the discharge of Ross's sentences. See State v. Jenkins, 788 N.W.2d 640, 642 (Iowa 2010) (reviewing for correction of errors at law).
Section 910.3 places the onus on the district court to determine the amount of a defendant's restitution obligation, based on statements furnished by the county attorney, clerk of court, and/or defendant:
At the time of sentencing or at a later date to be determined by the court, 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. If the full amount of restitution cannot be determined at the time of sentencing, the court shall issue a temporary order determining a reasonable amount for restitution identified up to that time. At a later date as determined by the court, the court shall issue a permanent, supplemental order, setting the full amount of restitution. The court shall enter further supplemental orders, if necessary. These court orders shall be known as the plan of restitution.
(Emphasis added.) Under this provision, a plan of restitution is a plan approved by a district court. The amounts of restitution in a restitution plan prepared by the Department of Corrections cannot be reduced to judgment absent approval by the district court. See Iowa Code § 910.3.
As noted, FECR 1756854 and FECR 181426 included restitution plans prepared by the department that were never approved by the court. The amounts in those restitution plans could not be reduced to judgment against him.
FECR 181426 also included a department restitution plan that was filed after Ross discharged his sentence. Section 910.7(2), addressing modification of restitution orders, states:
After a petition has been filed, the court, at any time prior to the expiration of the offender's sentence, provided the required notice has been given pursuant to subsection 3, may modify the plan of restitution or the restitution plan of payment, or both, and may extend the period of time for the completion of restitution.
(Emphasis added.) This provision precludes a post-discharge modification of a restitution plan. Read in conjunction with section 910.3, the provision also would necessarily preclude a district courts approval of an original plan of restitution after a defendant has discharged the sentence.
Based on this law, the parties essentially concede that restitution included in department restitution plans that were not approved by the district court prior to the discharge of Ross's sentences cannot be assessed as "restitution" in a post-discharge order. They further concede the amounts of restitution ordered by the district court in FECR 175684 and FECR 181426 ...