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State v. Sinclair

Court of Appeal of Iowa

July 10, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JAMES A. SINCLAIR, Defendant-Appellant. STANLEY C. BURN, Interested Party-Appellee.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, William A. Price, District Associate Judge.

A criminal defendant challenges the five-year extension of a no-contact order.

Dean A. Stowers and Nicholas Sarcone of Stowers Law Firm, West Des Moines, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and John Sarcone, County Attorney, for appellee-State.

Benjamin D. Bergmann of Parrish Kruidenier Dunn Boles Gribble Parrish Gentry & Fisher, L.L.P., Des Moines, for appellee Stanley C. Burn.

Heard by Eisenhauer, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Tabor, JJ.

TABOR, J.

This appeal addresses the five-year extension of a no-contact order under Iowa Code section 664A.8 (2011). James Sinclair contends he should not be subject to the extension because the statute did not authorize the order, the requesting party was not a victim, the extension request was untimely, and his due process rights were violated. But before we reach those claims, we must decide where appellate jurisdiction lies.

First, we read Iowa Code sections 602.6306 and 602.6405 as providing us jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Second, we find the extension was timely requested by the victim of Sinclair's offense and properly approved by the court. Accordingly, we affirm the court's extension of the no-contact order.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

On July 29, 2010, James Sinclair tried to enter Stanley Burn's residence without permission. Sinclair yelled outside the home to be let inside. The State originally charged Sinclair with harassment in the third degree. Iowa Code § 708.7(4) (2009). On August 11, 2010, the trial court entered a no-contact order as a condition of release under Iowa Code section 811.2. In a ruling entered on November 22, 2010, the court determined Sinclair violated the no-contact order on November 2, 2010, and sentenced him to five days in jail.

On February 28, 2011, the parties reached a plea bargain in which Sinclair agreed to plead to an amended charge of disorderly conduct. In an order issued on that date, the court noted the parties agreed to extend the no-contact order for one year and, at the parties' request, added an odd modification: the prosecutor's approval was necessary before police could arrest Sinclair for violating the no-contact order.

On March 25, 2011, Sinclair entered an Alford plea[1] and was sentenced to pay a fine of $250 plus a surcharge and court costs. The sentencing order stated the "No-contact order remains in effect for one (1) year pursuant to the terms of Court's previous order date 02-28-11, [the] Prosecutor . . . must be contacted prior to Defendant's arrest for an alleged no-contact order violation."

On March 16, 2012, Burn filed a motion to extend the no-contact order. During a June 4, 2012 hearing, the district associate judge extended the no-contact order until March 25, 2017. ...


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