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Scheckel v. State

Court of Appeal of Iowa

August 21, 2013

ELMER SCHECKEL, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA and CITY OF OELWEIN, Defendant-Appellees.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Fayette County, Margaret L. Lingreen (State's motion to dismiss) and Richard D. Stochl (City's motion to dismiss), Judges.

An Iowa resident challenges the constitutionality of his various motor vehicle citations.

Elmer Scheckel, Oelwein, pro se.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Meghan Gavin, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

Ronald VanVeldhuizen, Oelwein, for appellee City of Oelwein.

Considered by Eisenhauer, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.

EISENHAUER, C.J.

An Iowa resident challenges the constitutionality of his various motor vehicle citations. He contends he has a constitutional right to drive without obeying the traffic laws. Because no such constitutional right exists, we affirm the district court's dismissals of his claim.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

Elmer Scheckel is a resident of Oelwein, Iowa. On several occasions, Scheckel received citations for failing to register his vehicle and produce proof of insurance in Linn, Buchanan, and Fayette counties. Following one citation, Scheckel filed suit in Fayette County against the State of Iowa and the City of Oelwein.[1] He claimed the tickets impinged on his constitutional right to drive. For relief he stated:

REMEIDE SOUGHT
I am not out to change the laws of lowa, but merely want to left alone to conduct my business in a peaceful and quite manner and the state to respect my constitutional rights. I must ask for recovery of all damages times 3 and fees collected over last 10 years, pursuant to Iowa code 602.10113 or the highest dollar amount allowed by law, and the stop payment for all other charges in Linn county because in all cases the state actors ether knew or should have know that the charges are on the plaintiff rights and not under their jurisdiction. The court costs and all other expenses relating to this case should also be paid by the defendants.

The district court granted both the State's and City of Oelwein's motions to dismiss, each citing Scheckel's failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The district court also imposed a $500 sanction for Scheckel's frivolous petition because his claims were "not grounded ...


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