Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. King

Supreme Court of Iowa

June 26, 2015

STATE OF IOWA, Appellee,

Page 107

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 108

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, James D. Scott, Judge. A criminal defendant challenges the admission of evidence collected by his parole officer in parolee defendant's home under the Iowa Constitution.


Rees Conrad Douglas, Sioux City, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General, Patrick A. Jennings, County Attorney, and Mark A. Campbell, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

CADY, Chief Justice. Waterman, Mansfield, and Zager, JJ., join this opinion. Mansfield, J., files a separate concurring opinion in which Waterman, J., joins. Appel, J., files a dissenting opinion in which Wiggins and Hecht, JJ., join.


Page 109

CADY, Chief Justice.

In this appeal, we consider the constitutionality of a warrantless search of the home of a parolee by a parole officer that uncovered evidence used to prosecute and convict the parolee of the crime of possession of a controlled substance as a habitual offender. We must determine whether the search was unconstitutional or was justified by the special needs of the State, based on a balancing of the governmental interests served by the search against the privacy interest of the parolee protected under article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution. On our review, we find the search by the parole officer did not violate article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution. We affirm the judgment and sentence of the district court.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

Donald King was released on parole from a correctional institution in Iowa on June 28, 2012. He was serving a sentence of incarceration at the correctional institution after being convicted of the crimes of possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with intent to deliver, and theft in the second degree. The parole officer assigned to supervise King while on parole was Emmanuel Scarmon. As a condition to his release, King was required to sign a " Parole Order and Agreement." The agreement contained numerous terms, including a consent-to-search provision and an agreement to abstain from the use, purchase, and possession of any drug.

King moved into an apartment in Sioux City and found employment. In September and October 2012, however, he tested positive for methamphetamine. He was placed into an inpatient drug-treatment program and returned to his apartment upon completing the program on January 4, 2013. King was required to continue the drug-treatment program on an outpatient basis, and he was required to find employment. He was also required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, which would allow his probation officer to track his movements.

On January 14, Scarmon met with King at the probation office. During the meeting, King complained about the outpatient treatment program and seemed to be losing his motivation to succeed at parole. He expressed the notion that it might be easier to return to prison. In the days following the meeting, the monitoring system signaled that King had not left his apartment for two days. King was required to attend drug treatment and to look for employment during this time. The monitoring system also signaled that the bracelet might have been subjected to tampering. Scarmon was concerned that King was on the verge of another relapse into drugs or might abscond from parole.

On January 17, Scarmon and another parole officer, Todd Hruska, made a home visit to check on King. When Scarmon and Hruska arrived at the apartment, King was present and allowed them inside. King lived alone. Scarmon checked the monitoring bracelet worn by King. It did not show any signs of tampering. Scarmon then administered a breath test to determine if King had been consuming alcoholic beverages. The test did not detect

Page 110

the presence of any alcohol. King explained that he had not left his apartment over the last few days because he had been sick.

Scarmon had learned from experience that he could not always trust parolees to provide honest answers to his questions. The search provision in the parole agreement was a means for him to help verify if the information provided to him by parolees was correct. He also utilized home searches to make sure parolees were generally living in an environment consistent with the goal of rehabilitation when questions and concerns would surface during the course of supervision. A search was an effective means to discover signs of inappropriate activity that could hamper the success sought by parole.

Scarmon decided he should check King's bedroom for signs of any activity detrimental to parole, including the presence of drugs or drug paraphernalia. He was aware of King's history of drug use, including intravenous use of drugs and drug use while on parole. After Scarmon informed King of his intention to search, King did not refuse, but instead led the parole officers to his basement bedroom. Scarmon promptly observed a sunglasses case located on the headboard of the bed. He opened the case and discovered two small bags of marijuana and rolling papers. Scarmon arrested King for violating his parole. Hruska placed a call to the police.

King was subsequently charged with one count of possession of marijuana, third offense, a class " D" felony, as a habitual offender. This charge was based on the marijuana found in his bedroom by Scarmon. King moved to suppress the marijuana as evidence in the prosecution. He claimed the search of his bedroom and sunglasses case violated article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution, and his consent to the search under the parole agreement did not constitute a waiver of his constitutional right. The State resisted the motion. It argued the search was valid either as a " special needs" search or as a " consent" search under the parole agreement. The district court overruled the motion, ultimately ruling that the search was supported under the special-needs doctrine.

At a bench trial, King was convicted of possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, third offense, as a habitual offender. The district court sentenced King to a period of incarceration not to exceed fifteen years. The sentence was suspended, and King was placed on probation for two years. King appealed the judgment and sentence based on the denial of his motion to suppress.

II. Standard of Review.

We review de novo claims based on the district court's failure to suppress evidence obtained in violation of the state constitution. State v. Kern, 831 N.W.2d 149, 164 (Iowa 2013).

III. Analysis.

Article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution expresses " [t]he right of the people to be secure . . . against unreasonable seizures and searches," and requires warrants to be particularized and issued only upon probable cause. Iowa Const. art. I, § 8 (emphasis added). The federal counterpart to Iowa's right is found in the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. U.S. Const. amend. IV (" The right of the people to be secure . . . against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause . . . ." ). The text of both provisions applies its protection to all people, including people who may be detached totally from any suspicion of criminal behavior, although the right is most often applied in

Page 111

the law to people suspected of engaging in criminal behavior.[1] See United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259, 265-66, 110 S.Ct. 1056, 1060-61, 108 L.Ed.2d 222, 232-33 (1990) (examining the meaning of " the people" in the context of Fourth Amendment protections); Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351, 88 S.Ct. 507, 511, 19 L.Ed.2d 576, 582 (1967) (" [T]he Fourth Amendment protects people, not places." ). Overall, the right protects people against warrantless searches, with carefully crafted exceptions.

The declaration of the right in the context of its ownership by the people projects a powerful statement. It identifies the importance of the right to our founders and the prominence of the right in society. See Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616, 624-35, 6 S.Ct. 524, 529-35, 29 L.Ed. 746, 749-52 (1886) (describing in detail the development of the right and its importance to the founders), abrogated on other grounds by Warden v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 301-02, 87 S.Ct. 1642, 1647, 18 L.Ed.2d 782, 788-89 (1967). Yet, the thrust of the right does not speak in absolutes, but reason. See State v. Naujoks, 637 N.W.2d 101, 107 (Iowa 2001) (" The essential purpose of the Fourth Amendment 'is to impose a standard of " reasonableness" upon the exercise of discretion by government officials . . . .'" (quoting State v. Loyd, 530 N.W.2d 708, 711 (Iowa 1995))). This approach permits the reasonableness of searches to adapt over time to new challenges given to the people and government that were not contemplated at the time the provision was framed. It allows the right to take on a new shape over time in response to new understandings of those times when government is permitted to conduct a reasonable search, including the search of people or places for purposes primarily unrelated to the enforcement of criminal laws. See, e.g., New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325, 335-36, 105 S.Ct. 733, 739-40, 83 L.Ed.2d 720, 730-31 (1985) (examining the reasonableness of warrantless school searches). These future circumstances can both expand the types of warrantless searches permitted by the right, just as it could diminish the number or type of exceptions over time. See State v. Cline, 617 N.W.2d 277, 283 (Iowa 2000) (declining to adopt a good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule under the Iowa Constitution), overruled on other grounds by State v. Turner, 630 N.W.2d 601, 606 n.2 (Iowa 2001). Over approximately the last fifty years, new needs of the government to conduct warrantless searches primarily unrelated to law enforcement have challenged the shape of the right through what has become known as the special-needs doctrine. See T.L.O., 469 U.S. at 332-33 & n.2, 340-41, 105 S.Ct. at 737-38 & n.2, 742, 83 L.Ed.2d at 728-29 & n.2, 734.

Page 112

A. Special-Needs Doctrine.

The special-needs doctrine first surfaced under our federal jurisprudence in Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523, 87 S.Ct. 1727, 18 L.Ed.2d 930 (1967). In Camara, the Court articulated a test to determine if and for what reason a warrant would be needed for an administrative search. Id. at 532-33, 539-40, 87 S.Ct. at 1732-33, 1736, 18 L.Ed.2d at 937-38, 941 (finding a warrant was only necessary when entry of inspectors was refused in order to inform the homeowner of the limits of the search, that the inspector was authorized, and the necessity of the search to enforce the municipal code). Camara was followed by T.L.O., 469 U.S. at 340-42 & n.7, 105 S.Ct. at 742-43 & n.7, 83 L.Ed.2d at 733-35 & n.7, in which the Court applied a special-needs test to determine if public school officials needed a warrant to conduct searches of school lockers. The doctrine derived its name from the concurring opinion of Justice Blackmun, who stated: " Only in those exceptional circumstances in which special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement, make the warrant and probable-cause requirement impracticable, is a court entitled to substitute its balancing of interests for that of the Framers." Id. at 351, 105 S.Ct. at 748, 83 L.Ed.2d at 741 (Blackmun, J., concurring in judgment).

In Griffin v. Wisconsin, 483 U.S. 868, 107 S.Ct. 3164, 97 L.Ed.2d 709 (1987), the Court considered the special-needs doctrine in the context of a probationary search. In doing so, the basic application of the doctrine surfaced for the first time. See Griffin, 483 U.S. at 873, 107 S.Ct. at 3168, 97 L.Ed.2d at 717. The Court acknowledged that " [a] probationer's home, like anyone else's, is protected by the Fourth Amendment's requirement that searches be 'reasonable.'" Id. On the other hand, it recognized that " a State's operation of a probation system . . . presents 'special needs' beyond normal law enforcement that may justify departures from the usual warrant and probable-cause requirements." Id. at 873-74, 107 S.Ct. at 3168, 97 L.Ed.2d at 717. The conditions placed on the liberty of probationers " are meant to assure that the probation serves as a period of genuine rehabilitation and that the community is not harmed by the probationer's being at large," which requires and justifies the exercise of supervision to ensure the conditions of probation are followed. Id. at 875, 107 S.Ct. at 3169, 97 L.Ed.2d at 718. The Court ultimately held that requiring a warrant would remove supervisory power from the probation officer and place it in the warrant judge, interfere with quick responses to violations, and reduce the deterrent effect that the searches would create. Id. at 876, 107 S.Ct. at 3170, 97 L.Ed.2d at 719. Even the dissent found probation supervision fell within a special-needs category to justify the examination of the reasonableness of probation-related searches and ultimately concluded the threshold probable-cause requirement for a warrant should be lowered because supervision advances rehabilitation " by allowing a probation agent to intervene at the first sign of trouble." Id. at 881-83, 107 S.Ct. at 3172-73, 97 L.Ed.2d at 722-24 (Blackmun, J., dissenting). Justice Blackmun observed that the probation officer monitors compliance with the conditions placed on the probationer's liberty and that a search of the home for violations may be necessary to ensure that compliance. Id. at 883, 107 S.Ct. at 3173, 97 L.Ed.2d at 723. He concluded the special-needs doctrine should not apply in Griffin's case because the search of his home was not a normal probation search, but involved a tip from police to uncover evidence of a new criminal violation; therefore, Griffin's status as a probationer should not justify the special exception.

Page 113

Id. at 885, 107 S.Ct. at 3174, 97 L.Ed.2d at 725.

In 1989, the Court extended the special-needs doctrine to cover drug testing by railroads pursuant to federal regulations in Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives' Ass'n, 489 U.S. 602, 109 S.Ct. 1402, 103 L.Ed.2d 639 (1989). These tests were permitted when specific rules were violated or a supervisor had a reasonable suspicion based on specific observations that the employee was under the influence of alcohol.[2] Id. at 611, 109 S.Ct. at 1410, 103 L.Ed.2d at 655-56 (citing 49 C.F.R. § 219.301(b) (1987)). The Court held the government had an interest in regulating railroad employee conduct to ensure safety for both the traveling public and the employees, and this interest presented a special need beyond normal law enforcement that might justify a departure from the warrant requirement. Id. at 620-21, 109 S.Ct. at 1415, 103 L.Ed.2d at 661-62. The Court found the standardized nature of the tests, the minimal discretion of administering them, and the practical difficulties of railroad supervisors obtaining a warrant from a magistrate while evidence dissipates all weighed against the necessity of requiring a warrant. Id. at 622-24, 109 S.Ct. at 1416-17, 103 L.Ed.2d at 663-64. The Court noted that although other cases indicated a warrantless search must be based on probable cause or at least " 'some quantum of individualized suspicion,'" if the privacy interests are minimal then the search might be reasonable even absent such suspicion. Id. at 624, 109 S.Ct. at 1417, 103 L.Ed.2d at 664 (quoting United States v. Martinez-Fuerte, 428 U.S. 543, 560, 96 S.Ct. 3074, 3084, 49 L.Ed.2d 1116, 1130 (1976)). The reasonable expectations of privacy of employees were found to be diminished because the employees worked in an industry that was highly regulated to ensure the safety of everyone. Id. at 627, 109 S.Ct. at 1418, 103 L.Ed.2d at 666.[3]

Safety was again the paramount concern of the Court in National Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab, 489 U.S. 656, 109 S.Ct. 1384, 103 L.Ed.2d 685 (1989). The search in Von Raab involved testing by the Customs Service for drug use among three groups of employees: those directly involved in drug interdiction, those carrying firearms, and those handling classified material. Id. at 660-61, 109 S.Ct. at 1388, 103 L.Ed.2d at 699. The program was designed for deterrence and could not be used in criminal prosecution without consent from the tested employee, setting it outside the needs of normal law enforcement and within the special-needs test. Id. at 666, 109 S.Ct. at 1391, 103 L.Ed.2d at 702. The Court found the imposition of the warrant requirement would bring normal or routine employment decisions to a constitutional magnitude and could compromise the mission of the Customs Service if warrants were needed without providing any additional protection to personal privacy of

Page 114

the employees.[4] Id. at 666-67, 109 S.Ct. at 1391, 103 L.Ed.2d at 702-03. Further, the Court found the government's need to conduct the searches outweighed the privacy interests of those who carried firearms and engaged in drug interdiction, but the need did not clearly outweigh the privacy interests of those handling classified information. Id. at 668, 678, 109 S.Ct. at 1392, 1397, 103 L.Ed.2d at 704, 710. The Court reasoned that drug use by agents whose job was to prevent drugs from entering the country might create a conflict of interest that would interfere with the successful execution of their duties and that those customarily using firearms could not risk impaired perception or judgment caused by drug use. Id. at 670-71, 109 S.Ct. at 1393, 103 L.Ed.2d at 705. However, the Court found no evidence whether those with access to " classified" information actually had access to sensitive information that might merit the mandatory testing and could not find the overly broad category reasonable. Id. at 678, 109 S.Ct. at 1397, 103 L.Ed.2d at 710. The dissent acknowledged that " whether a particular search has been 'reasonable' . . . depends largely upon the social necessity that prompts the search." Id. at 681-82, 109 S.Ct. at 1399, 103 L.Ed.2d at 712-13 (Scalia, J., dissenting). However, it did not find sufficient social necessity to require drug testing of Customs Service employees handling classified material without evidence of a real drug use problem among them. Id.

The analysis the Court used in Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646, 115 S.Ct. 2386, 132 L.Ed.2d 564 (1995), to examine drug testing of students is very useful. First, the Court considered the nature of the privacy interest intruded upon by the search and the legitimacy of the privacy expectation. Id. at 654, 115 S.Ct. at 2391, 132 L.Ed.2d at 575. The second factor considered was the complained-of character of the intrusion. Id. at 658, 115 S.Ct. at 2393, 132 L.Ed.2d at 577 (recognizing urinalysis intrudes on a traditionally shielded private function). Finally, the court analyzed " the nature and immediacy of the governmental concern at issue here, and the efficacy of this means for meeting it." Id. at 660, 115 S.Ct. at 2394, 132 L.Ed.2d at 579. Rather than a minimum level of interest, the Court found the governmental interest needed to be important enough to outweigh the privacy interest and the extent of the intrusion. Id. at 661, 115 S.Ct. at 2394-95, 132 L.Ed.2d at 579. The Court found the drug problem among students in the community was severe enough to permit random warrantless, suspicionless urinalysis of students who participated in sports. Id. at 664-65, 115 S.Ct. at 2396, 132 L.Ed.2d at 582. Justice O'Connor dissented, suggesting that suspicion-based searches were not impracticable in the particular context, rendering the blanket suspicionless search unreasonable. Id. at 671, 679-81, 115 S.Ct. at 2399, 2403-04, 132 L.Ed.2d at 586, 591-92 (O'Connor, J., dissenting) (" Protection of privacy, not evenhandedness, was

Page 115

then and is now the touchstone of the Fourth Amendment." ).

In Chandler v. Miller, 520 U.S. 305, 117 S.Ct. 1295, 137 L.Ed.2d 513 (1997), the Supreme Court placed boundaries on the special-needs exception as to warrantless, suspicionless searches. The State of Georgia wanted to mandate drug testing for political candidates similar to the requirements for railroad employees in Skinner and border patrol agents in Von Raab. Chandler, 520 U.S. at 308-09, 117 S.Ct. at 1298, 137 L.Ed.2d at 519-20. However, the Court found " [o]ur precedents establish that the proffered special need . . . must be substantial--important enough to override the individual's acknowledged privacy interest, sufficiently vital to suppress the Fourth Amendment's normal requirement of individualized suspicion." Id. at 318, 117 S.Ct. at 1303, 137 L.Ed.2d at 526. In order to find a special need, there must be an indication of concrete dangers, not merely hypothetical ones, that justify departing from the basic prescriptions of the Fourth Amendment. Id. at 318-19, 117 S.Ct. at 1303, 137 L.Ed.2d at 526. " [W]here the risk to public safety is substantial and real, . . . searches calibrated to the risk may rank as 'reasonable.'" Id. at 323, 117 S.Ct. at 1305, 137 L.Ed.2d at 529.

Overall, the most pertinent federal precedent in the special-needs area for the present case is Griffin.[5] The Griffin Court held the special-needs exception applied to a search of a probationer's home by a probation officer, even when conducting the search for law enforcement purposes rather than probationary purposes. 483 U.S. at 874-75, 107 S.Ct. at 3169, 97 L.Ed.2d at 717-18 (majority opinion). The other special-needs cases shape and modify how special-needs exceptions are evaluated and applied. While several of the opinions permit suspicionless searches, those are limited by the findings of minimal privacy rights that are invaded, Skinner, 489 U.S. at 624, 109 S.Ct. at 1417, 103 L.Ed.2d at 664, and the requirement that the governmental need has to be important enough to override the privacy rights of the individual, Chandler, 520 U.S. at 318, 117 S.Ct. at 1303, 137 L.Ed.2d at 526. Moreover, the only concerns that have made it through the Court's important-concern test are drugs in schools or relate to the safety of the public and individuals. Acton, 515 U.S. at 664-65, 115 S.Ct. at 2396, 132 L.Ed.2d at 582 (majority opinion); Von Raab, 489 U.S. at 668, 109 S.Ct. at 1392, 103 L.Ed.2d at 704 (majority opinion); Skinner, 489 U.S. at 620-21, 109 S.Ct. at 1415, 103 L.Ed.2d at 662; see also Mich. Dep't of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444, 454-55, 110 S.Ct. 2481, 2487-88, 110 L.Ed.2d 412, 423 (1990) (upholding a warrantless, suspicionless sobriety checkpoint using empirical data to support its need and efficacy).

In 2003, we applied the special-needs doctrine in a case involving the search of a school locker by school officials. State v.

Page 116

Jones, 666 N.W.2d 142, 142-43 (Iowa 2003). In doing so, we borrowed from the federal jurisprudence and adopted the three-factor test to determine if the doctrine would support the warrantless search of the lockers. Id. at 146. Under the analysis, we considered (1) the nature of the privacy interest at stake, (2) the character of the intrusion, and (3) the nature and immediacy of the government concern at stake and the ability of the search to meet the concern. Id. We applied these factors to uphold a warrantless random search of school lockers. Id. at 150.

We have not applied the special-needs doctrine beyond the search of school lockers. We have evaluated the doctrine, however, in the context of the search of the home of a parolee by police officers who suspected the parolee had drugs inside the house. See generally Kern, 831 N.W.2d at 165-72. Yet, we did not assess the doctrine beyond the specific circumstances of the case. See id. at 170-72. These circumstances revealed police officers conducted the search for the primary purpose of gathering and using evidence for a criminal prosecution. Id. at 171. Thus, evaluating the case through the lens of our search and seizure clause, we did not see the doctrine as a means to enable law enforcement officers to carry out their duties in gathering evidence of criminal activity. Id. at 170. Moreover, the circumstances of the case did not demonstrate any reason that the warrant requirement of the right against unreasonable search and seizure would have frustrated the purpose of the search. Id. at 172. Accordingly, we did not view the doctrine as a means to excuse requiring law enforcement officers to obtain a search warrant under the Iowa Constitution. Id.

Thirty-three years earlier, we addressed some of the underpinnings of the special-needs doctrine in the context of the search of an apartment of a parolee initiated by his parole officer, without making any specific reference to the doctrine. State v. Cullison, 173 N.W.2d 533 (Iowa 1970). In that case, we rejected the theories used to minimize the constitutional protections of parolees and held that parolees maintain the same safeguards afforded all people against warrantless searches involving evidence of new crimes. Id. at 538. The search conducted in Cullison began as a parole-related visit by a parole officer to determine the reason the parolee failed to show up for work. Id. at 534. After leaving and then returning to the apartment, the parole officer asked to search a locked room of the apartment to investigate for any other parole violations. Id. at 535. The parole officer " became suspicious" after the parolee objected to his request to have the locked door opened and after the parolee told him there was something in the room that he did not want him to see. Id. The parole officer knew at the time that there had been recent burglaries in the area, and he sought the assistance of a police officer to assist in entering and searching the room. Id. We held the search violated the Federal Search and Seizure Clause because it was not based on probable cause. Id. at 539-40. The special-needs doctrine was not fully developed at the time, and the facts of the case blurred any line between a search by a parole officer to carry out the parole mission and a search by law enforcement personnel for evidence of criminal activity. See id. Nevertheless, we expressed no constitutional criticism of the search of the apartment by the parole officer until the officer became suspicious of the contents of the locked room and obtained the assistance of a police officer to pursue that suspicion. Id. at 538 (protecting the parolee's constitutional safeguards

Page 117

only " as to a new and separate crime" ).

In State v. Ochoa, 792 N.W.2d 260 (Iowa 2010), we held that a search by police of a motel room occupied by a parolee was unreasonable under the search and seizure clause of the Iowa Constitution when based solely on the parolee's status. Ochoa, 792 N.W.2d at 289-91. Notwithstanding, we acknowledged " [a] properly limited, nonarbitrary warrantless search of the home by a parole officer might conceivably be supported under the 'special needs' doctrine." Id. at 288.

In State v. Short, 851 N.W.2d 474 (Iowa 2014), we were confronted with " an investigatory search by law enforcement related to new crimes" at the home of a probationer. Short, 851 N.W.2d at 477. We held " the warrant requirement has full applicability to home searches of both probationers and parolees by law enforcement." Id. at 506. We declared a search by law enforcement without an adequate warrant violated the search and seizure clause of the Iowa Constitution, but acknowledged the search involved " was not a probationary search." Id. at 477, 505. We again reserved the question whether searches by probation or parole officers as a part of their ordinary duties would be permissible. Id. at 505. At the same time, we emphasized that the warrant requirement cannot be overcome by notions of reasonableness detached from the protections sought. Id. at 502.

B. Application.

The facts at issue in this case bring us directly to that point in time when we now fully confront whether the special-needs doctrine of governmental concerns that justify a warrantless search includes the search of the home of a parolee by a parole officer for the purpose of carrying out the mission of parole. We do this, not to overturn or alter our prior opinions concerning searches and seizures as related to parolees, but rather, to answer the question expressly left open by those decisions. See id. at 505 (reserving the question of a search by a parole officer as part of ordinary duties for another day); Kern, 831 N.W.2d at 170-71 (explaining any special-needs doctrine " would require that the search by a parole officer be designed to fit the special needs of parole" before concluding such a situation did not exist in that case); State v. Baldon, 829 N.W.2d 785, 789 (Iowa 2013) (noting no evidence was introduced about a need for the parole officer to search consistent with the general mission of parole); Ochoa, 792 N.W.2d at 288 (noting that " [a] properly limited, nonarbitrary warrantless search of the home by a parole officer might conceivably be supported under the 'special needs' doctrine" ); Cullison, 173 N.W.2d at 544 (Stuart, J., dissenting) (arguing the majority did not answer the question of whether a parole-officer search as part of ordinary duties fits within a warrantless-search exception). We analyze the parole search issue by considering the three factors identified in Jones.

1. Nature of the privacy interest.

The first factor considers the nature of the privacy intruded upon by the search. Jones, 666 N.W.2d at 146. In considering this factor, we start with the principle that parolees have the same expectation of privacy in their homes as persons not convicted of crimes and not on probation or parole. Cullison, 173 N.W.2d at 537-38 (majority opinion); see also Ochoa, 792 N.W.2d at 290-91. Yet, that equal footing recognized under our Iowa Constitution predominantly exists in the context of the search and seizure by law enforcement officers for evidence of crimes. See Kern, 831 N.W.2d at 164-65, 170-71. Unlike people not on parole from a sentence of incarceration resulting from a prior criminal conviction, parolees are under the supervision

Page 118

of the government pursuant to a written parole agreement. See Iowa Code § 906.1 (2013); Iowa Admin. Code r. 201-45.1(2). These agreements require the parolee to submit to searches and other governmental intrusions not permitted against people not on parole. Iowa Admin. Code r. 201-45.2 (describing standard conditions of parole and permitting additional special conditions to be imposed in the agreement). See generally Baldon, 829 N.W.2d at 789-802 (tracing the use and effect of consent-to-search clauses). If a term of the agreement is not followed, the parole can be revoked and the parolee returned to confinement to serve out the remainder of the sentence. Iowa Admin Code r. 201-45.4. Thus, the expectation of privacy in a home enjoyed by parolees can come at an expense not faced by people not on parole. In other words, parolees can share ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.