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State v. Hedgepeth

Court of Appeals of Iowa

April 5, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ALLISON MIRANDA HEDGEPETH, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Christine Dalton Ploof, District Associate Judge.

         Allison Hedgepeth appeals from a restitution order conditionally requiring her to reimburse a victim. APPEAL DISMISSED.

          Thomas J. O'Flaherty of O'Flaherty Law Firm, Bettendorf, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kevin Cmelik and Kristin Guddall (until withdrawal), Assistant Attorneys General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Vaitheswaran, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, JUDGE.

         We must decide whether we have a basis for reviewing a criminal restitution order.

         I. Background Proceedings

         The State charged Allison Hedgepeth with assault causing bodily injury in connection with an altercation at a bar in which another woman's nose was broken. Hedgepeth pled guilty to disorderly conduct in violation of Iowa Code Section 723.4(1) (2015).[1] The district court placed Hedgepeth on unsupervised probation and ordered her to pay victim restitution in an amount to be determined at a subsequent hearing.

         The woman whose nose was broken filed a victim impact statement asserting she was self-conscious about her "disfigured nose" and the incident "rearranged [her] face." The woman said she desired rhinoplasty surgery, which her insurance would not cover. She provided a cost estimate of $5400. The estimate did "not include the cost of lab work, medications, tests, garments or prescriptions necessary for surgery or additional procedures/surgeries for revisions or complications." The woman conceded the procedure was not medically necessary and conceded she had yet to schedule the surgery.

         At the conclusion of the restitution hearing, the district court expressed concern "about the fact we don't know what the cost is going to be." The court noted "that it could be 5400, " but "[i]t could be more" or "less." The court filed a restitution order stating Hedgepeth would have to reimburse the woman "up to $5400.00 for damage to her nose, " but because the woman might "choose not to have the surgery done and the actual cost is unknown, " the money would "be held in trust for" her benefit.

         Hedgepeth filed a notice of appeal. She asserted, "in good faith, that this appeal meets jurisdictional requirements and is from a final ruling . . . ." We begin and end with this assertion.

         II. Viability of Appeal

         "Only a judgment that is final may be appealed as a matter of right." River Excursions, Inc. v. City of Davenport,359 N.W.2d 475, 477 (Iowa 1984) (citation omitted); accord Iowa R. App. P. 6.103(1). "A ruling is not final when the trial court intends to act further on the case before signifying its final adjudication of the issues." River Excursions, 359 N.W.2d at 477. "Even though neither party has questioned our jurisdiction to hear and decide this case, we will sua sponte dismiss ...


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