Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
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. Scheffert

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 3, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MICHAEL SCHEFFERT, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Joseph M. Moothart (motion to suppress) and Nathan A. Callahan (trial), District Associate Judges.

         Defendant appeals the trial court ruling denying his motion to suppress evidence.

          Thomas J. Viner of Viner Law Firm, P.C., Cedar Rapids, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Blane, S.J. [*]

          BLANE, Senior Judge.

         Michael Scheffert appeals from the district court's denial of his motion to suppress and his conviction for possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) following a bench trial on the minutes of testimony. Scheffert maintains the police officer initiated a stop of his vehicle without probable cause or reasonable suspicion, in violation of his state and federal constitutional rights.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         On May 30, 2015, at approximately 12:37 a.m., [1] Scheffert was driving a motor vehicle in the Falls Access area in Black Hawk County. Officer Tim Peterson initiated a stop of the vehicle because he believed it was located in a county park area that closed at 10:30 p.m., pursuant to a county ordinance. After making contact with Scheffert and his passenger, the officer received Scheffert's consent to search the vehicle. During the search, the officer found a marijuana pipe with residue and a pill bottle with a clear plastic bag and a small of amount of what appeared to be marijuana. When asked, Scheffert admitted it was his marijuana.

         The same day, Scheffert was charged by trial information with possession of a controlled substance (marijuana), in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(5) (2015).

         Scheffert filed a motion to suppress, arguing "[t]he stop and search of Defendant was conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and Article I, Section 8 of the Iowa constitution."

         A hearing on the motion was held on October 23. Deputy Matthew Harris[2]testified the stop of Scheffert's vehicle occurred on a "level B road" that was maintained by the "Conservation Board" in an area known as the "Falls Access." He further testified the area was a county conservation property and the general public was not allowed to be in the area from 10:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. daily. Deputy Harris remembered there had been a sign at one time on the road that labeled it "county access, " but he did not remember if there was such a sign on the date of the stop, and there was no such sign at the time of the hearing. Additionally, the sign he remembered did not list the hours the road or park were open to the public. The State did not seek to admit into evidence the county ordinance designating the area a park or setting hours.

         During closing arguments, the State maintained the stop of Scheffert's vehicle was lawful because Officer Peterson had probable cause to believe Scheffert was in a county park after hours.

         The district court filed a written ruling, denying Scheffert's motion to suppress. The court concluded "that the stop of the defendant's vehicle was based on the specific and articulable cause to reasonably believe that the defendant was ...


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.