from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, James
S. Heckerman, Judge.
applicant appeals the district court's denial of his
application for postconviction relief. AFFIRMED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Stephan J. Japuntich,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Darrel Mullins, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Vaitheswaran, JJ.
a guilty plea in 2012, Todd Mills was convicted of three
counts of second-degree sexual abuse. His sentence called for two
of the twenty-five-year sentences to run consecutively and
one twenty-five-year sentence to run concurrently. His
sentence was also to run concurrently with the sentence he
was serving in Nebraska for similar offenses. Mills did not
file a direct appeal from his conviction, but in 2013, he
filed an application for postconviction relief (PCR), which
was denied by the district court in October 2015.
appeals following the district court's denial of his PCR
application. Instead of challenging the district court's
decision on the issues raised therein, Mills claims his PCR
counsel was ineffective in failing to challenge his
conviction based on a claim that his guilty plea was not
knowing and voluntary. Although the plea-taking court
informed him that he would need to register as a
sex-offender, Mills asserts he was not informed of the
obligation to pay the sex-offender civil penalty of $250; the
specific requirements of the sex-offender registry, such as
deadlines and fees; the potential criminal penalties for
failing to properly register with the sex-offender registry;
and the requirement he provide a DNA sample for profiling.
See Iowa Code §§ 81.2, 692A.103, .110,
.111 (2013). Because he was not informed of this information
prior to the taking of his guilty plea, he claims trial
counsel was ineffective in not filing a motion in arrest of
judgment and PCR counsel was ineffective in not challenging
trial counsel's ineffectiveness on this ground at PCR.
guilty plea court must inform the defendant of, and ensure he
understands, the mandatory minimum punishment and maximum
possible punishment of the crime before accepting a guilty
plea. See Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.8(2)(b)(2). However, we
note the sex-offender-registry statute and the DNA-profiling
statute have been held to be not punitive in State v.
Pickens, 558 N.W.2d 396, 400 (Iowa 1997) (sex offender
registry), and Schreiber v. State, 666 N.W.2d 127,
130 (Iowa 2003) (interpreting prior statute regarding DNA
profiling), with respect to the application of the federal
and state ex post facto clauses. The motivation of these
statutes is public safety, not punishment.
Schreiber, 666 N.W.2d at 130; Pickens, 558
N.W.2d at 400. Because both statutory provisions have been
determined to be nonpunitive, a guilty plea court is not
required under rule 2.8(2)(b)(2) to inform a defendant of the
affect these provisions may have as a result of his guilty
plea. See State v. Fisher, 877 N.W.2d 676, 684-86
(Iowa 2016) (determining the license revocation in a
possession-of-drugs guilty plea and the mandatory surcharges
were punitive in nature and thus a defendant must be advised
of these consequences when pleading guilty).
the guilty plea court was not required to inform Mills of the
sex-offender-registry requirements or the DNA-profiling
requirement, trial counsel was not ineffective in failing to
file a motion in arrest of judgment on this ground, and PCR
counsel was not ineffective in failing to challenge trial
counsel's effectiveness. See State v. Brubaker,
805 N.W.2d 164, 171 (Iowa 2011) ("We will not find
counsel incompetent for failing to pursue a meritless
affirm the district court's denial of Mills's PCR
Danilson, C.J., concurs; ...