from the Iowa District Court for Guthrie County, Randy V.
defendant challenges the denial of his motion to suppress
evidence obtained as a result of a purportedly unlawful
J. Mallory and Allison M. Steuterman of Brick Gentry, P.C.,
West Des Moines, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Jean C. Pettinger, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and McDonald, JJ.
approximately 12:05 a.m. on June 9, 2016, two Panora Police
Department officers were driving through town. As they
approached an intersection, the officers heard the
"sustained squealing" of tires coming from the
intersection. The officers observed a vehicle drive through
the intersection. The officers activated their lights and
initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle. During the course of
the traffic stop, the officer observed conduct indicating the
driver was intoxicated. The driver, Jason Clark, was
subsequently charged with operating while intoxicated, in
violation of Iowa Code section 321J.2 (2016), and careless
driving, in violation of section 321.277A.
moved to suppress the evidence obtained from the traffic
stop, contending the stop was an unconstitutional search and
seizure. The district court denied the motion on the ground
the officers had reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic
Though the officers may not have known why Clark squealed his
tires, they certainly had reasonable suspicion to believed he
had violated section 321J.277A(1). There were no other
vehicles in Clark's vicinity when the officers saw him in
the intersection, and no environmental conditions that would
have justified or explained the squealing of the tires. They
reasonably suspected that he had illegally squealed his tires
intentionally and unnecessarily.
a stipulated trial on the minutes of testimony, Clark was
convicted as charged. He now appeals, challenging the ruling
on his motion to suppress evidence. Specifically, Clark
contends the district court erred in concluding the officers
needed only reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop
rather than probable cause.
court reviews constitutional claims de novo. See State v.
Pals, 805 N.W.2d 767, 771 (Iowa 2011). This review
contemplates "an independent evaluation of the totality
of the circumstances as shown by the entire record."
Id. "A motion to suppress on constitutional
grounds is a challenge to the admissibility of evidence
seized from a defendant. Therefore, we may affirm the
district court's suppression ruling on any ground
appearing in the record, whether urged by the parties or
not." State v. Gaskins, 866 N.W.2d 1, 44 (Iowa
2015) (Waterman, J., dissenting).
Fourth Amendment provides "[t]he right of the people to
be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,
against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be
violated." U.S. Const. amend. IV. The Fourth Amendment
is applicable to state actors by incorporation via the
Fourteenth Amendment. See Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S.
643, 660 (1961). The touchstone of the Fourth Amendment is
reasonableness. See Rodriguez v. United States, 135
S.Ct. 1609, 1617 (2015) (Thomas, J. dissenting) (stating
"the ultimate touchstone of the Fourth Amendment is
'reasonableness'" (quoting Brigham City v.
Stuart, 547 U.S. 398, 403 (2006))); State v.
Kreps, 650 N.W.2d 636, 641 (Iowa 2002).
text of article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution is
materially indistinguishable from the federal constitutional
provision. See Kreps, 650 N.W.2d at 640. The
defendant mentions the Iowa Constitution but does not make a
substantive argument for any different result under the Iowa
Constitution. Where, as here, a "party raises issues
under the Iowa Constitution and the Federal Constitution, but
does not suggest a different standard be applied under the
Iowa Constitution, we generally apply the federal
standard." State v. Edouard, 854 N.W.2d 421,
452 (Iowa 2014) (Appel, J., concurring specially),
overruled on other grounds by Alcala v. Marriott Intern.,
Inc., 880 N.W.2d 699 (Iowa 2016).
traffic stop is a "seizure" within the meaning of
the Fourth Amendment. See Whren v. United States,
517 U.S. 806, 809-10 (1996). There are two ...