from the Iowa District Court for Delaware County, Monica L.
defendant appeals the district court's amended
G. Thomas and Jeffrey L. Clark of James G. Thomas Law Firm,
Anamosa, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Martha E. Trout, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Potterfield, JJ.
Dempster III claims the district court erred in entering an
amended restitution order that disallowed a previously
allowed offset from insurance proceeds derived from the
insurance policy of the owner of the vehicle Dempster was
driving. Specifically, Dempster claims the court amended its
restitution order in response to a letter from the
victim's parents, who he asserts lacked
Background Facts and Proceedings
January 21, 2014, the State charged Dempster with homicide by
vehicle, in violation of Iowa Code section 707.6A(1) (2014).
The charge stemmed from a traffic accident in which Dempster
was operating while intoxicated and a passenger-the
victim-was killed. In conjunction with a plea agreement,
Dempster pled guilty to vehicular homicide by reckless
driving, in violation of Iowa Code section 707.6A(2)(a). On
April 12, 2016, the district court sentenced Dempster to a
ten-year prison term, which it suspended, a $10, 000 fine
plus a 35% surcharge, which it suspended, and five years of
probation. In addition, the court ordered Dempster to pay
$150, 000 dollars in victim restitution, pursuant to Iowa
Code section 910.3B(1).
9, 2016, Dempster filed a release and satisfaction based on a
settlement reached on May 7, 2014, between Dempster and his
insurance company and the parents of the victim, acting as
administrators of the estate and acting in their individual
capacities. The settlement provided payment of $100,
000 from Dempster's insurance company to the victim's
estate and a release from the estate of further claims
against Dempster and Dempster's insurer. The State filed
a resistance, arguing Dempster's restitution obligation
could not be offset by any civil settlement. On June 27,
Dempster filed an amended release and satisfaction that added
a separate settlement reached on May 7, 2014, between
Dempster, the owner of the vehicle Dempster was driving, and
the owner's insurer, the administrators of the
victim's estate, and the victim's parents in their
individual capacities. The settlement provided for payment of
$100, 000 from the owner's insurer to the victim's
estate and for a release from the estate of further claims
against Dempster, the owner, and the owner's insurer.
restitution hearing was held on June 28, 2016, with the two
parties- Dempster and the State-discussing whether civil
settlements should offset restitution amounts in the criminal
proceeding. The district court issued an order on July 12,
which determined the civil settlements should offset
Dempster's restitution obligation under Iowa law and
ordered the clerk of court to apply the settlements to
Dempster's restitution. No party appealed this decision.
On August 19, 2016, the victim's parents sent a letter to
the court that asserted Dempster should not have received
credit for the settlement paid by the insurance company for
the owner of the vehicle. The court then issued an order that
"clarified" its previous restitution order; the
court noted that only the settlement paid by Dempster's
insurer could offset the restitution he owed, not the
settlement paid by the owner's insurer. The court's
clarification meant that Dempster was still responsible for
$50, 000 of the restitution amount.
September 22, Dempster filed a motion to set aside the
court's amended order and schedule a hearing on the
matter. The court denied Dempster's motion, reaffirmed
its amended order, and determined that a hearing was
unwarranted because Dempster failed to respond to the letter
from the parents and request a hearing.
Scope and ...