Certiorari to the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Peter
B. Newell, District Associate Judge.
defendant appeals a magistrate's extension of a
no-contact order for five years in a simple misdemeanor case.
A. Cacciatore of Graham, Ervanian & Cacciatore, L.L.P.,
Des Moines, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
Attorney General, and Rachel Ginbey, County Attorney, for
Dennis Vance appeals from the district court order affirming
a magistrate's extension of a no-contact order for five
years. After Vance filed his notice of appeal to our court,
we issued an order directing Vance to file an application for
discretionary review pursuant to Iowa Code section 814.6(2).
We subsequently granted his application for discretionary
review and requested that the parties brief the following
jurisdictional issues: (1) whether the magistrate court had
subject matter jurisdiction to extend a no-contact order in a
simple misdemeanor case under Iowa Code chapter 664A, and (2)
whether a right to appeal exists from the extension of a
no-contact order in a simple misdemeanor case. Vance also
presents other claims on appeal. Upon our review of the
record and the arguments of counsel, we conclude that the
present appeal should be treated as a petition for writ of
certiorari. Considering the appeal as a certiorari action, we
grant the writ and proceed to the merits. On the merits, we
hold that the magistrate had subject matter jurisdiction to
extend the no-contact order under Iowa Code chapter 664A.
However, we conclude that the findings of fact and decision
of the district court are not supported by substantial
evidence in the record, and we reverse the district court
order extending the no-contact order for five years and
remand the case to the district court for entry of an order
terminating the no-contact order.
Facts and Procedural Background.
February 2016, Chad Vance pled guilty to a charge of
harassment in the third degree. In his plea, Vance admitted
that he communicated with Les and Amy Staudt "with the
intent to annoy" in violation of a civil no-contact
order previously entered against him and in favor of the
Staudts. Vance had sent his son to the state wrestling
tournament the previous month to annoy the Staudts, who Vance
knew would be in attendance. As part of his plea agreement,
Vance agreed to the entry of a one year no-contact order. The
no-contact order included a provision prohibiting Vance from
entering any school in the Charles City Community School
District at any time, as well as "any college or
university campus, or anywhere in the vicinity of a school
currently being attended by any of the protected
parties." After approving the plea agreement, the
magistrate issued the no-contact order on March 4, 2016,
which was to remain in effect for one year. In addition to
the aforementioned school-related provisions, this no-contact
order required Vance to refrain from any contact with the
January 24, 2017, the State filed a motion to extend the
no-contact order. Vance resisted the motion, and the court
held a hearing on the motion on February 15. Amy Staudt
testified at the hearing that she wanted the no-contact order
extended. She feared the situation with Vance would go back
to the way it was before the no-contact order was entered if
the court did not extend it. However, she admitted that Vance
had not violated the no-contact order in any way since it was
entered. William Vetter, a Charles City police officer,
testified on Vance's behalf. He testified that he had
known Vance since Vance worked as a probation/parole officer.
He was unaware of any instances in which Vance had violated
the terms of the no-contact order, and he saw no reason why
Vance could not be present in a school environment. Finally,
Vance testified on his own behalf. He testified that he had
fully complied with all terms of the no-contact order and
that he was no threat to the Staudts. Most importantly, he
wanted to be able to attend his daughter's activities
within the Charles City Community School District. The
magistrate granted the motion and, based on the testimony,
extended the no-contact order for a period of five years
pursuant to Iowa Code section 664A.8 (2017). This no-contact
order is now set to expire on March 4, 2022.
appealed the magistrate's decision to the district court
pursuant to Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.73(3). On
appeal, the associate district court judge affirmed the
magistrate's order to extend the no-contact order. Vance
then appealed to our court. We treated the appeal as an
application for discretionary review and granted the
application. However, as we will explain later, we now decide
to treat this appeal as a certiorari action.
Standard of Review.
standard of review for questions of statutory interpretation
is for correction of errors at law. State v. Iowa Dist.
Ct., 889 N.W.2d 467, 470 (Iowa 2017). We also review an
original certiorari action for the correction of errors at
law. State v. Iowa Dist. Ct., 828 N.W.2d 607, 611
(Iowa 2013). "Illegality exists when the court's
findings lack substantial evidentiary support, or when the
court has not properly applied the law." State Pub.
Def. v. Iowa Dist. Ct., 747 N.W.2d 218, 220 (Iowa 2008)
(quoting Christensen v. Iowa Dist. Ct., 578 N.W.2d
675, 678 (Iowa 1998)). "Evidence is considered
substantial when reasonable minds could accept it as adequate
to reach a conclusion." State v. Garrity, 765
N.W.2d 592, 595 (Iowa 2009).
granted Vance's application for discretionary review, we
specifically directed the parties to brief the following
jurisdictional issues: whether a magistrate has subject
matter jurisdiction to extend a no-contact order in a simple
misdemeanor case pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 664A, and
whether the defendant has a right to appeal the extension of
a no-contact order in a simple misdemeanor case.
Additionally, Vance presents a number of other issues on
appeal. He argues the associate district court judge
unlawfully affirmed the magistrate's extension of the
no-contact order. Moreover, he asserts Iowa Code section
664A.8 is unconstitutionally vague. Further, Vance claims
courts cannot extend a one year no-contact order to five
years unless the State can show a change of circumstances
warranting extension. Finally, Vance alleges the State
provided insufficient evidence to establish that he continued
to pose a threat to the safety of the victims as required to
extend a no-contact order. We will address each of these
arguments in turn as necessary.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction of the Magistrate.
contends that the magistrate lacked subject matter
jurisdiction to extend the no-contact order under Iowa Code
chapter 664A, so the extension is void. Vance claims that the
legislature's decision to grant magistrates subject
matter jurisdiction to hold trials in simple misdemeanor
cases did not confer magistrates with unlimited jurisdiction
to extend no-contact orders arising in those simple
misdemeanor cases. Vance notes the omission of chapter 664A
from Iowa Code section 602.6405, the statute governing
subject matter jurisdiction for magistrates. In contrast, the
State argues the magistrate exercised appropriate subject
matter jurisdiction in extending the ...