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State v. Stanton

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 7, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
TYWON STANTON, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County, Mary E. Howes, Judge.

         A defendant appeals the restitution order entered following his conviction.

          G. Brian Weiler, Davenport, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas E. Bakke, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.


         This is a consolidated appeal by Tywon Stanton following his guilty pleas in two separate cases. Both guilty pleas were to third-degree burglary, and as part of the plea agreement, the State agreed to dismiss six other charges. The filed written plea agreement also memorialized, "[Stanton] agrees to pay victim restitution in the amount to be determined by the court; in addition [Stanton] agrees the State may file a request for restitution in relation to Count I [(ongoing criminal conduct)] within 30 days of sentencing." Later, the agreement stated: "Unless expressly stated otherwise in the plea agreement, [Stanton] shall be liable for restitution under all counts regardless of charging concessions contained within the plea agreement."

         Following sentencing, the State filed a statement of pecuniary damages and request for victim restitution, outlining the amount requested for four victims. The total amount requested for restitution amounted to $15, 134.45. Stanton filed an objection to the amount of restitution, and the matter proceeded to hearing.

         At the hearing, the State reminded the court Stanton had agreed to be responsible for the restitution associated with the dismissed ongoing-criminal-conduct charge and had also asked for the court to determine the amount of restitution. The State also alerted the court that it had a lien on the cash that was seized from Stanton on the day he was arrested. Of the $22, 000 that was seized, approximately $12, 800 remained available to pay the restitution in this case. Stanton informed the court that he thought he should not be responsible for the portion of the restitution claim attributable to the charge for ongoing criminal conduct because he did not plead guilty to it.[1] Defense counsel also asserted under Iowa Code section 627.6(14) (2015) Stanton was entitled to an exemption of $1000 as the money was "cash on hand" when he was arrested.

         The court ordered Stanton to pay the entire amount of the restitution claim, stating:

Well, Mr. Stanton, you agreed as part of your plea agreement you were going to make this restitution, and the money they seized in Johnson County was properly seized from you and held, and the State of Iowa put a garnishment on it, which they are allowed to do under Iowa Code section 910.10(2)(g) . . . . I appreciate that you may have children and need money but, you know, you committed a crime, and you have to pay restitution . . . and I'm going to go ahead and enter the restitution orders as proposed by the State because that's part of your plea agreement, and you committed burglaries, and you have to pay restitution, including for the ongoing criminal conduct count that was dismissed. Part of that, you were going to make restitution pursuant to that count, so I'm entering the order as proposed by the State.

         Stanton appeals, asserting the court should have granted him the $1000 exemption under section 627.6(14) and the court erred in ordering restitution for the dismissed ongoing-criminal-conduct charge without evidence or findings of fact that those damages were related to his criminal conduct. With respect to his first claim, the State asserts Stanton failed to preserve error. While Stanton's attorney did raise the issue to the district court, the court did not rule on the claim.

It is a fundamental doctrine of appellate review that issues must ordinarily be both raised and decided by the district court before we will decide them on appeal. When a district court fails to rule on an issue properly raised by a party, the party who raised the issue must file a motion requesting a ruling in order to preserve error for appeal.

Lamasters v. State, 821 N.W.2d 856, 862 (Iowa 2012) (quoting Meier v. Senecaut, 641 N.W.2d 532, 537 (Iowa 2002)). While we are not concerned about the "substance, logic, or detail in the district court's decision, " the court's ruling must indicate the court "considered the issue and necessarily ruled on it" for the issue to be preserved. Id. Because we have no indication the court considered the issue and Stanton did not file a motion seeking the court to rule on the issue, we find the issue ...

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