from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Cynthia M.
Moisan, District Associate Judge.
Lomen appeals the amount of restitution ordered upon his
conviction for theft in the fourth degree.
R. Stockdale, Windsor Heights, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Martha E. Trout, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.
DANILSON, CHIEF JUDGE.
March 23, 2017, David Lomen reached a plea agreement with the
State and entered a guilty plea to theft in the fourth
degree. In his written petition to plead guilty he admitted
he did have possession of a stolen laptop and under the
circumstances he should have known the laptop was stolen. At
the time of sentencing, a supplemental order on restitution
was entered, which set the amount of restitution at $1689.59.
Lomen challenged the amount of restitution.
June 13, 2017 hearing, the owner of the laptop testified as
to the original cost of the component parts and presented
receipts from 2005 and 2009, claiming $1640.59 of the two
receipts were for the stolen computer. The laptop had been
recovered from a pawnshop and returned to the victim, who
testified it no longer functioned. She testified, "It
has been completely wiped. It powers on. I've spent $200
from two different people, a hundred dollars each, trying to
restore it, trying to get into anything that could bring it
back. And it's done, there's nothing you can
do." No evidence of replacement cost was presented. The
court made no findings of fact. The court entered an order,
ruling, "Restitution is to be paid in the amount of
appeals. Our review of restitution orders is for correction
of errors at law. State v. Klawonn, 688 N.W.2d 271,
274 (Iowa 2004).
appeal, Lomen challenges the amount of restitution ordered.
He contends the record did not establish causation between
the offense to which he pled guilty and the amount of
restitution ordered. "The defendant may seek, on appeal,
to have the trial court's restitution order overturned or
modified. However, the defendant must show 'a failure of
the trial court to exercise discretion or abuse of
discretion.'" State v. Wagner, 484 N.W.2d
212, 216 (Iowa Ct. App. 1992) (citation omitted). "An
abuse of discretion will not be found unless we are able to
discern that the decision was exercised on grounds or for
reasons that were clearly untenable or unreasonable."
State v. Formaro, 638 N.W.2d 720, 724 (Iowa 2002).
rationale for restitution under criminal law is similar to a
civil recovery for torts. See State v. Mayberry, 415
N.W.2d 644, 645-46 (Iowa 1987). "A wrong has been done.
A person has been injured or property damaged. The victim
deserves to be fully compensated for the injury by the actor
who caused it." State v. Ihde, 532 N.W.2d 827,
829 (Iowa Ct. App. 1995). Our supreme court has rejected a
claim that the restitution order must be limited by the
parameters of the offense to which the defendant pleads
guilty, observing that the restitution order "can be
extended to any amount which would be appropriate for tort
recovery." State v. Holmberg, 449 N.W.2d 376,
377 (Iowa 1989). However, the restitution order must rest on
"a causal connection between the established criminal
act and the injuries to the victim." Id.
the causal connection is established by a preponderance of
the evidence, "the statute allows recovery of 'all
damages' . . . which the state can show by a
preponderance of the evidence." Id. A
restitutionary order is not excessive "if it bears a
real reasonable relationship to the damage caused."
Mayberry, 415 N.W.2d at 647.
State asserts the computer was in working order when it was
stolen, Lomen admitted to exercising control over the
computer, and when it was returned to the victim, it did not
work. While we do not disagree that the victim is entitled to
be compensated for the loss of her computer, the State's
brief offers no rationale for using the original cost of the
computer components as a basis for the restitution ordered.
general rule in Iowa for repairs or for replacement is the
fair and reasonable cost of replacement or repair, but not to
exceed the value of the property immediately prior to the
loss or damage." See State v. Urbanek, 177
N.W.2d 14, 16 (Iowa 1970); see also Papenheim v.
Lovell, 530 N.W.2d 668, ...