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State v. Plettenberg

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 2, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MARC CHRISTOPHER PLETTENBERG, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, Kim M. Riley, District Associate Judge.

         Marc Plettenberg appeals the restitution order entered following his guilty pleas to four offenses.

          Richard Hollis, Des Moines, for appellant.

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

          Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.

          DOYLE, Presiding Judge.

         In this appeal Marc Plettenberg challenges the restitution order entered after he pled guilty to several crimes. Upon our review, we affirm the restitution order.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         Today we also file our opinion in State v. Plettenberg, No. 17-0624, 2018 WL__ (Iowa Ct. App. May 2, 2018), an appeal involving the same underlying facts that gave rise to issues in dispute here. Because the relevant facts are fully set forth in that case, we do not repeat them here, except to explain the posture of this appeal. Ultimately, after pleading guilty to four crimes, the district court adjudged Plettenberg guilty of the crimes and sentenced him. Plettenberg appealed, challenging various matters, all addressed in Plettenberg, No. 17-0624, 2018 WL ____, at *___.

         After his appeal was filed, the county jail filed a claim seeking reimbursement from Plettenberg for room, board, and medical expenses it claimed Plettenberg incurred in spending 397 days in its jail.[1] The total claim amount was $12, 224.45. The case number on the claim form included FECR088617, along with two other cases, FECR088508 and FECR086357. Plettenberg filed a resistance to the jail's claim for reimbursement, asserting that "[b]y filing [the jail's reimbursement claim], the State (although NOT the individual prosecutor personally) has breached the plea agreement." He pointed out that, in his guilty pleas for the three lesser-included crimes, there were no references "to restitution more generally or the repayment of costs of incarceration" at the jail. Plettenberg acknowledged that his guilty plea for the escape charge made reference to payment of "court-appointed attorney fees and restitution, " but he argued "restitution" as used in the plea "should not be interpreted as restitution in general, but only as repayment for expenses associated with legal representation."

         The court scheduled a July 2017 hearing "on the issue of his reasonable ability to pay costs assessed in this case." At the hearing, Plettenberg's counsel noted that in addition to Plettenberg's inability to pay the assessed costs and fees, "the plea agreement [did] not requir[e] or specify[] payment for the stay in jail, " and counsel asked "the court to consider . . . whether or not the restitution should be due and owing at all." No further discussion of that issue on the record was held. On July 20, 2017, the court entered an order approving the jail's room and board reimbursement claim pursuant to Iowa Code sections 356.7 and 910.2 (2017). The court noted the claim total included FECR088617 and another case. The next day, the court entered its order denying Plettenberg's resistance to the restitution orders, finding the correctional-fee reimbursement was considered a court cost and finding "no merit in [Plettenberg's] assertion that he was not informed of his obligation to pay court costs, which include[d] correctional fees." The court also found Plettenberg was able to pay the restitution. On August 18, 2017, Plettenberg filed a notice of appeal, specifically appealing the "'Order Approving Room and Board' filed on July 20, 2017 . . . and . . . the 'Ruling on Restitution' filed on July 21, 2017."

         II. Scope and Standards of Review.

         We review challenges to both guilty pleas and restitution orders for correction of errors at law. See State v. Weitzel, 905 N.W.2d 397, 401 (Iowa 2017); State v. Fisher, 877 N.W.2d 676, 680 (Iowa 2016); State v. Dubois, 888 N.W.2d 52, 53 (Iowa 2016). We review constitutional claims, such as claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, de novo. See State v. Virgil, 895 N.W.2d 873, 879 (Iowa 2017).

         III. ...


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