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State v. Long

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 16, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
PETER KELLY LONG, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Webster County, Thomas J. Bice, Judge.

         An inmate appeals the denial of his petition for a restitution hearing.

          Andrew J. Boettger of Hastings, Gartin & Boettger, LLP, Ames, for appellant.

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

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor, JJ.

          TABOR, Judge.

         Peter Long appeals the dismissal of his request for a restitution hearing. The district court ruled Long's June 2016 motion was untimely because the State submitted a restitution plan in January 2012. Because Iowa Code section 910.7 permits an offender to petition for a hearing "[a]t any time during the period of probation, parole, or incarceration, " and Long is incarcerated, his motion was timely and the district court should have assessed its merits. We reverse and remand for such an assessment.

         I. Facts and Prior Proceedings

         In 2010, a jury found Long guilty of sexual abuse in the third degree. Based on prior convictions, Long qualified for a sentencing enhancement under Iowa Code section 902.14(1)(c) (2010). Long was convicted of a class "A" felony and sentenced to life in prison.

         In January 2012, the State, through the Iowa Department of Corrections, filed a restitution plan stating Long was ordered to pay $12, 530.20 in court costs associated with his jury trial and subsequent bench trial to decide the enhancement allegation.[1] The plan required Long to pay twenty percent of all credits to his institutional account to cover the outstanding balance. A notation at the bottom of the plan showed a copy was sent to Long.

         More than four years later, in June 2016, Long filed a motion, as a self-represented litigant, requesting a restitution hearing under section 910.7 (2016). In his motion he challenges the $12, 530 in restitution, contending: (1) the two attorneys, who represented him in district court, were employed by the State Public Defender's Office and already paid by the State; (2) he should not be required to reimburse the cost of two attorneys because his underlying sexual abuse offense was a class "C" felony, only requiring the appointment of one attorney; (3) the restitution plan failed to consider all of his individual circumstances; and (4) he already paid more than one-thousand dollars in restitution. Without considering whether any of Long's claims warranted a hearing, the district court denied Long's request as "untimely."

         Six months later, in January 2017, Long renewed his request for a restitution hearing under section 910.7 (2017). Again filing as a self-represented litigant, Long alleged: (1) he was already paying restitution; (2) "[t]here was never a restitution plan served by the public defender's office"; (3) "[t]he restitution amount just appeared on this banking statement without notice[ m]ore than a year after incarceration, way past the time limit"; (4) the restitution plan was prepared without consideration of his individual circumstances; (5) procedural deficiencies; (6) the amount of restitution created a financial hardship for him as an inmate; and (7) he should not be required to pay for two attorneys. Long asked that his motion be considered by a different district court judge than the judge who denied his June 2016 request. A different district court judge ruled on the January 2017 motion stating: "It is ordered, for the same reasons set out in the Order of June 8, 2016, that the aforesaid motion is overruled."

          Long now appeals arguing that the district court erred in dismissing his request for a restitution hearing as untimely.[2]

         II. ...


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