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Monroe v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 16, 2018

LAMONT CARL MONROE, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Paul D. Miller, Judge.

         The applicant appeals the district court decision denying his request for postconviction relief from his conviction of second-degree burglary. AFFIRMED.

          Mark C. Meyer, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Zachary C. Miller, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Potterfield, J., and Scott, S.J. [*]

          SCOTT, Senior Judge.

         Lamont Monroe appeals the district court decision denying his request for postconviction relief from his conviction of second-degree burglary. Monroe has not shown an amendment to Iowa Code section 902.12(3) (2016) violated his equal protection rights. The issue of whether an indigent person should be required to pay a filing fee has not been properly presented in this appeal and we do not consider it. We affirm the decision of the district court.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         Monroe pled guilty to second-degree robbery, in violation of Iowa Code section 711.3 (2015), a class "C" felony. On April 17, 2015, he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment not to exceed ten years. The sentencing order stated Monroe would "be denied parole or work release unless he has served at least seven-tenths of the maximum term of his sentence." Monroe did not appeal his conviction.

Section 902.12(3) was amended effective July 1, 2016, to provide:
A person serving a sentence for a conviction for robbery in the second degree in violation of section 711.3 for a conviction that occurs on or after July 1, 2016, shall be denied parole or work release until the person has served between one-half and seven-tenths of the maximum term of the person's sentence as determined under section 901.11, subsection 3.

2016 Iowa Acts ch. 1104, § 8.

         Monroe filed an application for postconviction relief on August 12, 2016. He claimed under the due process and equal protection clauses he should be resentenced in light of the amendment to section 902.12(3). The district court denied Monroe's claim, finding "Defendants finally adjudicated and convicted before July 1, 2016, are not similarly situated to Defendants finally adjudicated and convicted after July 1, 2016."

         Monroe's request to proceed in forma pauperis in the postconviction action was approved by the district court, which ruled Monroe could prosecute the case "without prepayment of fees, costs, or security." The order denying Monroe's claims on the merits stated all court costs were assessed to Monroe. Monroe filed a motion to strike the assessment of a filing fee. Before the court could rule on his motion, however, he filed a notice of appeal on August 10, 2017. The court entered an order on September 1, 2017, denying the motion, noting "The Order does not state that a filing fee ...


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