review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mary E. Howes,
Shears Jr. seeks further review of an order requiring him to
pay restitution. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AND
JUDGMENT OF DISTRICT COURT AFFIRMED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, Ashley Stewart and
Shellie L. Knipfer, Assistant Appellate Defenders, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, Israel Kodiaga and Kelli A.
Huser (until withdrawal), Assistant Attorneys General,
Michael J. Walton, County Attorney, and Joshua R. Sims and
Kelly G. Cunningham, Assistant County Attorneys, for
case, we consider whether the City of Davenport is entitled
to restitution for damage to patrol vehicles in a criminal
case. The defendant pled guilty to criminal mischief and
eluding an officer. After acceptance of the guilty plea, the
city filed a restitution claim totaling approximately $7, 093
for damage to its police vehicles. The district court
determined that the damages sought by the city were a result
of the defendant's criminal activity and ordered the
defendant to pay restitution to the city.
reasons expressed below, we affirm.
Factual and Procedural Background.
State charged Darryl Shears with three crimes: criminal
mischief in the second degree in violation of Iowa Code
sections 716.1 and 716.4(1) (2015), possession of a
controlled substance, second offense, in violation of Iowa
Code section 124.401(5), and eluding while participating in a
public offense in violation of Iowa Code section
to a plea agreement, Shears pled guilty to criminal mischief
and to eluding under Iowa Code section 321.279(2), a lesser
included offense of the original charge of eluding while
participating in a public offense.
the court accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Shears,
the district court held a restitution hearing. At the
restitution hearing, the district court found that Shears had
to reimburse the State for damages to the patrol vehicles in
the amount of approximately $7, 093. On appeal, Shears
challenges the restitution ruling of the district court.
Standard of Review.
orders are reviewed for errors of law. State v.
Dubois, 888 N.W.2d 52, 53 (Iowa 2016); State v.
Jenkins, 788 N.W.2d 640, 642 (Iowa 2010); State v.
Klawonn, 688 N.W.2d 271, 274 (Iowa 2004). On appeal, we
are bound by the district court's findings of fact so
long as they are supported by substantial evidence. State
v. Paxton, 674 N.W.2d 106, 108 (Iowa 2004). The district
court is afforded broad discretion in determining the amount
of restitution when the record contains proof of a reasonable
basis from which the amount may be inferred. See State v.
Watts, 587 N.W.2d 750, 752 (Iowa 1998).
as part of a criminal action is a relatively recent
development in the law. Traditionally, recovery of damages
sustained by victims was not part of the criminal proceeding.
A victim who suffered economic harm as a result of a crime
was required to pursue recovery in a civil action. With the
spread of the victim's rights movement in the 1980s,
legislatures-including Iowa's-enacted statutes that
provided for at least partial recovery by victims of economic
harm as restitution in the sentencing phase of the criminal
proceeding. See Jenkins, 788 N.W.2d at 642. In
addition to state criminal restitution statutes, the Victim
and Witness Protection Act and the Mandatory Victims
Restitution Act have provided for criminal restitution in
federal proceedings. Id.; see 18 U.S.C.
§§ 3663-3663A (2012).
purpose of these criminal restitution statutes is said to
include protecting the public by compensating victims for
criminal activities and rehabilitating the offender by
instilling responsibility in the offender. See State v.
Izzolena, 609 N.W.2d 541, 548 (Iowa 2000); State v.
Kluesner, 389 N.W.2d 370, 372 (Iowa 1986).
criminal restitution is an odd duck that is hard to
categorize. See State v. Mayberry, 415 N.W.2d 644,
646 (Iowa 1987) (noting that it is not entirely clear whether
an order of restitution is a fine, a civil claim, or a
hybrid). It arises in the context of a criminal proceeding
designed to punish the offender. See Jenkins, 788
N.W.2d at 643 (stating that restitution under Iowa Code
chapter 910 is a "criminal sanction"); State v.
Holmberg, 449 N.W.2d 376, 377 n.1 (Iowa 1989) (noting
tort and criminal purposes). As a result, criminal
restitution obligations have been held nondischargeable in
bankruptcy. Kelly v. Robinson, 479 U.S. 36, 44- 53,
107 S.Ct. 353, 358-63 (1986). Further, restitution is subject
to the Excessive Fines Clauses of the Eighth Amendment of the
United States Constitution and article I, section 17 of the
Iowa Constitution. Izzolena, 609 N.W.2d at 549;
see also Paroline v. United States, 572 U.S. 434,
455- 56, 134 S.Ct. 1710, 1725-26 (2014) (stating that
restitution may come within the purview of the Excessive
Fines Clause because it is imposed by the government after a
criminal conviction and serves punitive purposes). Yet,
criminal restitution seeks to provide compensation to those
damaged by the defendant's conduct, ordinarily a civil
goal. See Mayberry, 415 N.W.2d at 645-46. There has
been a tug-of-war among commentators whether to characterize
restitution as criminal, and thus subject to generally narrow
construction, or civil, and thereby subject to a more
generous remedial interpretation but arguably subject to
defenses available in civil actions. See Bridgett N.
Shephard, Note & Comment, Classifying Crime Victim
Restitution: The Theoretical Arguments and Practical
Consequences of Labeling Restitution as Either a Criminal or
Civil Law Concept, 18 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 801,
802-03, 808 (2014).
of the ambiguous nature of restitution, the courts have
struggled with questions related to the scope of criminal
restitution. Among other things, courts have pondered on the
question of who is a "victim" for purposes of
criminal restitution. For example, one of the frequently
litigated issues is whether a government entity may be
considered a victim for purposes of criminal restitution.
See generally Kimberly J. Winbush, Annotation,
Persons or Entities Entitled to Restitution as
"Victim" Under State Criminal Restitution
Statute, 92 A.L.R. 5th 35 (2001). Similarly, courts have
grappled with the question of whether causation in criminal
restitution matters should be narrowly limited to causation
ordinarily applied in criminal cases or whether the causation
required for criminal restitution should be the same as that
in an ordinary civil action. Ultimately, the questions of
determining who is a victim of the crime and of causation
raise questions of statutory interpretation. This case
requires us to consider these questions in the context of the
Iowa statutory framework establishing criminal
Iowa Criminal Restitution Framework.
turn to the language and structure of the Iowa criminal
restitution statute, Iowa Code chapter 910. See McGill v.
Fish, 790 N.W.2d 113, 118 (Iowa 2010) ("[T]he
statute in dispute is our starting point . . . .").
outset, the Iowa criminal restitution statute provides that
in all cases where the defendant pled or is found guilty, the
sentencing court "shall order that restitution be made
by each offender to the victims of the offender's
criminal activities." Iowa Code § 910.2(1). The
imposition of restitution in a criminal matter is thus a
mandatory requirement of Iowa law. State v. Jackson,
601 N.W.2d 354, 356 (Iowa 1999); Watts, 587 N.W.2d
at 751. Determining the amount of restitution, however, is in
the sound discretion of the court. See Watts, 587
N.W.2d at 752; State v. Blank, 570 N.W.2d 924,
926-27 (Iowa 1997) (per curiam); State v. Haines,
360 N.W.2d 791, 797 (Iowa 1985).
burden is on the state to show entitlement to criminal
restitution. See State v. Tutor, 538 N.W.2d 894, 897
(Iowa 1995). An offender may challenge the amount of
restitution sought by the county attorney, including
challenging a determination of an amount to be paid to a
victim by the "Crime Victim Compensation Program."
Jenkins, 788 N.W.2d at 646. Mere presentation of a
bill from a third party does not establish damages sustained
by a victim. State v. Bonstetter, 637 N.W.2d 161,
169-70 (Iowa 2001). The state must produce evidence on the
amount of damages sought in restitution. Holmberg,
449 N.W.2d at 377-78.
total amount of restitution, however, is not immediately
payable as in a civil judgment, but instead is subject to an
order or payment based on ability to pay. The limitation of
payment of restitution according to ability to pay removes
restitution from a facial challenge as an excessive fine.
See Goodrich v. State, 608 N.W.2d 774, 776 (Iowa
2000); State v. Wagner, 484 N.W.2d 212');">484 N.W.2d 212, 216 (Iowa
Ct. App. 1992).
legislature provided a number of interlocking definitions in
the statute to delineate the scope of mandatory criminal
restitution. The legislature provided a definition of
"pecuniary damages" available to a victim in Iowa
Code section 910.1(3). The provision states that pecuniary
damages means "all damages . . . which a victim could
recover against the offender in a civil action arising out of
the same facts or event." Iowa Code § 910.1(3). The
provision also provides that, "[w]ithout limitation,
'pecuniary damages' includes damages for
wrongful death and expenses incurred for psychiatric or
psychological services or counseling or other counseling for
the victim which became necessary as a direct result of the
criminal activity." Id. The provision provides,
however, that the term "pecuniary damages" does not
include damages paid by an insurer on an insurance claim by
the victim; punitive damages; and damages for pain,
suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
relationship between an award of criminal restitution for
pecuniary damages for "all damages . . . which a victim
could recover against the offender in a civil action arising
out of the same facts or event," id., and any
subsequent civil action is addressed in Iowa Code section
910.8. According to this section, a victim, after receiving
criminal restitution, may bring a subsequent action for
damages against the offender. Id. § 910.8. Any
award of criminal restitution, however, is an offset against
any subsequent civil judgment that the victim might obtain.
Id.; see Teggatz v. Ringleb, 610 N.W.2d
527, 530-32 (Iowa 2000).
legislature provided a definition of "restitution."
Iowa Code § 910.1(4). According to this provision,
restitution means "payment of pecuniary damages to a
victim in an amount and in the manner provided by the
offender's plan of restitution." Id. In
addition, the legislature declares that restitution includes
various fines, surcharges, penalties, costs, and
"payment of restitution to public agencies pursuant to
section 321J.2, subsection 13, paragraph
Code section 321J.2(13)(b) provides that a court
"may" order restitution paid to any public agency
for the cost of emergency response resulting from drunk
driving violations. Id. §
321J.2(13)(b). The provision defines emergency
response as "any incident requiring response by fire
fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, medical, or other
emergency services." Id. The amount of
restitution that may be recovered for emergency response in
drunk driving cases is capped at $500 per public agency.
Id. The provision directs that "[a] public
agency seeking such restitution shall consult with the county
attorney regarding the expenses incurred by the public
agency, and the county attorney may include the expenses in
the statement of pecuniary damages pursuant to section
legislature also provided a definition of "victim"
in Iowa Code section 910.1(5). Generally, a victim is defined
as "a person who has suffered pecuniary damages as a
result of the offender's criminal activities."
Id. § 910.1(5). Finally, section 910.1(5)
provides that the crime victim compensation program is not an
insurer and that its right of subrogation does not
"prohibit" restitution to the program. Id.
stated that because criminal restitution is penal in nature,
the provisions of Iowa Code chapter 910 should be interpreted
strictly. See Bonstetter, 637 N.W.2d at 166. We have
also stated in passing that the rule of lenity is applicable
to criminal restitution. See State v. Hagen, 840
N.W.2d 140, 146 (Iowa 2013). Yet, we have suggested that it
is appropriate to consider a broader interpretation of
restitution provisions because the purpose of the statute is
to protect the public. See Kluesner, 389 N.W.2d at
372-73. We have thus held, for example, that the ...