MYRON DENNIS BEHM, BURTON J. BROOKS, ROBBY LEE LANGSTON, DAVID LEON BRODSKY, JEFFREY R. OLSON, and GEOFF TATE SMITH, Appellants,
CITY OF CEDAR RAPIDS and GATSO USA, INC., Appellees.
review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Christopher L.
request further review of court of appeals decision affirming
summary judgment in favor of the defendants on
plaintiffs' putative class action challenging city's
automated traffic enforcement ordinance.
C. Larew of Larew Law Office, Iowa City, for appellants.
Elizabeth D. Jacobi, Assistant City Attorney, for appellee
City of Cedar Rapids.
D. Burns and Laura M. Hyer of Bradley & Riley PC, Iowa
City, for appellee Gatso USA, Inc.
case, we once again consider a range of issues related to an
automated traffic enforcement (ATE) system. The City of Cedar
Rapids (Cedar Rapids or City) enacted an ordinance designed
to authorize and implement the establishment of an ATE system
intended to detect drivers traveling in excess of speed
limits within Cedar Rapids. Pursuant to the ordinance, Cedar
Rapids contracted with Gatso USA, Inc. (Gatso) to install the
ATE system, which included mounted cameras and radar
equipment, and to provide the City with evidence of vehicles
violating the speed limit at the ATE locations. The ATE
ordinance imposed a civil penalty for a violation.
plaintiffs filed a class-action petition against Cedar Rapids
and Gatso. The plaintiffs sought damages and declaratory and
injunctive relief, claiming the ATE system as implemented by
the defendants violated the equal protection, due process,
and privileges and immunities clauses of the Iowa
Constitution. The plaintiffs also raised a number of other
challenges, asserting that the administrative remedies under
the ATE ordinance were in conflict with Iowa law, that the
ATE ordinance as implemented by the City's contract with
Gatso unconstitutionally delegated governmental power to a
private entity, and that the defendants were unjustly
enriched by the revenues generated by the ATE system.
district court granted the defendants summary judgment, and
the plaintiffs appealed.
transferred the case to the court of appeals. The court of
appeals affirmed the district court. In our original opinion,
we vacated the decision of the court of appeals and affirmed
in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district
City filed a petition for rehearing, asserting that we relied
on an incorrect version of the City's ATE ordinance in
discussing the issue of preemption. We granted the City's
petition and vacated our earlier opinion.
review, we find that the City's petition for rehearing is
well taken. We did not rely upon the ordinance in effect at
the time of the motion for summary judgment in this case but
on a later version of the ordinance. We therefore decided to
grant rehearing. On rehearing, we consider only those aspects
of our prior opinion affected by the error.
rehearing, for the reasons below, we conclude that the
district court properly granted summary judgment in this
Factual and Procedural Background.
Structure of Cedar Rapids' ATE System.
2009, Cedar Rapids enacted an ordinance establishing an ATE
system. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mun. Code § 61.138 (2016).
The ordinance authorizes Cedar Rapids to "deploy, erect
or cause to have erected an automated traffic enforcement
system for making video images of vehicles that . . . fail to
obey speed regulations . . . in the city." Id.
§ 61.138(a). The ordinance authorizes the hiring of a
contractor "with which the City of Cedar Rapids
contracts to provide equipment and/or services in connection
with the Automated Traffic Enforcement System."
Id. § 61.138(b)(2).
ordinance provides that when the ATE system records a
speeding vehicle violation, the contractor mails a notice of
violation to the vehicle owner within thirty days after
obtaining the owner's identifying information.
Id. § 61.138(d)(1). The ordinance further
provides that a vehicle owner may contest the citation by
requesting an administrative hearing "held at the Cedar
Rapids Police Department before an administrative appeals
board . . . consisting of one or more impartial fact
finders." Id. § 61.138(e)(1). Upon
receiving the board's decision, the ordinance provides a
vehicle owner with the option of either paying the fine or
submitting a request that the City file a municipal
infraction in the small claims division of district court.
Id. § 61.138(e)(1)-(2).
small claims court proceeding, Cedar Rapids is required to
show "by clear, satisfactory, and convincing
evidence" that the vehicle was travelling in excess of
the posted speed limit. Iowa Code §
364.22(6)(b) (2015). The ordinance authorizes a fine
of between $25 and $750. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mun. Code §
61.138(c)-(d). The ordinance also notes that state-mandated
court costs are added to the amount of the fine if the
vehicle owner is found guilty after a small claims court
proceeding. Id. § 61.138(e)(2); see
also Iowa Code § 364.22(8).
Gatso's contract with Cedar Rapids.
to the ordinance, Cedar Rapids entered into a contract with
Gatso in 2009. The contract provided that Cedar Rapids and
Gatso had previously identified locations where ATE equipment
would be installed. Gatso was responsible for all costs and
expenses associated with the installation, operation, and
maintenance of the ATE equipment. Gatso agreed to keep the
ATE system in compliance with all Cedar Rapids and Iowa
Department of Transportation (IDOT) standards.
contract provided that once the ATE system was operational,
Gatso was responsible for developing images and obtaining
data from the ATE equipment and presenting the information to
the City as "an electronic violation package." The
contract further provided that such violation packages would
be processed through a web-based application that would allow
the City's police department to review, approve, or
reject each violation before a citation was issued.
contract provided that if Cedar Rapids rejected a violation,
Cedar Rapids would report to Gatso the basis for the
rejection. If Cedar Rapids approved a violation package, the
contract called upon Gatso to send a citation to the
registered owner of the vehicle by mail using its web-based
program. If the registered owner chose to pay the citation,
Gatso would accept violation payments on behalf of the City
by check, credit card, or money order.
the contract, Gatso's fee for services was $30 per paid
violation, later reduced to $25 per paid violation. For its
ATE services, Gatso received payments of $817, 960, $2, 537,
280, $2, 152, 650, $2, 137, 140, and $1, 163, 400 from Cedar
Rapids for calendar years 2010 through 2014. For the period
between March 17, 2015, and January 25, 2016, Gatso received
$1, 749, 143.
Gatso's Notices to Alleged Violators.
Content of notice of violation.
the plaintiffs in this case received a "Notice of
Violation" of the ATE ordinance. The notice of violation
displayed the City of Cedar Rapids logo and had the signature
of the Cedar Rapids law enforcement officer who approved
issuing the citation.
front page of the notice of violation provided information
about the time and place of the alleged violation along with
two photos of the vehicle recorded by the ATE system. The
front page of the notice of violation provided the following
Failure to pay the civil fine or to contest liability within
(30) calendar days is an admission of liability in the full
amount of the civil fine assessed and will result in the loss
of your right to a hearing. In addition, you may be subject
to formal collection procedures including, but not limited
to, being reported to a credit reporting agency, and a civil
backside of the notice of violation provided information
about how to pay the civil penalty. It also stated that a
person receiving the notice of violation had a right to
contest the violation in person at an administrative hearing.
The notice of violation suggested that recipients wishing to
contest the violation "review the city ordinance, the
images, and the actual recorded video (if applicable) of the
infraction" and provided a limited list of "valid
defenses." The list of valid defenses does not include a
defense that the driver was a person other than the
vehicle's registered owner. The backside of the notice of
violation cautioned that the failure to appear at an
administrative hearing "will result in a final
determination of liability." The notice of violation
made no mention of the recipient's option of requesting
Cedar Rapids initiate a small claims action in district court
where Cedar Rapids would bear the burden of proof of showing
a violation "by clear, satisfactory, and convincing
evidence." Iowa Code § 364.22(6)(b).
Content of "notice of determination of
If the first notice of violation did not result in payment or
the scheduling of an administrative hearing, Gatso sent out
another document to the vehicle owner entitled "Notice
of Determination 2nd Notice." As with the notice of
violation, the notice of determination carried the City of
Cedar Rapids logo and had the signature of a law enforcement
notice of determination provided the same information about
the time and place of the alleged offense as the notice of
violation. It contained, however, a slightly different
admonition than the original notice of violation:
Failure to pay the civil fine or to appeal this determination
within (30) calendar days may result in the possible
imposition of a late fee. In addition, you may be subject to
formal collection procedures including, but not limited to,
being reported to a credit reporting agency, and a civil
backside of the notice of determination also differed from
the notice of violation. Unlike the notice of violation, the
notice of determination declared that citizens could resolve
the notice of determination by paying the fine or
"request[ing] a trial before a judge or magistrate"
within thirty days of the date listed on the front of the
Content of nonresident request for hearing,
form generated with the Cedar Rapids logo was entitled
"Request for Hearing, Non-Appearance Form." This
form was available to vehicle owners who did not reside in
Iowa. The request for hearing, non-appearance form declared
that the form "must be completed in full including a
statement of facts specifying grounds for challenging the
violation notice." The request for a hearing,
non-appearance form listed certain defenses, but it did not
mention the option of requesting that Cedar Rapids institute
a municipal infraction action in district court.
Appeal Before Administrative Appeals Board.
the ATE ordinance refers to an administrative appeals board,
the ordinance states that the board consisted of "one or
more impartial fact finders." Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mun.
Code § 61.138(e)(1). In all the administrative hearings
involved in this case, the administrative appeals board
consisted of a single person. While the ordinance calls for
an impartial administrative appeals board, the ordinance does
not establish procedures or criteria for appointment. The
ordinance does not describe the burden of proof or the
procedures to be applied in the administrative proceedings.
plaintiffs in this case received a "Findings, Decision
and Order" in connection with their administrative
appeals. A person identified as an "Administrative
Hearing Officer" signed the documents. The documents
declared "IT IS ORDERED" that liability has been
determined and presented a dollar amount representing a
"JUDGMENT TOTAL." The findings, decision, and order
expressly advised recipients of the option of requesting that
a municipal infraction be issued and filed in district court.
IDOT Rulemaking and Enforcement Actions.
IDOT rules related to ATE systems.
years after the Cedar Rapids ATE system commenced operation,
in February of 2014, the IDOT promulgated administrative
rules relating to ATE systems. Iowa Admin. Code ch. 761-144.
The rules declared that their purpose was "to establish
requirements, procedures, and responsibilities in the use of
automated traffic enforcement systems on the primary road
system" and to "ensure consistency
statewide" in their use. Id. r. 761- 144.1.
IDOT rules sharply restricted the implementation of ATE
systems on primary roadways. The rules directed that ATE
systems were to be considered only "after other
engineering and enforcement solutions have been explored and
implemented" and were not to be used as a long-term
solution to speeding or red-light running. Id. r.
761-144.4(1)(a)- (b). The rules provided
that ATE systems were to be used only "in extremely
limited situations on interstate roads because [such roads]
are the safest class of any roadway in the state and
typically . . . carry a significant amount of non-familiar
motorists." Id. r. 761-144.4(1)(c).
The rules further stated that ATE systems shall only be
considered "in areas with a documented high-crash or
high-risk location" in "[a]n area or intersection
with a significant history of crashes which can be attributed
to red-light running or speeding," or "[a] school
zone." Id. r. 761-144.4(1)(d).
IDOT rules contained minimum requirements for the operation
of ATE systems. Id. r. 761-144.6. Among other
requirements, the rules provided that ATE systems could not
"be placed within the first 1, 000 feet of a lower speed
limit." Id. r. 761-144.6(b)(10). The
rules required that ATE "fixed systems" be
calibrated at least quarterly "by a local law
enforcement officer trained in the use and calibration of the
system." Id. r. 761-144.6(4).
IDOT rules required that each jurisdiction with an active ATE
system on primary highways prepare an annual report on the
operation of the system and submit the report to the IDOT.
Id. r. 761-144.7(1)- (2). The local evaluation was
to include (1) an analysis of the impact of the ATE system in
reducing speeds or red-light running; (2) the number and type
of collisions at the sites, including before-and-after
implementation comparisons; (3) an evaluation of the ATE
system's impact on critical safety issues; (4) the total
number of citations issued during each calendar year; and (5)
certification that the calibration requirements of the rule
had been met. Id. r.
receipt of the annual report, the IDOT used the information
from the report to reevaluate the continued use of the ATE
system. Id. r. 761-144.8(1). The rules provided that
continued use of the ATE system was contingent upon the
effectiveness of the system, appropriate administration by
the local jurisdiction, continued compliance with ATE rules,
changes in traffic patterns, infrastructure improvements, and
implementation of other identified safety measures.
Id. r. 761-144.8(1)- (2). The IDOT "reserve[d]
the right to require removal or modification of a system in a
particular location, as deemed appropriate."
Id. r. 761- 144.8(2).
recently considered the question of whether the IDOT had
authority to promulgate its ATE rules. See City of Des
Moines v. Iowa Dep't of Transp., 911 N.W.2d 431
(2018). We concluded that the IDOT lacked the necessary
statutory authority. Id. at 449-50. As a result, the
IDOT rules are invalid and not enforceable in this case.
Nonetheless, to the extent the studies conducted pursuant to
the invalid rules relate to safety matters, we consider the
findings as part of this appeal.
IDOT evaluation of Cedar Rapids ATE sites on I-380.
March 17, 2015, the IDOT issued an evaluation of Cedar
Rapids' ATE program. In terms of general findings related
to the ATE system on I-380, the IDOT noted that there were
eighty-two crashes in 2008 and 2009 prior to ATE
implementation and fifty-nine crashes in the 2012 and 2013,
two years after the implementation in 2010. The IDOT report
noted that the greatest area of safety concern was an
"S" curve in downtown Cedar Rapids. The IDOT
stressed that the dangers associated with the "S"
curve, however, were in entering the "S" curve, not
leaving the "S" curve. The IDOT noted, echoing its
rules, that ATE systems should only be considered in
"extremely limited situations on interstate roads
because they are the safest class of any roadway in the state
and they typically carry a significant amount of non-familiar
motorists." The IDOT reported that many safety
countermeasures had been added to this section of the roadway
since a safety audit conducted in 2008 and published in 2009.
IDOT report proceeded to evaluate each of the four ATE sites
respect to the site on I-380 northbound near Diagonal Drive,
the IDOT concluded that because the current equipment was
located 859 feet beyond a reduction in speed limit from sixty
to fifty-five miles per hour, the equipment should be moved
to the next truss to the north to ensure the equipment
complied with the 1000-foot requirement of rule
761-144.6(1)(b)(10). The IDOT evaluation came to a
similar conclusion with respect to the ATE site on I-380
southbound near J Avenue. There, the ATE cameras were located
896 feet beyond a change of speed instead of the 1000 feet
required by the IDOT rule.
other Cedar Rapids ATE sites, however, received different
treatment. The IDOT evaluation concluded that the ATE site at
I-380 northbound near J Avenue and the site at I-380
southbound near the 1st Avenue ramp should be removed or
disabled. According to the IDOT, these two ATE systems were
located either well beyond or mostly beyond the area of
concern presented by the "S" curve. Further, with
respect to the site at I-380 northbound near J Avenue, the
IDOT found that the issuance of speeding citations in excess
of 30, 000 per year was "extremely high."
Rapids appealed the IDOT evaluation to the director. Cedar
Rapids raised issues concerning the IDOT's legal
authority to implement its ATE rules, Cedar Rapids' home
rule authority, and the procedure the IDOT followed regarding
its ATE rules. Cedar Rapids also appears to have asserted
that the IDOT rules did not apply retroactively to ATE
systems in place prior to the rules promulgation.
Notices of Violations and Administrative Proceedings
Olson resides in Bloomington, Minnesota. He received a notice
of violation alleging that on April 3, 2015, a vehicle owned
by him violated the Cedar Rapids ATE ordinance at I-380
southbound, J Avenue exit. Olson challenged the citation.
submitted a statement to Cedar Rapids detailing his reasons
for contesting the charge. Olson stated that the IDOT had
found the particular camera on the J Avenue exit noncompliant
with state regulations and that Cedar Rapids had not remedied
the noncompliance. He noted the equipment violated the
regulation requiring that an ATE system not be placed within
the first 1000 feet of a lower speed limit. Olson stated that
he also could find no evidence that Cedar Rapids quarterly
calibrated the radar and camera equipment as required by
state regulations. Olson further stated that the cameras were
not placed close enough to the "S" curve, a
perceived safety hazard, to promote public safety.
addition to questioning the enforcement of a citation that is
based upon a noncompliant ATE site, Olson stated it was
unconstitutional to fine an owner for a moving violation
without proving that the owner was, in fact, in control of
and operating the vehicle at the time of the alleged
violation. Further, Olson claimed it was unconstitutional to
charge a driver with a moving violation without the driver
being able to face and question the accuser, which is
impossible with an automated system.
administrative hearing officer rejected Olson's
challenge. On a form letter headed with the address of the
Cedar Rapids Police Department, Verle Allen, an
"Administrative Hearing Officer," made a finding of
"liable" and in notes, stated "[c]itation
sustained." Olson paid the fine.
Behm resides in Atwater, Minnesota. He received a notice of
violation alleging that on April 11, 2015, a vehicle owned by
him operated in violation of the Cedar Rapids ATE ordinance
at I-380 northbound, J Avenue exit. Behm filed a written
Rapids, asserting that the IDOT had ordered the removal of
the camera at the location. The hearing officer, Chris
Mayfield, on the same form utilized in the Olson matter,
found Behm "liable" and the "[c]itation
Bobby Lee Langston and David Brodsky.
Lee Langston and David Brodsky reside in Iowa City, Iowa.
They received two notices of violation alleging that on April
25, 2015, a vehicle they owned violated the Cedar Rapids ATE
ordinance. One violation allegedly occurred at 7:30 p.m., at
I-380 northbound, Diagonal Drive exit, while the other
violation allegedly occurred at I-380 southbound, 1st Avenue
West exit, at 8:02 p.m. Langston and Brodsky challenged the
citations. Brodsky appeared at the administrative hearing.
hearing officer, Chris Mayfield, dismissed one of the
violations. With respect to the remaining violation, the
hearing officer used the same form and had the same notations
as other orders in which the owner was found to have violated
the ordinance and the citation was sustained.
Smith resides in Aloha, Oregon. He received two notices of
violation alleging that on June 8, 2015, a vehicle owned by
him violated the Cedar Rapids ATE ordinance at I-380
northbound, Diagonal Drive exit, and again two minutes later,
at I-380 northbound, J Avenue exit. He challenged the
violations. At the administrative hearing, hearing officer
Verle Allen found Smith "liable" for one violation,
but the other violation does not appear to have been
addressed. Smith paid the fine.
Brooks resides in Putnam, Illinois. He received a notice of
violation alleging a speeding event on June 19, 2015, at
I-380 southbound, J Avenue exit. He contested the violation.
In a written submission, he stated he was a disabled American
veteran on vacation with his wife when he drove through Cedar
Rapids. He stated that he made a habit of observing the speed
limit as demonstrated by the fact that he had not received a
speeding ticket in thirty years. He suggested that the camera
malfunctioned or that, as a stranger to Cedar Rapids, he did
not have enough time to adjust to the speed limit. He asked
that the matter be dismissed and promised "to be aware
next time I vacation in your beautiful city."
officer Chris Mayfield dismissed the citation, stating,
"[E]vidence shown could not prove the citizen's
fault." The hearing officer offered some friendly
advice, namely "warning, please slow down."
Overview of Plaintiffs' Petition.
plaintiffs filed an action in district court challenging the
lawfulness of the Cedar Rapids ATE ordinance. Article I,
count I of the petition sought a declaratory judgment against
the City. Article I, count I is a sprawling pleading that
includes at least eight often overlapping and interwoven
constitutional and statutory claims.
plaintiffs first assert a statutory claim that the ATE system
with its administrative hearing approach provides an
irreconcilably different process than the small claims
approach for municipal infractions, which they assert Iowa
Code section 602.6101 requires. Section 602.6101 provides
that the district court "has exclusive, general, and
original jurisdiction of all actions . . . except in cases
where exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction is conferred on
some other court, tribunal, or administrative body."
Iowa Code § 602.6101.
plaintiffs further assert that the ATE system and its
administrative hearing is irreconcilable with Iowa Code
section 364.22(6). Section 364.22(2) states "[a] city by
ordinance may provide that a violation of an ordinance is a
municipal infraction." Id. § 364.22(2).
Iowa Code section 364.22(6) then provides that a municipal
infraction is to be tried in district court "in the same
manner as a small claim," and "the city has the
burden" to prove the violation occurred by "clear,
satisfactory, and convincing evidence."
the plaintiffs allege numerous violations of the equal
protection clause and the privileges and immunities clause of
article I, section 6 of the Iowa Constitution. The plaintiffs
assert the ATE system treats various classes of Iowa citizens
and out-of-state citizens differently in violation of the
fundamental right to travel, which plaintiffs claim triggers
strict scrutiny. The plaintiffs allege that the use of the
National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System database
(Nlets),  where the license plates of various
vehicles such as semi-trailer trucks and government-owned
vehicles have been "suppressed," is a violation of
equal protection. The plaintiffs allege a violation of the
Iowa privileges and immunities clause because the
"compressed distances" between the change in speed
limits and the location of the cameras has a disproportionate
impact on out-of-state drivers.
plaintiffs' petition alleges due process violations under
the Iowa Constitution "due to the scheme's many
failures." Among other things, they assert that due
process violations arise because the camera placements are
not sufficiently advertised to the public, the camera
placements are in areas not correlated with significant
safety issues, owners of cited vehicles lack actual notice of
all reasonable and applicable defenses, and owners of cited
vehicles lack notice of the availability of direct access to
the Iowa courts with respect to alleged ATE violations. The
plaintiffs also claim the ATE system violates the Iowa
Constitution-apparently due process-because it has continued
to operate in violation of the IDOT's administrative
rules and regulations and corresponding evaluation order and
is therefore "invalid as the State has presumptively
held that there is no legitimate state interest in the
operation of these cameras."
on the above theories, the plaintiffs sought relief beyond a
declaratory ruling. The plaintiffs also sought certification
of classes of vehicle owners, damages against the defendants
for claims arising under the Iowa Constitution, a refund of
amounts paid to Cedar Rapids and Gatso under an unjust
enrichment theory, and temporary and permanent injunctive
District Court Ruling on Summary Judgment.
City moved for summary judgment on all issues. The district
court granted the motion.
respect to the Iowa constitutional claims based on
substantive due process, equal protection, and privileges and
immunities, the district court recognized federal caselaw
held the right to interstate travel was fundamental under the
United States Constitution and assumed a fundamental right to
intrastate travel under the Iowa Constitution. Citing federal
caselaw, the court concluded the plaintiffs failed to show
the directness and substantiality required for an
infringement of the fundamental right to travel and, as a
result, the challenges to the ordinance and its
implementation based on substantive due process, equal
protection, and privileges and immunities would be evaluated
using a rational basis test. See Hughes v. City of Cedar
Rapids, 112 F.Supp.3d 817, 839 (N.D. Iowa 2015)
(concluding that in order to show the fundamental right to
travel has been infringed, the court looks to "[t]he
directness and substantiality of the interference with the
fundamental right at issue" (quoting Zablocki v.
Redhail, 434 U.S. 374, 387 N.12, 98 S.Ct. 673, 681 n.12
(1978))), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, 840
F.3d 987 (8th Cir. 2016).
applying the rational basis test, the district court
emphasized that under principles described in a trio of
cases, the challenger had to negate every reasonable basis
upon which the legislation may be sustained, see Varnum
v. Brien, 763 N.W.2d 862, 879 (Iowa 2009), the
legitimate government interest in the ordinance may be
sufficient if it is "realistically conceivable,"
Racing Ass'n of Cent. Iowa v. Fitzgerald
(RACI II), 675 N.W.2d 1, 7 (Iowa 2004) (emphasis
omitted) (quoting Miller v. Boone Cty. Hosp., 394
N.W.2d 776, 779 (Iowa 1986)), and a significant degree of
underinclusiveness and/or overinclusiveness is tolerated,
Vance v. Bradley, 440 U.S. 93, 108-09, 99 S.Ct. 939,
948 (1979). Citing King v. State, 818 N.W.2d 1');">818 N.W.2d 1, 32
(Iowa 2012), the court noted that typically the rational
basis test for equal protection is also applied with respect
to a substantive due process analysis.
these principles, the district court rejected the substantive
due process, equal protection, and privileges and immunities
claims. Relying on Hughes, the court concluded that
the City could rationally conclude that the system would
reduce the number of people violating traffic laws while
simultaneously raising funds for the City. See 112
F.Supp.3d at 840. The court further noted that Cedar Rapids
could rationally conclude that a system that only photographs
rear license plates is less expensive and that capturing
fewer people who violate the ordinance with a less expensive
system is more cost-effective. The district court concluded
that the "minor degree of underinclusiveness"
caused by the resulting exemption of semi-trailer trucks and
government-owned vehicles from the threat of ATE citation was
insufficient to render the ordinance unconstitutional under
due process, equal protection, and privileges and immunities
district court recognized that the IDOT had determined that
the equipment placed at the I-380 locations was not necessary
for public safety. Even so, the court reasoned, the City has
a legitimate interest in enforcing the speed limit within the
City limits and the ATE system is rationally related to that
interest. In any event, the court stated that the IDOT is not
the final arbiter of the constitutional legitimacy of the
district court rejected the plaintiff's procedural due
process claim along the same lines as the federal district
court in Hughes, 112 F.Supp.3d 817. Applying the
balancing test of Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319,
335, 96 S.Ct. 893, 903 (1976), the court observed that a
civil fine of between $25 and $750 was not a particularly
weighty property interest. The court noted that the risk of
erroneous deprivation was slight given the two options in the
ordinance to contest the fine. Further, the court concluded
that requiring the government to allow citations to be
contested only through the court system would impose a
significant additional workload on already burdened state
district court also rejected the plaintiffs'
unlawful-delegation-of-power claim. According to the court,
Gatso's initial screening process involved little
discretion and the plaintiffs did not provide facts
indicating otherwise. The court further noted that it did not
find admissible evidence showing the acts of running license
plate numbers to identify registered vehicle owners,
calibrating the ATE equipment, mailing out notices, or
maintaining Cedar Rapids' ATE hotline or webpage involved
significant discretion on Gatso's part. Further, the
court noted that Cedar Rapids police officers were
responsible for the ultimate decision regarding who was
issued ATE citations.
district court next addressed the plaintiffs' argument
that provisions of Iowa law preempted the administrative
remedies in the ordinance. The court rejected the claim,
emphasizing that the ATE ordinance is not preempted by Iowa
Code section 364.22(4), (6) and section 602.6101 because the
ordinance simply provides plaintiffs with an additional forum
to challenge the ATE citations. The court, however, did not
address the claim that the IDOT's regulations preempted
the City's actions.
the district court addressed the plaintiffs' unjust
enrichment claim. The court concluded that because the
ordinance was constitutional, there was no basis for an
unjust enrichment claim.
appealed. We transferred the case to the court of appeals.
Court of Appeals Opinion.
court of appeals affirmed, generally applying reasoning
similar to the district court. With respect to
plaintiffs' claim that Iowa statutes preempted the
ordinance, however, the court of appeals engaged in
additional analysis. The court noted the argument was based
upon implied rather than express preemption. The court
recognized that a municipality cannot enact an ordinance that
expressly or impliedly conflicts with state law. See City
of Sioux City v. Jacobsma, 862 N.W.2d 335, 353 (Iowa
2015). The court, however, cited federal authority for the
proposition that the ATE ordinance was not impliedly
preempted. See Brooks v. City of Des Moines, 844
F.3d 978, 980 (8th Cir. 2016); Hughes, 112 F.Supp.3d
at 849. Further, the court of appeals also cited City of
Davenport v. Seymour, 755 N.W.2d 533, 542 (Iowa 2008),
and Goodell v. Humboldt County, 575 N.W.2d 486, 500
(Iowa 1998), for the proposition that an exercise of city
power is not inconsistent with state law unless it is
irreconcilable with state law. Relying on these principles,
the court of appeals found no implied preemption.
Standard of Review.
motion for summary judgment is appropriately granted when
"there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and .
. . the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of
law." Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.981(3). "We review the
legal issues necessary for resolution of the constitutional
claims presented within the context of the summary judgment
proceeding de novo." Varnum, 763 N.W.2d at 874;
Kistler v. City of Perry, 719 N.W.2d 804, 805 (Iowa
2006). We review all other legal issues for correction of
errors at law. Mueller v. Wellmark, Inc., 818 N.W.2d
244, 253 (Iowa 2012).
burden of showing undisputed facts entitled it to summary
judgment rests on the moving party. See, e.g.,
Swainston v. Am. Family Mut. Ins., 774 N.W.2d 478,
481 (Iowa 2009) (stating "the moving party must
affirmatively establish the existence of undisputed facts
entitling that party to a particular result" (quoting
Interstate Power Co. v. Ins. Co. of N. Am., 603
N.W.2d 751, 756 (Iowa 1999)); K & W Elec., Inc. v.
State, 712 N.W.2d 107, 112 (Iowa 2006) (same); Red
Giant Oil Co. v. Lawlor, 528 N.W.2d 524, 528 (Iowa 1995)
("The burden is on the moving party to show the absence
of a material fact issue . . . ."). This burden remains
with the moving party at all times. Interstate
Power, 603 N.W.2d at 756. A moving party cannot shift
the burden to the other party through a conclusory motion for
summary judgment not supported by undisputed facts. See
id.; Midwest Mgmt. Corp. v. Stephens, 291
N.W.2d 896, 900 (Iowa 1980) (noting the other party need not
file a resistance to a motion for summary judgment to prevail
if the moving party has not met its burden to show the
absence of a genuine issue); Am. Tel. & Tel. Co. v.
Dubuque Commc'ns Corp., 231 N.W.2d 12, 15 (Iowa
1975) ("A summary judgment is neither a method of
avoiding the necessity of proving one's case nor a clever
procedural gambit whereby a claimant can shift to his
adversary his burden of proof on one or more issues."
(quoting United States v. Dibble, 429 F.2d 598, 601
(9th Cir. 1970))).
Overview of Controversy Surrounding ATE Systems.
recent decades, many cities across the country have
implemented ATE systems. ATE systems have proven quite
controversial. Advocates say that ATE systems are efficient
and promote public safety, while opponents view ATE systems
as simply a money grab by cash-strapped municipalities,
assisted by private vendors seeking to promote profits and
not public safety. Academic commentators have joined the fray
with gusto. See, e.g., Andrew Askland, Photo
Radar Enforcement: A Brief Stall on a Slippery Slope?,
19 B.U. J. Sci. & Tech. L. 1, 4-7 (2013) [hereinafter
Askland]; Jennifer M. Lancaster, Case Note, You've
Got Mail: Analyzing the Constitutionality of Speeding Cameras
in City of Moline Acres v. Brennan, 470 S.W.3d 367
(Mo. 2015), 41 S. Ill. U. L.J. 485, 502 (2017); Paul
McNaughton, Comment, Photo Enforcement Programs: Are They
Permissible Under the United States Constitution?, 43 J.
Marshall L. Rev. 463, 489 (2010); Kevin P. Shannon, Note,
Speeding Towards Disaster: How Cleveland's Traffic
Cameras Violate the Ohio Constitution, 55 Clev. St. L.
Rev. 607, 635-36 (2007); Thomas M. Stanek, Note, Photo
Radar in Arizona: Is it Constitutional?, 30 Ariz. St.
L.J. 1209, 1243 (1998).
have attacked ATE systems in beehive litigation with
statutory and constitutional theories. Plaintiffs have
asserted that substantive and notice provisions of ATE
systems are preempted by state law or that the ATE systems
otherwise violate provisions of state law. See,
e.g., Leonte v. ACS State & Local Sols.,
Inc., 19 Cal.Rptr.3d 879, 883-84 (Ct. App. 2004);
State v. Kuhlman, 729 N.W.2d 577, 579 (Minn. 2007);
Mendenhall v. City of Akron, 881 N.E.2d 255, 260
(Ohio 2008); cf. City of Commerce City v. State, 40
P.3d 1273, 1277-78 (Colo. 2002) (en banc). Plaintiffs have
claimed that ATE systems amount to an unlawful tax under
state law. See Ballard v. City of Creve Coeur, 419
S.W.3d 109, 122 (Mo.Ct.App. 2013) (successfully overturning a
motion to dismiss on the issue). Plaintiffs have attacked ATE
systems for failure to comply with notice and remedial
provisions of state law. See, e.g., Tonner v.
Paradise Valley Magistrate's Ct., 831 P.2d 448, 450
(Ariz.Ct.App. 1992) (holding notice of ticket must meet
statutory requirements for service); City of Moline Acres
v. Brennan, 470 S.W.3d 367, 382 (Mo. 2015) (en banc)
(finding notice demanding payment an unlawful "shortcut
around the judicial system"); City of Springfield v.
Belt, 307 S.W.3d 649, 653 (Mo. 2010) (en banc) (holding
proceeding overseen by "hearing examiner" violates
statutory requirement that municipal ordinance violations be
heard before divisions of circuit court); Walker v. City
of Toledo, 39 N.E.3d 474, 480 (Ohio 2014) (holding
municipal courts do not have exclusive authority over
traffic-ordinance violations). Plaintiffs have raised a wide
variety of constitutional attacks, including substantive and
procedural due process, equal protection, and delegation of
powers. See, e.g., Hughes, 840 F.3d at 996;
Bevis v. City of New Orleans, 686 F.3d 277, 280-81
(5th Cir. 2012); Idris v. City of Chicago, 552 F.3d
564, 565 (7th Cir. 2009); Falkner v. City of
Chicago, 150 F.Supp.3d 973, 976 (N.D. Ill. 2015);
Leder v. Am. Traffic Sols., Inc., 81 F.Supp.3d 211,
223 (E.D.N.Y. 2015); Gardner v. City of Cleveland,
656 F.Supp.2d 751, 758, 760 (N.D. Ohio 2009); Sevin v.
Parish of Jefferson, 621 F.Supp.2d 372, 384-85 (E.D. La.
2009); Shavitz v. City of High Point, 270 F.Supp.2d
702, 707 (M.D. N.C. 2003); Agomo v. Fenty, 916 A.2d
181, 183 (D.C. 2007); City of Hollywood v. Arem, 154
So.3d 359, 365 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2014), disapproved of
by Jimenez v. State (Jimenez II), 246 So.3d 219
(Fla. 2018); Fischetti v. Village of Schaumburg, 967
N.E.2d 950, 959 (Ill.App.Ct. 2012).
controversy over ATE systems has drawn legislative as well as
judicial attention. Some states, like Iowa, have declined to
enact specific statewide regulation of ATE systems. See,
e.g., Pepper v. St. Charles County, 517 S.W.3d
590, 598 (Mo.Ct.App. 2017); Walker, 39 N.E.3d at
479. See generally Jeffrey A. Parness, Beyond
Red Light Enforcement Against the Guilty but Innocent: Local
Regulations of Secondary Culprits, 47 Willamette L. Rev.
259, 265 (2011). Other states have taken the opposite
approach and banned them. See Mont. Code Ann. §
61-8-206 (West, Westlaw current through 2017 Sess.). A number
of other states have adopted a regulatory approach that
permits ATE systems under certain circumstances. In states
that have adopted a regulatory approach, the statutes deal
with a wide variety of ATE issues. The statutes address
issues such as the permissible location of ATE systems, their
manner of operation, the notices required to support an ATE
system, and the manner in which vendors who participate in
ATE systems may be compensated. See, e.g., Ark. Code
Ann. § 27-52-110(c)(1) (West, Westlaw current through
2018 Fiscal Sess. & 2d Extraordinary Sess.) (limiting
placement to school zones and railroad crossings); Colo. Rev.
Stat. Ann. § 42-4-110.5 (West, Westlaw current through
2018 2d Reg. Sess.) (requiring sign placement in conspicuous
places not fewer than 200 feet and no more than 500 feet
before automated vehicle identification system); Fla. Stat.
Ann. § 316.0083 (West, Westlaw current through 2018 2d
Reg. Sess.) (authorizing notice by first class mail and
prohibiting fees based on tickets issued), held
unconstitutional as applied in City of Fort Lauderdale v.
Dhar, 185 So.3d 1232, 1236 (Fla. 2016); N.C. Gen. Stat.
Ann. § 160A-300.1 (authorizing first-class notice).
had two occasions to consider the validity of ATE systems. In
Seymour, we considered whether ATE systems were
impliedly preempted by provisions of Iowa law related to
traffic regulation under Iowa Code chapter 321. 755 N.W.2d at
535. We concluded that they were not. Id.
Jacobsma, we considered a number of questions
related to an ATE system in Sioux City. 862 N.W.2d at 337. We
upheld an ATE system that established a rebuttable
presumption that the vehicle's owner was the driver from
an Iowa and federal due process attack. Id. at 339,
346. Citing RACI II, we rejected a substantive due
process attack, noting that the plaintiff had not developed a
record suggesting that the city's interest was
"insubstantial or empirically unsustainable."
Jacobsma, 862 N.W.2d at 347-48; see RACI
II, 675 N.W.2d at 74. We also rejected an attack on the
Sioux City ATE system under the inalienable rights clause of
article I, section 1 of the Iowa Constitution.
Jacobsma, 862 N.W.2d at 352-53.
Substantive Iowa Constitutional Challenges: Substantive Due
Process, Equal Protection, and Privileges and
case, plaintiffs launch their equal protection, privileges
and immunities, and substantive due process claims under the
Iowa Constitution. They seek monetary, declaratory, and
injunctive relief on these theories. Plaintiffs do not make
parallel claims under the United States Constitution.
presented by the plaintiffs, the three state constitutional
claims of equal protection, privileges and immunities, and
substantive due process are closely interwoven. Plaintiffs,
as well as the defendants, do not utilize a different
framework for analysis of equal protection and privileges and
immunities. There is Iowa authority for this proposition.
See Perkins v. Bd. of Supervisors, 636 N.W.2d 58, 73
(Iowa 2001). In light of the positions of the parties, we
have no occasion to consider whether these claims should be
while their substantive due process claims attack the ATE
system as a whole and do not involve classifications, the
plaintiffs employ a tiered framework for substantive due
process that is indistinguishable from their approach to the
equal protection and privileges and immunities claims. As a
result, the analysis of substantive due process as presented
by the parties has substantial overlap with the equal
protection and privileges and immunities claims.
tiered approach to these constitutional provisions is a
familiar one that has been employed by the United States
Supreme Court for some time. See City of Cleburne v.
Cleburne Living Ctr., 473 U.S. 432, 440-41, 105 S.Ct.
3249, 3254-55 (1985). The tiered approach of the United
States Supreme Court has its critics. For instance, critics
have noted the variability in the application of the rational
basis test, where in some cases it is extraordinary
deferential, in other cases it is notably more demanding.
See, e.g., Jacobsma, 862 N.W.2d at 347 n.3;
County of Portage v. Steinpreis, 312 N.W.2d 731, 741
n.4 (Wis. 1981) (Abrahamson, J., dissenting); Kenji Yoshino,
The New Equal Protection, 124 Harv. L. Rev. 747, 759
(2011) [hereinafter Yoshino] (noting that rational basis
review takes two forms, ordinary rational basis review and
rational basis review "with bite"). It has been
suggested that the United States Supreme Court abandon, or at
least refine, its tiered approach. Jeffrey M. Shaman,
Equality and Liberty in the Golden Age of State
Constitutional Law 13 (2008) (noting "multi-tier
system has proven to be unduly rigid").
is, of course, no requirement that states recognize as
"fundamental" only those interests so recognized by
the United States Supreme Court in its constitutional
analysis. While the United States Supreme Court has rejected
the right to education as a "fundamental interest,"
San Antonio Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S.
1, 37, 93 S.Ct. 1278, 1299 (1973), other states (not
including Iowa), have declined to follow the Supreme
Court's lead, see, e.g., Serrano v.
Priest, 557 P.2d 929 (Cal. 1976) (en banc) (reaffirming
under state constitution "education is a fundamental
interest"); Idaho Sch. for Equal Educ. Opportunity
v. Evans, 850 P.2d 724, 734-35 (Idaho 1993) (applying
intermediate standard of review to equal protection challenge
under state constitution); Edgewood Indep. Sch. Dist. v.
Kirby, 777 S.W.2d 391, 392 (Tex.1989) (finding
constitutional mandate under state constitution to provide
for education); see also Lake View Sch. Dist. No. 25 v.
Huckabee, 91 S.W.3d 472, 479 (Ark. 2002)
("Nevertheless, because we conclude that the clear
language of Article 14 imposes upon the State an absolute
constitutional duty to educate our children, we conclude that
it is unnecessary to reach the issue of whether a fundamental
right is also implied.").
number of states have adopted different tests for substantive
due process and equal protection claims under their state
constitutions when fundamental interests are not implicated.
For instance, in South Dakota, the rational basis test
utilized in substantive due process requires "a real and
substantial relation" between a statute and the objects
sought to be obtained. Katz v. S.D. Bd. of Med. &
Osteopathic Exam'rs, 432 N.W.2d 274, 278 & n.6
(S.D. 1988). The New Jersey Supreme Court has rejected the
federal approach in favor of a balancing test. See
Planned Parenthood of Cen. N.J. v. Farmer, 762 A.2d 620,
633- 38 (N.J. 2000). The Minnesota Supreme Court has been
unwilling to hypothesize a rational basis not asserted in
support of a statute, has required that statutory
distinctions "must be genuine and substantial," and
has stated that there must be "a reasonable connection
between the actual . . . effect of the challenged
classification and the statutory goals." State v.
Russell, 477 N.W.2d 886, 888-89 (Minn. 1991) (first
quoting Wegan v. Village of Lexington, 309 N.W.2d
273, 280 (Minn. 1981)). The Supreme Courts of Alaska and
Vermont have adopted a sliding-scale-type approach to equal
protection that can lead to a more stringent review when
fundamental interests are not involved. See Alaska Pac.
Assurance Co. v. Brown, 687 P.2d 264, 269 (Alaska 1984);
Baker v. State, 744 A.2d 864, 873 (Vt. 1999). A body
of the academic literature has long recognized and often
advocated that states may develop their own equal protection
and substantive due process doctrine. See, e.g.,
Randal S. Jeffrey, Equal Protection in State Courts: The
New Economic Equality Rights, 17 Law & Ineq. 239,
356-57 (1999); Jeffrey M. Shaman, The Evolution of
Equality in State Constitutional Law, 34 Rutgers L.J.
1013, 1121-23 (2003); Robert F. Williams, Equality
Guarantees in State Constitutional Law, 63 Tex. L. Rev.
1195, 1222-24 (1985).
case, however, the plaintiffs cite and extensively rely
uponRACI II for the proposition that
"the claimed state interest must be 'realistically
conceivable'" and have a "basis in
fact." 675 N.W.2d at 7-8 (emphasis omitted)
(first quoting Miller, 394 N.W.2d at 779). In
Racing Ass'n of Central Iowa v. Fitzgerald
(RACI I), we originally held that the
legislature's classification in a taxation statute
between land-based casinos and riverboats violated equal
protection under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United
States Constitution. 648 N.W.2d 555, 558, 562 (Iowa 2002).
The United States Supreme Court reversed. Fitzgerald v.
Racing Ass'n of Cent. Iowa, 539 U.S. 103, 110, 123
S.Ct. 2156, 2161 (2003). On remand, we held that,
notwithstanding the unanimous decision of the United States
Supreme Court under the Equal Protection Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment, the classification was nonetheless
invalid under article I, section 6 of the Iowa Constitution.
RACI II, 675 N.W.2d at 3. Clearly, our approach to
equal protection in RACI II had more teeth than that
employed by the United States Supreme Court.
important question in equal protection and due process
settings is the role of fact-finding in determining the
validity of the classification or legislation. RACI
II emphasizes that the legitimate purpose of the
classification must be "realistically conceivable"
and have "a basis in fact." Id. at 7-8
(emphasis omitted) (first quoting Miller, 394 N.W.2d
at 779). On the other hand, we have stated that government
"is not required or expected to produce evidence to
justify its legislative action." Horsfield
Materials, Inc. v. City of Dyersville, 834 N.W.2d 444,
458 (Iowa 2013) (quoting Ames Rental Prop. Ass'n v.
City of Ames, 736 N.W.2d 255, 259 (Iowa 2007)).
think RACI II and Horsfield may be easily
reconciled. While the state or municipality is not expected
or required to produce evidence to justify its action, a
party attacking the classification may do so in an effort to
show that the claimed legitimate interest is either not
"realistically conceivable" or does not have
"a basis in fact." RACI II, 675 N.W.2d at
7-8 (emphasis omitted) (first quoting Miller, 394
N.W.2d at 779). In other words, once the state articulates a
legitimate governmental interest that appears plausible on
the face of the statute, the burden of coming forward with
evidence to attack the asserted justification shifts to the
cases support the potential role of fact-finding in the
arsenal of a party attacking legislation under substantive
due process, equal protection, or privileges and immunities.
Decades ago, we repeatedly noted that changes in
circumstances can allow us to find that a statute is no
longer rationally related to its original government purpose.
Miller, 394 N.W.2d at 779 (rejecting claimed
purposes "[i]n light of present day conditions");
Bierkamp v. Rogers, 293 N.W.2d 577, 581 (Iowa 1980)
(noting "the passage of time may call for a less
deferential standard of review as the experimental or trial
nature of legislation is less evident"). More recently,
in State v. Willard, we noted that the challenger
had not "developed an evidentiary basis for this court
to conclude the statute fails to promote a legitimate
government interest." 756 N.W.2d 207, 213-14 (Iowa
2008). In Ames Rental ...