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State v. Runner

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 1, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
HAL CHARLES RUNNER, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Poweshiek County, Annette J. Scieszinski, Judge.

         Hal Runner appeals his restitution order for court-appointed attorney fees. AFFIRMED.

          Eric D. Tindal of Keegan Tindal & Mason, Iowa City, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Genevieve Reinkoester, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, C.J., Tabor, J., and Carr, S.J. [*]

          CARR, SENIOR JUDGE.

         Hal Runner appeals his restitution order for court-appointed attorney fees, asserting the court used an incorrect standard to determine his ability to pay. "We review restitution orders for correction of errors at law." State v. Hagen, 840 N.W.2d 140, 144 (Iowa 2013).

         On September 28, 2016, Runner was convicted of assault with intent to inflict serious injury and criminal mischief in the second degree. See Iowa Code §§ 708.1(2)(a), 716.4 (2013). His sentence included consecutive terms of incarceration and an order to repay attorney fees of $3600 "for reasons noted in the hearing record." In ordering payment of attorney fees, the district court said it:

considers everything . . . and based upon all those factors and Mr. Runner's work ethic and his desire and drive to get back to work, even though there's going to be a period of incarceration before that can happen, the court finds that the $3600 cap on fees is very modest for the service rendered here and that he does have the reasonable ability to repay that sum, so the court's not going to exercise its discretion to waive that reimbursement.

         Runner appealed, and we remanded for resentencing. See State v. Runner, No. 16-1695, 2018 WL 739255, at *4 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2018). After a resentencing hearing, his sentence again included consecutive terms of incarceration and an order to repay attorney fees of $3600 "for reasons noted in the hearing record." During the resentencing hearing, his attorney noted he had already been released from prison on parole based on his initial sentence. The court later had the following exchange with Runner:

COURT: What do you think about the issue of repayment to the State of Iowa for up to $3600 for your court-appointed defense?
RUNNER: I can do that, Your Honor. I've all already started making payments to the Clerk of Court.
COURT: And I appreciate your resilience and your resolve to do that. The court understands from all of the information it's been exposed to in the course of this case that you have some real skills that you use in your business endeavors, and that you've been able to support yourself pretty well in the past with those endeavors plus disability payments from the Veterans Administration. So I agree with you that you have the reasonable ability to repay up to ...

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