from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Nicholas Scott,
District Associate Judge.
review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
defendant appeals his conviction for falsely reporting a
C. Meyer, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, Sharon K. Hall, Assistant
Attorney General, Jerry Vander Sanden, County Attorney, and
Monica C. Slaughter, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.
asked to determine whether the false report of a criminal act
requires definitional instructions for an affirmative defense
to the underlying criminal act. After closing arguments, the
defendant requested the district court provide an instruction
on the exceptions to the underlying criminal act of carrying
weapons. The district court denied the defendant's
request. The defendant was then convicted of making a false
report alleging the occurrence of the criminal act of
direct appeal, the defendant raised numerous issues. The
court of appeals affirmed the defendant's conviction. We
granted the defendant's application for further review.
We exercise our discretion and only address whether the
definitional instructions to the criminal act of carrying
weapons required inclusion of the statutory exceptions. Upon
our review, we conclude substantial evidence did not support
the defendant's requested instruction on his hypothetical
affirmative defense, and we affirm the decision of the court
of appeals and judgment of the district court.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
Cedar Rapids Police Department received a call on its
nonemergency number from an unidentified caller. It was 10:17
p.m. on March 10, 2016, when the caller reported he witnessed
a gray Chevrolet Suburban double park across the sidewalk of
a Cedar Rapids home. Two males, one carrying a handgun and
one carrying a rifle, then exited the Suburban and walked up
to the house's front door. According to the caller, the
individuals knocked on the front door and entered the house.
The caller reportedly did not know who lived at the house and
had not previously noticed the Suburban parked there. The
unidentified caller did not want to reveal his name, but he
did provide Cedar Rapids police with his phone number.
same evening, prior to this report, Pamela Haskins was at her
Cedar Rapids home. Haskins was with her youngest son, Tamir;
her oldest son, Bilal; her granddaughter; and her friend,
Judy. Haskins owned a Chevrolet Suburban, which Bilal used as
his primary vehicle. That evening, Bilal drove himself and
his daughter to Haskins's home. Approximately one hour
after Bilal and his daughter arrived, Tamir planned to drive
Judy back to her home. When the group stepped out on the
front porch, they faced spotlights, police officers with
drawn weapons, and orders to put their hands up.
was ordered to step off the porch with hands in the air and
to walk backwards towards the officers. He was placed on his
knees and handcuffed. Each individual was then ordered off
the porch. Because Haskins's granddaughter remained in
Bilal's arms, he was not ordered to the ground. The
officers entered Haskins's home, indicating they were
searching for guns. Haskins replied that she did not own any
guns, and no guns were found in her house.
Shannon Aguero of the Cedar Rapids Police Department
explained to Haskins the department was acting on a call
reporting two men with guns at her address. Officer Aguero
showed Haskins the number of the unidentified caller; Haskins
immediately recognized the number as belonging to Earnest
and Bynum knew each other for years. Bynum was Haskins's
on-again, off-again boyfriend who lived with Haskins and
their son. Haskins also has two older sons, whom Bynum knew.
One day prior to the March 10 unidentified caller report,
Haskins and Bynum had a disagreement that resulted in Bynum
shoving Haskins against the wall. Haskins called the Cedar
Rapids Police Department to report the domestic assault that
Aguero made contact with Bynum on March 24. During the
interview, Bynum initially denied any knowledge of the phone
call, but he later admitted to making the call on the
nonemergency line. Bynum indicated to Officer Aguero that he
was near Haskins's home when he saw a gray Suburban with
a male occupant wave a gun in his direction. Bynum stated he
identified the occupant waiving the gun as Haskins's son,
Bilal. When Officer Aguero asked Bynum why he did not call in
the report at the location it happened, Bynum said that he
knew where the vehicle was going and that the occupants were
associated with Haskins's home. Bynum stated he called in
the report as if it happened at Haskins's home and then
proceeded to follow the Suburban to the location he reported.
Bynum did not provide the identity of Haskins's son
during his call because he did not want to get anyone in
trouble and he did not want to be a snitch.
State charged Bynum with the crime of false reports. False
reports, as outlined in Iowa Code chapter 718, is an offense
against the government and it states,
A person who reports or causes to be reported false
information to a fire department, a law enforcement
authority, or other public safety entity, knowing that the
information is false, or who reports the alleged occurrence
of a criminal act knowing the act did not occur, commits a
simple misdemeanor, unless the alleged criminal act reported
is a serious or aggravated misdemeanor or felony, in which
case the person commits a serious misdemeanor.
Iowa Code § 718.6(1) (2016). Bynum's trial
information was later amended, indicating the underlying
criminal act Bynum falsely reported was carrying weapons
(Iowa Code section 724.4), burglary (Iowa Code section
713.1), or going armed with intent (Iowa Code section 708.8).
matter proceeded to trial on January 8, 2018. Bynum presented
scant evidence concerning the exceptions to carrying weapons.
After closing arguments, Bynum requested the jury
instructions include the exceptions to the underlying criminal
act of carrying weapons. When asked by the district court to
specify which exception, Bynum requested the court include
possession of a legally issued permit. The district court
denied Bynum's request. It indicated the definition of
carrying weapons was sufficient and that, in the case of a
false report, Bynum would not know whether the exception
applied at the time of his report. The district court then
instructed the jury, in part, as follows:
JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 13
The State must prove . . . the following elements of False
1. On or about the March 10, 2016, the defendant reported
information to law enforcement authority concerning the
alleged occurrence of a criminal act.
2. When reporting the alleged criminal act the defendant
knew, as defined in Instruction 18, [ the information was false.
3. The defendant reported the crime of Carrying Weapons,
Burglary, or Going Armed with Intent.
If the State has proved all of the elements, the defendant is
guilty of False Reports alleging the crime of Carrying
Weapons, Burglary, or Going Armed with Intent. If only the
first two elements are met then the defendant is guilty of
False Reports. If the State has failed to prove either of the
first two elements, the defendant if not guilty.
JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 14
Carrying Weapons is defined as: A person who goes armed with
a firearm concealed on or about the person, or who, within
the limits of any city, goes armed with a pistol or revolver,
or any loaded firearm of any kind, whether concealed or not,
or who knowingly carries or transports in a vehicle a pistol
. . . .
JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 17
It is not necessary for the State to prove all the elements
beyond a reasonable doubt for the crimes of Carrying Weapons,
Burglary, or Going Armed with Intent.
matter was submitted to the jury for deliberations. The jury
returned a verdict finding Bynum guilty of falsely reporting
the alleged criminal act of carrying weapons. Judgment
finding Bynum guilty of this offense was entered, and the
district court sentenced Bynum to 365 days in jail, with all
but fourteen days suspended.
appealed his judgment and sentence arguing, among other
things, "The jury should have been instructed not to
presume that a person who is seen in public in possession of
a firearm is committing a crime." We transferred
the case to the court of appeals, and the district
court's judgment was affirmed. Regarding the jury
instruction issue, the court of appeals concluded the
district court did not err in failing to give Bynum's
requested instruction because it addressed a statutory
exception rather than an element of the underlying crime.
granted Bynum's application for further review.
presents two arguments regarding exceptions to the underlying
criminal act of carrying weapons. First, Bynum argues the
district court erred as a matter of law when it refused to
provide his requested instruction. That argument was
preserved when it was raised and decided by the district
court. See Lamasters v. State, 821 N.W.2d 856, 862
(Iowa 2012). Second, Bynum argues the failure to provide his
requested instruction "violated his right to a fair
trial and due process of law." The State argues Bynum
did not preserve a due process or other constitutional claim.
We agree. "It is a fundamental doctrine of appellate
review that issues must ordinarily be both raised and decided
by the district court before we decide them on appeal."
Id. (quoting Meier v. Senecaut, 641 N.W.2d
532, 537 (Iowa 2002)). This doctrine applies with equal force
to constitutional issues. See Taft v. Iowa Dist.
Ct., 828 N.W.2d 309, 322 (Iowa 2013) ("Even issues
implicating constitutional rights must be presented to and
ruled upon by the district court in order to preserve error
for appeal."); State v. Biddle, 652 N.W.2d 191,
203 (Iowa 2002) (noting error preservation rule "applies
with equal strength to constitutional issues");
Garwick v. Iowa Dep't of Transp., 611 N.W.2d
286, 288 (Iowa 2000) (en banc) ("Issues not raised
before the district court, including constitutional issues,
cannot be raised for the first time on appeal." (quoting
State v. McCright, 569 N.W.2d 605, 607 (Iowa
1997))). Bynum did not raise his constitutional argument
during the jury instruction discussion or by motion, and it
does not appear the district court considered that argument.
See Stammeyer v. Div. of Narcotics Enf't, 721
N.W.2d 541, 548 (Iowa 2006) ("If the court does not rule
on an issue and neither party files a motion requesting the
district court to do so, there is nothing before us to
review."). Because Bynum's constitutional arguments
were not preserved for our review, we restrict our discussion
to his first argument: whether the district court erroneously
refused to provide his requested instruction.
Standard of Review.
have the discretion, when we grant a further review
application, to review any issue raised on appeal."
State v. Lorenzo Baltazar, 935 N.W.2d 862, 868 (Iowa
2019); see State v. Effler, 769 N.W.2d 880, 883
(Iowa 2009) ("[E]fficient use of judicial resources will
sometimes prompt our court to rely on the disposition made by
the court of appeals on some issues and address only those
issues that merit additional consideration."). We
exercise that discretion here and only address the issue of
whether the district court erred by refusing Bynum's