Dressler v. Iowa Dept. of Transp., No. 94-1945

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtLAVORATO
Citation542 N.W.2d 563
PartiesRichard A. DRESSLER, Appellant, v. IOWA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, State of Iowa, Appellee.
Decision Date17 January 1996
Docket NumberNo. 94-1945

Page 563

542 N.W.2d 563
Richard A. DRESSLER, Appellant,
v.
IOWA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, State of Iowa, Appellee.
No. 94-1945.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
Jan. 17, 1996.

Page 564

William Jeffrey Crispin of Wilson & Adams, P.C., Des Moines, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, David A. Ferree, Special Assistant Attorney General, and Kerry Anderson, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Considered by HARRIS, P.J., and LARSON, LAVORATO, SNELL, and ANDREASEN, JJ.

LAVORATO, Justice.

Richard A. Dressler appeals from the district court's denial of his petition for a writ of certiorari against the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT). In his petition, Dressler challenges as unconstitutional 1993 Iowa Acts chapter 16, section 4, codified at Iowa Code section 321.209(8) (1995). Section 321.209(8) authorizes the IDOT to revoke the driver's license of a person convicted of certain drug, drug tax, or drug-related offenses.

We reach only Dressler's contention that section 321.209(8) violates double jeopardy guarantees. We conclude section 321.209(8) is constitutionally infirm under the federal Double Jeopardy Clause. We reverse the district court's order denying Dressler's petition for a writ of certiorari. We remand to allow the district court to enter an order granting the writ.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

In March 1994 Dressler pleaded guilty to the possession of a controlled substance. See Iowa Code § 124.401(3). About six weeks later, the IDOT notified Dressler in writing that his driving privileges were revoked for 180 days pursuant to Iowa Code section 321.209(8). The notice also informed Dressler that he was not entitled to a preliminary hearing on the matter.

Dressler then filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the district court. In the petition he asked the court to find section 321.209(8) unconstitutional on the three grounds he urges here. Dressler appeals from the court's order dismissing the writ.

II. Scope of Review.

A writ of certiorari is proper under Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 306 when one "exercising judicial functions ... is alleged to have ... acted illegally." Our review of certiorari actions is generally at law. Grant

Page 565

v. Iowa Dist. Ct., 492 N.W.2d 683, 685 (Iowa 1992). Because Dressler alleges a constitutional violation, our review is de novo. State v. Clarke, 475 N.W.2d 193, 194 (Iowa 1991).

III. Applicable Law.

Iowa Code section 321.209(8) pertinently provides that

[t]he department shall upon twenty days' notice and without preliminary hearing revoke the license or operating privilege of an operator upon receiving a record of the operator's conviction for any of the following offenses, when such conviction has become final:

Sections 1-7 deal with vehicle-related offenses.

....

8. A controlled substance offense under section 124.401, 124.401A, 124.402, or 124.403; a controlled substance tax offense under chapter 453B; a drug or drug-related offense under section 126.3; or an offense under 21 U.S.C. ch. 13.

IV. Double Jeopardy.

The Fifth Amendment to the federal constitution provides that no person shall "be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." U.S. Const. amend. V. The protections against double jeopardy are enforceable against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment to the federal constitution. Benton v. Maryland, 395 U.S. 784, 794, 89 S.Ct. 2056, 2062, 23 L.Ed.2d 707, 716 (1969).

The Double Jeopardy Clause is violated when (1) a second prosecution for the same offense occurs after acquittal, (2) a second prosecution for the same offense occurs after conviction, and (3) multiple punishments occur for the same offense. North Carolina v. Pearce, 395 U.S. 711, 717, 89 S.Ct. 2072, 2076, 23 L.Ed.2d 656, 664-65 (1969); State v. Taft, 506 N.W.2d 757, 760 (Iowa 1993).

Dressler's double jeopardy claim falls within the third situation: multiple punishments occurring for the same offense. He contends the State impermissibly inflicted two punishments upon him for the same offense--possession of a controlled substance. Dressler claims he was punished the first time when he was incarcerated and paid a $250 fine and court costs for possession under section 124.401(3). He claims he was punished a second time when the IDOT notified...

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19 practice notes
  • Perkins v. Bd. of Supervisors, No. 99-0583.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 15, 2001
    ...Procedure 306 when one `exercising judicial functions ... is alleged to have ... acted illegally.' " Dressler v. Iowa Dep't of Transp., 542 N.W.2d 563, 564 (Iowa 1996) (quoting Iowa R. Civ. P. 306). Our review of a district court certiorari ruling is at law. Iowa R.App. P. 4; see City of Gr......
  • State v. Beeson, No. 96-1247
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 17, 1997
    ...are enforced against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment of the federal constitution. Dressler v. Iowa Dep't of Transp., 542 N.W.2d 563, 565 (Iowa 1996). The Double Jeopardy Clause states that no person "shall ... be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life o......
  • State v. Kocher, No. 95-348
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 17, 1996
    ...case. They are therefore distinguishable. This case must also be distinguished from Dressler v. Iowa Department of Transportation, 542 N.W.2d 563 (Iowa 1996), decided today, in which we hold that the State's action was punitive, not remedial. Other states have considered the issue and have ......
  • Helmers v. City of Des Moines, No. 17-0794
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • April 4, 2018
    ..."governed by the rules of appellate procedure applicable to appeals in ordinary civil actions"); see Dressler v. Iowa Dep’t of Transp. , 542 N.W.2d 563, 564–65 (Iowa 1996). "Because [Helmers] alleges a constitutional violation, our review is de novo." See id.III. AnalysisThe keeping of "dan......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • Perkins v. Bd. of Supervisors, No. 99-0583.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • November 15, 2001
    ...Procedure 306 when one `exercising judicial functions ... is alleged to have ... acted illegally.' " Dressler v. Iowa Dep't of Transp., 542 N.W.2d 563, 564 (Iowa 1996) (quoting Iowa R. Civ. P. 306). Our review of a district court certiorari ruling is at law. Iowa R.App. P. 4; see City of Gr......
  • State v. Beeson, No. 96-1247
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 17, 1997
    ...are enforced against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment of the federal constitution. Dressler v. Iowa Dep't of Transp., 542 N.W.2d 563, 565 (Iowa 1996). The Double Jeopardy Clause states that no person "shall ... be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life o......
  • State v. Kocher, No. 95-348
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 17, 1996
    ...case. They are therefore distinguishable. This case must also be distinguished from Dressler v. Iowa Department of Transportation, 542 N.W.2d 563 (Iowa 1996), decided today, in which we hold that the State's action was punitive, not remedial. Other states have considered the issue and have ......
  • Helmers v. City of Des Moines, No. 17-0794
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • April 4, 2018
    ..."governed by the rules of appellate procedure applicable to appeals in ordinary civil actions"); see Dressler v. Iowa Dep’t of Transp. , 542 N.W.2d 563, 564–65 (Iowa 1996). "Because [Helmers] alleges a constitutional violation, our review is de novo." See id.III. AnalysisThe keeping of "dan......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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