State v. Moline

Citation164 N.W.2d 151
Decision Date14 January 1969
Docket NumberNo. 53025,53025
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. Roger Carl MOLINE, Appellant.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa

Robert C. Nelson, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.

Richard C. Turner, Atty. Gen., and James C. Sell, Asst. Atty. Gen., Roger F. Peterson, County Atty., for appellee.

LeGRAND, Justice.

Defendant has appealed from judgment sentencing him to a term of not more than seven years in the Iowa State Penitentiary following his conviction of obtaining money under false pretenses in violation of section 713.1, Code of Iowa, 1966.

His appeal presents three alleged errors for consideration:

(1) That the trial court erred in refusing to direct a verdict of acquittal on the ground the State failed to prove any material false representation of fact made by defendant;

(2) That the trial court erred in permitting the State to use witnesses, minutes of whose testimony were not presented with the information as required by section 780.10, Code of Iowa, 1966;

(3) That the trial court erred in admitting into evidence copy of a draft given to defendant, although the State failed to lay a proper foundation for failing to produce the original of the draft and therefore was not entitled to use such secondary evidence.

We find no reversible error in any of these assignments, and we affirm the judgment appealed from.

Sometime in August of 1966, defendant and a companion, Fred Bruckmann, went to the Cedar Falls home of Pearl Ellis, an 82-year-old widow, and presented her with a business card describing defendant as a contractor with offices in Waterloo. Mrs. Ellis' adult daughter, Lucille Anderson, who lives with her was there at the time. Mrs. Ellis was told her chimney was badly in need of repair, a conclusion arrived at by visual examination as defendant and Bruckmann drove past the Ellis home. They represented these repairs would cost $125.00. After being advised Mrs. Anderson would call them if repairs were later decided upon, defendant and Bruckmann left. During this visit both men were present at all times, although Bruckmann did all of the talking.

The following morning Mrs. Anderson left for Waterloo, where she was employed, early in the morning. She returned at approximately 2:00 o'clock that afternoon and found the chimney on her mother's home knocked down to the roof-line. The same two men who had been there the previous night were working on the roof. The evidence showed they had returned that morning while Mrs. Ellis was alone, and she had then signed a contract for repair of the chimney at a cost of $125.00.

Upon her arrival home, Mrs. Anderson had a further conversation with defendant and Bruckmann. They stated the chimney was in worse condition than had been anticipated; that the flue liner was bent almost shut; that they had purchased a new liner downtown and would install it in the chimney; that the additional material and work would add $620.00 to the cost of the repairs. The contract which had been signed earlier that day was then changed to provide for payment of $745.00 instead of $125.00.

Later a Waterloo contractor testified no new flue liner had been installed. He stated the chimney was still equipped with the old porcelain liner which had been there since the house was originally built.

The entire job for which Mrs. Ellis paid $745.00 was completed in less than one day. The record does not show how early in the morning the work was started, but by 4:00 o'clock that afternoon it had been finished, payment of $745.00 had been received and the men were on their way.

I. Defendant's first assignment of error asserts he was entitled to a directed verdict because the State failed to prove any material false representation of fact was made. It is true, as defendant contends, the State must prove defendant knowingly made a false and material misrepresentation of an existing fact as one of the elements of the offense with which he was charged. State v. Comes, 245 Iowa 485, 488, 62 N.W.2d 753, 755; State v. Pullen, 252 Iowa 1324, 1328, 110 N.W.2d 328, 331; and citations referred to in both those decisions.

Defendant argues the record is completely silent as to any evidence from which the jury could find a false representation of a material existing or past fact made with knowledge of its falsity. Absence of such evidence, he claims, entitles him to a directed verdict. We cannot agree.

There was evidence from which the jury could find the representations made concerning the condition of the flue, together with the statement that a new one had been purchased for installation in the chimney, were false and were known to be false at the time they were made. This is particularly true when all of the circumstances surrounding this transaction are taken into consideration. Some of these are the manner in which the work was solicited in the first place; the quick return of defendant to the Ellis home when Mrs. Ellis was alone although he was to be notified if any repair work was to be done; and the almost immediate 'discovery' (later refuted by other testimony) that the repairs required far exceeded the original estimate. Circumstantial evidence is admissible to prove both the falsity of the representation made and the intent with which it was made. State v. Huckins, 212 Iowa 283, 287, 234 N.W. 554, 559; State v. Comes, 245 Iowa 485, 491, 62 N.W.2d 753, 757; State v. Timmer, Iowa, 151 N.W.2d 558, 561.

There was ample evidence upon which the jury could find defendant had knowingly made a false representation of material existing facts and we find no merit in defendant's first assignment of error.

II. Defendant contends the court erred in permitting the State to use four witnesses whose names were not endorsed on the information and for whom no minutes of testimony were presented with the information. He claims this violates the provisions of section 780.10, Code of Iowa, 1966, and entitles him to a new trial.

The section referred to provides in part as follows:

'The county attorney * * * shall not be permitted to introduce any witness who is not examined before * * * the grand jury, and the minutes of whose testimony were not presented with the indictment to the court, unless he shall have given to the defendant, or his attorney of record if the defendant be not found within the county, a notice in writing stating the name, place of residence, and occupation of such witness, and the substance of what he expects to prove by him on the trial, at least four days before the commencement of such trial.'

Sections 780.11, 780.12, and 780.13 outline the procedure to be followed when the State desires to use evidence the existence of which was not learned in sufficient time to give the four-day notice required by section 780.10.

The real issue raised by this assignment is whether the trial court abused its discretion in granting the State's motion for leave to introduce additional testimony under the provisions of section 780.11. First we give in some detail the factual background giving rise to this problem.

This case was assigned for trial November 8, 1967. The State expected to use six witnesses for whom no minutes of testimony were presented with the information as required by section 780.10. Notice of such additional testimony was given by mailing the minutes to defendant's attorney of record. This did not comply with the statutory requirement that notice be given to the defendant, or in certain circumstances not important here, to his attorney of record. We have previously held that the provision for giving notice under this section means it shall be served personally on the defendant. State v. Russell, 98 Iowa 652, 654, 68 N.W. 433, 434. Subsequent to that decision the statute was amended to provide for service of notice upon defendant's attorney in the event the defendant himself could not be found within the county. This amendment is of no consequence here since there is no showing defendant could not have been personally served within the county.

The notice of additional testimony was mailed to defendant's attorney in compliance with a understanding custom in Black Hawk County...

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3 cases
  • State v. Cuevas
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • July 25, 1979
    ...proof of a material fact is to be made must be introduced unless satisfactory explanation for its absence is made." State v. Moline, 164 N.W.2d 151, 156 (Iowa 1969). Section 622.43, The Code, modifies the best evidence rule by putting on the same level as originals the "(d)uly certified cop......
  • State v. Bruno
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • February 21, 1973 admitted. He will be allowed to testify, I will say.' In considering a somewhat similar problem the court said in State v. Moline, 164 N.W.2d 151, 156 (Iowa 1969): 'This is a matter in which the trial court has wide discretion. In State v. Gilliland, 252 Iowa 664, 669, 108 N.W.2d 74, 77,......
  • State v. Fingert, 61775
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • November 12, 1980
    ...proof of a material fact is to be made must be introduced unless satisfactory explanation for its absence is made." State v. Moline, 164 N.W.2d 151, 156 (Iowa 1969). Defendant bases his assertion upon the fact that none of these exhibits was an original document, rather, all were purported ......

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