State v. Schreck, No. 45394.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtWENNERSTRUM
Citation231 Iowa 542,1 N.W.2d 690
PartiesSTATE v. SCHRECK.
Docket NumberNo. 45394.
Decision Date13 January 1942

231 Iowa 542
1 N.W.2d 690

STATE
v.
SCHRECK.

No. 45394.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

Jan. 13, 1942.


Appeal from District Court, Kossuth County; G. W. Stillman, Judge.

Defendant was jointly indicted with Amos M. Schreck, charged in separate counts with the crime of conspiracy and malicious threats to extort. Defendant was granted a separate trial and on direction of the court a verdict of “not guilty” was returned. The state has appealed.

Reversed.

Superseding 229 Iowa 907, 295 N.W. 455.

[1 N.W.2d 691]

John M. Rankin, Atty. Gen., Jens Grothe, Asst. Atty. Gen., and L. A. Winkel, Algona Co. Atty., for appellant.

Edward L. O'Connor, of Iowa City, and L. E. Linnan, of Algona, for appellee.


WENNERSTRUM, Justice.

The defendant has been jointly indicted with Amos M. Schreck, his brother, charged in one count of a joint indictment with the crime of conspiracy, in that the two persons named conspired together with the intent of fraudulently and maliciously injuring Raymond Alderson which count of the indictment was based upon the violation of section 13162, Code of Iowa, 1935. The second count of the indictment, wherein the defendant was also jointly named with Amos M. Schreck, charged the defendant with the crime of malicious threat to extort, which offense was based upon the violation of section 13164, Code of Iowa, 1935. The two defendants were granted separate trials and upon submission of the case against the defendant herein, the court directed a verdict in his favor. The state has appealed.

This case has heretofore received the attention of this court, an opinion concerning it having heretofore been filed, which is found in 229 Iowa 907, 295 N.W. 455. In that opinion we held that inasmuch as it was then our judgment that the matter before us was very largely a fact question, we would not give consideration to the facts alone in passing upon the merits of the case. A petition for rehearing was presented by the state which brought to our attention that our passing upon the facts presented and the law applicable thereto, is advisable and necessary inasmuch as it will be a guide in connection with other pending criminal charges. A rehearing has been granted. Consequently our opinion, as previously reported, is herewith withdrawn and this opinion is substituted in lieu thereof.

The attitude of this court as to appeals of this character has been succinctly stated in the recent case of State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 828, 298 N.W. 862, 864, where we said: “* * * if the appeal involves questions of law, either substantive or procedural, whose determination will be beneficial generally, or guide the trial courts in the future, the decisions of this court thereon will be obligatory as law.” (Citing cases.) As stated in State v. Woodruff, 208 Iowa 236, 245, 225 N.W. 254, 257, in such cases: “It is not for us to determine the facts. Our sole duty is to determine the proper rules of law applicable to the facts.”

Consequently we deem it our duty and responsibility to apply the law to the facts

[1 N.W.2d 692]

in this case so that it may be ascertained whether the court was correct in its ruling in directing a verdict for the defendant. In thus passing upon this matter, it is our purpose to set forth a guide for the courts of this state in cases of a similar character.

As a preliminary basis for our consideration of the matters which are before us, it is deemed advisable to note the two sections of the statute upon which the indictment is based, which are hereinafter set out:

“13162. Conspiracy defined-common law. If any two or more persons conspire or confederate together with the fraudulent or malicious intent wrongfully to injure the person, character, business, property, or rights in property of another, or to do any illegal act injurious to the public trade, health, morals, or police, or to the administration of public justice, or to commit any felony, they are guilty of a conspiracy, and every such offender, and every person who is convicted of a conspiracy at common law, shall be imprisoned * * *.”

“13164. Malicious threats to extort. If any person, either verbally or by any written or printed communication, maliciously threaten to accuse another of a crime or offense, or to do any injury to the person or property of another, with intent to extort any money or pecuniary advantage whatever, or to compel the person so threatened to do any act against his will, he shall be imprisoned * * *.”

The facts upon which the charges were brought against the defendant are noted in the following summary of the evidence:

Prior to April 11, 1939, a representative of a business organization known as the Millard Service of Des Moines, Iowa, called on Howard Hoenk, the operator of a garage in Algona, Iowa. As a result of conferences between this representative of the Millard Service and Mr. Hoenk, a contract was entered into between the parties wherein it was agreed that the Millard Service would undertake to check the employees of Hoenk for honesty, and to endeavor to determine whether they were embezzling money.

The week following the signing of the contract, Otto Schreck and Amos Schreck came to Algona, and the evidence shows that Howard Hoenk had a preliminary conversation with Amos Schreck at an Algona hotel. It is also shown that later in the week, Hoenk conferred with the defendant Otto Schreck at the hotel. In these conversations there were discussions as to the manner in which the garage business was carried on and as to what means and methods could be used in checking the employees...

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7 practice notes
  • State v. Hill, No. 48148
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 10, 1953
    ...is proper under the following decisions and authorities cited therein. State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 828, 298 N.W. 862; State v. Schreck, 231 Iowa 542, 543-544, 1 N.W.2d 690; State v. Kellison, 233 Iowa 1274, 1276, 11 N.W.2d 371; State v. Reickenbach, 235 Iowa 731, 17 N.W.2d 530; State v. D......
  • State v. Schenk, No. 46268.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 3, 1945
    ...199 Iowa 383, 202 N.W. 105;State v. Walker, 124 Iowa 414, 100 N.W. 354;State v. Arthur, 135 Iowa 48, 109 N.W. 1083;State v. Schreck, 231 Iowa 542, 1 N.W.2d 690, 694. In the Schreck case this court said: ‘The fact of conspiracy may be established by circumstantial evidence. It is sufficient ......
  • McCann v. Iowa Mut. Liab. Ins. Co. of Cedar Rapids, No. 45747.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 13, 1942
    ...the two cases, and being so made receiver by law, the parties were the same in fact and the actions were identical. Plaintiff cites also [1 N.W.2d 690]Glade v. General Mut. Ins. Ass'n, supra. In that case the claim was made by the insurance company that the insured had refused to co-operate......
  • Iowa v. Buckley, No. 1--56537
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • August 29, 1975
    ...(1948); State v. DeMarce, 237 Iowa 648, 23 N.W.2d 441 (1946); State v. Kellison, 233 Iowa 1274, 11 N.W.2d 371 (1943); State v. Schreck, 231 Iowa 542, 1 N.W.2d 690 (1942); State v. Wickett, 230 Iowa 1182, 300 N.W. 268 (1941); State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 298 N.W. 862 (1941); State v. Woodru......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • State v. Hill, No. 48148
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • February 10, 1953
    ...is proper under the following decisions and authorities cited therein. State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 828, 298 N.W. 862; State v. Schreck, 231 Iowa 542, 543-544, 1 N.W.2d 690; State v. Kellison, 233 Iowa 1274, 1276, 11 N.W.2d 371; State v. Reickenbach, 235 Iowa 731, 17 N.W.2d 530; State v. D......
  • State v. Schenk, No. 46268.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 3, 1945
    ...199 Iowa 383, 202 N.W. 105;State v. Walker, 124 Iowa 414, 100 N.W. 354;State v. Arthur, 135 Iowa 48, 109 N.W. 1083;State v. Schreck, 231 Iowa 542, 1 N.W.2d 690, 694. In the Schreck case this court said: ‘The fact of conspiracy may be established by circumstantial evidence. It is sufficient ......
  • McCann v. Iowa Mut. Liab. Ins. Co. of Cedar Rapids, No. 45747.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 13, 1942
    ...the two cases, and being so made receiver by law, the parties were the same in fact and the actions were identical. Plaintiff cites also [1 N.W.2d 690]Glade v. General Mut. Ins. Ass'n, supra. In that case the claim was made by the insurance company that the insured had refused to co-operate......
  • Iowa v. Buckley, No. 1--56537
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • August 29, 1975
    ...(1948); State v. DeMarce, 237 Iowa 648, 23 N.W.2d 441 (1946); State v. Kellison, 233 Iowa 1274, 11 N.W.2d 371 (1943); State v. Schreck, 231 Iowa 542, 1 N.W.2d 690 (1942); State v. Wickett, 230 Iowa 1182, 300 N.W. 268 (1941); State v. Traas, 230 Iowa 826, 298 N.W. 862 (1941); State v. Woodru......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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