State v. Seering, No. 03-0776.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtCADY, Justice.
Citation701 N.W.2d 655
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Appellant, v. Keith Frederick SEERING, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 03-0776.
Decision Date29 July 2005

701 N.W.2d 655

STATE of Iowa, Appellant,
v.
Keith Frederick SEERING, Appellee

No. 03-0776.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

July 29, 2005.


701 N.W.2d 659
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Mary E. Tabor, Assistant Attorney General, and Barbara A. Edmondson, County Attorney, for appellant

Eric D. Tindal of Nidey Pederson Erdahl & Tindal, Williamsburg, for appellee.

Catherine K. Levine, Des Moines, for amicus curiae Iowa Civil Liberties Union.

CADY, Justice.

In this appeal, we consider the constitutionality of Iowa's statutory prohibition against convicted sex offenders living within two thousand feet of an elementary or secondary school or child care facility. The appellee, a convicted sex offender, brought a successful constitutional challenge to the statute in the district court. The State appeals from the district court's ruling. For the reasons that follow, we reverse and remand this case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

In October 2000, Keith Frederick Seering was convicted of lascivious conduct with a minor in violation of Iowa Code section 709.14 (1999) after committing numerous sexually abusive acts against his teenaged daughter. Seering was given a suspended sentence and placed on probation. His probation was later revoked, and he was placed in a halfway house in Iowa City to complete his sentence. After being released in August 2002, he moved to Riverside, where his wife and daughter were residing with family friends.

Shortly after his arrival in Riverside, Seering went to the county sheriff's office to register himself as a sex offender at his new address. See Iowa Code §§ 692A.2-.3 (2003) (defining persons required to register and describing the sex offender registration process). While there, an officer told Seering that he was "99.99 percent sure that [Seering] was going to be within a two thousand-foot buffer rule of at least a day care, if not a school." The "buffer rule" mentioned by the officer is a two-thousand-foot residency restriction imposed by Iowa Code section 692A.2A. This statute prohibits a person who has committed a sexually violent offense or other crime against a minor from residing within two thousand feet of an elementary or secondary school or child care center.1 Id.

701 N.W.2d 660
§ 692A.2A. Seering informed the officer that he was hoping to find a new home in Johnson County and would soon move from Riverside

After his conversation with Seering, the officer asked a county employee to prepare a map of Washington County showing the areas where Seering or another offender could live without violating the statute. The officer then met again with Seering and showed him the map, which indicated limited areas where Seering could live in compliance with the residency restriction. The officer also warned Seering that he had one more week to move to an unrestricted area or he would face charges under the statute. See id. § 692A.2A(3) (making a violation of the residency restriction an aggravated misdemeanor).

A few weeks later, the officer went to the Riverside address to determine whether Seering had moved. The owner of the residence told the officer that Seering was still living in the home. When confronted with this information, Seering claimed he was actually living out of his car. After finding no evidence to substantiate Seering's claim, the officer arrested him for violating the residency restriction.

In October 2002, Seering returned to the sheriff's office to register a new address in Johnson County. This address was an abandoned farm property. Seering, his wife, and his daughter had parked a fold-down camper on the property and were living together in the camper. The family had a history of struggling to maintain a steady residence, even before the residency restriction, due to their lack of sufficient finances. However, the residency restriction made it more difficult to live together and forced them to move to the farm property. Shortly after moving onto the property, the property owner demanded the Seerings move.

On February 10, 2003, Seering filed a motion to dismiss the criminal charge against him relating to the residency restriction. Seering contended the residency restriction statute was unconstitutional because it violated his state and federal constitutional rights related to ex post facto laws, substantive and procedural due process, vague and overbroad laws, equal protection, cruel and unusual punishment, and bills of attainder.

On April 3, the district court issued its ruling on Seering's motion. The court determined the residency restriction statute was unconstitutional on substantive and procedural due process, ex post facto, self-incrimination, and cruel and unusual punishment grounds. It rejected Seering's arguments that the residency restriction impinged rights related to overbreadth or bills of attainder.

The State appeals from the district court's ruling granting Seering's motion to dismiss, asserting error on each of the district court's conclusions. For the reasons

701 N.W.2d 661
that follow, we reverse and remand this case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion

II. Standard of Review.

Our review of constitutional claims related to statutes is well established:

We review constitutional challenges to a statute de novo. In doing so, we must remember that statutes are cloaked with a presumption of constitutionality. The challenger bears a heavy burden, because it must prove the unconstitutionality beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, "the challenger must refute every reasonable basis upon which the statute could be found to be constitutional." Furthermore, if the statute is capable of being construed in more than one manner, one of which is constitutional, we must adopt that construction.

State v. Hernandez-Lopez, 639 N.W.2d 226, 233 (Iowa 2002) (citations omitted); accord Santi v. Santi, 633 N.W.2d 312, 316 (Iowa 2001).

III. Preservation of Error.

There have been several constitutional claims made throughout the proceedings in this case. Ultimately, many of these claims are not viable on appeal because they were not properly preserved or presented for our review.

In his original motion to dismiss, Seering contended the residency restriction statute violated his state and federal constitutional rights relating to ex post facto laws, substantive and procedural due process, vague and overbroad laws, equal protection, cruel and unusual punishment, and bills of attainder. In its appellate brief, the State presented arguments on each of the issues raised by Seering, as well as an argument relating to self-incrimination, apparently based on the district court's discussion of the issue. In his appellate brief, however, Seering reasserted only his claims based on substantive and procedural due process, ex post facto laws, self-incrimination, and cruel and unusual punishment. He also raised a new claim related to free association between family members. In addition, the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, as amicus curiae, presented a brief asserting and explaining why Iowa Code section 692A.2A infringes on Seering's "fundamental right to travel." In sum, eleven discrete constitutional claims have been raised in one form or another at various points in these proceedings. However, several of these claims have not been properly preserved or presented for our review.

Seering chose not to present arguments on appeal relating to his prior-claimed constitutional interests pertaining to overbreadth, vagueness, equal protection, or bills of attainder. In the absence of an argument on these allegations, we deem them waived. See Iowa R.App. P. 6.14(1)(c); see also Bennett v. MC No. 619, Inc., 586 N.W.2d 512, 521 (Iowa 1998). Moreover, Seering admits that the free association claim "was not specifically pled to the District Court," but argues such a claim "is inherent in the argument that 692A.2A unconstitutionally infringed upon Seering's fundamental family rights." Yet, our rules of preservation do not hinge on the mere entwinement of claims or the inherency of a discrete claim as part of a broader claim. See Hernandez-Lopez, 639 N.W.2d at 234; see also Meier v. Senecaut, 641 N.W.2d 532, 537 (Iowa 2002). His free association claim has not been preserved. Finally, the efforts of amicus curiae are unavailing insofar as preservation is concerned. See Rants v. Vilsack, 684 N.W.2d 193, 199 (Iowa 2004); Mueller v. St. Ansgar State Bank, 465 N.W.2d 659, 660 (Iowa 1991); Martin v. Peoples Mut. Sav. &

701 N.W.2d 662
Loan Ass'n, 319 N.W.2d 220, 230 (Iowa 1982). For this reason, any claim of an infringement on Seering's "fundamental right to travel" has not been preserved.

Ultimately, five distinct grounds relating to the constitutionality of the statute remain viable: substantive and procedural due process, ex post facto, self-incrimination, and cruel and unusual punishment. "Any other issues raised by the defendant[] and not specifically addressed are also deemed unpreserved." Hernandez-Lopez, 639 N.W.2d at 234.

IV. Due Process.

Seering challenges the residency restriction statute on both substantive and procedural due process grounds, contending the statute is unconstitutional on its face and as applied to him. His due process claims are grounded in the guarantees of both the federal and state constitutions. U.S. Const. amends. V, XIV; Iowa Const. art. I, § 9. These due process provisions "are nearly identical in scope, import and purpose." Hernandez-Lopez, 639 N.W.2d at 237; accord In re Detention of Cubbage, 671 N.W.2d 442, 446 (Iowa 2003). Accordingly, we typically interpret both in a similar fashion. See Hernandez-Lopez, 639 N.W.2d at 237; Cubbage, 671 N.W.2d at 446. In the absence of an argument that our analysis under each should differ, we construe them similarly in this case as well. See In re Detention of Garren, 620 N.W.2d 275, 280 n. 1 (Iowa 2000); see also Cubbage, 671 N.W.2d...

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171 practice notes
  • People v. Mosley, No. S187965.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • March 2, 2015
    ...provision]; Coston v. Petro (S.D.Ohio 2005) 398 F.Supp.2d 878, 885–887 [ex post facto challenge]; State v. Seering (Iowa 2005) 701 N.W.2d 655, 667–669 [ex post facto challenge]; Lee v. State (Ala.Cr.App.2004) 895 So.2d 1038, 1041–1043 [ex post facto challenge]; but see, e.g., Mikaloff, supr......
  • People v. Mosley, No. S187965.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • March 2, 2015
    ...provision]; Coston v. Petro (S.D.Ohio 2005) 398 F.Supp.2d 878, 885–887 [ex post facto challenge]; State v. Seering (Iowa 2005) 701 N.W.2d 655, 667–669 [ex post facto challenge]; Lee v. State (Ala.Cr.App.2004) 895 So.2d 1038, 1041–1043 [ex post facto challenge]; but see, e.g., Mikaloff, supr......
  • People v. Mosley, No. G038379.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 29, 2010
    ...( Miller, supra, 405 F.3d at pp. 719-723; Weems v. Little Rock Police Dept. (8th Cir.2006) 453 F.3d 1010; State v. Seering (Iowa 2005) 701 N.W.2d 655 ( Seering ); Lee v. State (Ala.Crim.App.2004) 895 So.2d 1038, 1043-1044 ( Lee ).) We disagree with these cases. In considering the first fact......
  • Planned Parenthood of Heartland, Inc. v. Reynolds, No. 20-0804
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 30, 2021
    ...challenger bears a heavy burden, because it must prove the unconstitutionality beyond a reasonable doubt." Id. (quoting State v. Seering, 701 N.W.2d 655, 661 (Iowa 2005), superseded by statute on other grounds, 2009 Iowa Acts ch. 119, § 3 (codified at Iowa Code § 692A.103 (Supp. 2009)), as ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
171 cases
  • People v. Mosley, No. S187965.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • March 2, 2015
    ...provision]; Coston v. Petro (S.D.Ohio 2005) 398 F.Supp.2d 878, 885–887 [ex post facto challenge]; State v. Seering (Iowa 2005) 701 N.W.2d 655, 667–669 [ex post facto challenge]; Lee v. State (Ala.Cr.App.2004) 895 So.2d 1038, 1041–1043 [ex post facto challenge]; but see, e.g., Mikaloff, supr......
  • People v. Mosley, No. S187965.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • March 2, 2015
    ...provision]; Coston v. Petro (S.D.Ohio 2005) 398 F.Supp.2d 878, 885–887 [ex post facto challenge]; State v. Seering (Iowa 2005) 701 N.W.2d 655, 667–669 [ex post facto challenge]; Lee v. State (Ala.Cr.App.2004) 895 So.2d 1038, 1041–1043 [ex post facto challenge]; but see, e.g., Mikaloff, supr......
  • People v. Mosley, No. G038379.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 29, 2010
    ...( Miller, supra, 405 F.3d at pp. 719-723; Weems v. Little Rock Police Dept. (8th Cir.2006) 453 F.3d 1010; State v. Seering (Iowa 2005) 701 N.W.2d 655 ( Seering ); Lee v. State (Ala.Crim.App.2004) 895 So.2d 1038, 1043-1044 ( Lee ).) We disagree with these cases. In considering the first fact......
  • Planned Parenthood of Heartland, Inc. v. Reynolds, No. 20-0804
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 30, 2021
    ...challenger bears a heavy burden, because it must prove the unconstitutionality beyond a reasonable doubt." Id. (quoting State v. Seering, 701 N.W.2d 655, 661 (Iowa 2005), superseded by statute on other grounds, 2009 Iowa Acts ch. 119, § 3 (codified at Iowa Code § 692A.103 (Supp. 2009)), as ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Collateral Punishments and Sentencing Policy
    • United States
    • Criminal Justice Policy Review Nbr. 25-2, March 2014
    • March 1, 2014
    ...Policy, 9(1), 25-57.Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84, (2003). Levenson et al. 157State v. Pollard, 908 N.E.2d 1145 (Ind. 2009).State v. Seering, 701 N.W.2d 655 (Ia. 2005).Tabachnick, J., & Klein, A. (2011). A reasoned approach: Reshaping sex offender policy to pre-vent child sexual abuse. Beaverto......

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