State v. Treptow, No. 19-1276

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtMcDONALD, Justice.
Citation960 N.W.2d 98
Parties STATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. David J. TREPTOW, Appellant.
Decision Date28 May 2021
Docket NumberNo. 19-1276

960 N.W.2d 98

STATE of Iowa, Appellee,
v.
David J. TREPTOW, Appellant.

No. 19-1276

Supreme Court of Iowa.

Submitted October 14, 2020
Filed May 28, 2021


Martha J. Lucey (argued), State Appellate Defender, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Zachary Miller (argued), Assistant Attorney General, and Shawn M. Harden, County Attorney, for appellee.

McDonald, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Christensen, C.J., and Waterman, Mansfield, Oxley, and McDermott, JJ., joined. Appel, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

McDONALD, Justice.

960 N.W.2d 102

David Treptow pleaded guilty to three drug-related offenses and was sentenced to an indeterminate term of incarceration not to exceed twelve years. In this direct appeal, Treptow contends there was not a factual basis supporting one of the convictions and his counsel provided constitutionally ineffective assistance in allowing Treptow to plead guilty in the absence of a factual basis. In addition to those issues, Treptow challenges the constitutionality of Iowa Code section 814.6 (2020), which limits the ability of a defendant to appeal as a matter of right from a conviction following a guilty plea, and Iowa Code section 814.7, which requires that claims of ineffective assistance of counsel be presented and resolved in the first instance in postconviction-relief proceedings rather than on direct appeal.

I.

Police were dispatched to Treptow's residence on report of a domestic disturbance. Upon entering the residence, officers immediately smelled marijuana and observed what appeared to be marijuana in an ashtray on the coffee table. The officers asked a cotenant of the residence if she would grant consent to search the residence, and she granted consent. The officers searched the residence with the assistance of a canine unit. They discovered and seized controlled substances and paraphernalia in various locations inside and outside the residence. A subsequent lab report from the Division of Criminal Investigation showed the officers seized approximately .17 grams of methamphetamine, 885.33 grams of marijuana, and 81.62 grams of marijuana concentrate.

Treptow was charged with six controlled substances offenses, and he ultimately pleaded guilty to three of them: (1) possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(1)(d ) (2018); (2) failure to affix a drug tax stamp, in violation of Iowa Code section 453B.12 ; and (3) gathering where controlled substances are used (marijuana), enhanced as a second offense, in violation of Iowa Code sections 124.407 and 124.411. As part of the plea agreement, the State agreed to drop the habitual offender enhancements applicable to counts 1 and 2, to dismiss the remaining counts, and to dismiss a companion case against Treptow.

At the time he entered his guilty pleas, Treptow expressed his desire to proceed to immediate sentencing. The district court informed Treptow he had the right to delay sentencing, and Treptow stated he understood the right and waived the same. The district court informed Treptow he had the right to have a presentence investigation report prepared prior to sentencing, and Treptow stated he understood the right and waived the same. Finally, the district court informed Treptow that he had the right to file a motion in arrest of judgment and that if he did not file a motion in arrest of judgment he "would have to forever give up [his] right to challenge the validity of [his] guilty plea either before [the district court] or before an Appellate Court." Treptow stated he understood the right and waived the same. Treptow asked his counsel to make a statement on his behalf. Counsel informed the court Treptow desired "the paperwork be done as soon as possible so he can be sent to prison on the next available group." The district court accepted Treptow's guilty

960 N.W.2d 103

pleas and request for immediate sentencing and entered sentence that day, July 16, 2019.

II.

In 2019, the general assembly passed and the governor signed an omnibus crime bill effective July 1, 2019. See 2019 Iowa Acts ch. 140. We have interpreted and applied several provisions of the omnibus crime bill in recent decisions. See generally Hrbek v. State , 958 N.W.2d 779 (Iowa 2021) ; State v. Tucker , 959 N.W.2d 140 (Iowa 2021) ; State v. Thompson , 954 N.W.2d 402 (Iowa 2021) ; State v. Boldon , 954 N.W.2d 62 (Iowa 2021) ; State v. Draine , 936 N.W.2d 205 (Iowa 2019) ; State v. Macke , 933 N.W.2d 226 (Iowa 2019). These recent decisions provide guidance in resolving the challenges raised in this appeal.

This appeal addresses two provisions of the omnibus crime bill. First, Treptow challenges Iowa Code section 814.6. That provision now provides:

1. Right of appeal is granted the defendant from:

a. A final judgment of sentence, except in the following cases:

(1) A simple misdemeanor conviction.

(2) An ordinance violation.

(3) A conviction where the defendant has pled guilty. This subparagraph does not apply to a guilty plea for a class "A" felony or in a case where the defendant establishes good cause.

Iowa Code § 814.6 (2020). In State v. Tucker , we examined the effect of this new law. See 959 N.W.2d at 145-51. We explained section 814.6 "restricts only a narrow class of defendants from pursuing a direct appeal as a matter of right: those who plead guilty to non-class A offenses and cannot articulate a legally sufficient reason to pursue a direct appeal." Id. at 149. In other words, section 814.6 "prohibits those who plead guilty to non-class A offenses from pursuing frivolous appeals as a matter of right." Id.

Second, Treptow challenges Iowa Code section 814.7. That statutory provision now provides:

An ineffective assistance of counsel claim in a criminal case shall be determined by filing an application for postconviction relief pursuant to chapter 822. The claim need not be raised on direct appeal from the criminal proceedings in order to preserve the claim for postconviction relief purposes, and the claim shall not be decided on direct appeal from the criminal proceedings.

Iowa Code § 814.7. In Tucker , we explained this statute "merely diverts all claims of ineffective assistance of counsel to postconviction-relief proceedings and requires they be resolved there in the first instance." 959 N.W.2d at 152. We explained claims of ineffective assistance of counsel rarely can be resolved on direct appeal. See id. (collecting cases); see also Massaro v. United States , 538 U.S. 500, 504, 123 S. Ct. 1690, 1694, 155 L.Ed.2d 714 (2003) ("In light of the way our system has developed, in most cases a motion brought under § 2255 is preferable to direct appeal for deciding claims of ineffective assistance."). Section 814.7 worked no significant change in appellate practice; the new law simply codified more strongly our "judicial practice stretching back for almost a half-century." Tucker , 959 N.W.2d at 152.

III.

Treptow contends sections 814.6(1)(a )(3) and 814.7 violate the separation-of-powers doctrine as unconstitutional restrictions on the judicial power. We recently addressed the identical challenge in Tucker and concluded these two provisions

960 N.W.2d 104

did not violate the separation-of-powers doctrine. See 959 N.W.2d at 148-53. Tucker is dispositive on this issue:

[S]ections 814.6(1)(a )(3) and 814.7, whether considered in isolation or in tandem, do not violate the separation-of-powers doctrine. The Iowa Constitution provides this court's appellate jurisdiction is subject to such restrictions as the legislature may prescribe. Iowa Const. art. V, § 4. The Iowa Constitution also tasks the legislature with the primary duty to provide for a system of practice in all Iowa Courts. See id. § 14. Here, the legislative department determined that defendants who plead guilty to non-class A offenses should not have the right to pursue an appeal without a showing of good cause. See Iowa Code § 814.6(1)(a )(3). The legislature also determined all claims of ineffective assistance of counsel must be resolved in the first instance in postconviction-relief proceedings rather than on direct appeal. See id. § 814.7. These decisions were within the legislative department's prerogative and not in derogation of the judicial power.

Id. at 152–53.

IV.

Treptow contends the omnibus crime bill violates his constitutional right to equal protection of the laws. He argues section 814.6(1)(a )(3) makes an arbitrary distinction (1) between those convicted after trial and those convicted after a guilty plea and (2) between those convicted of a class "A" felony and those convicted of a non-class "A" felony. With respect to section 814.7, Treptow contends the statute makes an arbitrary distinction between those who were provided effective assistance of counsel in pleading guilty and those who were not provided effective assistance of counsel in pleading guilty. Our review is de novo. See State v. Mitchell , 757 N.W.2d 431, 434 (Iowa 2008) (applying de novo review to equal protection claims).

The United States and Iowa Constitutions guarantee the equal protection of the law to all persons. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides, "No...

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105 practice notes
  • State v. Crawford, 19-1506
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 18, 2022
    ...appeal. The court of appeals also rejected Crawford's numerous constitutional challenges to section 814.7. See, e.g., State v. Treptow, 960 N.W.2d 98, 103-08 (Iowa 2021). Second, Crawford argued the court of appeals could review the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction unde......
  • State v. Crawford, 19-1506
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 18, 2022
    ...appeal. The court of appeals also rejected Crawford's numerous constitutional challenges to section 814.7. See, e.g. , State v. Treptow , 960 N.W.2d 98, 103–08 (Iowa 2021). Second, Crawford argued the court of appeals could review the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction un......
  • Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Inc. v. Reynolds ex rel. State, 21-0856
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 17, 2022
    ...we first needed to find that women were similarly situated to men as it related to the purposes of the law. See, e.g., State v. Treptow, 960 N.W.2d 98, 104 (Iowa 2021) ("The first step in our equal protection analysis is to determine whether the challenged law makes a distinction between si......
  • State v. Davis, 20-1244
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 28, 2022
    ...go forward. That would be the most efficient approach and would comport with due process and the right to counsel. See State v. Treptow , 960 N.W.2d 98, 113–16 (Iowa 2021) (Appel, J., dissenting).In all other cases where a criminal defendant's first appeal is an application for postconvicti......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
101 cases
  • State v. Crawford, 19-1506
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 18, 2022
    ...appeal. The court of appeals also rejected Crawford's numerous constitutional challenges to section 814.7. See, e.g., State v. Treptow, 960 N.W.2d 98, 103-08 (Iowa 2021). Second, Crawford argued the court of appeals could review the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction unde......
  • State v. Crawford, 19-1506
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 18, 2022
    ...appeal. The court of appeals also rejected Crawford's numerous constitutional challenges to section 814.7. See, e.g. , State v. Treptow , 960 N.W.2d 98, 103–08 (Iowa 2021). Second, Crawford argued the court of appeals could review the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction un......
  • Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Inc. v. Reynolds ex rel. State, 21-0856
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 17, 2022
    ...we first needed to find that women were similarly situated to men as it related to the purposes of the law. See, e.g., State v. Treptow, 960 N.W.2d 98, 104 (Iowa 2021) ("The first step in our equal protection analysis is to determine whether the challenged law makes a distinction between si......
  • State v. Davis, 20-1244
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 28, 2022
    ...go forward. That would be the most efficient approach and would comport with due process and the right to counsel. See State v. Treptow , 960 N.W.2d 98, 113–16 (Iowa 2021) (Appel, J., dissenting).In all other cases where a criminal defendant's first appeal is an application for postconvicti......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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