Iowa Supreme Court Holds Warrantless Search of a Backpack Unconstitutiona­­­l

The Iowa Supreme Court recently handed down a decision regarding evidence obtained after a police officer searched a closed backpack. A police officer conducted a warrantless search of the defendant’s backpack. However, a third party, not the defendant, consented to the search of the defendant’s backpack. The defendant’s counsel moved to suppress the evidence found…

Iowa Court of Appeals Holds That Police Officer Cannot Detain Occupants of a Vehicle Merely Because There Was Movement Inside of the Vehicle with Moisture on the Windows

Two individuals in a car after closing time were parked in a parking lot.  Police Officer while on routine patrol noticed two vehicles in a parking lot with their lights on.  The police officer could not tell if there were individuals inside the vehicles.  He continued on with his patrol and eventually drove by the same parking lot…

Supreme Court of the United States Takes up Another First Amendment Issue and the Newly Minted Government-Speech Doctrine; This Time with a State-Issued Specialty License Plate Proposal of the Confederate Battle Flag.

The Supreme Court of the United States recently heard arguments in Walker v. Texas Div., Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc., on March 23, 2015.  The State of Texas has a license plate scheme where private citizens or groups may submit designs for specialized state-issued license plates that, upon approval by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles…

Iowa Supreme Court Holds Husband’s Order to Pay Spousal Support to Wife for the Rest of His Life Was Fair and Equitable

Husband appealed a decision by the district court, among other things, by ordering him to pay spousal support for the rest of his life with no termination date. The district court’s original order provided that husband pay $1400 per month in spousal support, increasing to $2000 per month upon the termination of child support, for…

Iowa Supreme Court Rules Automated Traffic Enforcement Cameras Constitutional

Defendant, Michael Jacobsma, in this case challenged a citation that was issued to him for a speeding violation under an automated traffic enforcement ordinance enacted by the City of Sioux City.  Jacobsma challenged the ordinance, among other things, on constitutional grounds; more specifically that it violated due process, specifically substantive due process. Jacobsma’s main argument…

Iowa Supreme Court Holds That an Officer Was Obligated to Inform Defendant That Private, In-Person Attorney-Client Consultations Were Permitted on Site Once the Defendant Asked For, and Was Denied, Privacy During Teleconference with Attorney.

The Iowa Supreme Court revisited an arresting officer’s obligation to facilitate communications between an attorney and a person arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.  The defendant in this case sought legal advice in determining whether to submit to a chemical breath test.  The defendant requested privacy during this telephone conference with his attorney. …